Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

Gatwick (LGW) South Terminal - user guide for BA travellers

Gatwick (LGW) South Terminal - user guide for BA travellers

    Hide Wikipost
Old Feb 7, 17, 8:12 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
This thread is a user guide to the new British Airways LGW (London Gatwick) South Terminal. Operations for BA's service in LGW transferred on 25 January 2017 from the North terminal. The purpose of this guide is to assist passengers in locating the services and facilities in LGW South. Background to the move here: BA move to LGW South Terminal
Gatwick to Heathrow transfer guide
BA Lounge First guide: click here. BA Lounge Club guide: click here.
Print Wikipost

Reply

Old Jan 24, 17, 6:30 pm
  #1  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Original Poster
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 36,902
Gatwick (LGW) South Terminal - user guide for BA travellers



BETA!

Though this thread has draft status, I can see this may be useful to put out now, so that any passengers know where to find things. However we will need to develop this guide more. I am indebted to andrewkeith5, firstly for his sneak preview photographs here, and secondly for our joint recce on the evening before services started. I'm also grateful to GSTBK, who did the graphic above and the gate map graphic below.

Background: BA transferred their main operations to LGW South, from the North Terminal, from 24 January 2017. Some test flights went from South before that. Details and more background in this thread:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...an-2017-a.html

General layout:
The BA area is on the far left of the South Terminal as you enter, follow the signs for zone A and C. Security is upstairs, nearer to the train station entrance side, so if you have a boarding pass and don't need to check in luggage you can go straight upstairs, to the level above the main check-in floor, through to security. After security you proceed to a main shopping area to a round central section. The BA lounge is upstairs from this area, more details in this thread.

[New lounge thread here in due course]



Map:
I've drawn up this map, based on a GAL map, until I can find a more official one, to illustrate the main layout of South from a BA perspective.




First / Club Europe / premium check in area
The first thing a visitor will probably notice as they approach the BA area is the premium check-in area, with an unusual screening. Now this is an early conjecture, but I suspect they are taking their inspiration from jet engine fins. The second picture is representative of the appearance as you arrive from the rail station, coach station, car parking or taxi areas.






And yes, the sign does indicate that BA Gold / oneworld Emeralds can use the First check in area which is on the left of this photo, Club Europe being just to the right. Below a photo of the Club Europe / Silver / Sapphire area.



Main check in area
Next to this, and effectively along the furthest wall from the rail station, is the main check in desk, note the new publicity spread above the desks.



Self service baggage drop area
Here is a novelty for BA passengers at LGW, though there was an earlier trial which didn't complete. These are new self service drop in baggage area. It's the same as the easyJet set up, as confirmed by andrewkeith5. From the layout, passengers will essentially have the choice of either doing it themselves or going to the staffed check in desk opposite, which is in fact the larger area.





Ticket desk
This is in the far corner next to the main check in desk. It's not very big, but neither was the previous desk in North.



Security flow
From the check in area there is an escalator up to the security area which is on the floor above check-in, towards the middle of the building. If HBO and with a boarding pass, it will be quicker to proceed straight up from the other escalators, stairs and lifts to the higher floor. In the photo below, taken near the Premium check in area, looking towards the departure area with the railway behind, you will see the yellow escalator in the background, the self service baggage machines on the left, and the queuing area for main checkin on the right. There are some self service check-in machines in the front area, and they are already connected, working and I can confirm they handle the HBO workaround.....



General advertising
This was going up as we walked around, here are some snippets. One impression I had was that South = British Airways, in a way that North never was. The other airlines in South, of which there are quite a few, have been evidently sidelined in this makeover, particularly Monarch.





Security
Security is on the level above the main check-in desks. Overall it is faster to get through LGW security than LHR, particularly if you are entitled to Premium Gatwick (fast track). If you don't have luggage to check-in, and you have your boarding pass already, you can proceed straight upstairs. If arriving by rail, bus or coach, you can simply walk up zone K, take the escalators there, and you are immediately at the security entry point. The distance involved is quite short. There are 3 entrances to security: one on the left for those requiring extra assistance - during school holidays this is signposted for families with toddlers - Premium Gatwick and main security on the right. The last two are shown below.

