A complete guide to Gatwick Airport


Gatwick Airport (LGW) is the second-busiest airport in the world with only one runway — so don’t be surprised if your view out the airplane window is always the same.

London Gatwick Airport. Image credit: Phoenix0013/iStock
London Gatwick Airport. Image credit: Phoenix0013/iStock

Gatwick Airport, which serves 46 million passengers per year, held the title for the busiest one-runway airport in the world up until 2015, when it was knocked out of the top spot by Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

While Gatwick Airport technically has two runways, their proximity to each other prevents them from being able to be used at the same time. With Heathrow Airport, London’s primary airport, reaching full capacity, there’s been quite a lot of speculation recently regarding how Gatwick Airport could expand its operations.

With only two terminals, the airport is easy to navigate, but having a handy airport map with you can help you find what you’re looking for.

Airlines flying out of Gatwick Airport

If your flight departs from Gatwick Airport, you’ll need to know if you’re heading to the Gatwick South Terminal or North Terminal. Check out this list to set forth in the right direction.

North Terminal

  • Aeroflot
  • Air Transat
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • EasyJet
  • Emirates
  • Finnair
  • Georgian Airways
  • Icelandair
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • RwandAir
  • Tui
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • WestJet

South Terminal

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Arabia
  • Air Baltic
  • Air Europa
  • Air Malta
  • Aurigny
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Azores Airlines
  • Belavia
  • BH Air
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • Enter Air
  • Iberia Express
  • Iraqi Airways
  • Level
  • Montenegro Airlines
  • Norwegian
  • Pegasus Airlines
  • RyanAir
  • SmartWings
  • SWISS
  • TAP Portugal
  • Thomas Cook Airlines
  • Titan Airways
  • TunisAir
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Vueling
  • Wizz

Gatwick Airport lounges – relaxation and privacy

Both airline lounges and independent lounges provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of the terminals at Gatwick. You can find lounges in both the North and South Terminals. Check out our full guide to all the airport lounges at Gatwick for more detailed descriptions.

North Terminal lounges

Gatwick's North Terminal has a range of airport lounges to choose from. Image credit: rfwil/iStock
Gatwick’s North Terminal has a range of airport lounges to choose from. Image credit: rfwil/iStock

Gatwick No1 lounge

This independent lounge offers free admission to premium passengers on Icelandair and to Priority Pass members and is also open to other same-day passengers for a small fee. In this lounge, a library area provides space for you to get some work done before you fly, while a hot and cold buffet and full-service bar make sure you don’t go hungry. Head to the sports lounge to catch the end of the game before you fly. This lounge also features security access directly to the gates for premium passengers.

Gatwick No1 Clubroom

This private lounge offers more opportunities for privacy and seclusion than most, with partitioned rooms that let you get away from airport crowds. In addition to the amenities available at the Gatwick No1 Lounge, this adults-only clubroom also offers a fine dining menu with waiter service.

Club Aspire lounge

This lounge is available to all travelers flying any class for a small fee. Children are welcome, and a business center is available if you need to get some work done before you fly. A hot and cold buffet is kept stocked throughout the day, with full English breakfast available in the mornings. Club Aspire’s signature whiskey is poured at the full bar.

My Lounge Gatwick North

Priority Pass members and American Express Gold cardholders (and higher) enjoy access to this lounge, which is open to anyone with a same-day boarding pass for an entry fee. When the Gatwick No1 Lounge is full, passengers are often sent to this lounge.

Gamers should find themselves at home here as the lounge features a dedicated gaming area with Playstations and Mac computers available. A TV room is also available, and the loft design of the lounge ensures everyone can find somewhere comfortable to relax. A hot and cold buffet is replenished throughout opening hours.

South Terminal

Gatwick No1 Lounge

This twin to the North Terminal’s No1 lounge is open to Star Alliance Gold and Skyteam Elite Plus members with same-day boarding passes. The lounge, which has recently been renovated, offers all the amenities of the North Terminal lounge, plus a waiter-service bistro and great views of the tarmac. A children’s playroom and a mini-cinema make this lounge particularly family-friendly.

Gatwick No1 Clubroom

This South Terminal lounge is almost identical to its North Terminal counterpart. No children are admitted at this lounge, which is open to Priority Pass members or to any adult same-day travelers for a fee.

My Lounge Gatwick South

My Lounge offers access to premium passengers on Norwegian as well as to Priority Pass members, and it’s also accessible to anyone wishing to pay the entrance fee. Like its North Terminal counterpart, this lounge has a more casual style, with a gaming room and a self-service bar. A mini kitchen is also available for those wishing to pull together a meal. The lounge also features the only outdoor terrace of all of Gatwick’s lounges.

Regus Express Gatwick

Members of the Regus co-working facilities can enjoy access to the Regus business lounge, with 11 reservable meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art tech, as well as private workspaces with printers and copiers at your disposal. This lounge also hosts shower facilities so you can freshen up before your meeting, and it’s located outside security, making it an ideal spot to head if you need to connect with clients during a layover at Gatwick.

British Airways lounges

British Airways sponsors two lounges in Gatwick’s South Terminal. The Club Lounge is open to business-class passengers on British Airways or other oneworld airlines, while first-class passengers on these airlines can head to the First Lounge.

In the Club Lounge, you can take advantage of shower suites, a full-service bar, and a hot and cold buffet. A business center is also available so you can complete some work before you fly. The First Lounge offers similar amenities plus waiter-service fine dining with a chef-driven menu.

Gatwick Airport hotels – rest within the airport itself

If you have an extended layover or your flight out of Gatwick is delayed, you don’t have to go far to find a comfortable bed. Gatwick Airport is home to hotels right within the airport that can help you rest and get you back up in the air with a minimum of fuss.

