Have you ever watched those lucky relaxed travellers sailing out of the hectic departures hall into a cool, calm and comfortable airport lounge and wished you could follow? I have. Escaping the main area of the airport is a very tempting thought, particularly during the craziness of the summer season. And these days it's surprisingly affordable, not just a perk for VIPs or business travellers; anyone can book airport lounges and live the high-life.
Gatwick Lounges for Everyone
Friends, couples, solo travellers and families are all welcomed into airport lounges nowadays. Each of the lounges at Gatwick offers comfy seats, free drinks and snacks, big TVs, free wifi, newspapers and magazines, flight information and air conditioning. Yet the three brands of airport lounge at Gatwick airport also have their own individual style and features, so it's worth comparing them to make sure you choose the right airport lounge for your holiday.
No 1 Lounge - Gatwick North and South
The high-end option at Gatwick, No 1 Lounge has slick contemporary interiors and impressive views of the runway action, full waiter service, table football, board games, a VIP room and newspapers and magazines you can take away. There's an array of snacks and drinks to help yourself to, or you can have one freshly prepared hot dish from the bistro menu as part of your entry fee. If you're in the mood for a full feed, there's an a la carte menu available too for an extra charge.
At Gatwick's North Terminal, the No 1 Lounge also features a children's play area, a cinema showing movies and, wonderfully, a spa. Treatments are not included in your standard booking and start at £5 for a 10 minute session and £15 for a 15 minute pamper. Longer sessions start from £25. Check out this post from travel blogger The Fly Away American on her family's experience at No 1 Lounge South Terminal.
The free wifi, computer with internet access, printer, fax, scanner and free UK landline calls make the No 1 Lounge a hit with business travellers as well as holidaymakers. And although this lounge has a lot to offer families, it's ideal for more grown-up trips: a luxury treat for yourself or if someone else is paying!
Open 4am to 10pm, from £25 per adult and £15 per child with Holiday Extras. Spa and champagne packages available for a bit more!
My Lounge - North Terminal
For a fun take on the airport lounge, My Lounge is a new informal and super family friendly lounge at Gatwick with a colourful IKEA catalogue look. Most families will love serving themselves in the kitchen and filling up on the flavoured popcorn, doughnuts with dips and Danish pastries at the big sociable dining tables. The games room, large TV screen, free wifi and powerpoints to charge phones and devices are great for keeping everyone entertained while they wait for their flight. My Lounge is the most relaxed airport lounge option at Gatwick, and most suited to lively families.
Open 6am to 8pm, from £16 per adult and £10 per child with a Holiday Extras special offer.
Aspire Lounge - Gatwick North
Aspire at Gatwick is a fresh and stylish airport lounge with zoned areas suitable for reading, chatting, catching up on work, watching TV or playing on your iPad or games console. Cereals and pastries, soup, cheese, snacks, cakes, biscuits, fresh fruit and drinks are all available to help yourself as part of your booking, depending on the time of day.
With free wifi, powerpoints to charge your devices, TV and fax facilities, the Aspire Lounge is a well-priced all-rounder with a more relaxed atmosphere than No 1, suitable for all types of traveller.
Open 4am to 10pm, from £15.99 per adult and £9.99 per child with Holiday Extras.
Airport Lounge Etiquette!
Before you book your Gatwick airport lounge, remember that children aged 12 years or over usually pay adult price. Stag and hen parties are not welcomed into airport lounges and any group of more than seven people needs to be authorised by the lounge before booking. Smart casual dress is the norm, with no themed or offensive outfits - and that includes onesies!
You'll be allowed to enter the lounge for up to three hours before your flight; and while wine, beer and spirits come free there is an additional charge for fizz and cocktails. It is frowned upon to take advantage of the free alcohol too freely! All of the airport lounges at Gatwick airport are accessible for disabled travellers.