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Helpful Tips For Flying In And Out Of London Gatwick


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Adelaida Lawless



Welcome to London Gatwick, one of the busiest and most convenient airports for air travel in the United Kingdom. Whether you are arriving in or departing from this bustling international hub, it’s important to have the proper knowledge and preparation. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to flying in and out of London Gatwick, offering tips and insights to help make your journey as smooth and hassle-free as possible.


London Gatwick is located approximately 30 miles south of central London and serves as a major gateway to the city. With its state-of-the-art facilities and excellent transportation links, the airport handles millions of passengers each year, offering a wide range of domestic and international flights to destinations around the world.


Whether you are a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first-ever flight, navigating through an airport can be overwhelming. However, armed with the right information, you can confidently embark on your journey, knowing what to expect and how to maximize your experience at London Gatwick.


Throughout this article, we will cover various aspects of traveling to and from London Gatwick Airport. We will provide valuable insights on transportation options, check-in and security procedures, as well as tips for preparing for your flight. Additionally, we will also highlight the shopping and dining options available at the airport, along with other facilities and services that will make your time at London Gatwick enjoyable and convenient.


So, whether you are flying to London for business, leisure, or connecting to another destination, let us help you navigate through the ins and outs of London Gatwick. Read on for helpful tips and guidance to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience as you embark on your journey through this bustling travel hub.


Airport Overview

London Gatwick is the second busiest airport in the United Kingdom, serving millions of passengers each year. With two terminals, North and South, the airport offers a wide range of amenities and services to cater to the needs of travelers.


The North Terminal, which opened in 1988, handles flights from several airlines, including British Airways, easyJet, and TUI Airways. It is home to a multitude of shops, restaurants, and facilities to keep passengers entertained and comfortable during their time at the airport.


The South Terminal, on the other hand, handles flights from numerous airlines, including Ryanair, Emirates, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It also features a range of amenities, including shopping outlets, dining options, and passenger services.


Both terminals are equipped with modern facilities and technology, providing passengers with a seamless travel experience. From baggage handling systems to automated check-in procedures, London Gatwick aims to ensure that the journey through the airport is efficient and convenient.


One key feature of London Gatwick is its wide variety of international destinations. The airport offers flights to over 200 destinations worldwide, including popular holiday spots, business hubs, and cultural landmarks. Whether you’re jetting off to New York City, Dubai, or Barcelona, London Gatwick can connect you to the world.


London Gatwick is well-served by public transportation, making it easily accessible from various parts of London and the surrounding areas. Both terminals are connected to a railway station, providing direct trains to central London and other major cities across the UK. Additionally, numerous bus services operate to and from the airport, offering convenient transport options for travelers.


As one of the busiest airports in Europe, London Gatwick is committed to ensuring the safety and security of its passengers. The airport employs a robust security system, including advanced screening procedures and vigilant staff, to maintain a secure environment for travelers.


Overall, London Gatwick offers a modern and efficient travel experience for passengers. With its wide range of destinations, convenient transportation options, and excellent facilities, the airport aims to provide a seamless journey from start to finish.


Arriving at London Gatwick

Upon arrival at London Gatwick, you will find yourself in one of the two terminals, North or South, depending on your flight and airline. Once you disembark from the aircraft, follow the signs directing you to arrivals, where you will proceed through immigration and customs.


Immigration procedures at London Gatwick are typically efficient, but during peak travel times, there may be some queues. Make sure to have your passport and any necessary travel documents readily available for inspection. Once you have cleared immigration, collect your baggage from the designated carousel. The baggage reclaim area is well-organized, and airport staff are on hand to assist if needed.


After you have retrieved your luggage, proceed to the customs area. Here, you may be required to declare any goods or items that are subject to import restrictions or duty. Familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of the United Kingdom before your trip to ensure a smooth passage through customs.


Once you have completed the necessary arrival procedures, you will find yourself in the main arrival hall. Here, you will have access to a range of services and facilities to help you continue your journey. If you need assistance or have any questions, the airport staff at the information desks are readily available to provide guidance.


If you have arranged for transportation in advance, such as a private car or airport transfer, follow the signs to the appropriate pick-up point. London Gatwick has designated areas for taxis and private hire vehicles, making it easy to locate your driver.


For those who prefer public transportation, Gatwick Airport has excellent connectivity to various parts of London and the surrounding areas. The airport has its own railway station, with frequent trains running to and from central London, as well as other major cities in the UK. Additionally, there are several bus and coach services operating from the airport, providing convenient options for onward travel.


Before leaving the airport, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the airport layout and services available. This will help you navigate the airport more efficiently during your departure or any future visits to London Gatwick.