YotelAir

If your layover is just a few hours long, yet you have a deep need for an extended nap or some privacy to work, you’re in luck. YotelAir in Gatwick Airport offers innovative cabins in the South Terminal that offer a place to sleep, a private bathroom, and free Wi-Fi, with tea and coffee included. Minimum booking is four hours.

Hilton London Gatwick

The Hilton London Gatwick is connected to the South Terminal by a covered walkway and to the North Terminal by monorail. Four restaurants and bars make it easy to grab a bite, and extensive meeting facilities allow you to set up meetings with clients and colleagues and still catch your flight. Family rooms are available if you’re traveling with children, who eat for free in the hotel’s restaurants.

Sofitel London Gatwick

The Sofitel London Gatwick is the only hotel immediately adjacent to Gatwick’s North Terminal, with the South Terminal easily accessible by monorail. Luxurious bedding and 24/7 room service let you rejuvenate right after your flight, and a fitness center, business center, and concierge help you prepare for the rest of your journey. Enjoy four restaurants and bars that bring a little bit of Paris to London.

Check into a nearby hotel for those longer stopovers. Image credit: GoodLifeStudio/iStock
Check into a nearby hotel for those longer stopovers. Image credit: GoodLifeStudio/iStock

Gatwick Airport shops – practical and fashionable

Both terminals at Gatwick host plenty of shops to help you fill up your carry-on with new outfits and accessories, as well as electronics and other useful necessities for your upcoming flight. If you’re flying to your home country, take advantage of the extensive duty-free options at Gatwick.

North Terminal

If you need to complete an outfit, you’ll find the accessories you need at Dune, Fat Face, or Hour Passion. Men can put together a whole meeting outfit at Hugo Boss, Ted Baker or Lacoste. Those heading to a sunny climate may want to grab a pair of sunglasses at Ray-Ban or Sunglass Hut.

All the last-minute toiletries and other travel necessities you need await you at Boots, and you’ll find other travel products and luggage at Cath Kidston or Dixons Travel. If you need to augment your cosmetics kit, stop in at Jo Malone. And don’t forget to make sure you have reading material for your flight — London News Company or WH Smith can take care of you.

Pick up that gift for your children at the Harry Potter Store or Hamley’s toy and candy store, or indulge in an edible gift from Harrods. Duty-free items, including liquor, tobacco, fragrances, and jewelry, await you at the World Duty Free store. If your business in London went exceptionally well and you’re ready for a true upgrade, shop for a sports car at Best of the Best – SuperCars.

South Terminal

Many of the same shops that have a presence in the North Terminal also make it easy for you to find them in the South Terminal. In addition, you can augment or replace your luggage at Case Luggage, or pick up a new outfit at Next or some lingerie at Victoria’s Secret. If you’re heading off on an active adventure, Snow and Rock has the outdoor and winter gear you need. Need a very special gift for someone at home? Stop in at Ernest Jones to peruse watches and diamond jewelry, or enhance your duty-free shopping with a visit to World of Whiskies.

Dining at Gatwick Airport – chef-inspired meals

While the trend of celebrity chefs bringing fine dining to airports is just starting to gain a foothold at Gatwick, both terminals host plenty of spots where you can enjoy a hearty meal, a light bite, or a good pint of beer before you fly.

North Terminal

While celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has staked quite a claim on the North Terminal, you’ll find plenty of other casual favorites to keep you happy and well-fed at these restaurants.

  • Jamie’s Italian: Rustic Italian specialties are on the menu here, with pasta made fresh every day.
  • Sonoma: This new restaurant highlights top wines from California’s Sonoma Counties, making it a top choice when you want a casual drink before you board.
  • Jamie’s Coffee Lounge: Coffee, pastries, pizza, and sandwiches are all delicious at this casual spot, or you can choose from great grab-and-go options.
  • Union Jacks Bar: This is another Jamie Oliver outpost, pouring beer and cocktails and serving up tasty beer snacks.
  • Pret a Manger: This popular grab-and-go chain from London is an ideal place to stop if you have little time to eat but still want healthy choices. (You’ll find a Pret in the South Terminal, too.)
  • Yo! Sushi: This popular conveyor-belt chain delivers your sushi right to your seat when you’re in a rush to catch your plane.
  • The Nicholas Culpeper: Gastropub favorites and house-made gin make this spot popular — and because it’s outside security, it’s a good spot for one last drink with friends and family.

South Terminal

If you’re traveling with children, you can rejoice if you’re flying out of the South Terminal, where kid-friendly dining abounds. Don’t worry — There are still plenty of spots happy to serve you an adult beverage, including the following.

  • Grain Store: This warm and welcoming space is a great choice if you’re trying to please both vegetarians and carnivores in your group, with vegetable-based dishes and burgers sitting side by side on the menu.
  • Giraffe: You’ll find great smoothies, sandwiches, and salads at this casual table-service spot that also features a strong kids’ menu.
  • Jamie Oliver’s Diner: American food at its best is at the heart of this diner’s menu, which features BBQ and Cajun specialties.
  • Wondertree: Choose between a sit-down restaurant or a self-service cafe here to enjoy innovative dishes like kimchee chicken burgers and butternut squash ramen.
  • Wagamama: Japanese-inspired dishes arrive at your table fast at this sit-down chain. (And there’s a Wagamama in the North Terminal, too.)

Whether you’re headed to another country or London is your final destination, making the final connection to the airport smoothly can facilitate the success of your travel plans. Book a reliable Blacklane car service to travel the last leg of your journey in comfort and style.