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Gatwick Airport Guide

by Parastoo Sahebi
11 minutes read

Gatwick Airport is one of the busiest airports in England and by extension in the world both in terms of the number of passengers and flights and the multiple airlines operating in the airport. In this guide, we plan to get to know this colossal airport better.

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Gatwick Airport Overview


  • Name: Gatwick Airport
  • IATA code: LGW
  • ICAO code: EGKK
  • Type of airport: Public
  • Height above sea level: 62 meters
  • Number of Terminals: 2 – North and South Terminals
  • Official website: https://www.gatwickairport.com/


Gatwick airport is the largest single-runway airport in the world with two separate terminals. This airport has a secondary runway as well, but it is used only when the main runway is closed and inactive. In terms of passenger traffic, Gatwick Airport ranks 25th among world airports, and 7th in terms of international passenger traffic.

Gatwick Airport is located next to Heathrow, and that’s why most people mistakenly think that this airport is one of the sub-terminals of London Heathrow Airport. Aviation training courses are also held at this airport. Most flights that come to Gatwick Airport fly from Dublin, Barcelona, and Malaga.

Many planes that cannot get landing rights at London Heathrow Airport land at Gatwick. Some of the main airlines operating at Gatwick Airport include British Airways, Ryanair, Small Planet Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Vueling, which operate in the South Terminal as well as EasyJet, Emirates, TUI Airways, and Virgin Atlantic that land in the North Terminal.

Gatwick-Airport-TerminalHistory of Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport, which is considered one of the oldest airports in the world, was built in 1920 in the southeastern part of London. It is interesting to know that until 1933, this airport operated only for commercial purposes and had no other use and was used to transfer passengers 10 years after its construction. in April 2017, 400 million passengers moved through this airport!

Gatwick Airport Terminals

There are two terminals at Gatwick Airport. These terminals are about 1 km away from each other.

North Terminal

This terminal has two floors and passengers are placed on the second floor of this terminal. There are many stores in this terminal where passengers can shop while waiting for their flights.

South Terminal

In this terminal, the waiting halls are connected to each other. The flights waiting lounge is located on the upper floor of the hall. Hall number 1 of this terminal is very busy and passengers usually book flights in advance. From the hall of this terminal to the exit, there is a relatively long walk.

Gatwick Airport Access

Although Gatwick Airport is located in West Sussex, it is the second largest and busiest airport in London. More than 40 million passengers use this airport every year, and Gatwick Airport plays an important role in connecting London with the rest of the world. If you are traveling to London and your plane ticket is to Gatwick Airport, using this information, you can easily reach your hotel and the center of the city of London.

Gatwick Airport has two passenger terminals known as the North and South Terminals. This is the second busiest airport in London after Heathrow Airport, and in 2017, more than 45 million passengers used Gatwick for transportation. Although the distance from Gatwick Airport to the center of London is relatively long, the transportation options of Gatwick Airport are very diverse and make reaching the city of London quite easy.

You can reach your hotel or any other destination in London using trains, buses, taxis, and private transfers. The train is the fastest transportation option from Gatwick Airport and if you like to reach your destination as soon as possible, taking the train may be your best option. However, if you have a lot of luggage with you, it might be a better idea to take a taxi or a private transfer.  The bus is the cheapest option and will take you to London at a much lower cost. Taxis and private transfers are comfortable but will charge a high fare.


Gatwick Airport is the first airport in England to combine air and ground travel. The airport has a railway station in its South Terminal. The station is located on the main line from London to Burton. You can travel using Gatwick Airport train station to reach London Bridge, St. Pancras, Brighton, Southampton, Eastbourne, Hastings, and other available places. With Gatwick Express, you can also go to the center of London on a fast and non-stop train. These trains travel to London station from 5:00 AM to 11:45 PM.

If you are looking for the fastest transportation option from Gatwick Airport, you have to take the Gatwick Express train. These trains have no stops on the way and will take you directly from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria train station and cover this route in just 30 minutes. Therefore, considering the relatively high travel time of other options, using the train will be the best choice for people who want to reach London fast.

Trains depart every 15 minutes. The airport train station is located in the South Terminal and a free shuttle service takes passengers from the North Terminal to this terminal. If you can buy your train ticket online, you will get a 25% discount.

In addition to the Express Train, various regular trains also run between Gatwick Airport and central London. About 4 trains per hour go from the airport train station to Victoria station in London and the journey time with these trains will be about 50 minutes.


The taxis at Gatwick Airport are all private and may charge you a very high fare. If you wish, you can use taxi companies such as Roadrunner to get around conveniently.

