Flying From London Gatwick Airport - has it changed?

Co-Founder Steve Witt recently travelled from London Gatwick and has detailed his experience below:

 

It’s been nearly two years since I last flew from Gatwick. Post pandemic is it still the same?


No. It’s possibly better. 

I travelled in early October. At this point, the South Terminal at Gatwick is NOT in use for flights. Everything is flying in and out of the North Terminal. 


However, the south terminal is open, it’s just like a ghost terminal. Trains come into the south terminal so you may need to route through. The Bloc hotel is also open here. 


You can easily get to the North Terminal by jumping on the shuttle service (tube like train) which is still running 24/7. It takes just 2 minutes and runs every few minutes. 

 


Check-in at North Terminal


The airlines were doing a great job of checking all paperwork. I was flying to Greece and they knew I needed both proof of vaccine and the Greece Passenger Locator Form (PLF). These were checked and then you were issued a slip of paper to confirm you had been checked. This was important as you had to show this at the gate before boarding. (So don’t lose it). 


Checkin was really quick. In fact, there were no queues and the airport although, bustling, was not busy. It was a breeze to get through. 


Security was again just as quick. Present your boarding pass at the automated barriers and straight through. Again it was quiet and no real waiting. All of the security checkpoints were open and we went straight through. 


Once you are through to departures all of the shops and restaurants were open as normal. That meant plenty of time for shopping, drinking and eating!


It was a requirement to wear your mask at all times which was no big deal and the airport felt quiet so you never felt that social distancing was an issue. 

Quiet terminal at London Gatwick.

I was booked into the No. 1 lounge which is a short walk to find, away from the shops and hustle and bustle, but in my experience has always been in the direction of all of the departure gates I’ve flown from, and that was the case this time. That means you are already on route to your flight. 


The lounge was a great way to start a holiday, and I’d argue it was probably cheaper than meals or drinks in the restaurant, plus it is unlimited drinks and it’s quiet. A brilliant VIP start. 


New Covid measure means that food service is all at the table, making it an even better experience. I confess I broke with the diet and went for a full English. It arrived in less than 5 minutes! 


Keep an eye on the departure boards for your gate to be called as there are no announcements. 


The lounge was also quite strict on face masks and distancing meaning it was very comfortable. 


Sat looking out over the runway, It was a shame when our time in the lounge came to an end. 


A 5-10 minute walk to our departure gate was made easier by the automatic walkways. 


Once at the gate, that’s when you need to have your slip of paper to prove you had been checked. It's not you’ve got to go through the process again. Many of the gates had extra people helping to check before you actually got to show your passport and boarding cards. 


This bit was slightly slower than normal so just allow for that with your timings. 


What I did note was that airlines seem to be a lot stricter on the cabin baggage rules. So do check your hand luggage is right for the airline you are flying with. 

 


Summary:

  • Travelling from Gatwick right now was a breeze
  • I’d go as far as saying it was the best experience I’ve ever had flying from Gatwick 
  • Quick. Easy and all of the staff thought were ready to help and explain everything

 


Top Tips For Gatwick Trips:

  • If it’s an early start, stay the night before in a hotel attached to either north or south terminal. It makes the holiday experience much better and less stressful. But book these early as they fill early 
  • Allow a bit of extra time to get to your gate. This process is a little slower as they are checking paperwork
  • Travel with all of your paperwork printed out. It saves a lot of time and means if your phone isn’t working (which seemed to happen to a lot of people) then you have quick and easy access to everything. 
  • Some airlines do not like masks with vents. There are signs up and they will ask you to change yours if it has one. 

 

 

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