British Airways to move to Gatwick South Terminal in November 2016

British Airways announced yesterday that it will be moving its operation at London Gatwick to the South Terminal in November 2016.

This move has been on the cards for some time.  It has been driven by easyJet – the biggest airline at Gatwick – which wanted to operate its flights from one terminal.  easyJet will now consolidate all of its flights in the North Terminal with British Airways relocating.  (An interesting question is whether easyJet will now start selling connecting flights via Gatwick.)

This is not terrible news, to be honest.  For a start, anyone arriving at Gatwick by train will no longer have to take the monorail to the North Terminal.  It will also be nearer to the long-stay parking.  The walk to the gates is also likely to be shorter.

Gatwick South

It will also allow British Airways to invest in new lounges to replace the frankly shoddy effort – compared to its Heathrow siblings – that currently exists.  I wrote about my previous visit to the British Airways First lounge at Gatwick here.  The wording of the internal announcement yesterday spoke of ‘lounge’ rather than ‘lounges’ so it is possible that there will be just one combined lounge for all passengers.

I am positive about this move, especially as it shows the long-term commitment of British Airways to Gatwick.  The heavy competition from easyJet on short-haul will hopefully lead to an investment in high quality facilities.

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Comments

  1. Not sure I would agree that this is a positive move. It may have some benefits but it demonstrates the sad decline of BA at Gatwick. At one stage it had the North Terminal to itself and if my memory serves me, it was built for them originally to keep the scheduled operation separate from the charter flights. Services to Africa, Asia and the USA have all gone! Given the pictures posted on flyertalk yesterday of a rather disgusting First cabin you have to wonder where BA is going in general let alone at Gatwick.

  2. Darren Appanah says:

    I wish they would reinstate the internal flights between Manchester and Gatwick. Flights from LGW are generally cheaper than LHR and I miss being able to connect from MAN.

    • Can't Sleep says:

      It’s still possible to fly from Gatwick to Manchester, you just have to connect in Dublin, Belfast or Newquay…

      I did the latter recently, and you save on APD too!

      Not for everyone though as it’s still a long journey and only one rotation to Manchester a day, but it is the same aircraft as on the Gatwick leg. Still waiting to find out if I should have had to pay the airport development fee though.

      • Latter implies the second of two options… did you mean LGW-NQY-MAN? Why would that save you APD?

        • Can't Sleep says:

          No APD due on Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes, i.e. LGW-MAN,
          combined with…
          APD rules stating that if the route is a connection and the first leg is PSO, APD is also wavied on the subsequent route. This may (I’m not sure) only be the case where the same aircraft is used on both legs. I wasn’t charged APD, but it was the same aircraft. The connection was also same day.

          My understanding of the rules are that the reverse routing should also be exempt but it seems to get added by the computer when I priced it up.

          • My understanding is only two legs are permitted with RFS redemptions. As I am only an Avios spender and not collector with BA such routings would involve more than one redemption, separate tickets, painfully long total journey times etc. etc. The BA Gatwick routes are for all intents and purposes are cut off from the second largest connurbaton in the UK.

            It would be better to close BA’s Gatwick, mostly leisure, operation and move it to Manchester. Northerners are great leisure flyers. The option of popping over the Channel is not an option to us and the weather correspondingly worse than the lower latitudes. Plus there is a direct BA connection to Heathrow :)

          • Since BA doesn’t fly those indirect routings it’s academic anyway. I guess Can’t Sleep is flying at least the onward leg to Manchester with an airline other than BA. Does BA even fly LGW-NQY these days?

          • Can't Sleep says:

            BA don’t fly this route, only Flybe does. It does codeshare with BA on the NQY LGW legs but that doesn’t make it relavent to RFS.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Agreed. No MAN-LGW connection means my business (esp Caribbean) goes elsewhere.

  3. Can't Sleep says:

    Certainty an improvement on the lounge offering is overdue, including more space. The F lounge is always packed, but frankly I’m erring on the side of caution as I expect the BA accountants will do their magic and use it as an opportunity to rationalise.

    I agee that the removal of the landside transit will be good…have sometimes missed my trains due to ‘system testing’ on that thing. Its not a monorail though – it has three rails rather than one. It’s a tracked transit system, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_Innovia_APM_100

  4. Way Off Topic says:

    I know I am way off topic but this site seems to be the place to get factual helpful info…….

    Has anybody had problems doing a balance transfer from IHG Black rewards card….I had a problem 6 months ago with it and it took 6 weeks doing the transfer as Halifax wouldn’t recognise the card number, yet again this time as I try avoid the £99 annual fee, I cant balance transfer as Santander cant recognise the card BIN code? Barclays seems oblivious and are sending a new card but two weeks later I still can’t do a balance transfer and I’v passed the annual fee mark albeit the fee hasn’t appeared yet? Anybody else has balance transfer problems on this card?

