London Gatwick Airport South – No.1 Lounge

There are two priority pass options at Gatwick Airport South, one is the Grain Store and the other is No. 1 Lounge, which I hadn’t visited until today. There seemed to be an undue haste from a small number of other visitors to get into the lounge, perhaps with a fear of missing out, and they were merrily barging people out of the way. I’m not entirely that they benefited from their extra 15 seconds of time in the lounge, but I hope that they did.

The lounge was turning people away who had flights more than three hours after they were trying to enter, although I had pro-actively mentioned I was only staying for an hour (which was true) and the staff member didn’t mention that my flight didn’t meet the three hour rule requirement either.

Visitors get handed this menu when they enter and they can order one item free of charge as part of the lounge entry. The staff members in the lounge all seemed quite helpful and everything seemed clean and organised. I had arrived too early to try it, but the pear and blue cheese salad seemed interesting. For anyone who wants another meal, then there’s a £4 charge for additional items ordered from the menu.

I opted for the fish finger wrap, which was presented with a heap of crisps, of which I approved of. The wrap wasn’t exactly large in size, but it tasted fine and the tartare sauce added some taste and texture. It’s basic, but of a perfectly reasonable quality.

There are also some pastries and muffins available, as well as some cereals and porridge at another counter.

The coffee was particularly decent, and there were also self-serve sodas and fresh juices available.

The library area of the lounge, some considerable effort has gone into the design of the interiors. It’s not an enormous lounge, so I can understand the capacity issues, although it was inevitably rather empty at the time of my visit, which was 4am…..

I’m aware from reviews that there are often capacity restrictions which limit visitors from lounge entry schemes such as Priority Pass. The lounge does guarantee that they’ll let individuals in from such schemes if they pay a £5 reservation fee in advance, something which I’m really not sure is in the spirit of the scheme.

Comfortable as the lounge was, I’m not sure that I’d pay the standard entrance fee to the lounge, which is £32 in advance or £40 for those paying the walk-up rate. Actually, I definitely wouldn’t pay those sort of sums, but for those who want to binge drink alcohol, that does represent reasonable value for money over other dining options at the airport. Although that brings the lounge all manner of reputational issues that it probably doesn’t need.