Jsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2432 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 4800 times:
Another trip... great!
I've only been to Gatwick twice (in 2001 and 2004) and both times were frustrating. The observation deck on the South Terminal has been closed for a few years now with little chance of reopening. From the main departure lounge in the South Terminal there are some windows on the upper level that offer a nice view of the runway and the South Terminal apron. In general the North Terminal has more windows (it's newer and was built before BAA went on their shopping-malls-everywhere-no-windows-anywhere craze) but it's further from the action on the runway. I haven't been back since they built the new pier with the high bridge, but I'd imagine the views - if you can get up there - are stunning.
Since you're not renting a car, don't bother going landside unless you want to collect timetables or get some fresh air. There are almost NO views to be had from the landside of the terminal unless you have a rental car and can drive the perimeter, and even then it's difficult.
LGW handles a nice selection of traffic, especially in the mornings when a lot of transatlantic and African flights arrive. BA are still the largest carrier but easyJet and the UK charter airlines (Monarch, MyTravel, Thomas Cook) have a nice presence too.
I do most of my crazy "weekenders" in the winter when fares are much lower and the planes much less crowded. There are times I'll have an entire row to myself, which is almost as good as a first-class flat bed! If you don't mind a little mist and cold (common in Europe in winter) it's a great way to rack up miles and see new places.
StocklaAC From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4658 times:
Ah Gatwick... not my favourite of the London airports (although that is most likely because of the distance from London, the city of my home). Actually, in reality it is quite nice (the north terminal is much more civilized than the south terminal - mainly because the south terminal deals with all the charter and low-cost flights). In terms of good spotting ops, it might be tricky if you don't leave the airport.
Quote: I haven't been back since they built the new pier with the high bridge, but I'd imagine the views - if you can get up there - are stunning.
The new airbridge in the North Terminal (I believe that is where continental flies from) is good to look from as it places you literally over the taxiways so you can see most of the airport from there. I had the luck of flying from one of the, more remote, gates at the end of this and the views are spectacular (but afraid I can't remember if it is travelator or not). Also Jsnww81, you are right, the North terminal does have better views than the south terminal thanks to the windows.
If you can see them, Gatwick does have a wide variety of airlines and aircraft (however, the more interesting one's tend to fly from the south terminal - you can get there using the free shuttle train from the north terminal). Oh, one more idea which I have never done but I don't see why you couldn't do it, is the remote gates in the south terminal are accessed by another shuttle train and that area might have good views as well - but not sure if security would let you through.
Hope some of this has been useful - there is a lot to do at Gatwick so the 4 hours probably will go very quickly. If you have any Q's pls do contact me and i'll do my best to help out.
Enjoy England (for the limited time you are here!)
Jfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 395 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4304 times:
Not sure which CO flight you'll be on (I see flight 5 and 35 as options), but I think you'll be departing in the morning just as I arrive. I'll be on OV coming from TLL, which usually arrives around gates 31-38 in the South Terminal. Normally there are some other interesting planes in the same area, like perhaps an Air Zimbabwe or Ethiopian bird.
If you have access to lounges, the ServisAir lounge provides an OK view of some gates (mostly EasyJet gates). If you're in the South Terminal and walk to the 31-38 gate section, you'll get some decent views on your walk. Have a good flight!
Because he wants to fly. Flying is very fun, and if you have the chance, take it! You'll regret it when you're older and wish you could've done it at a younger age. I went MSP(6:00am)-DEN-LAX-ORD-MSP(11:30pm) in one day with 4 hours at LAX which is an experience I'll never forget (also thanks to the 747-400 I got to fly on!). Have a great trip, and enjoy the 777 because I hear it's sweet!
NZ8800 From New Zealand, joined May 2006, 425 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3882 times:
Quoting Continental (Reply 9): Because he wants to fly. Flying is very fun, and if you have the chance, take it!
Hear hear! If I could do it more often, I would. From the Friendships when I was little, to the SAABs of yesterday, and the Q300s of today and tomorrow, I love to fly. Prefer the smaller planes, you feel the take-off more and the sense of flying more, I think.
Good luck on your trip to London Gatwick!
MDZWTA ~ Mobile Disaster Zone When Travelling Abroad
Planesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4143 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3671 times:
Quoting Continental (Reply 9): Because he wants to fly. Flying is very fun, and if you have the chance, take it! You'll regret it when you're older and wish you could've done it at a younger age.
I flew 'for fun' just to get on a B737-200, 3 days before FR retired them. I realised that it was probably going to be my only chance to do so, so i flew out at night, spent a night at Dublin airport and flew back in the morning.
TristanHNL From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2006, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3495 times:
I did something similar, although my trip was much shorter. I flew CO out of HNL at 8:50pm, arrived at LAX 5am, spent 4 hours there and then flew back to HNL, arriving 12noon. I booked it very last minute to relieve some stress over the weekend.
MSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3249 times:
Well, I made it back in one piece! What a great trip. The trip report should be finished in a day or so...having trouble with Photo Bucket getting all my 60+ pics downloaded currently.
Let me just say, CO is just as good internationally as they are domestically. Heck of a job CO. I was very impressed. Kudos to the excellent flight crews on flights 34 and 35 especially...top notch in every sense of the word.