Premium Gatwick is just LGW's name for fast track security. The blue board there indicates eligibility, which is the usual one, namely for Club Europe, Club World, First, Business UK and those with Silver/Sapphire status and above. These status passengers are also allowed one guest.


Some points to assist:
  • The whole process is fast and furious, it's not very personal, but it gets it over with quickly. The set-up is multiple positions on one belt, allowing 4 to 8 passengers to simultaneously sort out their bags and trays, pushing the trays onto the belt when ready. Everything must sit in a tray, including the bag itself.
  • The entrance area involves presenting your boarding pass to a gate, so have it ready and any App boarding pass you may want to maximise the brightness.
  • Passengers for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Jersey will be informed by the gate's screen to look up for a biometric photo. This is to allow domestic and international travellers to mix while retaining immigration controls. In LHR this is done via an obvious pole on the gate, in LGW the photo is taken via a separate pillar some metres away, there is green screen you need to face there.
  • Similar to LHR: always remove liquids, PCs, tablets and Kindles. Leaving these in the bag is the main reason to be selected for secondary searching (by over 90%). You should keep your shoes on, unless they have a lot of metal in them (e.g. sturdy boots), belts best taken off unless low in metal. Also keep your wires, adapters and related electronics neatly stored, and ideally bring them out as a separate small bag on to the tray.
  • Also similar to LHR: You are unlikely to be frisked, and if you are it may be for one small area (e.g. an arm or a lower leg). If you fail the walkthrough metal detector, and there is a random bleep in there too, you will be invited to use the body scanner device. This is millimetre wave technology which by Statute does not create, let alone store, an image of you. The screen will show an overlay on a generic body shape of any areas of interest, again there is a random factor there. One difference currently from LHR is that if you are selected for the scan you may need to take your shoes off for screening in a dedicated device. You have the right to request frisking instead of the scanner, but you can assume this will add 15-30 minutes to the process.
  • If going to a lounge, remember as you leave the search area to keep an eye on the left side for the corridor, this is a shortcut.

Airside and lounge access
South feels smaller than North (it's actually larger), and it doesn't take long after security to reach the main shopping area. Both the interim and permanent lounges are above the main floor. There is a short cut from security to the lounge, it's a very short walk between the two, compared to the situation in North (or indeed LHR). There is a short cut by turning sharp left after security, shown in the photo below, rather than using the main corridor in the middle of the photo. The second rather blurred photo shows the route to the lounges:





The signs may indicate this is for Assistance passengers, but it's also available for BA lounge users. See the lounge guide linked above for more information on LGW South lounge arrangements. In the photo below, passengers arrive from security on the far right, the escalator to the lounge is on the left, with access to the gate in the middle of the photo below the main information screen. The main shops are around this area, with the upper level having mainly restaurants and cafés, as well as the lounges.




Departure gates

This map, designed by GSTBK is from Google Earth and shows the main gate areas at LGW South. Unlike North it's quite a simple layout, there is one main straight pier for gate 10 to 28, on the lower part of the photo, Pier 2, and a round hub for gates 31 to 38, Pier 3. Gates 90 to 95 inclusive are bus gates, this is the small square above the main pier and on the corridor to the round pier, just before that corridor bends to the left. Bus departures are not the norm in South, there are typically very few during winter months. Pier 1, which is new, seems to be for Low Cost Carriers, it doesn't appear to be used for BA flights. Pier 2 is used for BA's shorthaul services. Pier 3 is used for longhauls.


Imagery: © 2017 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky, Google. Map data: © 2017 Google

Some gate oddities: gate 10A is the the first gate in the main pier, and is before gate 10 - it's a bus gate. Gate 27 also has an A and B subgate and is right at the end of the pier, gate 28 is out of sequence and is between gate 24 and 27. Gate 11 is the only odd numbered gate on the bottom (south) edge, they are otherwise all even gates on that side, the top (north) side is all odd numbered gates, with 27 right on the end.

It's over 500 metres from the main departure area (and lounges) to the end of pier 2 at gate 27, luckily there is a moving walkway down the pier.



It's just under 500 metres to the round hub at the end of Pier 3 for the 30s gates (and the bus gates are much closer in, under 200 metres), again there are moving walkways. My suspicion is that not many BA services will be leaving from 30s gates.

By way of comparison, Terminal 5A is just under 400 metres from the North end to South, along the main corridor from gates 6 to 22.

