The British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick South is a relatively new lounge, opened when BA completed its move from Gatwick’s North Terminal in January 2017. It can be accessed by BA and Oneworld passengers flying in business class, as well as BA Exec Club Silver and Gold (Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald) frequent flyers traveling on a Oneworld flight. Here’s our honest review of our visit to this lounge.
While the lounge is well signposted in the terminal, it’s easy to take a wrong turn after security and end-up lost. After clearing security, the lounge is located by following the passageway to the left – don’t go down the staircase to the duty free shops. Emerging on the first floor of the main terminal, you follow the walkway around the left of the balcony and into a small doorway between the JD Sports and Dixons shops. Head to the lift just past the entrance to No1 Lounge and Clubrooms, then go up one floor to the BA lounge. Don’t be put off by the claustrophobic hospital corridor, follow the “Lounges” sign and you’ll be rewarded.
Arriving at front desk for the British Airways Club Lounge Gatwick, we were immediately struck by the decor and lighting – it looked like the reception of a high-end boutique hotel. There was no queue when we arrived.
A British Airways host welcomed us, scanned our boarding cards and signalled for us to walk to the right to enter the Club Lounge. The First Lounge is located to the left. Read our review of the British Airways First Lounge Gatwick here.
This BA lounge is reserved for Oneworld passengers only. If you’re looking for paid lounges at Gatwick, have a read of our Gatwick paid lounge reviews.
The seating in the British Airways Club Lounge Gatwick was vast, separated into different zones, and spread across two floors. On the main floor was a combination of dining seats, booths, high tables with bar stools, and low lounge armchairs with coffee tables. More armchairs could be found on the mezzanine floor, along with high benches and stools. The main and mezzanine floors were linked by a centrepiece spiral staircase.
For those wanting to rest ahead of their flight, there weren’t any sleeping cabanas or low-lit areas. That said, there were 3-seater sofas in various positions around the lounge, and the mezzanine floor is customarily very quiet.
Score: 6/10 – While diners, socialisers, and workers are taken care of, those wanting some shut-eye will feel underserved in this lounge.
The lounge was pretty busy when we visited, although there was still ample seating for any new arrivals, so finding a seat wasn’t a problem. Based on our experiences across several visits, seats in front of the panoramic windows tend to the be the most sought after, particularly during daylight hours. However, the sheer size and layout of this lounge ensures it seldom feels packed.
Buffet food is provided in the lounge and what’s on offer varies with the time of day.
In the morning, you can expect a hot buffet breakfast with all the components for a full English. Toast gets served on the hotplate to avoid passengers setting off the smoke alarms. Cereals, fruit, yoghurt and juices are found on the cold buffet.
At lunchtime the hot buffet switches to a selection of pasta, chilli con carne or curry, and baked potatoes. Meanwhile, the cold buffet offers salads and sandwiches, as well as cheese, biscuits and chutney.
Afternoon means afternoon tea, so if you’re in the lounge between 15:00 and 18:00, expect to see scones with jam and clotted cream, Victoria sponge and finger sandwiches. Be sure to wash it down some champagne!
In the evening, the food reverts to the same choices available at lunchtime.
We were in the lounge from late afternoon into early evening, so indulged in the afternoon tea, then sneaked a light evening snack before we boarded. We definitely didn’t need to eat on the plane!
For us, the bar was the greatest feature of BA’s Gatwick Club Lounge. Along one wall was a never-ending bar, topped with spirits available for us to free-pour and make cocktails of our choice (Bloody Marys, of course). Beneath them were fridges filled with mixers (including Fever-Tree), beers, and soft drinks. All the ingredients were present for us to make good Bloody Marys and White Russians.
Moving along, there were 3 red wines on offer. A Rioja, a Bordeaux, and a Pinot Noir. If we’re lucky, there might even be a bottle of a Californian Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir available.
The sweeping, landmark island bar in the centre housed the chilled white wines – again, a selection of 3 – as well as bottles of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne. We didn’t get on so well with the previous Castelnau Reserve champagne and are pleased it has been replaced by Nicolas Feuillatte.
To ensure everyone stayed well hydrated chilled still and sparkling Highland Spring mineral water completed the selection on the centre bar.
There were tea and coffee machines positioned in various alcoves around the lounge, including the mezzanine level.
Toilets and Showers
We’ve found the toilets in the Club lounge to be quiet and always looking and smelling fresh. Elemis Revitalise-Me botanicals hand wash and moisturiser ensured we walked out with a pleasant, lingering aroma. We also found accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
There are five showers in the lounge. Each shower room was large, well-lit with modern fittings, and the cubicle had both an overhead rain shower and regular shower head. They were kitted out with Elemis Spa body wash, shampoo and moisturisers, and a hair dryer. Fresh towels were handed out by the attendant.
WiFi, Power & Productivity
BA lounge Wi-Fi was available and was accessed with a password. The password is available through the BA app or there are multiple signs around the lounge. If you can’t find it, ask the reception staff who will be able to help you. On our early evening visit, speeds were clocked at 10 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up.
For those hoping to charge-up, and who’ve not had the best experiences doing so in British Airways’ Heathrow lounges, the situation is far better at the BA Club Lounge Gatwick. Being a much newer lounge, BA have ensured there’s ample charging no matter where in the lounge you’re sat. The low lounge chairs that dominate the seating space in the lounge have two mains power sockets and 2 USB ports beneath the shared side tables. The high tables in the dining area also have sockets, as do the booths towards the entrance. While we wouldn’t take calls around the low lounge seating areas, or on the mezzanine, there were plenty of other areas around the lounge where we could comfortable sit and have a phone call.
British Airways Club Lounge Gatwick is great for workers. There have been several occasions when one or both of us has arrived at the airport with work to complete before the flight. The lounge has a dedicated office area with a bank of office-style desks, which are loaded with sockets. It doesn’t have any natural light, but is brightly lit. We usually opt to work on the high benches, as they’re located in a number of optimum areas in the lounge, yet still have the necessary sockets. There’s a whole bank of these along the window at the far end of the lounge that offer views out of the window while you’re working.
This is the section where lounges can pick-up bonus points for doing something a little different that improves the airport experience for passengers.
We thought the fairground popcorn machine was a nice touch. Not only were the kids enjoying it, but many of the adult guests were also embracing their inner kid and scooping themselves a cup.
Overall, we’ve really enjoyed our many visits to the British Airways Club Lounge Gatwick. The lounge is well-appointed, both in terms of its décor and outlook onto Gatwick’s sole runway. It’s bright and roomy, while also affording you a little area of your own to be comfortable in. The food is slightly above average for a lounge buffet – the hot plates certainly aren’t anything to write home about, although the salads and afternoon tea components make up for it. The bar is fantastic; well-stocked with high-quality beverages and plenty of space to rustle-up a good Bloody Mary. A sign of a good lounge is the presence of several well-serviced showers. BA’s Gatwick Club Lounge shower facilities stood out for us. Finally, it’s a lounge you can work in, while not feeling as though you’re disturbing other guests or working amongst a stag party. We look forward to our next visit.
See more information about the lounge, including opening hours.
Total: 58/70 (83%)