Gatwick Airport is London's second largest airport after Heathrow. It is also the second busiest airport in the country, as Heathrow is number one. It also has the world's single-busiest runway international airport. Located north of central Crawley, the airport is operated as well as owned by BAA which also operates Heathrow. It handles thirty five million passengers, and is over fifty years old.
The biggest airlines that use the airport are British Airways with twenty five percent of the airports usage, and Easy Jet with seventeen percent. Due to the recent recession, many airlines that previously used Gatwick have shut down and slots have been taken up by these two. The airport handles charter flights as well as scheduled flights for British Airways, Easy Jet, and Virgin Atlantic.
It has two terminals, North and South. Both of these have similar facilities like shops, restaurants, disabled persons facilities, baby changing rooms, and play areas. There are also lounges for business travelers as well as conference and business centers. There is also access to an airport hotel which has a prayer room for various faiths. There are also daily prayers in the prayer areas.
If you are driving to Gatwick, you need to know that it is twenty eight miles south of London, and is linked to the M23 junction 9. The M25 London orbital motorway is just ten minutes by drive and provides connection to other national and motorway networks . There are designated areas where drivers can drop off passengers, but there is a very strict "no waiting" policy, so make sure you use the short-park facility if you plan to stay a while. You can also hire a car from the airport and also each terminal has a variety of offices. There is also dedicated parking for motorcycles as well as round the clock petrol stations at both terminals.
At Gatwick, the VIP lounges are not just for first class customers. You can enjoy the Aviance Lounge or the Servisair Executive Lounge in the North and South Terminal respectively. You can also surf the internet due to wireless internet available in the departure lounge. If you don't have a laptop, you can use one of the terminal's computers to connect to the net.
If you are in the mood for shopping, you can buy perfumes, sunglasses, or even food from the Duty Free Store. You can eat at one of the many restaurants which range from fast foods to fine dining. You can also pick up some last minute souvenirs for family members you forgot to shop for.
In both terminals, there are always competitions organized which give away cars, and you can thus examine a luxury car from close up. Displays include Aston Martins and Ferrari's. You can also just watch the busy runway from one of the great window spots, or take in a massage at the coin operated massage chairs.
There is always a lot to do at Gatwick, so you will definitely enjoy your experience at this airport.