It takes no more than 10 minutes to get to any gate in terminal South from the lounge or main departure area, and most gates are under 5 minutes away. As with LHR, you need to be at the departure gate no later than 20 minutes before departure to prevent being offloaded, in the case of any bus departure they will be strict on this. Unfortunately the Gatwick Information Screens are on an automated timer. Unless someone has intervened to specially change the timings, it's not unusual for the screens to say "Final call" when boarding has not even started. As a rule of thumb, unless advised differently by the lounge staff, and assuming full mobility, you best leave the lounge no later than 30 minutes before departure, maybe a minute or two sooner if you are at a gate higher than gate 22. Gates are only revealed on the screens 40 minutes before departure in any event.

Priority Boarding
This may need a bit of explaining. When you approach a gate you may well come across something like this:



Where is priority boarding you may ask? It is there but you need to get inside the yellow gate area to find the channel for it, and unless you can see around corners you wouldn't know it was there. You have three tactics: join the end of the queue and see what happens. Alternatively walk purposefully through the passengers congregated outside, as if walking to the next gate along, then turn straight into the priority boarding area in the yellow area; alternatively take the escalator past the gate and walk back. It depends a bit on the gate, some gates are by the open area between the walkways, so it's easier to see what to do. The problem is worse if there is also a queue from the priority boarding channel since at some point the queues will merge, there's not a lot of space there and clearly the gate wasn't designed with this operation in mind. easyJet had a similar problem with their Speeding Boarding product from time to time from South. It is also difficult for GLA, EDI, JER customers since though there may be 2 people working the BA desk, there may only be 1 GAL staff member handling the biometrics, and that can be a bottleneck. I suspect this may get easier as BA and GAL staff get used to the layout and ways of working.

Incidentally after the boarding pass check and before the airbridge, there is quite a big seating area. This may be relevant for the relatively small number of BA LGW longhauls, but since Gatwick only advertises shorthaul gates at 40 minutes to departure, the gates will take 5 to 10 minutes to reach, and boarding is supposed to be completed 20 minutes to departure, I can't see the seats being much used on short haul flights in normal circumstances, but they would be if there was a delay to the service.

Domestic Arrivals
All domestic arrivals must result in a bus transfer. This is because there isn't space in South to segregate international and domestic arrivals. After the bus journey to the terminal building there is quite a stiff set of stairs up to baggage reclaim and exit, with no flight connections route. I would very much advise people to take the lifts, just beyond the stairs. There is no escalator.

International Arrivals
International Arrivals will almost always be airbridged, and South is a lot more compact than North, so the journey time to the rail station in particular is a lot swifter than North. There are a large number of e-gates in South. There is also a advance paid-for priority passport checking service on the LGW website, probably not so useful for EEA citizens who can use the e-gates. £12.50 per person at the time of writing, you are almost guaranteed to be talking to a Border Force agent within a minute or two of arrival at the UK Border.
http://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the...sport-control/


Flight Connections
There is international to international flight connections at South, but no domestic flights connections in either direction. There is also an airside bus if your international connection is from North and you are hand baggage only or have through checked baggage. If you have to recheck bags or have a UK/Ireland/Islands service from North then you need to go via landside, and use the transit.

Gatwick offers two services in this area. The first one is free and includes BA, the other appears not to include BA.
  • There is a Gatwick Connects desk in the baggage reclaim area, so you can immediately recheck your bag for the onward flight, without having to take it to North or upstairs to check-in South. You can use this with separate tickets.
  • There is also GatwickConnects+ booking service, which effectively buys two tickets and an insurance policy for any potential missed connections, so long as it bought through the LGW website. As far as I can make out this allows two LCC tickets to be co-joined, but not BA services.
  • http://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the...twickconnects/

Minimum Connection Time
This is of direct relevance to passengers on one ticket, since tickets should not be issued or changed to break these timings. For those on separate ticket it gives some guidance perhaps, but it can be assumed that these timings are Sensible Connection Times: For all combinations involving BA, the MCT is 1 hr 15 minutes, it can stretch to 1 hr 30 minutes for BA codeshares on FlyBe and Aer Lingus (etc), plus all transfers to North where there remains some BA codeshares. These are longer times than North in some cases. Physcially connections purely in South can take under an hour, 30 minutes is probably the absolute minimum if doing an international to international connection and the coast is clear.

