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Passengers Information

Gatwick is one of the top ten international airports in the world and the second largest in the UK.

Opened in 1958 with just over 186,000 passengers passing through in the first year of operation, now are over 32 million passengers every year.

South Terminal Forecourt – Important information

Work is currently underway to re-design forecourts at Gatwick's South Terminal.

Passenger numbers at the South Terminal are growing and so is the number of cars accessing the terminal Forecourts.

The following changes have now been put in place at the forecourts in South Terminal:

Private Vehicles

Private vehicles dropping off passengers are to use the Lower Forecourt only. Gatwick Airport is doubling the number of car park spaces on the Lower Forecourt to accommodate this move including a disabled parking area.

Private vehicles picking up passengers from the airport will be directed to use Short Stay Car Park 3 (orange). A new tariff which includes disabled parking in Short Stay Car Park 3 will allow 15 minutes parking time at a cost of £1. Express coaches and on airport car park buses will still use the Upper Forecourt to drop off and collect passengers awaiting onward travel.


Gatwick Airport licensed taxi hire company Checker Cars will still use the Upper Forecourt. All other taxi operators will be directed to use the Lower Forecourt to drop off and pick up will be from the Short Stay Car Park 3.

Car rental and official airport car valet will still be accessed via the Lower Forecourt.

Off-airport car park buses and hotel courtesy buses will be accommodated within the coach station which has just benefited from a £1.5 million programme to improve facilities.

These are the recommended chick in times:

Long-haul flights: check-in opens four hours prior to scheduled departure.

European flights: check-in three hours before scheduled departure.

UK and Ireland flights: check-in two hours prior to scheduled departure.

Check your ticket or contact your airline for advice on checking-in times. The times provide are as general guide.

At the Airport

On arrival at the airport, find your check-in desk, look at the flight information screens at the entrances to the terminals.

If you have already checked in online and only have hand baggage you may go directly through security to the departure lounge.

Online check-in

Most of the airlines offer online check-in from two to 24 hours before departure.

You can choose your seat or print your boarding card from your PC – and when you get to the airport, simply take your baggage to the bag drop facility.

You should contact the airline for check eligibility, the final times for dropping bags, collecting boarding cards and arrival at the gate.

Day before check-in

Some airlines now allow you to check-in the day before you fly .You can then get rid of your baggage the day before, and relax without worrying about early morning queue – convenient if you live locally or are staying overnight near the airport.

Self check-in

Self-service check-in offers a quick and simple alternative to traditional check-in desks.

Simply use the computer terminal to choose your seat and print your boarding card, then take your baggage to the bag-drop facility. Airline staff will be on hand if you need help.

Not all passengers and routes are eligible to use the service. You should check with your airline.

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