Review: No. 1 Lounge at London Gatwick North terminal

This is my review of the No 1 Lounge at Gatwick airport, in the North Terminal.

This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

I was in Gatwick on Monday, taking a British Airways flight to Amsterdam.

The BA lounge facilities at Gatwick are a bit of a sorry state.  It used to be literally twice the size as BA originally had the ground floor as well as the first floor.  The current small lounge – almost embarrassingly small on the First Class side – hasn’t even had a ‘Galleries’ facelift and still trades as ‘Terraces’.

This is the entirety of the First Class lounge.  I was standing against the back wall and you can see the other wall at the far end.  It doesn’t get any wider at the top either!

British Airways First lounge Gatwick

I decided to give the No 1 Lounge downstairs a try.  I got access via the Priority Pass that comes with my American Express Platinum card (see my review).  You can also get in via the free Lounge Club passes that come with the American Express Gold card.  Or, of course, you could pay – but not on the door as its £30 ….

These pictures are not great.  They make the lounge appear dark, when actually it is incredibly light because of the huge windows – which is why my phone decided to compensate and make the pictures dark ….!

Here are the key points:

The lounge is very big as you can see (oldies will remember the size from when BA used this as its lounge)

There is huge amounts of light

There are lots of different seating areas

There is a spa (not pictured, not free)

There is a small cinema showing childrens films

There is also a small kids playroom with beanbags (not pictured)

There is a full length bar.  Not all drinks are free although, given it was early morning, I didn’t investigate too much.

Like the BA lounges at Gatwick, there is some cold food on a buffet with hot food available to order.  Your first hot dish is free with a £4 charge after that.  I wasn’t there long enough to order any food unfortunately.

No 1 Traveller Gatwick bar 1 review

No 1 Traveller Gatwick lounge 2 review

No 1 Traveller Gatwick lounge 5 review

No 1 Traveller Gatwick cinema 3 review

No 1 Traveller Gatwick cinema 4 review

No 1 Traveller Gatwick lounge 6 review

My pictures do not really do it justice.  I do recommend that you give it a try next time you are in Gatwick North even if you have BA lounge access as well!

I am especially keen to try it out with my kids as the main BA Terraces lounge did not have much to keep them occupied last time we were there.

No 1 Lounges is also in Gatwick South but I have not seen that one.  I should also say – to give a full picture – that there I have had numerous reports of HFP readers with a Priority Pass being refused access at busy times, as well as reports of the ‘3 hour maximum visit’ rule being enforced with staff asking passengers to leave.   (If your flight is delayed, you are allowed to stay beyond 3 hours on payment of an additional fee.)

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Comments

  1. Geoggy says:

    If Gatwick South is where the Virgin V Room is the No 1 Traveller lounge there is not as impressive as North, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the pathetic V Room

  2. Are all BA flights from the North Terminal? If so might use this on a a BA economy to MLE

  3. Fidelityutensils says:

    Can’t remember what it’s called, but this bears a similarity to the Lounge I stumbled upon at Stanstead when I was last there (a little bit earlier than I had planned) a couple of weeks ago – I too was pleasantly surprised!

    • Yes that will be the No.1 Traveller at STN that you visited.

      Not as impressive as LGW North but a million times better than the Servisair offering!

      • Pierre says:

        There’s no Servisair lounge left at STN unfortunately…the only remaining lounge is the No1 Stansted, close by Gate 49. good to unwind, comfy seating, and handy when you have no choice but to use Ryanair

        • Glad to hear the STN Servisair lounge has finally gone as it was grim.

  4. It’s a much, much better facility than the BA one above, halving the capacity whilst increasing the number of flights was only ever going to have one result

    I was lucky to get anywhere to sit in the BA lounge, I think we literally got the only free table left, which of course was still covered with the previous customers crisp bags etc by his was at 3ish PM on a Saturday afternoon too, so you can imagine what it’s like when the final domestics are due to go out on a Friday night!

