Sleeping in Airports

London Gatwick Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our London Gatwick Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

The police were lovely they even bought me a coffee. -Holly

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at London Gatwick Airport.

What to Expect

London Gatwick Airport is located roughly 50km southeast of Central London. There are two terminals: North and South and they are connected landside by an automated people mover.  Facilities and amenities are kept to a minimum. Travellers will find some shops and a few restaurants that are open 24-hours a day. There is 90 minutes of free WiFi available; however, past travellers have said it can be slow and inconsistent.  For those looking for a little added comfort, there are first class lounges, one of which has showers, that economy class passengers can pay to access.  See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and access information.

Where to Sleep

Gatwick has some decent places to sleep overnight. Landside areas of both terminals seem to have the best options. In the south terminal, there are soft benches and armchairs, and in the north terminal there are comfortable seats on the lower level near the coffee shop. Airside, there are a few benches without armrests where you can stretch out. Wherever you end up sleeping, it is worth bringing a sleep mask, earplugs or noise cancelling headphones, and some warm layers as the airport can be bright, noisy and chilly.  If you’re looking for uninterrupted sleep, there are two hotels inside the airport offering day rooms and overnight stays, and other hotels nearby that are connected by shuttles.  See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at London Gatwick airport either by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program (ie. Priority Pass). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

North Terminal

Passes  Club Aspire Lounge – Location: North Terminal, Airside, Level 1. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Clubrooms (North Terminal) – Location: North Terminal, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  My Lounge – Location: North Terminal, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  No. 1 Gatwick Lounge (North Terminal) – Location: North Terminal, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

South Terminal

Passes  Clubrooms (South Terminal) – Location: South Terminal, Airside, Pier 1. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  No. 1 Gatwick Lounge (South Terminal) – Location: South Terminal, Airside, Mezzanine Level. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Regus Express Business Lounge – Location: South Terminal, Arrivals Concourse, Ground Floor. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door. [ more lounge info ]

If sleeping in London Gatwick Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

Inside Airport Bloc Gatwick – A budget hotel located inside the South Terminal on the 3rd Floor, Departures Level, beside security.
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Inside Airport YOTELAIR – Located in the South Terminal next to International Arrivals, this budget airport hotel offers day rooms/ hourly (4 to 24 hours). Transit (airside) passengers will need valid entry into the UK to stay here.
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At Airport Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport – Directly connected to the North Terminal via walkway, and connected to South Terminal via free shuttle service. The shuttle runs every 2 +/- minutes, 24 hours a day.
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At Airport Hilton London Gatwick Airport – Connected to the South Terminal by a covered walkway. Day rooms are available 9:00AM – 6:00PM.
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At Airport Premier Inn London Gatwick North Terminal Hotel – Located opposite the North Terminal, this hotel provides free 2-minute transfers to the South Terminal.
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At Airport Sofitel London Gatwick – A 4-star hotel connected directly to the North Terminal via covered link bridge. Day rooms are available 9:00AM – 6:00PM.
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To see more options there is a list of hotels near Gatwick Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Free WiFi is available at Gatwick Airport for 90 minutes. Connect to the “Gatwick Free wi-fi” network and follow the steps to sign up. After first session is over, additional time can be purchased by reopening your browser and connecting to Boingo hotspot. Additionally, self-service Surfbox internet stations are available throughout the airport. All Surfbox kiosks have mobile charging capabilities, and the landside Surfboxes also have printing facilities. Prices are clearly displayed, and payment is by coin or credit card.

Business Services

  • Work Pods – Regus Express has installed soundproof work pods that come equipped with free WiFi and mobile charging. Locations: North Terminal, Airside, Gates 104-105 • South Terminal, Airside, Gates 31-38. Rate: £10 per 30 mins. Hours: open 24 hours.

Communications

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – Designated rooms for the care and feeding of babies are available in the check-in area, on the way to the gates, in the transfer area, and after passport control in Arrivals. Look for rooms marked with a babycare symbol. Diaper change folding tables are also available in mens’ and womens’ restrooms located throughout the airport.
    Strollers are available for use upon arrival in the airport, free of charge, to be returned to collection points in Baggage Reclaim after use.
    Boots Drugstore, located both landside and airside, offers a pre-order service for baby milk. Simply place your order five days before your travel, and pick up post security, freeing up space in your hand luggage for other essentials. You can warm up baby bottles at Pret a Manger restaurant, located airside in either terminal.
  • Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to one of the children’s play areas. The airport’s “Kids Zones” comes equipped with toys and TVs for watching cartoons and other kids’ shows. Locations: North Terminal, Airside, in the departures lounge and South Terminal, Airside, in the departure lounge.
  • Family Services – Early check-in and bag drop, designated family-friendly parking bays and special “Family Lanes” at security are some of the airport’s offerings to assist families in having a smooth airport experience.

Fitness

  • Take a Walk – If you want to get out and enjoy the fresh air, there is a national bicycle path that leads to the airport. According to a site visitor “the path led quickly off the site and wound through a pretty wooded suburban area”.

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
    • North Terminal: Costa (Arrivals) • Jamie’s Coffee (Airside) • Marks & Spencer Simply Foods (Landside) • Pret a Manger (Airside) • Starbucks (Airside) • The Nicholas Culpeper Pub & Dining (Landside).
    • South Terminal: Caffѐ Nero (Landside) • Costa (Arrivals) • Marks & Spencer Simply Food (Landside) • Pret a Manger (Departures, Airside) • Starbucks (Airside).

Information

  • Information Desk – The airport offers a “Your Service Center” in each Terminal. Staff can help out with everything from missed flights to supplying lounge information to suggesting where to eat in the airport. Locations: South Terminal (Opposite Zones J and K) • North Terminal (atrium opposite Zone D).