With its smooth arrival procedures and excellent transportation links, London Gatwick ensures a seamless transition from your flight to your onward journey, allowing you to start your trip in the vibrant city of London without any hassle.


Transportation Options to and from London Gatwick

London Gatwick offers a variety of transportation options to help you conveniently reach your destination in the city or beyond. Whether you’re heading to central London, another city in the UK, or even exploring the beautiful countryside, here are the different modes of transport you can consider:

  1. Train: The Gatwick Express train is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between London Gatwick and central London. Trains run every 15 minutes, and the journey takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Victoria Station, one of London’s major transportation hubs. If you prefer a more affordable option, regular Southern or Thameslink trains also operate between Gatwick Airport and various London stations, offering frequent services throughout the day.
  2. Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles: Taxis and private hire vehicles are readily available at London Gatwick. There are designated taxi ranks outside both the North and South Terminals, where trained and licensed drivers can take you to your desired destination. It is advisable to book a taxi in advance to ensure availability and avoid any potential waiting times.
  3. Bus and Coaches: A range of bus and coach services operate to and from London Gatwick, providing transportation to different parts of the country. National Express and easyBus are popular coach operators that offer direct services to major cities such as Brighton, Oxford, and Cambridge. Local bus services also connect the airport to nearby towns and villages, providing a more affordable option for travel within the region.
  4. Car Rental: If you prefer the flexibility of driving yourself, car rental services are available at London Gatwick. Several well-known car rental companies have offices at the airport, allowing you to easily rent a vehicle for your desired duration. It is advisable to book your car in advance to secure the best rates and ensure availability upon arrival.
  5. Hotel Shuttles: If you have booked accommodation at one of the hotels near the airport, many offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the terminals. Make sure to check with your hotel in advance to confirm availability and schedule.

When choosing your transportation option, consider factors such as cost, convenience, and the location of your destination. Each mode of transport offers its own advantages, so take the time to research and determine the best option that suits your needs and preferences.


Additionally, if you have a connecting flight and need to transfer between Gatwick’s North and South Terminals, a free shuttle service operates frequently, making it easy to navigate between the two.


Overall, London Gatwick provides excellent transportation options, ensuring that you can easily get to and from the airport, allowing you to embark on your journey with ease and comfort.


Check-In and Security Procedures

Check-in and security procedures are crucial steps in the air travel process, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the protocols at London Gatwick to ensure a smooth and efficient experience. Here’s what you need to know:


Check-In: Most airlines operating at London Gatwick offer online check-in services before your flight. It is recommended to check in online and print your boarding pass to save time at the airport. However, if you need to check bags or prefer to check in at the airport, follow the signs to your airline’s check-in desks, located in the departure areas of the North or South Terminals.


Baggage Drop-Off: If you have checked in online and have already printed your boarding pass, proceed directly to the baggage drop-off counters to deposit your checked luggage. Ensure that your bags comply with the airline’s specified weight and size limits to avoid any additional fees or delays.


Security Screening: After checking in or dropping off your luggage, you will go through security screening. Be prepared to remove your outerwear, empty your pockets, and place all personal items and electronics in the provided trays for X-ray screening. Liquids, gels, and aerosols must be in containers of 100ml or less and placed in a clear, resealable plastic bag. Familiarize yourself with the liquids restrictions to minimize any inconvenience during the security screening process.


Passport Control: Once you have cleared security screening, proceed to passport control. Have your passport and any necessary travel documents ready for inspection. Non-UK, EU, and EEA passport holders will need to present their passport and may require a visa to enter the United Kingdom. Passport control at London Gatwick is typically efficient, but there may be queues during peak travel periods.


Departure Lounge: After clearing passport control, you will enter the departure lounge. Here, you will find a range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and seating areas, allowing you to relax and prepare for your flight. Take note of your boarding gate information, as it will be displayed on the flight information screens. Stay close to your gate and listen for any announcements or updates regarding your flight.


Be sure to arrive at the airport with sufficient time before your flight to allow for check-in and security procedures. The recommended time varies depending on your destination and airline, so check with your airline for specific guidelines. Arriving early will also give you time to explore the airport facilities, grab a bite to eat, or do some duty-free shopping before your flight.


Overall, London Gatwick has efficient check-in and security procedures in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers. By familiarizing yourself with the process and allowing ample time, you can enjoy a stress-free journey through the airport and look forward to your upcoming flight.


Preparing for Your Flight

Preparing for your flight is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Here are some tips to help you get ready before boarding your plane at London Gatwick:


Check Your Travel Documents: Before heading to the airport, double-check that you have all the necessary travel documents. This includes your passport, visa (if required), boarding pass, and any other identification or documentation specific to your destination. Ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your trip.


