This is our review of the No 1 Lounge in the South Terminal at London Gatwick Airport.
It is now just over four months until the big terminal switch at Gatwick. On 25th January 2017, British Airways will move overnight from the North Terminal to the South Terminal. easyJet will move across to the North Terminal, consolidating their entire operation under one roof for the first time.
British Airways is building a brand new lounge complex in Gatwick South for status and premium passengers.
If you are travelling in economy without BA status, you won’t be getting in. The good news is that No 1 Lounges opened a brand new facility in Gatwick South in February. You can get access to this using a Priority Pass (with American Express Platinum or bought outright) or Lounge Club (two free entries with American Express Gold) card. You can also buy passes directly on the No 1 Lounge website.
Last week I went on holiday to Croatia to spend a week on the gorgeous island of Vis (I will spare you a review of my independent 2* hotel, with a bed so bad I spent one night sleeping on the floor).
Flying Norwegian from Gatwick South to Split, we decided to give the new No 1 Lounge a try. We bought access for cash and No 1 Lounges was not involved in this review in any way.
The No 1 lounge is located upstairs next to Dixons. You need to walk along a hallway to reach the reception desk.
The first thing you notice is the size – this is substantially bigger than the old No 1 Lounge at Gatwick South – and different sitting arrangements.
The middle bit is the restaurant:
…. and next to the table area is the bar where you can order drinks and food.
There were nuts, apples and cakes for self service. All other food had to be ordered from a menu at the bar.
There were two coffee machines and a good tea selection in the lounge.
At the far end of the lounge were very comfy sofas.
The lounge also has a meeting room where kids under the age of 12 are not allowed.
This is the TV room.
The work area in the No 1 lounge has got two desktop Macs:
The food menu very good and the dishes were freshly prepared. If you have got enough time, this definitely makes for a great lounge experience. However if you are under time pressure you may find the wait annoying – during busy times you will need to wait 10-15 minutes for your food.
As our flight was delayed (good old Norwegian) we had enough time to try almost the whole menu ……
The spinach and ricotta pasta shell was delicious, but the portion size was more starter than main.
…… that’s why I also tried the superfood salad mezze with quinoa. If you like healthy food, this is my recommendation.
Here is the full food menu (click to enlarge).
The No 1 lounge at London Gatwick’s South Terminal is a great way to start your holiday. The atmosphere was very calming and relaxing and the food quality was great. I think British Airways passengers without lounge access will be pleasantly surprised by what they find here after 25th January.
The only thing that could get annoying when the lounge is busier is the queue at the bar and the time you have to wait for your food to arrive. In order to make the most of it the lounge, I recommend arriving at least 90 minutes prior to departure.
You can find out more, and buy entry passes, on the No 1 website here.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.