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GATWICK AIRPORT: The horror of it all and how to get there cheap

GATWICK AIRPORT: The horror of it all and how to get there cheap

To say that Gatwick is one of my least favourite airports in the world, would be an understatement. It’s not as convenient to get to as Heathrow is. I try and avoid it if possible. Its low-ceilinged boarding gates are not inspiring, and the airport otherwise seems a muddle.

But, to get to some places it must be endured. Getting to Seville from London is one such place. And that was our mission today.

How we got to Gatwick

We were travelling from central London, so we caught a London cab – how can you resist – to Victoria Station, the overground bit, and caught the train that stops at Gatwick. NOT the Express train which costs a lot more, and only delivers you minutes earlier, just the ordinary train, which has Gatwick as its 2nd or 3rd stop from Victoria.

OK, the cab doesn’t come cheap at around £30, but the train trip between Victoria and Gatwick only cost around AU$10.50 (~ £5) instead of £19.50 on the Gatwick Express!


The security inspection area was drastically understaffed, as one of the workers pointed out. This shouldn’t still be happening. Airports have had plenty of time to recruit and train sufficient staff to have this sorted. It’s just not acceptable any more. We were pre-warned about this by our British hosts, so we took it in our stride. Others at the airport were less lucky, and there were tears about people who knew they would miss their flight. Gatwick does not have the latest inspection technology either, so you have to remove liquids and all computer-like devices, which of course adds to the delay.

British Airways First Lounge, Gatwick Airport South Terminal
British Airways First Lounge, Gatwick Airport South Terminal [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The British Airways First Class Lounge

I was travelling in business, and as a OneWorld Emerald member was entitled to use the British Airways First Class lounge. It was a haven after the horror of the airport. In the same spirit, as people said that BA First Class was the best Business Class in the sky, the same could be said of the First Class lounge. It’s pretty good for a Business Lounge.

Still champagne was good (two options), and the Burgers ordered via a QR code arrived promptly and were good and hot. Service was good despite the lounge being packed. I will do a longer review when I report on this whole trip.

The queue outside Boarding Gate 10 South Terminal, Gatwick [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Holding Pen Boarding Area

I hate that process when they heard passengers into a boarding area like a holding pen, and then tell you the flight is delayed by 20, 30, 40, 50 or more minutes. It’s especially galling when the area is understaffed, with the poor person trying to check tickets, and organise for passengers to volunteer to send their bags to the hold. Anyway, enough kvetching. That was just the start of our delays, but that story will need to wait until the full flight review.

Sevilla Airport, Spain
Arrived finally at Sevilla, Spain, tired, drinked, but happy. [Mikhali/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Suffice it to say, we had a pleasant trip with BA to Sevilla, even if a little delayed. Great cabin staff, who plied us with alcohol. We are on holiday, sort of, so why not!

Flying these days is fraught with risk and change, and issues. With not enough aircraft, staff or engineers and air traffic controllers, and unprecedented summer demand, things are bound to go wrong. Best prepare for it. Take it in your stride, and recover with a glass of something.


  1. NB

    Personally I don’t like Gatwick either but none of the reasons in your rant stack up. You would have had to take transport to Paddington for Heathrow, yet Victoria is more convenient for greater parts of tourist and business London. The train to Gatwick takes a little longer than to Heathrow but the trip to the train is generally shorter.

    I am puzzled by the security situation as I have always found it to be good this year (3x South Terminal, 1x North). As to flight delays and boarding areas, that’s down to BA, who, in my experience, are just as bad at Heathrow in the hell hole of Terminal 5. I suggest you try EasyJet which is more comfortable and runs a much more reliable operation.

    • 2paxfly

      You make a good point about the awfulness of BA and Heathrow Terminal 5, and you have my agreement on that. Gatwick security was overwhelmed by the summer crowds, according to the security personnel themselves.


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