Pack Wisely: Pack your carry-on and checked bags with the essentials you’ll need during your journey. Consider the baggage restrictions and weight limits imposed by your airline and pack accordingly. It’s a good idea to carry a change of clothes, travel-sized toiletries, and any necessary medications in your carry-on bag in case of unexpected delays or lost luggage.


Plan Your Airport Arrival Time: Give yourself enough time to arrive at the airport, especially during busy periods. Consider factors such as traffic, transportation options, and the recommended check-in time provided by your airline. Arriving with ample time reduces stress and allows you to navigate through the airport at a relaxed pace.


Comfortable Attire: Dress in comfortable clothing and footwear for your flight, especially if it’s a long journey. Layer your clothing, as temperatures can vary throughout the airport and onboard the aircraft. Avoid wearing heavy jewelry or belts that may trigger additional security checks at the airport.


Electronics and Entertainment: Bring along your personal electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or e-readers, to keep yourself entertained during the flight. Make sure your devices are fully charged and consider bringing a portable charger for long-haul flights. Don’t forget to pack headphones to enjoy music, movies, or podcasts during your journey.


Stay Hydrated: Airplane cabins can be dry, so it’s important to stay hydrated during your flight. Bring an empty refillable water bottle through security and fill it up at one of the water stations in the departure lounge. You may also want to bring a small moisturizer or lip balm to keep your skin hydrated.


Stay Informed: Check the status of your flight before leaving for the airport. Airlines often provide real-time updates through their websites or mobile apps. In case of any delays or schedule changes, you’ll be aware and can plan accordingly.


Security Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the security regulations and restrictions in place at London Gatwick. This includes the liquids and gels policy, prohibited items, and any additional security measures specific to your destination. This knowledge will help you pack your bags appropriately and streamline the security process.


By preparing in advance and being aware of what to expect, you can enjoy a comfortable and stress-free experience before your flight from London Gatwick. Take the time to ensure you have everything in order, allowing you to relax and look forward to your journey.


Departing from London Gatwick

As your departure day arrives, it’s important to be well-prepared for your flight from London Gatwick. Here are some essential things to keep in mind when departing from the airport:


Check-In: Arrive at London Gatwick with ample time before your flight to allow for check-in procedures. If you have already checked in online and printed your boarding pass, proceed directly to the security screening area. If you need to check bags or prefer to check in at the airport, follow the signs to your airline’s check-in desks in the departure area of the North or South Terminal.


Security Screening: After checking in or dropping off your luggage, proceed through the security screening process. Follow the instructions of the airport security staff, remove your outerwear, and place all personal belongings and electronic devices in the provided trays for X-ray screening. Remember to comply with the liquids restrictions and be prepared to remove your electronic devices from their cases or bags for separate screening if required.


Departure Lounge: Once you have cleared security, you will enter the departure lounge. Take this opportunity to explore the facilities, shops, and restaurants available. Relax in the seating areas, grab a snack or meal, or peruse the duty-free shops for any last-minute purchases. Keep an eye on the flight information screens for updates on your departure gate and any announcements regarding your flight.


Boarding: Listen for boarding announcements or check the information screens for your flight’s boarding time and gate number. Make your way to the indicated gate and have your boarding pass ready for inspection. Airlines adhere to specific boarding procedures, so it’s important to be at the gate on time to ensure a smooth boarding process.


International Travel: If you are traveling internationally, be prepared to clear passport control before boarding your flight. Have your passport and any necessary travel documents readily available for inspection. Non-UK, EU, and EEA passport holders may need to complete departure forms or provide additional documents as required by their destination country.


Final Security Checks: Before boarding the aircraft, there may be final security checks at the gate. These checks can include hand luggage inspections or random additional screenings. Cooperate with the security staff and follow their instructions to ensure a swift and problem-free boarding process.


Remember to arrive at the airport with sufficient time to complete all departure procedures. It is recommended to check with your airline for the recommended check-in time specific to your flight.


As you bid farewell to London Gatwick and embark on your journey, take a moment to appreciate the excellent facilities and services offered by the airport. London Gatwick strives to provide a seamless and enjoyable travel experience, allowing you to start your trip on a positive note.


Shopping and Dining at the Airport

London Gatwick offers a wide array of shopping and dining options, allowing you to indulge in some retail therapy or savor a delicious meal before your flight. Here’s what you can expect at the airport:


Shopping: From luxury brands to high-street favorites, London Gatwick is home to an extensive range of shops to cater to all tastes and budgets. Browse through the duty-free outlets, where you can find a wide selection of fragrances, cosmetics, electronics, and alcoholic beverages at tax-free prices. Fashion enthusiasts will delight in the variety of clothing, accessories, and designer labels available. Additionally, the airport boasts several bookstores, gift shops, and specialty stores, giving you plenty of options to find the perfect souvenir or last-minute travel essentials.


