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

LGW Airport Overview

London Gatwick Airport Guide
(Photo courtesy of Schnabeltier / 23Jan2014)

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Gatwick Airport.

What to Expect

London Gatwick Airport (Code: LGW) 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 guide below for locations and access information.

Sleeping in London Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport 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.  Explore our guide to sleeping in London Gatwick Airport or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips. 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 the Airport Hotels section below for locations.

To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos. You can also visit the airport’s web site for current information.  For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Gatwick Airport Guide.

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.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Lounges

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

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at London Gatwick airport by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. 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
  • Club Aspire Lounge (North)– Location: North Terminal, Airside, Level 1. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.
  • Clubrooms (North Terminal) – Location: North Terminal, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass.
  • My Lounge (North Terminal) – Location: North Terminal, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.
  • No. 1 Gatwick Lounge (North Terminal) – Location: North Terminal, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
  • The Gateway – Location: Airside.  Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
South Terminal

Airline Lounges

If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.

The Emirates Lounge – Location: North Terminal, Airside • British Airways Club Lounge – Location: South Terminal, Airside • British Airways First Lounge – Location: South Terminal, Airside.

Related Pages: London Gatwick Airport Lounges

London Gatwick Airport Hotels, Day Rooms & Sleep Pods

Quick Facts
  • Nearest Hotel:  Inside the Airport
  • Sleep Cabins & Pods: Yes
  • Day Rooms: Yes
  • Nearby Hotels with Free Shuttles: Yes

When the prospect of sleeping on the floor or in a chair is giving you nightmares, there is good news for those of you who are looking to sleep at London’s Gatwick Airport in comfort.   If you are on a layover, you will have to pass through security to the public area of the airport where there are hotels connected to both terminals.  The YotelAir in the South Terminal offer day rooms that can be booked for short-term stays from 4 hours.  A number of nearby hotels offer airport transportation for a fee.

South Terminal Hotels

  • Bloc Gatwick – A budget hotel located inside Gatwick’s South Terminal on the 3rd Floor, Departures Level, beside security.  » Check Rates
  • 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.  » Check Rates
  • Hotel Hilton London Gatwick Airport – Connected to the South Terminal by a covered walkway. Day rooms are available 9:00AM – 6:00PM.  » Check Rates

North Terminal Hotels

  • Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport – Connected to the North Terminal by a covered walkway.  » Check Rates
  • Premier Inn London Gatwick North Terminal Hotel – 5 minute walk from the North Terminal.  Free 24-hour shuttle from the South Terminal.  » Check Rates
  • 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.  » Check Rates

Hotels near the airport

  • Travelodge Gatwick Airport Central – A paid shuttle departs from South Terminal bus stop 9 and North Terminal bus stop 8. Shuttle rate is £3 per adult, £1.50 per child (as of October 2020).   » Check Rates

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Gatwick Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport WiFi / Internet and Mobile Charging


Free unlimited WiFi is available at Gatwick Airport. Connect to the “Gatwick Free wi-fi” network and follow the steps to sign up. The free WiFi is available at speeds of up to 50mbps. If faster service is required, create a myGatwick account for speeds (free) of 100mbps. 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.

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.

Airport Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover

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.

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 • South Terminal Arrivals) • London News Company (South Terminal, Landside) • WHSmith (South Terminal, Landside • North Terminal, Arrivals).

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – Designated rooms (marked with a babycare symbol) 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. Diaper change folding tables are also available in mens’ and womens’ restrooms throughout the airport.
  • Baby Food – Boots Drugstore, located both landside and airside, offers a pre-order service for baby milk. Simply place your order 5-6 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” come equipped with toys and TVs for watching cartoons and other kids’ shows. Locations: North Terminal, Airside, departures • South Terminal, Airside, departures.
  • 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.
  • Strollers – Strollers are available for use at the airport to make getting around the airport with your little one much easier! The strollers are available to use free of charge , but require a £/€ 1,00 deposit which will be refunded upon the strollers being returned to collection points in Baggage Reclaim.

Fitness – 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

  • Drinking Water – Thirsty? The airport offers water fountains in both terminals to refill your water bottles. Alternatively, any restaurant will refill your water bottle for you.
  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
    • North Terminal: Costa (Arrivals) • Jamie’s Coffee (Landside) • 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 Foods (Landside) • Pret a Manger (Departures, Airside) • Starbucks (Airside) • The Beehive (Landside, kitchen only open 4:00AM – 10:30PM).

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. Locations: South Terminal (Opposite Zones J and K) • North Terminal (atrium opposite Zone D).


  • 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 (Hours: 5:00AM – 10:00PM) • South Terminal, landside, Arrivals (Hours: Open 24 hours).
  • Luggage Wrapping – Available at Excess Baggage Company for a fee. See Luggage Storage & Lockers for locations and hours.

Mobile Charging – see “Airport WiFi / Internet and Mobile Charging” above.


  • 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.

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.

Postal Services  – Drop off your last minute postcards to friends and family from the airport’s mailboxes. Locations: North Terminal, Landside, Check-In, Level 1 • North Terminal Landside, Check-In, Level 2 • North Terminal, Landside, Arrivals, Ground Floor • Landside, South Terminal, Landside, Arrivals, Level 2 • South Terminal, Landside, Check-in, Level 2 • South Terminal, Landside, Departures, Level 3

Prayer – 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

Showers – Showers are available in the Regus Express Business Lounge.  See Airport Lounges above.

SIM Cards – A reader has asked us to include where to buy SIM Cards. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.

Smoking – Smoking is only permitted outside the terminal in designated areas. The only exception to this is on the terrace attached to the My Lounge (South Terminal), paid entrance to the Lounge is required. See Airport Lounges above.

WiFi – see “Airport WiFi / Internet and Mobile Charging” above.

Related Pages: Things to do on a layover at London Gatwick Airport

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.


London Gatwick airport is served by the following airlines: Aegean Airlines • Aeroflot • Air Arabia • Air Baltic • Air China • Air Europa • Air Malta • Air New Zealand • Air Transat • Aurigny • Austrian Airlines • Azores Airlines • Belavia • British Airways • Cathay Pacific • China Airlines • China Eastern Airlines • Croatia Airlines • EasyJet • Emirates • Enter Air • Finnair • Georgian Airways • Iberia Express • Icelandair • Iraqi Airways • Jazeera • Level • Montenegro Airlines • Norwegian • Pegasus Airlines • Qatar Airways • Royal Air Maroc • Rwandair • Ryanair • Swiss • TAP Portugal • Titan Airways • Travel Smart Wings • TUIFly • Tunisair • Turkish Airlines • Uzbekistan Airlines • Virgin Atlantic • Vueling • WestJet • Wizz Air.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


Gatwick Airport 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 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.

Car Rentals

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

Hotel Shuttles

Some nearby hotels provide airport shuttles: Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport (A23 Airport Way)  • Travelodge Gatwick Airport Central.

See also Airport Hotels above.

Inter-Terminal Shuttle

There is a 24 hour inter-terminal shuttle that runs every few minutes.  Travel time: 2 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: 2022-10-28

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, is 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 websites. 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: update the airport guide or  write a review.