London Gatwick, LGW

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London Gatwick, LGW


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21 reviews from the community

Review of "London Gatwick, LGW"

published 26/08/2004 | milleniumzeus
Member since : 05/09/2003
Reviews : 169
Members who trust : 84
About me :
Pro None, use another airport if you can
Cons This airport is a nightmare.
very helpful

"Took almost as long to walk, as to fly."

Now I could blind you all with facts and figures about Gatwick but then you would all get bored and I am sure a lot of you already know how to get to Gatwick. However I noticed that there have been no reviews done on Gatwick since 2002. If you need all the facts figures and information then go to the website BAA. Com or Gatwick airport. com

I always find the best way to explain a place is by experience and although I may not have had the best experience on my last visit there, last week, this visit pretty much reflected my last visit which was last year. So it does not seem to have changed much and in my opinion has actually deteriorated and continues to do so on every successive visit I make.

You can draw your own conclusions from the experience I am going to relate and as usual I have done it in my own ruthless way. I take no prisoners and make no excuses for this pathetic excuse for an airport and my explanation of it.

Gatwick is the busiest single runway airport in the world, the sixth busiest, and the second busiest in Britain. They boast excellent public transport access, but as an avid road user what about us? A fact I would argue for most vigorously. It has increasingly appalling road user access, something they have clearly not addressed in the past and definitely not now.

Try approaching Gatwick early in the morning by road.
Customer facilities continue to degrade in quality and access, and they, like many other captive audience establishments in this country continue to rip us off.

Read on and I will now relate my latest experience………………..

02.00 hrs Sunday 9th August 2004.
We leave the house and head for Gatwick, London’s so-called second airport for a family 14 day holiday to Minorca. There are eight of us, two mature adults, female aged 51, and male 47. Male aged 22, female 21, two females aged 17, and two children aged 3, and 3 months.

03.10. We arrive at the airport and the trolleys are lined up outside. So far-so good. Our flight is from the South terminal, one of two terminals, and we have flown from the north terminal in the recent past. As we pull up in our large mini-bus I remember earlier in the week when I dropped passengers off and the departure area could not handle the traffic.
(For those who do not know I am a cab driver) Everything was diverted to arrivals or the short term car parks. There was also roadwork’s on the approach road just to add to the chaos. It took me 50 minutes to get there and 45 minutes to enter, unload, and leave the airport. Luckily we had arrived in the middle of the night.

03.15. Unloaded from the vehicle and ready to find our check in desk. Two travellators, one to the right and one to the left. Neither is working. We push our very heavy trolleys into the terminal; bearing in mind we are all very tired anyway, as we have all been up all night with the thought of the impending holiday.

03.20. We arrive in the terminal to check in. There are two check in desks open for three flights. After a wait of an hour we eventually reach the front of the queue.

03.45. Because of the security checks, no one in our party is allowed to leave the queue, including the baby who needed feeding and had actually slipped off to plant a stink bomb in her nappy. She was clearly visibly distressed but this didn’t matter to the offialdom, even after repeated requests to leave the queue (Only Mother and baby). She had to stay where she was in case she was an infant terrorist. They have to visibly see the photograph in your passport apparently and although one of the 17 year olds was thirteen at the time there photo was taken they could tell the difference. Oh yes really?

04.20. We actually get the luggage taken off us, irate, tired, and hungry and we are released to approach those things they call customs and immigration officers.
After checking ALL the passports in great detail we get through the customs check and arrive in the departure lounge.

04.30. The muck and fat shop faced us with huge queues, (McDonald’s), followed by the usual rip off shops, and bars. Me and the wife go in search of a quieter area and possibly an area of better food and drink quality. No such luck at all. Examples; A cup of coffee £1.50, a coke £1.20, a filled muck roll £2.50, a croissant £1.00, etc, etc.

04.35. I smoke and get nervous before a flight, but of course the minority rule as usual in this country and us smokers are now becoming increasingly like lepper carriers and it takes me 15 minutes to find the smoking area that has been moved since last year. I eventually find it and we all take it in turns to have a puff and look after the children. (We all smoke), except the children and teenagers.

04.45. I look around with my very tired eyes for a toilet, and my wife spots it first. We set off along the upper concourse fighting our way through the McDonald’s addicts and reach the outer entry corridor of the body toxin release area. My god, on entering it reminded me of Gladiator as I fought my way through many male species to a cubicle to release my body waste. (At least I didn’t have to queue like the women) It stank of urine and I cleaned my toilet seat with bacterial wipes (I come equipped, I have done this before) before I sat my ass down. The cubicle was full of perverse aboriginal writing, (I think) of invites to male sexual rites. Phone numbers were included. I didn’t get involved in that.

05.00. All the flights timed to take off around our time are called to the boarding gates but not us and NO information is given. I know from long experience that you are called to board at least half an hour before your flight take off time. Oh dear we are taking off late, surprise, surprise.

05.30. Sitting there waiting with no information as usual as us English package holiday makers are treated like lumps of inert shit I start to get annoyed.

05.50. Having gathered the party together and the bomb having been released and dealt with from our infant terrorist we patiently waited for the call to board our aircraft. As I am a natural organiser I felt responsible so it was me that kept the eyes open for the announcement from the big screens.

06.00. The time we are supposed to leave this shithole of a country for some relief of the rigid rules and regulations of this nation arrive, at least 50 minutes late. Gate 38. Please go to boarding gate now. Hurrah.