    On the other hand, as you say, the No1 lounge is a true haven in comparison, actually offers hot food options, and IME of my last fee times there trying both, most importantly, far less busy and therefore more relaxing

    The No1 will be my first port of call on any future LGW jaunts, I think Id rather be in the main terminal than scrabbling about trying to find somewhere to sit in the BA lounge whilst the masses throng around you also looking for somewhere to lay their bags

  5. Geoff Richards says:

    The South version is nowhere near as good. It’s long but thin, and split across two levels. There’s less food, NO magazine rack, and definitely no kids cinema etc etc

    I haven’t tried other options but as a Priority Pass holder, No 1 North or (almost) don’t bother. Never had access issues but only been there 2 or 3 times.

    • Geoff Richards says:

      Of course, using either lounge is kinda funny when you’re flying EasyJet but with Priority Pass there’s no restriction. Works in Luton too!

  6. Andrew says:

    Raffles, I’m glad you liked the lounge but I’m afraid on the one occasion I used it I was far from impressed.

    First of all, they don’t guarantee access for Priority Pass cardholders unless you pre-book some form of additional service i.e. overpriced champage/spa treatment.

    Secondly, when I visited the only food you could get for free was cheese on toast.

    Thirdly, the coke is dispensed from a Subway-esque dispenser. The dispenser doesn’t have an ice function and on request at the bar ice was reluctantly given but a request for a can was refused (despite them being in their fridge).

    I will be interested to hear other people’s thoughts.

    • Andrew – I agree with you on this. Last month my wife and I went to the BA lounge in the North Terminal. It was quite busy initially (although we found some window seats) but it emptied after a couple of flight calls and we thought it perfectly all right with a reasonable selection of food (regularly replaced) over the lunch time period. It was quiet too.

      Later I thought we would try the No1 Lounge. It was bursting at the seams – although we found a couple of seats after wandering around the entire area. I didn’t think the food offerings were at all comparable with the BA Lounge. There was quite a bit of clutter about and it was noisy with boisterous children around.

      It may just be that it is a function of the number of ppl in the lounges. Raffles pictures provide an inviting impression of the No1 Lounge – it certainly wasn’t like that when we were there!

  7. Susan says:

    Was in new EDI No 1 last week – much more comfortable and tastier (if more limited) food than the BA lounge it replaced – and would probably choose it over the new BA lounge too. Please do report back on the new Aspire lounge where the old servisair used to be.

    • It’s vastly improved, Susan! I was there yesterday and the first (main) part of their two part revamp is complete – better food and drinks (incl soup) and massively more modern decor. We’re pretty spoilt for choice on the lounge front in EDI now 🙂

      On the No 1 front – I also visited their Birmingham one recently, very nice too.

  8. It’s a much, much better facility than the BA one above, halving the capacity whilst increasing the number of flights was only ever going to have one result

    I was lucky to get anywhere to sit in the BA lounge, I think we literally got the only free table left, which of course was still covered with the previous customers crisp bags etc this was at 3ish PM on a Saturday afternoon too, so you can imagine what it’s like when the final domestics are due to go out on a Friday night!

    On the other hand, as you say, the No1 lounge is a true haven in comparison, actually offers hot food options, and IME of my last three times there trying both, most importantly, far less busy and therefore more relaxing

    The No1 will be my first port of call on any future LGW jaunts, I think Id rather be in the main terminal than scrabbling about trying to find somewhere to sit in the BA lounge whilst the masses throng around you also looking for somewhere to lay their bags

  9. Agree completely – love the No.1 lounge there. The breakfast pancakes are particularly fine!

    When at North terminal, with BA status and Priority Pass membership one has the choice of the BA lounge, No.1 and a Servis lounge. Somehow the Servis lounge manages to be even worse than the BA one (dark, dingy, tiny and with the grumpiest staff I’ve met in a while).

    The No.1 lounge is a breath of fresh air…

  10. It looks similar to No 1 Heathrow which the kids and I really enjoyed.

    There are worse places you could be – Serivsair Heathrow T1 comes to mind 😉

  11. It’s certainly very good and, above all, personally speaking, relaxing, unlike many other lounges. There was definitely a reasonable assortment of food available when I was there a few weeks ago for breakfast. As I say though, for me the relaxation is important and one of the best spots for me is the almost solitary table on the left, as you walk in, in front of the TV. It’s almost like a personal seating area!

  12. Chris says:

    Don’t think it was kids movies in the cinema last time I was in. Dare I say it but it was “adult” movies

  13. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I’ve been turned away from South because they were full. Seems that you need to time your arrival away from the waves of EZY departures.