    • Blenz101 says:

      You may be better asking the question over in the forums of MoneySavingExpert.com where you will likely get a quick response or may be able to search for similar experiences.

      I’m pretty sure the vast majority of the readership here do not maintain a rolling balance on their reward credit cards as the cost of balance transfer fees and interest would quickly eat up the value of any ‘points’ earned.

      Please don’t take the above as a snipe at how your run your finances but just a suggestion on where you may find a wider audience who use credit cards in the way you describe.

      • Way Off Topic says:

        I don’t take it as a snip! I agree I’m moving my balance to a 0% card which has a 0% transfer fee (Santander) so it costs me nothing to move my balance and keeps my money earning interest for longer! Otherwise your right churning cards but paying interest means im buying points not earning them!

        • Aziz Tarafder says:

          Hi

          Had the same issue with Santander. Raised a formal complaint and the complaints guys resolved it by paying the generic bank account and sort code. Seems to be caused by some over zealous validation processes at santander’s end.

          • Way Off Topic says:

            Thanks:) That’s what I like about this site somebody almost always has a good pointer

      • I maintain about £40,000 on my balance transfer cards at 0% and have done so for about 5-6 years since I started getting approved with high limits.

        A 3% BT fee is fine when the BT is for 2 years and you can earn 3% per year with the money. Now that you can’t earn 3% per year (because I already maxed out all banks and building societies, I only apply for card with fees of 1.5% or less, of which there are many.

        I’ve never paid a penny in interest to a credit card.

  5. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    North terminal has the superior No1 lounge though! Perhaps BA thought it was suppressing CE sales :p

    • Andrew S says:

      Slightly OT – but i noticed the No1 lounge has been dropped by priority pass in Stanstead recently… lets hope its not onthe cards at Gatwick.

  6. Well as someone who frequently used Flybe from South Terminal, abhorre the place. Now admittedly they have done an awful lot of work recently on it including ripping down the bike sheds that were used for domestic flights and they are sorting out all the retail area, but the whole place is just overcrowded.

    Without being a snob either, the retail is geared up for different tastes. North terminal has cafe rouge and Jamie’s italian. South terminal has Macdonalds..

    Security can be better at South terminal as its all computer controlled and tells you which queue to join, but the priority security BA had in the North Terminal was amazing and I also liked their new checkin area they built only a few years ago.

    I have flown BA from Gatwick for a long time and remember the lounge being on two floors with a larger First lounge and walking over the bridge to wait for flights one of many flights sat waiting to push back from there.

    • Completely agree. North Terminal has a much nicer less crowded feel to it especially the BA F check in area. The F&B choices along with the retail options are vastly superior to the South Terminal. Also if you opt for the Premium car park, it’s a 2 minute walk to the check in area!

    • I think the shops will be changed around as well. Certain retailers want the BA crowd and others want the easyJet crowd so you may see some swapping over.

      • Is there really a BA crowd now? Anyone thinking BA is the posh option is misguided.

        • You have a lot of passengers on the Caribbean long-hauls. I would guess, in general, that the average age of a BA short-haul passenger is older and therefore wealthier and with different tastes in clothing etc than an easyJet short-haul passenger, ex Gatwick.

        • Aeronaut says:

          I’d switch that around and say presuming easyJet passengers are all Rab C Nesbit types in string vests (or rather their southern cockney/mockney equivalents) off to Magaluf/Shagaluf is rather out of date, if in fact that was ever that accurate.

          Plenty of well off folks can be found on easyjet flights nowadays – not everyone’s playing the frequent flyer miles game after all. That said, I’d think leisure flyers off on holiday to the Caribbean are probably a better market for upmarket retail than short haul European flyers (whether on BA or easyJet)

      • Raffles, can you not add a “View online/view in browser” link at the TOP of your emails? Or make the email headline into a link.

        When I receive your emails, I like to quickly click through to your site so I can read comments and open multiple tabs etc.

        With this new system, I have to scroll all the way down, just to get the article on your website.

        Hope this makes sense!

        • That can be fixed. I don’t need the ‘Published on’ bit anymore because I have changed the set-up to show the first paragraph in your email client. I can replace this with a click-through to the online version. Let me look at it.

          From tomorrow, the ‘Click here to comment’ link under the article will take you directly to the comments and not to the top of the page, saving a vital 2 seconds of scrolling time!

