Six Things to do at Gatwick during a Flight Delay

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Main Image Credit “Delayed” by Michael Duxbury is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Flight delays are never much fun all you want is to be on holiday relaxing by the pool or enjoying a sunny cocktail and there you are rattling around the airport instead. The chances are you have already been there for a couple of hours, so you just want to get on the plane and go.

Sadly, delays happen, and it is best, if you can, to go with the flow and enjoy the time in a different way. If you are stuck at Gatwick, you are lucky because there are actually quite a few things you can do to pass the time. Here are our top six:

Free Wi-Fi

Watching a movie or kitten videos on YouTube or chatting to your friends can easily while away the hours. Fortunately, there are several places at Gatwick where you can get free Wi-Fi, so you do not have to rack up a high data bill. Sign up for Boingo before you go to the airport and you can enjoy 45 minutes of free Wi-Fi at Gatwick as well as free Wi-Fi at 580,000 other Boingo hotspots across the world.

Live it up in the VIP lounge

In the past airport executive lounges really were only affordable for first class or business travellers. Today, the prices are much more reasonable and affordable.

There are Aspire lounges in both the North and South terminals where you can relax, recharge your phone or laptop and enjoy a range of fresh snacks and drinks. Prices start from as little as £15.99 per adult and £9.99 per child.

Rest up

If you know that your delay is going to be a long one you can always book yourself into one of the many hotels and relax completely. Just remember to book an alarm call to make sure you do not sleep through and miss your re-scheduled flight. Prices start from as little as £39.50 per room.

Plane spotting

Gatwick is the second busiest in the UK, so it is an excellent place for plane spotting. Planes from across the world fly in and out of the airport, so there is always plenty to see.

You can download a couple of plane spotting apps before you go to the airport. This makes it more fun and means that you can enjoy plane spotting on other trips.

If you have a long delay, you could go out onto the perimeter road and spot planes that way. There is a bus service available for plane spotters at Gatwick. Ask at the information desk to find out more.

Check out local beauty spots

The countryside around Gatwick really is beautiful. Box Hill is only 40 minutes away from the airport by public transport. You can even enjoy a few hours at the seaside. Brighton is only a 30-minute train ride away. Naturally, this is only really an option when the flight is delay is a long one.

Enjoy a meal

Enjoying a relaxing meal is a great way to while away a bit of time. In the airport, there is the chance to enjoy Italian food at Jamie’s Italian or French food at Cafe Rouge. For breakfast, you really can’t beat The Flying Horse.

Outside of the airport, La Rusta and Gatwick Manor offer spectacular meals. Neither is cheap, but both offer a fantastic dining treat.

Using this guide, you can even end up enjoying your flight delay. Treat it as a chance to do something different and you will find the whole experience far less stressful.


Since a boy i have been fascinated by travel, people and places which is the reason i have been in the travel industry for over 20 years in numerous roles sales, marketing, operations & e-commerce. These days i run a boutique digital marketing agency in Tunbridge Wells called All Amplified Media specialising in Digital Marketing for online travel agencies.

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