06.01. We begin what must only be called a major safari and a bloody mission. Pushing two buggies with two exhausted children, a crying nervous first flier, hand luggage, baby equipment, and six very tired adults we are directed to a tunnel, and that is after negotiating several hills, travellators, stairs, and a fifteen minute walk we eventually arrive at what appears to be an outlet and yet another queue at the top of some stairs. Then we waited………and waited………….and waited.

06.30. Aaarhhg there is a bus waiting at the bottom of the stairs and we must carry the buggies and sleeping children down them with no assistance and no one telling us what is going on.

06.40. With no information at all and following everyone like sheep we actually arrive at the aircraft and board.

06.50. Fifty minutes late with no explanations or excuses we actually board and take off.

9th-23rd August on holiday. See future op on Minorca.

23rd August 2004. Going to include this as a comparison, bearing in mind that Mahon airport is a lot quieter than Gatwick and does not have all the international traffic that Gatwick deals with.

08.10. Arrive Mahon airport and check in. All done in twenty minutes. Five check in desks open for two flights.

08.30. Been through customs and now in very quiet departure lounge although there are 15 flights waiting to go out.

08.30-09.35. Free to smoke in clearly marked areas and toilets are immaculate. No Graffiti, plenty of toilet paper, and fully equipped.

09.35. We board the aircraft and it takes off exactly on time.

11.10. Arrive Gatwick. Another major hike although this time it was just a walk but took fifteen minutes as we were so far out on the airport satellite system.

11.25. We arrived at the luggage collection base. After another fifteen minutes it directed by screen which luggage number conveyor we could reclaim our luggage. Another five minute walk. Then thirty minute wait for the cases.

11.35. I again visit the excuse for an English toilet. This time it is not to have a piss or shit but to have a fag and blatantly ignore stupid English rules and regulations. You should all know by now I hate this bloody country and its pettiness. I break the rules all the time. The toilet again was like a cesspit and stank of urine and shit. Tiles missing from the walls and the greatest statement in very large writing on the wall was, “THIS TOILET IS VISITED EVERY 60 MINUTES TO CHECK ON SECURITY AND HYGIENE”, Ha bloody ha, I don’t think it had been checked in sixty days, let alone sixty minutes.

11.55. The cases appear in sporadic bursts on the conveyor, together with the buggies. My wife’s case suddenly appears ripped apart with various items of clothing hanging out the side of the severely damaged case. Clearly a case of sabotage. No way had this case ripped like that. This case was just a veteran of only two foreign trips. We had watched as it was loaded in Mahon and it was fine. I know from experience that some baggage handlers are as bent as a fifty five pound note, and will steal and pillage from your belongings at every opportunity. I have also watched baggage handlers climb all over cases as they build pyramids with no care or consideration for what they may contain.
Crushed mementoes, stolen cigarettes, are a regular occurrence.

12.10. We have all the cases and make our way outside. Another 15 minute walk and yet again the travellators are not working. We actually negotiated the customs area without seeing one of the bastards.


Gatwick airport is an echo of what this country is all about. Another establishment of (You have no choice and you are a load of sheep). We can treat you like shit because you are a captive audience. You want to eat, and then we rip you off. Dying of thirst, tough, pay the fee or get dehydrated. Get you in and get you on that flight as soon as possible, taking as much money for as little trouble as possible. Rob you, give you as little decent facilities as possible, and live, profit, and prosper on the fact that you are all going on holiday to get away from this hellhole. Well I have news for you, dear Gatwick; you are a shithole and a dump.

This review has been based on an experience only two days old.
It is clear in my memory.
The experience of the outward and inward journey is new and fresh.


Sign by the conveyors as we exited and collected our luggage.
“Please do not bring in the following items as they are illegal and could carry diseases and are forbidden”.
Cheese, Meat, Plants.

Bit late mate, should have told us that at the other end.
It doesn’t matter that humans bring in far worse and potentially dangerous diseases, viruses, and other maladies.

What about all the human immigrants bringing in TB, aids and other diseases.
Of course that does not matter as the do-gooders would scream human rights abuses. Cheese, meat and plants can’t argue back.

Well I don’t care because I brought some cheese back, and I am enjoying it. So up yours.


Gatwick is a shit hole.


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Comments on this review

  • MadCat published 14/10/2004
    Oh dear, quite glad I've not had to negotiate Gatwick for some years now....... I hope your cheese was more enjoyable!
  • Keeway published 06/10/2004
    Only been there once - this year to Atlanta. Must say I'm glad I can do package holidays from Cardiff or Bristol. You think Gatwick is bad, try & get out of Atlanta. It took us almost 3 hours!! Security since 9/11 no doubt, but we ended up in hysterical laughter coming out from there. Getting back would have been even funnier, if we weren't all so pi***d off, with their antics, even though they probably would have missed a terrorist! Apologies to any Americans reading this - I love the States, and this wouldn't put me off - I'd just have to have a few more drinks of the alchoholic nature, before embarking on their airport. BTW Good review Teresa xx
  • Andy.mack published 15/09/2004
    I always use Gatwick but then that's cause there is a train straight from my local station to there and i'm lazy as hell and cant be arsed to chance trains
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Product Information : London Gatwick, LGW

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City: London

Type: Airport


Listed on Ciao since: 25/06/2000