This is our review of the Regus Express business lounge at London Gatwick’s South Terminal.
Is Regus Express a ‘proper’ airport lounge? It depends. If you tend to use an airport lounge to work or drink coffee, it does the trick. If you’re looking for a meal, alcohol, spa treatments, newspapers etc then it really isn’t a suitable alternative.
Importantly, Regus Express airport lounges are available via DragonPass. They are not part of Priority Pass or Lounge Club, but if you have DragonPass access via NatWest or Barclays then this is an option for you.
Note that you can often get a free 1-hour pass for Regus Express by logging in at the MyGatwick website. We wrote about MyGatwick here.
The Regus Express airport network is growing. As well at Gatwick South, you will find them landside in Heathrow Terminal 5 (very small), Heathrow Terminal 2 and Heathrow Terminal 3 (not been in, but it looked small when I saw it during construction). There is also a Regus Express at Birmingham Airport.
Here is an official PR picture of Regus Gatwick:
Why was I at the Regus Express at Gatwick South?
I was in Crawley to speak at a Virgin Atlantic management conference. This was done and dusted by noon, but there was little point in heading into the City when I live in the other direction. Spending the afternoon doing some work at Gatwick Airport made more sense, allowing me to hop on a train to Victoria in the evening and then walk home.
I had one DragonPass lounge access voucher via the (now expired) £7.80 RED By Dufry lounge pass offer we covered in January. As it happened, the reception desk was unmanned when I arrived so my pass was never scanned and it lives to be redeemed another day! You may see a review of another Regus lounge soon.
Where is Regus Express at Gatwick South?
Regus is situated on the lower level, directly opposite the Yotel Gatwick hotel entrance. From the train station, you need to head towards the lifts next to Costa Coffee and head down. It is well signed.
The lounge is open from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. It is NOT open at weekends.
What is inside the lounge?
Here are some shots of the communal working area. However, the lounge is a LOT bigger than this. Regus makes its real money from renting out the 11 meeting rooms.
There are even some showers in the lounge, which isn’t something I was expecting!
Here is the reception area:
If you imagine that you stand in same spot but look forwards, you can see the refreshment area:
and if you look to your right you have the main hot-desking area:
There is actually a lot more work space – but no one uses it. There is an area by the windows here:
and, as you can see to the left of the picture above, some more seating in the centre.
The reason no-one uses this is glare. You have light through the large windows and, at the table, you have electric light shining down at you. Unless you have a matte laptop screen, you can’t read anything.
This is why everyone who came in during my time there ended up working in the area at the back of the room …..
Regus Express at Gatwick has free food!
This was the first time that I had ever been in a Regus with free snacks:
It’s not a meal, to put it mildly, but it is far more than they usually offer. It was enough to mean that I didn’t need to run back up to the terminal at any point during the five hours I was there.
There is also a capsule-operated coffee machine and a pot of filter coffee.
As you can see from my pictures, Regus has (finally) learned a few lessons about good interior design. It’s just a shame that most of the seating areas are unusable on a sunny day due to glare.
There is no reason to come here instead of a departure lounge if you are flying. Most people would prefer to get through security first, knowing that they can relax with no risk of missing their flight.
If you want somewhere to work during the day before a late evening flight, or perhaps somewhere to work for a few hours after landing into Gatwick, it is a good option. It is a very quiet and calm environment with good wi-fi and work-suitable desks and chairs.
You can get in with a DragonPass lounge club card or, of course, with a suitable Regus card. I assume that you can also pay as you go although I couldn’t find any detailed pricing. You can find out more about the centre here.
Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card, although none of them will get you into Gatwick’s Regus Express business lounge:
Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here. You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here.
You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here. The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much. Additional visits are charged at £20 per person. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. No annual fee in Year 1. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course). The card has an annual 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.