As frequent flyers, on a short hop to Europe or exploring the far East and West of the Globe, we’re always in search of a bargain to travel in style! The joy of travelling should start from getting to the airport, and we got hooked on the trappings of business class travel and everything that comes with it; lounges, lie-flat beds, food & wine, and free-flowing champagne! We’ve come to realise that traveling in style doesn’t have to break the bank.

Neither of us are millionaires and we’re continually looking to achieve our flying dreams by spending as little cash as we can. Be it a seat sale or miles redemption for reward flights, we tend to let our wallets tell us where we’re going next rather than having a fixed agenda...

So, if you’re looking for flight & accommodation reviews, flight deals, and budget luxury travel tips & tricks then you have come to the right place. Welcome to BoardingGroup.One

There are two British Airways lounges at Gatwick airport. In this blog we’ll be reviewing the First Lounge at Gatwick airport. The First lounge is open to passengers travelling in First class, or passengers holding Executive Club Gold/Emerald status. For Gold cardholders, you are allowed to bring a guest with you. Read more about the merits of getting Gold Executive Club status.

Reception

The entrance to the lounge
The entrance to the lounge

The two British Airways lounges are located at the same place in the terminal and both use the same reception desk. The First lounge is located to the left while the Club lounge is on the right. There were only a couple of people in the queues for the two reception desks when we arrived. We were cordially greeted by the staff at the desk; they are always very friendly. The lounge is open from 05:15 – 20:00 (in the summer), so be aware of this if you are travelling on an evening flight. Winter and summer opening hours for the lounge can be found on the British Airways website. After 20:00 on you can still access the Club Lounge on the other side.
Score: 8/10

Reception at the lounges

Comfort

There is a dining area with table service and varied seating areas in the lounge. From the lounge, there are also really good views of the runway and if you like planes, it’s a great place to watch the planes fly in and out. There is also a little random nook area, which might be good for people who want some privacy. However, we think it’s a bit dark in there so didn’t use that space.

Although there is plenty of seating, the cleanliness was a bit of a problem. There were remnants of plates and glasses from previous passengers that were still not tidied up. It was a while before the staff came over to clean up.
Score: 7/10

The wonderful views of the runway and planes from the British Airways First Lounge at Gatwick
The wonderful views of the runway and planes from the British Airways First Lounge at Gatwick

People traffic

We got to the lounge between 6-7 pm in the evening, and it was fairly quiet then. We sat by the windows to watch the sunset and planes with a glass of champagne. The lounges in Gatwick are a lot calmer when compared to the lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5. The lounges at T5 are usually very spacious but a high volume of people use the lounge, which means it’s sometimes challenging to find a seat. We had no problems finding a good area to sit in the Gatwick British Airways first Lounge.
Score: 8/10

Food Options

There is a large variety of food options, and you have a choice of food from a buffet or food options brought to your table. In the buffet selection there was a variety of fish cakes, pasta, rice, meatballs and soup.

When closing, the staff ushered us out to the Club lounge and on our way out they asked if we wanted to take a piece of cake with us. They mentioned the carrot cake was delicious, so they wrapped a slice to take with us, which was a really nice touch.
Score: 7/10

Beverage Options

Drinks selection at the lounge
Drinks selection at the lounge

There is a large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. There is a self-service bar, with a good selection of red and white wines, and free pour champagne. A large selection of spirits from rums, gins, vodkas to whiskeys are available. They also had all the ingredients you need to make a great tasting Bloody Mary, which is always score bonus points from us!

Score: 8/10

A video of some of the drinks selection

Toilets and Showers

The showers are located on the Club Lounge side. As it was after work on a hot summer’s day, it was useful to have access to the showers. There wasn’t a queue and they were very spacious. Each shower was kitted out with ELEMIS Spa soap, shampoo and moisturisers, a hair dryer, and we were given fresh towels by the attendant.

Score: 9/10

WiFi, Power & Productivity

When we arrived, we still had a bit of work to do and found a table in the dining area with laptop charging conveniently located. It had the added benefit of being close to the self-service bar :-). The internet speed was sufficient and we worked uninterrupted until we completed all our pre-holiday actions and hand-over notes! BA lounge WiFi 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.

Score: 7/10

Little Extras

The floor to wall windows and views of the runway makes this a really nice lounge to hang around in. The option of having food brought to your table is a nice touch as you can continue working while people serve you. However, the lounge could benefit from having a formal dining room. For passengers travelling in First Class, who have paid a sufficient amount of money, the added benefits compared to the British Airways lounges at Heathrow Airport are markedly different. Also, there isn’t a Concorde Room at Gatwick, which means no Laurent Perrier Grande Siecle champagne for First passengers!

Score: 4/10

BG1 Verdict

We have used the lounge at Gatwick multiple times and we’ve always had a positive experience. Gatwick is the second busiest airport in the UK after Heathrow. For the number of people travelling through the airport, Gatwick is quite small and therefore busy. If you’ve been to Gatwick before, you’ll know that the main terminal is busy and these lounges are little havens from the hustle and bustle of the terminal. If you fancy using the paid-for lounges at Gatwick, we have reviewed the Club ASPIRE, Clubrooms, and No1 lounge here.

Total: 58/70 (82%)

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