Travelling through London Gatwick Airport

For those who may not know, Gatwick Airport (also known as London Gatwick) (IATA: LGW, ICAO: EGKK) is a major international airport in south-east England, 29.5 miles (47.5 km) south of Central London and 2.7 nautical miles (5.0 km; 3.1 mi) north of Crawley. It is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 45 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services and is also a major economic driver for the UK contributing £5.3 billion to national GDP and generating 85,000 jobs nationally, with around 24,000 on the wider airport campus alone. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network.

London Gatwick Airport, the UK’s 2nd busiest and 2nd largest airport after London Heathrow has a lot to offer and shout about. The airport keeps improving services for travellers. In May 2017, on the first anniversary of Gatwick’s award winning Hidden Disability Lanyard service, the airport announced that it has purchased an Eagle Hoist 4 – a passenger lifting facility that provides safer and more respectful transfer for wheelchair users requiring full assistance to their aircraft seat. Gatwick airport is also investing in two specialist hoist assisted toilet facilities in the next 12 months, each with a height adjustable adult sized changing bench, for people with learning and physical disabilities who may need extra equipment and space to use toilets safely, comfortably and with dignity.

As part of the airport’s ongoing commitment to improve accessibility, Gatwick is also looking to invest in two new sensory rooms for people with sensory processing difficulties such as autism, to brain injury and dementia. The airport is seeking to build a sensory room in each terminal to help improve the mental or physical wellbeing of passengers.

Gatwick airport recently broke through the 45 million annual passengers mark which is 13 million passengers a year more than was served in 2009 when Gatwick came into independent ownership. Of the top 20 airports in the world by passenger growth, Gatwick is the only one with a single runway.

Travelling to London Gatwick:

Travelling to London Gatwick is straightforward because the airport is easily accessible by any means of transport. You can reach London Gatwick by rail, car and motorbike, bicycle, coach or bus, or simply drive yourself up there and use the various parking options available.

Valet Parking

If you choose to drive, you can use one of the "meet and greet” services like to give you a hassle-free parking time before you travel. As soon as you have made your booking online, the guys at ilovemeetandgreet will send you a confirmation notice with instructions on how to meet at the airport. They also send you reservation information with your vehicle details to leave in your car while waiting to to be met and greeted. They advise that when you are 10 minutes away, you telephone to let them know that you are approaching the terminal. Upon arrival, you are met by a member of their team who will check your details and take the car from you. Preparations for your return are also concluded at the same time to facilitate a quick turn around when you return. On your return, you call them as soon as you have collected you bags, then you will be directed to where your car will be delivered. You hand over the identity slip given to you on departure and “hey presto” you are ready to leave the airport.

Staying at London Gatwick

I find it therapeutic to begin the journey the night before, especially if you have an early morning flight. Unless you a totally stress-free traveller, it makes sense to start your holiday or business trip with an overnight stay at a Gatwick Airport Hotel. There are a few choices to make from either budget or luxury depending on how you would like to start the journey. For luxury, Sofitel London Gatwick is easily accessible and connected to North Terminal via a covered walkway and the South Terminal is a 2-minute mono-rail journey away.

Check yourself into one of the luxury club rooms on the 8th floor to enjoy the privileges in the Lounge. The Club rooms offer free unlimited internet, bathroom with shower over bath, Hermes amenities and Mini Bar. You also have access to the Club Millesime lounge overlooking the runway where lounge continental breakfast with drinks and canapes are served.

If you choose not to stay overnight and arrive early, you can book one of the several lounges available to everyone. There are several affordable lounges available to anyone looking to enjoy a few precious hours of VIP treatment before their flight. Whether you want to unwind with the family, socialise with friends, or get on with some work, there is a lounge for you.

Some of the benefits you can enjoy in a lounge are:

• Free food, drink and Wi-Fi
• Family-friendly environment, with TV and games
• Workstations for business travellers
Whether you’re on holiday with friends or travelling on business, Gatwick Airport's lounges are available in the North and South terminals and provide facilities to cater to your needs

Shop before you fly:

London Gatwick is home to stylish brands such as Jo Malone, Kurt Geiger and Superdry in fashion, and Giraffe, Jamie's Italian and Apostrophe in food. All shop prices after security are less UK VAT no matter where the passenger is travelling. There is also the 24-hour World Duty Free shop which offers tax-free prices on a wide range of duty-free fragrances, skin care products and cosmetics, liquor and tobacco, confectionery, sunglasses, watches and fashion accessories. There are World Duty Free shops located in Gatwick North and South departures after security and at arrivals at both terminals.Opening hours Shops and restaurants North Terminal is 04:00-20:30 and 04:00-21:00 a the South Terminal; but you can always get a drink or bite to eat 24/7.

Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

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Did you know…?
• Geneva airport has the longest runway in Europe, Denver airport in the USA.
• The world's largest airport by area is Damman in Saudi Arabia, which is larger
than the neighbouring state of Bahrain.
• Chicago O'Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth both have seven runways.
• The busiest twin runway airport in the world is London Heathrow.
• London Gatwick is the busiest single runway airport.

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Executive Traveller 2003