Since Gatwick Airport is located 48 km from the center of London and the traffic on the route may be very heavy at times, taxi fares are expensive. In fact, taxis are the most expensive transportation option at Gatwick Airport. However, if you have a lot of luggage with you, it is also the most comfortable option. The duration of the taxi journey can vary depending on the intensity of the traffic, but in general, it takes more than an hour to reach London. Gatwick Airport taxis calculate the fare using a taximeter. There are also some taxi companies that have set fixed fares for every route.

Private Airport Transfer

The most convenient and luxurious Gatwick Airport transportation service is using private transfer. You can book this service online before arriving at the airport and be sure that the driver is waiting for you when you arrive. These black vehicles pick you up from the airport and drop you off at your hotel or destination in the most convenient way.

If you are traveling to London for the first time and are worried about getting lost in the city, or if your hotel and destination are not on the public transport route, this service will be ideal for you. The fare you have to pay for the service is almost the same as the taxi fare.


Various bus companies are active at Gatwick Airport. Taking the bus is considered the cheapest option for transportation to and from Gatwick Airport. The cheapest airport buses are offered by easyBus. EasyBus operates 24 hours a day and transfers passengers between Gatwick Airport and Earls Court in West London. These buses do not stop on the way and take passengers directly to London. The buses depart every 15 minutes and pick up passengers from the South and North terminals. By taking the bus, it will take you more than an hour to reach London, which of course depends on the intensity of the traffic.

Another bus company that transports passengers at Gatwick Airport is National Express. These buses are larger in size than easyBus and take passengers from the South and North Terminals to London Victoria Bus Station. The journey on these buses takes about 1 hour and a half. If you are traveling to London in groups of 3 or 4 people, you can get a discount on the tickets.

Gatwick-Airport-GuideLondon Gatwick Airport Facilities

  • A special area has been considered for children and mothers, which has taken all the necessary steps for their comfort.
  • Around the airport as well as inside, there are various hotels offering amenities.
  • Computer games are available for children and teenagers.
  • There is a conference center at Gatwick Airport where gatherings are held.
  • For the transportation of the physically challenged, there are special facilities available in the airport.

Gatwick Airport Customs Regulations

If you are planning to send cargo to London, we always suggest using air freight services. Security, affordability, and speed are the most important features of air transportation. When you are waiting to receive your cargo at the destination, i.e. Gatwick Airport, it is very important to do things fast. In order for this to happen, you must be familiar with the customs regulations at the airport. Gatwick Airport’s customs office is called HM Revenue & Customs.

Now your cargo has arrived in London and the UK customs rules should be applied to it. Some rules are designed to be very strict and some are more lenient. The entry of some items includes the payment of tax and some others are exempt.

When traveling to London, every traveler is allowed to import items such as clothes, electronics, food, and tobacco into the country without paying customs duties. The scope of this exemption is as follows:

  • Tax relief is available per passenger for carry-on baggage up to a value of £390.
  • If the value of the passenger’s baggage is over £390, they will be charged a 2.5% tax up to £630.
  • Different rates apply for amounts over £630.
  • The import of tobacco in one of the following forms and up to the specified volumes is tax-free:
    • 200 cigarettes
    • 100 small cigars
    • 50 cigars
    • 250 grams of tobacco

Don’t forget that the items mentioned here only apply to London City passengers’ carry-on luggage at Gatwick Airport and if you include these items in your air cargo and send them via freight, you will be subject to duties, taxes, and possibly even fines.

Gatwick-Airport-Guide-UKGatwick Airport Customs Contrabands

One of the issues that you should keep in mind when traveling to London is what things you cannot bring to the UK. This doubles the importance of being careful when packing luggage. In short, according to the customs regulations of the United Kingdom, the entry of these items into the country is prohibited:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Assault weapons, such as folding knives
  • Self-defense sprays, such as pepper spray
  • Plant and animal species that are in danger of extinction
  • Raw diamond
  • Obscene Movies, photos, books
  • Personal imports of meat and dairy from most countries except the UK

Customs Regulations for Immigrants

Now, if the purpose of your trip to London is to immigrate and continue living in England, what will the situation be like? Now that your trip has become long-term, the things you want to take with you have definitely increased and you will probably have excess baggage.

If you are traveling to London, England, and intend to take your personal and household items to this country, it may help to know that under the following conditions, the entry of these items is exempt from paying duties:

  • The importer is changing their residence from another country to the UK.
  • This person has lived in another country for at least 12 consecutive months before traveling to England.
  • The goods have been owned and used by this person outside the UK for at least 6 months.
  • This person has not purchased the goods free of duties and taxes.

Final Word

Gatwick Airport is a public passenger airport with IATA code LGW in Crawley, West Sussex, England. It is located 47.5 km south of the city of London.

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