Gatwick Airport has two terminal buildings: North Terminal and South Terminal. The majority of Gatwick flights operate out of South Terminal, including budget airlines Ryanair and easyjet, though British Airways, Emirates and other international airlines use the North Terminal. You can easily travel between the two using the free, 24-hour airport shuttle train, running every few minutes. The shuttle stations are located next to the main railway station in South Terminal, and on the first floor in North Terminal.
Check-in is located at Level 1 and Level 2 along with Special Assistance help points, while you'll find the main shops, restaurants and bars in the departure lounges on the lower level and upper level.
Check-in is located at Level 2, with Departures based on Level 3 and further departure lounges with shops and restaurants on the lower level, upper level and upper mezzanine level.
There are no flight calls at Gatwick Airport, so it's important to keep an eye on the airport flight boards or keep Skyscanner's live departures open on your smartphone to check when your flight's boarding.
Day-before check-in is available on selected flights with British Airways, easyJet, Germania, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which allows you to get your boarding pass and drop your luggage off the night before, saving time and hassle when you fly. Check your airline's website for check-in times and conditions.
If you're checking in on the day, the airport recommends the following:
Long-haul flights: check-in up to four hours ahead of scheduled departure.
European flights: check-in three hours ahead of scheduled departure.
UK and Ireland flights: check-in two hours ahead of scheduled departure.
Check which Gatwick terminal a flight is arriving into if you're meeting friends and family – you should be able to find out via the airline or using our flight schedule above. The arrivals hall is situated on the ground floor at North Terminal and on Level 2 of South Terminal and each terminal has a designated meeting point (signposted).
If you have a stopover at Gatwick, there are two major hotel chains located at the airport. Sofitel London Gatwick can be reached via a direct walkway from North Terminal, and the Gatwick Hilton is two minutes walk from South Terminal and very close to Gatwick Airport Railway Station.
If you're meeting someone off a flight, it's advisable to use one of the airport car parks, as it may
take 30 to 40 minutes for passengers to get through customs and passport control. You can stay for up to two hours
free in the Long Stay Car Parks.
Dropping someone off for their flight? Use the designated drop-off zones free of charge, located at the lower level at both North and South Terminal.
Gatwick Airport has a number of parking options:
The Short Stay North (satnav postcode: RH6 0PJ) and Short Stay South (satnav postcode: RH6 0LL) car parks are located within a few minutes walk of each terminal and are ideal if you're just going away for the weekend. Book in advance to get a quote and reductions on second day parking.
Gatwick Airport has secure Long Stay Parking which is a good option for longer holidays or picking someone up at a
busy time. These car parks are serviced by buses which run every 10 to 15 minutes and take approximately 5 minutes
to either terminal.
Standard prices are £20 for the first day, and £15 for each day afterwards, although you can get a discount if you book online. The first two hours are free.
The quickest and easiest self-drive parking option is the Premium parking, which is located on the same level as the terminal buildings and includes a Premium fast-track lane through airport security. Valet parking allows you to leave and pick up your car from outside the terminal, with airport staff taking care of your car while you're away.
Gatwick is a 28-mile drive from the city of London and ten minutes from the M25. You can reach the airport directly
from the M23: exit at Junction 9 and follow the signposts for Gatwick Airport, then following signs for either
North Terminal or South Terminal.
The satnav postcodes are:
South Terminal: RH6 0NP
North Terminal: RH6 0PJ
There is a train station located at Gatwick's South Terminal and it takes just 30 minutes to central London via the Gatwick Express (London Victoria), although alternative trains are available with more stops and a slightly longer journey time to Victoria, St Pancras International and Luton Airport. You can easily travel onwards to other destinations such as Brighton, Reading and Portsmouth, or connect at St Pancras for trains to other parts of the UK. You can compare prices and book train tickets with the Skyscanner app.
National Express operate direct coaches between Gatwick and London Heathrow Airport, Brighton and central London, as well as towns and cities across the UK. easyBus runs a low-cost, local service to Earls Court/West Brompton, London Victoria coach station and London Waterloo (coach and rail stations).
If you live fairly locally, you can cycle to the airport via National Cycle Route 21, which runs through the airport from Greenwich in central London. Bikes can be parked at car park B near the South Terminal, though good quality locks are recommended for security.