Navigating a busy airport can easily befuddle even the most experienced traveler. In this respect, Londons Gatwick Airport is no exception. After Heathrow, Gatwick is both the second-largest and second-busiest international airport in the city of London. A great variety of air carriers provide service to and from Gatwicks busy terminals and runways, offering a vast array of domestic and international destinations. If you already feel overwhelmed, dont worry, were going to offer some tips and suggestions that will make your travel experience a breeze. In order to safely and successfully plan your trip to and from Gatwick, youll need to follow a number of important tips.
First, arriving at the airport for an on-time departure is paramount to a successful travel experience. If you are unsure where you need to check-in, pass through security or which gate you are departing from, one document will be indispensable: your travel itinerary. Whether booking through a travel service or an airline directly, this document should have been given to you or sent via e-mail. Its very important that you print this out to use as a reference once you arrive at Gatwick. Your itinerary will display the airline name, flight number, gate location, boarding time and seat assignment if applicable.
If you want to make your on-time departure, plan on arriving early. Surprisingly, most travelers are unaware of, or ignore, the importance of arriving early to the airport. In order to avoid excessive lines and a late departure, give yourself enough time to go through the processes of check-in and security clearance. As a general rule, you should arrive an hour before departure for a domestic flight and, if possible, two hours before departure for an international flight. This way, youll have plenty of time to check-in, pass through security and arrive at your gate with time to spare. As an added perk, arriving early will allow you the luxury of a great seat assignment at check-in.
Now, if youre planning on arriving early, you should seriously consider your options. With a large airport like Gatwick, both heavy traffic and the confusion of entrance roads may hinder an easy, carefree arrival to the airport. Additionally, if you, like most travelers, are looking to avoid excessive parking fees while on holiday, a taxi or chauffeured car service may be your best bet. Instead of losing time and patience while lost on your way to the airport, a car service guarantees a stress-free experience. Luckily, the drivers from Shadow Carriage are experts in the field of reliable and professional service to and from Londons major airports. Better yet, their ability to monitor flight times ensures an up-to-date, stress-free and satisfying flying experience after your arrival to Gatwick.
But, before you depart, you should be aware that many airlines at Gatwick have made passenger check-in easier for their travelers. Some airlines offer online check-in two to 24 hours before departure, so check with your airline to see if they offer this convenient service. It can easily save you the boredom, time and frustration spent waiting in line. If you are without luggage, you can skip the long queues and proceed straight to security upon arrival. If you have luggage that cant be carried with you, check with the airline beforehand, and they will advise you as to where and when luggage must be dropped off before departure.
Once youve arrived at Gatwick, carry with you one of two useful tools: a smartphone or an airport map. If you have a smartphone, use a navigational application to help guide you through Gatwicks layout. The airport provides free Wi-Fi and has numerous phone charger plugs throughout, so dont forget to bring your phone charger. If youre without a smartphone, dont worry. Before your trip, purchase or obtain an airport map that details the passenger check-in, terminal and gate areas clearly. These maps are always helpful and easy to read, alleviating any confusion regarding where you need to be and when.
An important piece of information to remember is that Gatwick Airport has two terminals, North and South. All air carriers will depart from these terminals, so determining which terminal you depart from will save you a lot of headaches. If not located on your itinerary, upon arrival to Gatwick, you will find numerous flight information screens that provide detailed information on departures and arrivals.
After you discover which terminal you are departing from, you should locate the actual gate where your flight will be boarding. This is important because, depending on your air carriers operations, the original gate assignment may change on the day of travel.
At this point, we must address an unpleasant, but necessary, aspect of flyingsecurity. Weve all heard the horror stories of dreadfully long security queues, intrusive body scanners and unfriendly security agents. Since all travelers are required to pass through security, the better prepared you are, the smoother the process will go. A few useful tips beforehand will help expedite the process so you dont spend an eternity in procedural purgatory. Remove any jewelry, coats, jackets or other metal items from your person before you step through the scanner. Additionally, all liquids must be in a container of 100ml or less and any electronics should be removed from hand baggage, ready to be scanned separately.
Also, though it may seem trivial, make it a priority to bring some light snacks. Sometimes, delays due to inclement weather or mechanical issues can leave you stranded at the airport. A light snack or refreshment can go a long way in helping to reduce stress, and by bringing your own, you avoid those offered by the shops in the terminal, which tend to be expensive. Otherwise, if you are in need of a meal, both terminals have a number of restaurants that offer more hearty fare.
The last piece of advice is to relax. Youve made enough preparations to make this an easy and carefree flying experience. By following these useful tips and suggestions, your experience at Gatwick should be a comfortable one. Whether you are departing for holiday or business travel, planning ahead will guarantee this airport experience doesnt leave you with headaches, or even worsetravel nightmares. So, follow these tips and have a safe journey traveler!
Our executive chauffeur driven Gatwick Airport transfer service is available 24 hours a day, every day
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Shadow Carriage Ltd
74 76 Cordwallis Road
Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 7BR
UK Freephone: 0800 0855 187
International: +44 1628 638305