  7. I agree about the connection comments – it would be a bonus to have NCL and ABZ reinstated but cannot see this happening. The connection from NCL seems to change every 6 months and this makes it very difficult for early booking – Jet2, blybe, easyjet have all tried operating the route. The connecting bus from Heathrow is very expensive and inevitably you have to build in a nights stay at a hotel in/around LGW too. Hopefully the South Terminal will provide decent facilities (even if BAEC Gold members may have to share a lounge – contentious I know :) ).

  8. BA has shown us their approach to easyJet competition at Gatwick. Instead of trying to be the higher quality operator they’re cutting costs to shave a few pence off the fare.

    Their ‘new’ A320s are cast offs from the likes of Wizzair and although being refurbished they’re squeezing more seats in than they do at LHR. This means no wardrobe at the front of CE and I believe no bulkhead wall (just like easyJet).

    The only chance you’ll see a major improvement to the lounges is if the airport funds it on the condition that the facility is of a standard similar to LHR. Gatwick wants to be seen as a serious competitor to LHR so may fund the lounges as part of a deal to get BA to agree with the move.

    • Given the reduced legroom in CE, the lack of bulkhead wall at the front is probably a good thing – at least there are a couple of seats at the front which will have plenty of space to stretch out if you can bag them.

    • Cheshire Pete says:

      I used to enjoy the front row but there are two issues now for me with the new config.

      As you say less wardrobe room and they don’t even take your coat anymore, so if on the front row you have to stuff it in the overheads assuming you get there before they fill up,

      I usually have just a small bag so need overhead in front row. But in the new Config they amazingly designate the first locker over row 1 as Crewe only, and with nowhere else to stow stuff if lockers are full your a bit stuffed.

      On one flight in December Inwas on row 1 but had to put my two shopping bags back on row 10. The reduced space in th front row is made worse by the changes and the fact more people are saving money by bringing on board hard cased carry on.

      Purely so I know I can have me personal carry on bag (small) Next to me I’m now not going to bother using Row 1 as what’s the point when you have to walk 10 rows back to recover your bag. If you can get back through the scrum when at the arrival gate.

      So little thought has gone into the new layout and those bland Grey walls are so depressing anyway!

      • It’s for those reasons you describe that I always book a seat in row 3. A good chance of overhead luggage space (compared to row 1) and also you will be served your drink at the same time as row 1. Short haul BA flights have a big problem with lack of overhead bin space now that BA charge for check in.

  9. Cheshire Pete says:

    Agree with the 2 posters above, MAN needs a direct connection into the BA hub here, or it doesn’t interest me at all using their services from there. I have 2 ALC bookings in the system but that is it, and when Iberia start their MAN service to MAD this year I’ll be using that route and not LGW anymore.

    I often wonder when BA did the apparent business justification for pulling the route did they factor in passengers transferring onto more expensive routes now don’t do this anymore. I used to do MCO every year, now I go direct from MAN with other carriers.

  10. Andrew S says:

    I always found the lounge staff to be very good, but a little embarassed by their facilities. I made some comments via the SMS survey after secuity and it must have come through onto the lounge ipad as special services found me to understand my comments.

    Lets just hope some hot food arrives in the new lounge!

  11. One of the several reasons that I’m disinclined to fly with BA from Gatwick is having the Swissport shower make you wait ages for bag collection, which has happened to us several times (the last occasion being 1hr40!).

    Any news on that front?

  12. For me and her indoors walking from the Sofitel directly to security having checked our bags in the night before is a definite bonus so I will miss this convenience.
    It was also a big disappointment when they closed the arrivals lounge in the Sofitel saying there would be improvements as a result. Ha ha!
    And I agree the first lounge is so poor.

  13. I guess the parking prices will swap too?! Last week was £50 more expensive in North short stay than South.

    • Aeronaut says:

      Cripes! Catching the inter-terminal transit train really isn’t that much of a hassle.

      • …and about 3 minutes…

        • I do actually despair of some of the people here. It’s a short hop from T1 to T2. About 3 mins on the triple-rail plus a couple of mins waiting, maybe.

          So why would a person/ loser think there’s much difference between T1 & T2 & facilities etc?

          They are about 5 mins apart…

          • Can't Sleep says:

            3 mins when its running normally.
            There has been a few times now where they’ve only had one track running making the wait at 5 mins between shuttles.

            When I arrive on a late running BA flight, walk the long walk to arrivals or endure the bus transfer (waiting for all pax to get off the aircraft) and know that you’ve ten minutes to make your train else its a 40 minute wait for the next one, an additional 3-5 minutes on the transit can and has, made the final difference to making it.

          • Can't Sleep says:

            And when I say “walk the long walk”, in reality I’m often running.

  14. And with this change, the return of an Arrivals Lounge?

    We can dream…