Luggage

  • Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available. Rates: a refundable deposit of £1 or €1 coin.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Excess Baggage Company offers short and long-term left luggage storage in both terminals at the following rates: £6.00 per bag/item for up to 3 hours, £11.00 per bag/item for 3 hour up to your first 24 hours, then £7.50 per bag/item for your second 24-hour period. After 72 hours, the rate is £5.00 per bag/item per 24-hour period. Luggage shipping, luggage wrapping, courier, tourist information and other services are available. Locations: North Terminal, landside, Arrivals, next to inter-terminal shuttle (Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM) • South Terminal, landside, Arrivals, at the back of Check-In (Hours: Open 24 hours).
  • Luggage Wrapping – Available at Excess Baggage Company for a fee. See Luggage Storage & Lockers for locations and hours.

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Charging – Free charging points are located airside and landside throughout the airport. If you want a hands-free method of charging, look for one of the ChargeBox kiosks. Located in the Departures lounges of both terminals, ChargeBox kiosks contains a group of small lockers equipped with charging leads for most phones. Phones take about 30 – 90 minutes to fully charge. Just plug in your phone, lock it up and take the key with you while you shop or dine! Rate: £1.50 for 30 minutes.

Money

  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. All valid UK bank cards are accepted, as well as credit cards. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside and Airside in both terminals.
  • Currency Exchange – Moneycorp has exchange desks and ATMS located throughout both terminals. Hours: open 24 hours.

Prayer

  • Chapel / Prayer Room – The airport’s interfaith chapels offer quiet and peaceful places to pray or meditate in both terminals. Scheduled services are held by Anglican, Roman Catholic and Free Church chaplains, and Buddhist services are held every Monday and on significant religious dates. Services usually last about 25 minutes. Locations: North Terminal, landside, 1st Floor, next to EasyJet customer services, before entrance to Hampton by Hilton • South Terminal, landside, 3rd Floor, near Caffè Nero. Hours: Open 24 hours.

Rest & Relaxation

Shopping

  • Duty Free and Shopping – The airport offers four World Duty Free shops, three of which operate 24 hours a day: North Terminal Departures (Airside) and Arrivals • South Terminal Departures (Airside). A large variety of retail stores is also available including a few options that are open 24 hours: Boots Drugstore (North Terminal Arrivals) • London News Company (South Terminal, Landside) • WHSmith (South Terminal, Landside • North Terminal, Arrivals).

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • Showers – Showers are available in the Regus Express Business Lounge. [ see Airport Lounges above ]

Smoking

  • Smoking -Smoking is only permitted outside the terminal in designated areas.

Things to do & see

  • Art in the Airport – The works of 3 different local artists are now on display throughout the airport. Check out the unique mosaic celebrating Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, the artwork is created with 5,500 pictures of people from Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Location: South Terminal.

Other Airport Services

  • Newspapers – For your reading pleasure, the airport provides The London Evening Standard newspaper, as well as several popular magazines, free of charge! Look for the Green Bug Media pick-up points airside on the way to the gates, and also at several airport restaurants.

The airport is open 24 hours.

As of March 2018, London Gatwick airport is served by the following airlines: Aegean Airlines • Aer Lingus • Aeroflot • Air Arabia • Air Baltic • Air Europa • Air Malta • Air Transat • Aurigny • Austrian Airlines • Belavia • British Airways • Cathay Pacific • China Airlines • Cobalt • Croatia Airlines • easyJet • Emirates • Flybe • Georgian Airways • Icelandair • Iraqi Airways • Med-View Airlines • Meridiana • Montenegro Airlines • Norwegian • Pegasus Airlines • Royal Air Maroc • Rwandair • Ryanair • Sata • Swiss • TAP Portugal • Thomas Cook Airlines • Tianjin Airlines • TUIFly • Tunisair • Turkish Airlines • Virgin Atlantic • Vueling • WestJet • Wizz Air • WOW Air.

London Gatwick is connected by local bus and coach service to more than 100 UK towns and cities. Most buses access the airport from the lower forecourt at South Terminal, but some buses also serve the North Terminal, on the lower level outside of International Arrivals.

Here are some coach services from Gatwick:

  • National Express offers low-cost, frequent 24-hour service between Gatwick and Victoria Coach Station (central London), Heathrow Airport, Brighton and Bristol.
  • easyBus offers frequent and direct low-cost transfers between Gatwick Airport and central London, with departures from 4:00AM – 1:00AM.
  • Oxford Bus provides an hourly service between the airport and Oxford called “The Airline”.
  • Gatwick Flyer offers direct service between the South Terminal and Southend.

For information on fares, routes and timetables for both local and coach services, visit the Gatwick Airport website.

Well known car rental providers are available at Gatwick. Companies include: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National • Sixt. Location: Car Rental Facility across from the North Terminal.

There is a 24 hour terminal shuttle that runs every few minutes.

Taxis and minicabs can also be pre-booked before or upon arrival. Both taxis and minicabs are licensed to transport passengers, but while taxis can be hired without a reservation, minicabs (by law) are not allowed to take passengers without a reservation. Do not accept rides from a minicab driver who approaches you to solicit a ride.

London Gatwick has a railway station at the South Terminal, connected to the North Terminal via free shuttle service. The Gatwick Express is the fastest way to travel between the airport and central London, departing every 15 minutes for the 30 – 35 minute journey to and from London Victoria Station. For more information, visit the Gatwick Airport website.

Last updated: 2018-10-23

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide, write a review or send an email to [email protected] and we will update this guide.