Is LGW really that bad?

Old Sep 9, 2022, 9:16 pm
  #1  
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Is LGW really that bad?

I've just booked a flight and wasn't paying attention at airport only times and have booked flights in and out of LGW instead of LHR. I'm embarrassed to say I've only flown in/out of LHR because I've heard LGW is hard to get to, etc etc. Is it worth the trouble to call BA to see about changing? It's an Avios booking and MMB only seems to allow me to change to another LGW flight the same day and isn't showing the LHR flights (they are still available when I search).

What would you do?
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Old Sep 9, 2022, 9:26 pm
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I would base your decision on where youre located. LGW is actually very well connected by rail and cheaper to get to than LHR in a lot of scenarios. The onboard service will be the same unexciting BA short-haul service.

Additionally youll be paying 35 per person to change your booking to LHR (or losing any money youve paid for taxes if you completely cancel, this option will likely be cheaper especially if it was a reward flight saver booking).

True LGW is slightly harder to get to if you live at least 80 miles+ north of the M25 and you live in a place without a mainline station and you rely on car only, but any closer, I personally would keep the booking as it is. The whole harder to get to argument that seemingly goes against LGW is more often than misplaced IMO, in most circumstances
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Old Sep 9, 2022, 9:33 pm
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Good to know, thank you! I'm US based and have always had the option between the two so I chose the beast I knew vs the beast I didn't. We'll see how it LGW is I guess.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 9, 2022, 9:37 pm
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Didnt realise you were US based whilst posting my comment (from the mobile site might I add). There are plenty of trains directly from Gatwick connecting to London and beyond if UK is your final destination. Alternatively, travelling between LHR and LGW is also extensively covered by National Express coaches too should you need that.

Apple Maps, Google Maps and Citymapper apps all cover public transport really well and you can explore your options.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 12:22 am
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If we can take "just booked" literally, you'll be within the free cancellation period of 24 hours (and it may currently be 72 hours due to the difficulty getting through on the phone), so the cancellation fee mentioned won't apply.

BA won't just swap you, you'll have to cancel and rebook, so make sure you have any alternative secured before you cancel the initial booking.

If you're flying from the US into LGW, then the cabin you're in should be the greater denominator - LHR 777s are far superior in Club World compared to those used at LGW, for example.

If it's a short-haul, then you won't notice any difference.
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Last edited by NWIFlyer; Sep 10, 2022 at 12:28 am
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 12:44 am
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There are very good train connections from LGW to London Bridge and Victoria, so if your final destination is in South/East London there is a very good chance the airport transfer time will be shorter. If you're headed to North/West London LHR would probably be better.

Taxis tend to be more expensive from LGW because of the greater distance.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 1:00 am
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Interestingly LHR has been the bad boy this summer with many service failures including immigration whereas LGW seems to have been less troubled

LHR has sorted itself out now with restricting its number of flights

The lounge for J is a little nicer than LHR

They were revamping the train station when I last went through LGW , should be finished soon

Driving to Gatwick from central london is a nightmare as is returning!
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by LCY8737
There are very good train connections from LGW to London Bridge and Victoria, so if your final destination is in South/East London there is a very good chance the airport transfer time will be shorter. If you're headed to North/West London LHR would probably be better.

Taxis tend to be more expensive from LGW because of the greater distance.
Don’t forget that Thameslink trains from Gatwick Airport station also now run to north London (St Pancras) and beyond to Cambridge, Peterborough and Bedford. Overall LGW has much better direct train services than LHR.

Also, BA are now based in the South Terminal a very short walk to the train station. Much better than the North terminal days of BA.
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Last edited by pennineuk; Sep 12, 2022 at 12:45 am
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 1:34 am
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Driving anywhere from Central London is a nightmare, but once en-route, LGW is about 45 miles from Heathrow, it's not going to make all that much difference to any given trip. And very quick and easy on a train. I've never understood why Gatwick gets a bad press - it's compact, the lounges and lounge staff are lovely, the security is extremely efficient even without status, and the fares are cheaper like for like.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 4:35 am
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Originally Posted by AirbusA350
Alternatively, travelling between LHR and LGW is also extensively covered by National Express coaches too should you need that.
Nowadays I'd be more minded to take the Elizabeth line to Farringdon and change onto Thameslink. Certainly after through-running at Paddington comes online in November.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 4:51 am
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Originally Posted by bisonrav
I've never understood why Gatwick gets a bad press.
I think that it is due to it projecting (like STN or LTN) an image of a 'leisure' airport, i.e. an image of hordes of families with kids screaming and running around the place and groups of lads in sports gear out to party in the sun or an Eastern European capital. Whether that image corresponds to reality is another matter altogether.

On the practicality of transport, it is as a rule somewhat more expensive on public transport (but not hugely so) and it is longer to get to in a taxi or by car if you are not based on South London but, yes, the idea that it is more difficult to get to is rather overstated.

From North London, I marginally prefer LHR to LGW but certainly would have no qualms whatsoever flying from LGW.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 5:03 am
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I find the South Terminal at Gatwick a bit shabby in places, which probably doesn't help in terms of the stick the airport gets.

In terms of efficiency, I was very pleased last time I went through. I prefer Heathrow as it's more convenient for me, but more than willing to go to Gatwick for a flight.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by bisonrav
I've never understood why Gatwick gets a bad press
Snobbery.

The lingering whiff of charter airlines plus the presence of LCCs.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 6:18 am
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Very interesting! I'm traveling in World Traveller Plus but am keeping an eye out (and have alerts set) should any CW availability open up. I hadn't thought of there being a difference in the planes between the two airports- I'm glad you mentioned it. There's currently only WT available into LHR so I'll stick with Gatwick there but may rebook to have WT+ from LHR on the return.
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Old Sep 10, 2022, 10:17 am
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LGW I think is great. Regular trains from central London Thameslink corridor. As BA Gold the First Lounge is very good. Is you're flying long-haul they use the older 777s so very unlikely to have CS.
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