We’ve known about it for a good 22-months or so now; but January will see quite a few drastic changes taking place at London Gatwick Airport.
easyJet whom are the biggest airline at Gatwick will be moving all their operations to the North Terminal; ending years of confusion for passengers who would often turn up at the North Terminal and find out their flight actually departs from the South… which is almost a mile-away. All easyJet flights will operate from the North Terminal from January 24.
easyJet have become so large, that enabling the low-cost-carrier to operate solely out of one terminal means that another airline is having to move, although for some long-serving staff members it may seem like a little bit of deja vu.
Since the North Terminal opened it’s doors for the first time in 1988, British Airways has always called it home. Beforehand, BA used to operate from the South… so you could say the premium airline have gone around in a full circle around the West Sussex airport. BA will be returning to the South Terminal, which is seen as a huge opportunity for the airline and it’s business travellers – because the South Terminal features the rail station which links the airport with London and the South of England.
So easyJet are moving to the North and BA are moving to the South. Is that it? Unfortunately not.
Virgin Atlantic will also be moving to the North Terminal and taking over the space which is currently occupied by British Airways. Funnily enough, BA’s new home will be where Sir Richard Branson’s airline currently resides in the South. From January 25, Virgin Atlantic will operate from the North Terminal, while BA will begin operating from the South.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of flying through Gatwick recently; then you might have found yourself lucky as there seems to be hoardings everywhere right now. British Airways closed it’s lounge in January to enable construction workers to begin work on creating Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class Lounge. To the annoyance of BA’s premium customers and silver/gold/premier cardholders, they have had to use the No.1 Traveller Lounge or Clubrooms – paid-for lounge options which is available to anyone travelling through the airport. In the BA lounge, Gold cardholders and customers travelling in First would receive a complimentary glass of bubbly… but that stopped when the lounge closed, so quite a few customers have been less than amused. Capacity in the paid-for lounges is extremely limited, which is understandable as they can be used by regular travellers and members of Priority Pass and other lounge programs too. With all the negativity that’s been around, I am sure that the wait for a brand new British Airways lounge will be worth it… especially if it will be like the one in Dubai. Amazing!
Fortunately, Virgin Atlantic customers have still been able to enjoy the facilities of the Gatwick Clubhouse; and will do so right until the airline moves a mile along the tarmac in January. The Virgin Holidays V-Room closed in January – that’s where part of the new BA lounge will be located.
All in all, January is going to be a very busy month for London Gatwick Airport. I guarantee that both passengers and staff will end up in the wrong terminal, but that is to be expected. Come February and everything should be working just fine.
Will you be flying from London Gatwick in January? I’d love to hear about your experience through the airport before and after the changes!