Dining: London Gatwick is a culinary hub, offering a diverse array of dining options to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re craving a quick snack, a comforting meal, or a gourmet experience, the airport has you covered. Choose from a variety of international cuisines, including British pub food, Italian trattorias, Asian fusion, and more. Grab a coffee from one of the well-known coffee chains, or relax with a glass of wine or a pint of beer at one of the airport’s bars. With an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and diverse flavors, the dining options at London Gatwick are sure to impress even the most discerning food lovers.


For those with dietary preferences or restrictions, the airport provides a range of options, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices. Many restaurants and cafes also offer grab-and-go options, allowing you to enjoy a meal or snack on the go.


Whether you’re looking to explore the latest fashion trends, stock up on duty-free goods, or simply enjoy a delicious meal, London Gatwick’s shopping and dining options ensure that you can make the most of your time at the airport. Take some time to indulge in a bit of retail therapy or enjoy a memorable meal before continuing your journey.


Airport Facilities and Services

London Gatwick Airport is well-equipped with a wide range of facilities and services to enhance your travel experience. Here are some of the highlights:


Wi-Fi and Charging Stations: Stay connected throughout your time at London Gatwick with free Wi-Fi available throughout the terminals. Additionally, you’ll find plenty of charging stations and power outlets to keep your electronic devices powered up and ready for use.


Lounges: If you’re looking for a place to relax or work in a more private and comfortable setting, London Gatwick offers a variety of lounges. Whether you have access through your airline or a lounge membership program, you can enjoy amenities such as comfortable seating, complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi, and business facilities. Lounges provide a tranquil atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal.


Lost and Found: If you misplace an item during your time at the airport, the Lost and Found service at London Gatwick can assist you in locating and retrieving your belongings. Located in each terminal, the friendly staff are there to assist you in the event of lost or misplaced items.


Family Facilities: Traveling with children? London Gatwick caters to the needs of families with designated family lounges equipped with comfortable seating, baby changing facilities, and play areas to keep little ones entertained. The airport also provides high chairs and kids’ menus at various dining establishments, as well as specially designed strollers available for rent.


Special Assistance: The airport is committed to providing a comfortable and accessible experience for passengers with special needs or disabilities. London Gatwick offers a range of services, including accessible restrooms, dedicated assistance points, and appropriately trained staff to provide support and guidance throughout your journey. It is recommended to contact your airline in advance to arrange for any specific assistance you may require.


Banking and Currency Exchange: London Gatwick has multiple currency exchange kiosks and ATMs located throughout the terminals. Additionally, major banks and financial service providers have branches at the airport, allowing you to take care of banking needs or exchange currencies conveniently.


Medical Services: In case of medical emergencies or minor health concerns, London Gatwick has medical facilities staffed by healthcare professionals available 24/7. Additionally, there are pharmacies where you can purchase over-the-counter medications and health-related items.


Hotel and Car Rental Services: If you need accommodations for a layover or prefer to have a car during your stay, London Gatwick is home to several on-site hotels and car rental providers. You can easily book a hotel room or arrange for a rental vehicle near the airport terminals, allowing for a seamless transition to your next destination.


These are just a few of the many facilities and services available at London Gatwick Airport. The airport aims to provide a comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable experience for all passengers, ensuring that your time at the airport is as stress-free as possible.



London Gatwick is a bustling and well-equipped airport that offers a seamless and enjoyable travel experience for passengers. From the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, the airport provides a range of facilities and services to cater to your needs, ensuring a smooth journey.


Whether you’re arriving at London Gatwick or departing from it, understanding the airport’s layout, check-in procedures, security protocols, and transportation options is key to making your experience efficient and stress-free. The airport’s two terminals, North and South, are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, shops, and restaurants to keep you comfortable and entertained during your time at the airport.


London Gatwick offers a wide variety of transportation options, including trains, taxis, buses, and car rentals, making it easy to reach your desired destination. The airport’s excellent connectivity to central London and other major cities ensures that your onward journey is seamless.


Take advantage of the shopping opportunities at London Gatwick, where you can find everything from duty-free products to designer brands. The diverse dining options also allow you to indulge in a range of international cuisines, ensuring you have a satisfying meal before your flight.


London Gatwick is committed to providing a comfortable and accessible experience for all passengers. With facilities such as family lounges, special assistance services, and medical facilities, the airport caters to the needs of travelers with specific requirements.


In conclusion, London Gatwick is a well-organized and efficient airport that offers an array of amenities and services to enhance your air travel experience. By familiarizing yourself with the airport’s layout and procedures, you can navigate through the airport with ease and enjoy a stress-free journey. Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, London Gatwick ensures that your time at the airport is convenient, enjoyable, and sets the stage for a memorable trip.