We’ve flown from London Gatwick many times in the past. However, our Club Europe flight to Barcelona was our first flight from the airport since British Airways moved from the North Terminal to the South Terminal. One of our gripes in the past was that the Galleries Lounge in the North Terminal needed a bit of TLC. (Okay, so it really needed quite a lot of TLC, but I was being kind). With the change of terminal came a new lounge, and the new British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick South Terminal is a HUGE improvement.
The old lounge, as well as being a bit tired (which is an understatement), also felt a bit crowded. The British Airways Club Lounge in the South Terminal is considerably larger. It’s also a lot lighter and brighter, with a better range of places to sit. Interestingly, at Gatwick BA have decided not to use the “Galleries” name. Instead, the British Airways Business Class Lounge is the Club Lounge, which aligns the name with their Club World and Club Europe products.
A nice welcome and camera shy staff
The British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick Airport is on Level 5 of the South Terminal. You can access it via the lift immediately after security or, if you want to wander around the shops and terminal, from the lifts on the 4th level.
You can reach the British Airways lounges Gatwick Airport straight after security, without going through the shops in the terminalClick to tweet
We wanted to wander around the terminal after security, so made our way to the lounge from level 4. The corridor leading to the lounge isn’t glamorous, but once you get into the lounge reception area, you step into another world. The sign above the door says “British Airways Lounge” and the reception area serves both the First and Club lounges. In the reception area are two lounge check-in desks and a customer service desk.
Bart decided to take a photo of the check-in desks as we entered. Suddenly the guy at the one desk put a piece of paper in front of his face and ran off so he wasn’t in the shot. Clearly, the guy was VERY camera shy. The woman who checked us into the lounge was friendly and chatty, making us feel welcome.
Bright airy space
At the reception, you either turn left into the First-Class Lounge or right into the Club Lounge. Not being BA Exec Gold elites and not flying in First, we turned right. Access to the First Class Lounge is available to BA Exec Gold and OneWorld Emerald Elites as well as those travelling in First. The Club Lounge is accessible to BA Exec Silver and OneWorld Saphire members.
The first thing that struck me as we entered the Club Lounge was how bright and light it was. The lounge is split into smaller spaces. The first area you come to as you enter has a “living room” feel to it, with lots of armchair type seating.
At the end of the area is a “wine wall”, dividing it from the next area. Here there is one of the three beverage areas, with machines for making hot drinks and fridges of sodas and waters. This little area has high bar tables with stools and a long central table, again with stools. There was nobody using this area when we were there and in all honesty, it didn’t strike me as being a comfortable space. It would be fine if you wanted to do a bit of work while you had some time to kill before your flight, but not great for relaxing before your holiday flight. As British Airways says that Gatwick is for leisure routes, this area seems a little out of place.
As you walk through the lounge there is a small area with TVs. These were the only TVs in the lounge that had the volume turned up. After this area is the bar, food area and another hot/cold beverage station. The lounge then opens up with seating areas that run along the windows.
We found ourselves a spot by the window, which gave us a great view over the runway. Between the seats in this area are small tables. These house three UK power sockets, a European socket and two USB ports.
Food and drink options in the British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick
The bar was well stocked. Spirits included Bombay Sapphire and Gordon’s gins, Grey Goose and Smirnoff vodkas and various whiskies, aperitifs, liqueurs and brandies. The wine range was 4 whites and 4 reds, with champagne available on request. Beers, including Asian brew Tiger Beer, and a selection soft drinks were also available.
When we first arrived, there was some sandwiches and soup on offer, as well as crisps and mixed snacks. At around 5:30 they put out a selection of salads and a range of hot food. The hot food included jacket potatoes with baked beans, a vegetable curry and Moroccan spiced beef. Bart tried the Moroccan beef and I decided to give the vegetable curry a try. We both really enjoyed our choice of food.
As well as the hot food in the evening the lounge has various food offerings throughout the day. This includes pastries and bacon rolls in the morning and a light lunch service.
Other areas of the lounge
The British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick also has a mezzanine area, again, with comfortable armchair type seating. The third of the hot and cold beverage stations are on the mezzanine. The area feels a bit a secluded and offers a great view over the rest of the lounge. It would be a nice place to sit and relax, away from the rest of the lounge.
There is an enclosed children’s area on the lower level. This is equipped with games, some PCs set up for gaming, a couple of TVs and Table Football.
On the walkway from reception to the main body of the lounge is a work area, with two large tables, each sitting six people, with sockets and USB ports at each seat. At the far end are three PCs, so if you want to do some work but don’t have a laptop, then there is access to computers.
Also off the walkway from reception are showers, which we didn’t check out. The loos are accessed from the main body of the lounge. These were clean but small. I suspect that if the lounge was at capacity you may need to queue up for them.
Overall impression of the British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick
The lounge is nice and is without question an improvement on the shabby old lounge in the North Terminal. I like the way it is split into small areas, each having a slightly different personality. There is plenty of choice on the type of seating and the range of colours in the seating helps to give the lounge a sense of style. The high ceilings of the main lounge area add to the sense of space, which can be a difficult thing to achieve in an airport terminal.
Whilst the lounge is nice, it doesn’t have anything that gives it a bit of “wow factor”. Whereas Cathay Pacific lounges have their signature noodle bar and signature cocktails, the British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick has nothing to make it memorable.
If you’re flying Club Europe or Club World out of Gatwick, the British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick is a pleasant enough space to pass some time. We know that we’ll be using it for future flights ex-Gatwick. Waiting for your flight there is a pleasant way to spend some time enjoying a snack and drink before your flight.
When is the British Airways Club Lounge at London Gatwick open?
The British Airways Club Lounge is open Monday to Saturday from 5:15am until 8:00pm & Sunday from 5:15am until 9:00pm and welcomes:
- First class & Business class passengers on British Airways flights and those of Oneworld airlines departing from London Gatwick South Terminal (Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways & Iberia)
- British Airways Executive Club Gold & Silver frequent flyers (and one guest) and their Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire equivalents, when on British Airways or Oneworld flights
NB: Oneworld flights do not include codeshare flights with non-Oneworld airlines, even those marketed by a Oneworld member but operated by a non-Oneworld carrier, or those operated by a Oneworld member but marketed by a non-Oneworld carrier. Marketed refers to the airline whose flight number is specified on your booking. Operated refers to the airline you are flying on.