Anyway, enough kissing and dancing for one night.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Feb 2, 17 at 1:35 pm
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 24, 17, 6:31 pm
  #2  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Original Poster
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 36,902
LGW in brief:

Transferring to of from London Heathrow LHR: In the Dashboard is the Heathrow to Gatwick transport options: a pictorial guide

ATMs: Everywhere, you won't have trouble finding one in arrivals, departures, airside or landside. Some dispense directly into Dollars and Euros but probably not at the best rates.

Food and drink: there are many choices for food and drink in airside departures and the check-in area. There is a fairly large Marks and Spencer in South check-in, and near arrivals, which is open 24 hours a day.

Water fountain: To be found upstairs in the main departure area, after security, close to the lounges, on the corridor to the toilets. More details and photos in the Dashboard's BA drinking water guide.

Wifi: The airport has free and reasonably fast wifi, available in blocks of 90 minutes. There is also a Regus Express office unit in South, towards the Arrival area of landside.

Powerpoints: LGW South lags behind other airports in terms of provision, so best get yourself fully charged before arriving in LGW. Those plugs that do exist are UK 3 pin.

Rail tickets: Oysters and contactless all work, and unless you have a railcard are more or less guaranteed to get you the cheapest ticket, unless you buy online in advance. Just note that during peak hours any Oyster needs to have £14 "space" on your card to get the gate to open at the LGW end even though the actual fare may be lower. More, much more, detail is available here, and will tell you more than ever need to know about Gatwick Oysters:
http://www.oyster-rail.org.uk/2016/0...er-at-gatwick/

Hotels: In or attached to South: Bloc, Yotel and Hilton hotels. There's a new Hampton and Sofitel attached to North and a Premier Inn over the road. There are many other hotels in the vicinity, but check the access/shuttle arrangements, some hotels are quite tricky to get to.

Showers: Only available in the BA Lounge and hotels. No public access showers in the airport anywhere.

Postcode for SatNav: RH6 0LL (the Gatwick Airport parking site has postcodes for the different car parks at the airport).

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Jan 30, 17 at 3:30 pm
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 24, 17, 10:09 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: London UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 2,200
Thank you C-W-S for your hard work in this, much appreciated!

It it actually looks great in these photos, hopefully reality is as good!
Cris L is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 24, 17, 10:46 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 986
I'm not familiar with the exact locations and this may have changed - but the display ads (banners etc) were contracted out at Gatwick on a long term deal. So BA would have had to have bought the space - I imagine they agreed significant marketing support from GAL as part of the move though to fund it.

So over time it may "de-BA" a bit as these media buys run out. From what I've seen at T5 it's a favourite activity of Virgin and Emirates to buy them to show BA passengers what they are missing!
sammyg901 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 12:54 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Programs: BA Blue, Avios, Accor Basic, IHG Gold
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by sammyg901 View Post
I'm not familiar with the exact locations and this may have changed - but the display ads (banners etc) were contracted out at Gatwick on a long term deal. So BA would have had to have bought the space - I imagine they agreed significant marketing support from GAL as part of the move though to fund it.

So over time it may "de-BA" a bit as these media buys run out. From what I've seen at T5 it's a favourite activity of Virgin and Emirates to buy them to show BA passengers what they are missing!
Theres a combination of locations in use here which are both part of the standard fit advertising locations and nonstandard locations which are likely to have been more permanently allocated, but Indont expect them to last forever.

One noticeable new ides I haven't seen before is that the white spaces over the signage towards check in appears to have been given to BA all the way down to their check in area. I've got a picture which I'll add later.

The travelator and "welcome" advertising areas seem to alternate between an external advertiser and airlines so these won't last forever but they won't be the last - purely based on what I've seen, I think Gatwick have a say in who gets to advertise where.

Thanks to c-w-s for the mentions on this thread! I will post my pictures and updates a little later today 🙂
andrewkeith5 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 4:18 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mostly UK
Programs: Mucci Extraordinaire, Hilton Diamond, BA Gold (ex BD)
Posts: 10,635
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
This was going up as we walked around, here are some snippets. One impression I had was that South = British Airways, in a way that North never was. The other airlines in South, of which there are quite a few, have been evidently sidelined in this makeover, particularly Monarch.
I remember when the north terminal felt like a BA terminal. Then EZY got a presence there and it no longer felt like a major BA base.