  14. We have been in the No1 Lounge LGW north the last 2 trips the first was great and I would agree with Raffles, but on the second we had a bacon roll and headed to the BA lounge upstairs as it was dirty and the staff were at least abrupt going on rude.

  15. Chris says:

    We tried to access this lounge recently, rocked up with our Lounge Pass cards courtesy of Amex Gold. The lady on reception instead pointed us down the corridor to the other lounge, Servisair I think. Will try harder to get into this one in the future, looks much better!

  16. Cosmo74 says:

    Foodwise, the No1 Lounge at Gatwick is better than the BA lounge by far. I actually prefer the No1 Lounge in the south terminal – the food seemed a bit more extensive and they give you small bottles of water there rather than just glasses. They also serve delicious chocolate brownies in both. In the north terminal you can at least easily visit both lounges if you have the privileges – stop off for a spot of food at the No 1 then head up to the BA lounge for a better glass of wine.

  17. Craig says:

    Thanks Raffles for directing people away from the First Class BA lounge, so that when I’m there there’s more space for me! 😀

  18. simon says:

    I have always liked the Terrace lounge at Gatwick North. On the occasion I passed through without access to it, I used the No.1 which is fine but the wifi is terrible. Also the snack options are inferior in my humble opinion.

  19. signol says:

    I was there a couple of years ago, it was certainly also good then! http://signol.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/sa2011-take-2-lightning-and-lost.html?m=1

  20. Chris D says:

    Amusingly, I got ‘trapped’ in the BA stairwell a couple of weeks ago. The stairs heading to BA’s former downstairs level are still open, and the signs about a downstairs level are still there, so I headed on down in search of bliss – only to find the door locked behind me, and the No 1 Traveller lounge also firmly locked!

    I ended up having to catch someone’s eye in the BA lounge to get back in!

  21. danksy says:

    I do prefer the no. 1 lounge at gatwick to the servisair offer. It can get very busy with people with children at peak times though. I was a bit narked on my last visit when I had to wait nearly an hour while two kids were playing around with the Macs… I was desperate to confirm a hotel booking prior to departure and my phone had died!

    The drinks are free apart from the champagne, they have a dedicated barman so it’s not help yourself!!

  22. littlefish says:

    Tricky one. I tend to find the BA lounges fine during the times I typically visit. Yes, on Saturdays they get busy before the Caribbean depatures and there are some peaks during the week too. The big downer is the removal of any half-decent food at around 14:45 (or was it 14:15?).
    When I had access, the LGW F lounge was never overbusy, so I’ve always liked it and found service prompt and good.
    Did investigate No1. Its good too. Lucky to have 3 pretty decent lounges at LGW N. So I’d definitely try No1 again during the BA ‘no-food’ windows, or if its looking quiet when the BA club lounge is busy.

  23. Actually, for food options, I had the opposite experience. We were there for breakfast, and we were only allowed one free order of hot food, so we went for pancakes, which were clearly just microwaved from a packet. As hard as concrete. Tables were not cleaned, we had to clear the dishes ourselves. I had some cheese and biscuits, then left to go to the BA lounge. Much better food. Fruit salad was fresh, nice hot croissants and pain au chocolat. OK, the lounge furniture needs a bit of updating but at least it wasn’t grubby like the No.1 lounge.

  24. Waribai says:

    Yes, during the busy school holidays, the No. 1 lounge at LGW North gets packed. They do have ice though. There is a machine at the end of the drinks counter!

  25. There is a very good No. 1 lounge at BXH, we used it with our comp lounge club admissions via the Amex Gold charge card.
    Also, if you had and cancelled an Amex Gold keep the lounge club card, it is preloaded with 2 visits and doesn’t expire.

  26. Maximus says:

    I was in the LGW Terraces Lounge this morning. Admittedly early at 6.00am on a Sunday, but the lounge was very quiet, the food more than adequate and a good experienced overall.

    I suspect it is far less enjoyable at busy times and when we were leaving, it was starting to get busier.

  27. Col A-B says:

    Looks like No 1 Traveller is expanding (downwards?) which will hopefully help alleviate pressure on the original LGWN lounge.

    https://bookmylounge.com/

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