I love the chaos of airports and as I usually fly alone or with The Kid, I have never really considered putting out the extra dough for a traveler’s lounge as I tend to actually enjoy the people watching and window shopping.
I always assumed that these types of lounges would be full of first-class jet setters who would take one look at me and wonder who let the riff-raff in. Still, I’m not one for missing out on an opportunity, so when No. 1 Traveller offered the fam and I fast-track access at Gatwick Airport and three hours in their lounge at the South Terminal, who was I to pass it by?
Our preconceptions can often become a barrier to wonderful experiences.
We arrived at the airport refreshed and happy because, well, we slept at the airport. After checking out from the Bloc Gatwick, we checked in our luggage and made our way through the fast-track security line. It was super speedy, and probably the easiest I have ever gotten through with a kid in tow.
Approved by the Gatwick security team to go forward, we made our way to the No. 1 Traveller lounge at Gatwick South Terminal. The staff greeted us, asked to see our passes, and gave us a quick rundown on what food and drinks were available during our stay in the lounge.
With every lounge entry you receive complimentary food, including a hot dish, as well as drinks from the bar. This includes beer, wine, and spirits. If you prefer champagne or cocktails, these will incur an additional charge.
Before 11 am, the lounge offers a large assortment of breakfast type items such as muffins, fruit, yogurt, and cereals. You can also order a hot dish such as the waffle with berry compote and bacon roll that we opted for. There is a self-serve coffee machine that has espresso, americanos, cappuccinos and the like. I am coffee picky, and was pleasantly surprised that the coffee was both strong (these things are important) and flavorful.
The lounge is very spacious. We chose to sit downstairs so we could watch the airplanes and have easy-access to the bar, but the upstairs is really nice as well. Honestly, if I was alone I would probably have went to the upstairs section as it was less busy and looked like the perfect place to put your feet up and write a blog post.
I should come clean, I am not much for children. I love my own dearly, and those born to family members and friends whom I have grown to love, but they aren’t always the most pleasant of creatures. I was a little surprised that children were not only allowed at the No. 1 Traveller Lounge, but that they were welcomed. After we sat down, they even brought The Kid a nice little activity pack to keep her busy. The lounge in the North Terminal has a dedicated family room, so that may be the best option if you need a stiff drink but have the kids in tow.
(Disclaimer: My five year old is slightly better behaved than I am so I don’t normally consider her a liability.)
Thoroughly stuffed from breakfast and second breakfast, and still with time to spare, we ordered a morning cocktail to fully round out our happiness.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the lounge and just how justifiable it could be for me to do again in the future. I mean, airport food and drinks are expensive and you could easily get your money’s worth sitting at No. 1 Traveller- with peace and quiet to boot. The Dutchman has vowed to never fly with me again unless I book us tickets to the lounge, so it is fair to say he is a convert as well.
The No. 1 Traveller Gatwick South Terminal lounge can be accessed up to three hours before your flight. Entry for adults is £25 per person and £15 per child (aged 2-11) when booked ahead online. If you book at the door, adult entry is an additional £5.
I’ll be trying out the No. 1 Traveller lounge at Stansted Airport in a few weeks when I fly to Italy, so I am interested to see how it measures up.
Have you stayed at an airport lounge before? Recommend the good ones down below!
(Disclaimer: My family and I were guests of No. 1 Traveller. All opinions and thoughts are my own- as always!)