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Something we never knew …. you can use Gatwick’s Signature ELITE Class private jet terminal with ANY airline

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Every so often we cover the various private jet terminals around the country that also, for a fee, can be used by passengers on ‘normal’ commercial flights.

We have previously reviewed the First Class Lounge at London City Airport, which is based in the Jet Centre next door, the Signature ELITE Class terminal at Luton (which easyJet customers can use) and written about the soon-to-be-open PremiAir facility at Manchester Airport.

Boarding your scheduled flight via a private terminal is obviously the way to go if money is no object, with no large, crowded airports to navigate or congested security to endure.  The biggest selling point is probably the chauffeur service that takes you from the small private terminals directly to the aircraft itself – you can forget about moving walkways and slow air trains.

(If you want an idea of how it works, Rob’s review of using the London City private jet terminal before boarding a BA flight gives you a proper feel.)

It turns that you can do something similar at London Gatwick, which came as news to us.

The Signature ELITE Class private terminal at Gatwick has been around since 2009. It is operated by Signature Flight Support, which manage private jet ground handling, fueling and support. It was rebranded as ‘ELITE Class’ in 2014.

Signature Elite Class chauffeur service

Here is what the promotional materials say:

Offering privacy and discretion, the service offers dedicated security, customs and immigration and baggage check-in, and discrete, effortless car transfers to and from the lounge direct to the aircraft.

…… which, despite the lovely new British Airways lounge, sounds a lot better than any other Gatwick experience involving an endless maze of corridors.

The Signature ELITE Class terminal is one of a handful of UK and Caribbean private terminals operated by Signature. In addition to Gatwick and Luton the service is also offered at Barbados, Grenada and Antigua (does BA still let First Class passengers from Barbados check in at the private jet terminal?).

The service is not a bargain, however. At £660 for the first passenger and £310 for further passengers at Gatwick this is not for the price sensitive, especially compared to the £95 per person cost of the London City Airport service.  Compared to the £2750+ Windsor Suite at Heathrow, however, it’s practically pocket money!

We got in touch with Signature last week to clarify their pricing for this article, and they generously offered us a free visit to try it out.  As soon as we find a need to fly from Gatwick we will let you know what it’s like.

You can find out more on the Signature website here.

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Comments

  1. The BA lounges at Gatwick South have been open for two and a half years – not sure I would describe that as new.

  2. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    When are you reviewing the Windsor Suite?

    • I offered to do this – we are doing some sponsored projects for Heathrow at the moment – and they turned it down!

  3. Lorraine turner says:

    We used the jet centre last year on our return from Barbado,
    And we will be using in a couple of weeks when we return again,
    It’s for BA first class and private jets flights only,

  4. The Original David says:

    Are the effortless car transfers discrete or discreet? I wouldn’t trust their attention to detail for the rest of the experience…

  5. Nick Kent says:

    As a hotel reviewer and Secret Sleeper… I am bluntly putting myself selfishly forward to assist in reviewing the service. I’m LGW to BGI on Friday with BA. If a volunteer is required!

    • This is one I’m keeping to myself 😉

    • Have you ever been caught?

      Many years ago, when I did the “Secret Guest” for a major brand, a particularly eager hotel manager worked on cross-referencing reporting and guest data and worked out I was the relevant guest. Obtaining CCTV footage, my photo was circulated to hotels within that group in the North West.

      Retrospectively, there was a definite up tick in the standards. Reception desks always fully manned, extra room cleaning, never a room near lifts or noise, room service always swift, breakfast coffee topped up. Never anything stupid like major room upgrades though.

      One night the Police came crashing into my hotel room at midnight, I was cuffed and taken to be questioned about credit card fraud. The reception staff had confused the “look out for him, he’s a mystery shopper” photo with the “look out for him, he’s a fraudster”…

      That was the end of my time as a “Mystery Guest”. The Hotel Group were incredibly apologetic at what had happened and gave me a very generous points credit though.

    • ankomonkey says:

      I have been a secret eater for a restaurant chain before. How do you become a secret sleeper/guest? Sounds fun, depending on the properties you’re assigned. I’ll take the luxury stuff, my brother can take Brittania and easyHotel…

  6. Diydegsy says:

    We used the Iam Jet centre at Barbados flying first class with BA and it was so easy. Our teenagers who were flying club were not allowed to accompany us but they let us check in their luggage which was helpful and took them over to the main terminal. A downside for some might be that once you leave the centre you can’t come back if you wanted to go duty free shopping etc which we didn’t. Food was only sandwiches, crisps and snacks. Small champagne bottles in the fridge as well as other alcohol available. I would use it again in a hurry as it was so easy but certainly wasn’t advertised by BA which was a shame as some people might miss it.

  7. “We got in touch with Signature last week to clarify their pricing for this article” I assume that was done in a very similar manner to when I e-mailed the Intercontinental on Park Lane to let them know how much I enjoyed my previous visit and that it also happened to be my partner & I’s 10th anniversary on our next visit.

    (Free cocktails, breakfast, and treats in the room; just in case anyone else has an anniversary coming up)

  8. Just to lower the tone, we were slumming it in the Escape lounge in STN this morning. Quite empty. Prosecco on tap, quicker than bottles but admitted it was spumante. Nice all the same. Nearly every table reserved, but were letting lowly folk in to enjoy the experience! Flt to EGC 1 hr late departing, fall out from French ATC problems.

  9. When did they start letting you get driven to the BA flights at LCY? When I’ve used the lounge in the past they only allowed the ‘driven to plane steps’ to all airlines except BA?

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