Perhaps all this prominent advertising in the terminal everybody using the train has to pass through will make more people aware of BA at LGW.
layz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:34 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Programs: BA Blue, Avios, Accor Basic, IHG Gold
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by layz View Post
I remember when the north terminal felt like a BA terminal. Then EZY got a presence there and it no longer felt like a major BA base.

Perhaps all this prominent advertising in the terminal everybody using the train has to pass through will make more people aware of BA at LGW.
I think it's inevitable that it will for sure boost BA's visibility after having been stuck over in a low footfall corner of North terminal for so long, only seen by their own passengers and those of Emirates!
andrewkeith5 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:42 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold, Accor Gold
Posts: 781
The terminal change is a positive one for those early flights.

Whether you travel in that morning by rail or use the BLOC hotel it will certainly earn an extra 15 mins in bed
bhbloke is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:47 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 462
Anyone know about the shade of blue being used?

Most of the signs have the (newer?) lighter shade of blue, but I notice the sign to First check-in is the (older?) darker one.

In the lounge thread, there's also a few of the darker signs. Entering the lounges at LHR, I always notice the darker colour too.
MarkFlies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:48 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mostly UK
Programs: Mucci Extraordinaire, Hilton Diamond, BA Gold (ex BD)
Posts: 10,635
Originally Posted by bhbloke View Post
The terminal change is a positive one for those early flights.

Whether you travel in that morning by rail or use the BLOC hotel it will certainly earn an extra 15 mins in bed
When travelling by train I'd certainly leave loads of extra time!

But the first time I stayed in the LGW Hilton I was surprised how long it took me to get from my room in the newer section of the hotel through to security in the north terminal. Now it'll save some time which can only be considered good.
layz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:48 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: BOS
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 6,272
Is the lounge open today. A newly minted Gold friend is off to DUB On EI (booked on a BA code), will be be able to get in if so?
Cap'n Benj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:49 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Buckinghamshire
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 1,692
The check-in area looks a bit daunting - roped queues like at MAN. Hardly appealing for a premium passenger!
Dicksbits is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:52 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 804
Yes the Club/Silver/Bronze check-in doesn't exactly look quick with all those rope queues - but that would be consistent with my experience at Gatwick...the combination of BA allowing Bronze Business check-in and the relatively cheap Club Europe fares for holiday routes mean swarms of people in that queue at certain peak times - one summer Saturday last year I finally understood what the appeal of Gold really was: the Club check-in line looked 45 minutes long, but there was literally no-one queuing at all for Gold/First
ratypus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 5:55 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: Nando's Black, British Airways Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Platinum, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum Ambassador
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by Cap'n Benj View Post
Is the lounge open today. A newly minted Gold friend is off to DUB On EI (booked on a BA code), will be be able to get in if so?
In case helpful, I just received the following email from BA regarding the lounge situation.

"Please note that the brand new British Airways lounge facility that was planned to be open for the terminal move, this is now expected to open shortly.

In the meantime, our First and Gold card customers, plus oneworld equivalent, will be invited to use the No1 Clubrooms lounge in the South Terminal. In addition, all eligible customers travelling to New York (JFK), Bermuda (BDA) and Jersey (JER) may also make use of this lounge.

All other customers travelling in Club and Silver card holders, plus oneworld equivalent, will be invited into the Speedbird lounge, which is a temporary lounge dedicated for the use of BA customers."
scottnothing is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 17, 6:00 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: JER
Programs: BA Gold/OWE, several MUCCI, and assorted Pensions!
Posts: 27,291
Originally Posted by ratypus View Post
Yes the Club/Silver/Bronze check-in doesn't exactly look quick with all those rope queues - but that would be consistent with my experience at Gatwick...the combination of BA allowing Bronze Business check-in and the relatively cheap Club Europe fares for holiday routes mean swarms of people in that queue at certain peak times - one summer Saturday last year I finally understood what the appeal of Gold really was: the Club check-in line looked 45 minutes long, but there was literally no-one queuing at all for Gold/First
Strongly seconded! Our F Checkin entitlement saved us hours of queueing at LGW last year.
T8191 is online now  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: