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Gatwick Airport

Average user rating Rating: 2.7/5

"The Family Friendly Pledge is an undertaking that Gatwick is proud to endorse..."

Gatwick logo

Our declaration

Gatwick is committed to improving the passenger experience at our airport. Our ‘Passenger Commitments’ clearly outline the core service components that we want each passenger to expect at every stage of their journey through our terminals:

  • We’ll treat you as our guest
  • We hate queues
  • We love to be on time

We work closely with our airlines and other airport partners to deliver high standards of service and provide airport users with a memorable ‘Gatwick experience’.

Within this context the Family Friendly ‘Pledge’ is an undertaking that Gatwick is proud to endorse and relentlessly pursue in our policies and practices - we do aspire to be a family friendly organisation with welcoming, respectful staff and services that every one of our diverse customers can access.

Improving the passenger experience means creating an airport environment that is welcoming and stress-free. Our Passenger Commitments demonstrate our thinking and approach on reducing queues and improving flight punctuality. This is important for all passengers but we recognise that families sometimes require an extra special consideration and focus. That means ensuring we have the facilities that mothers with babies and young children need.

In Spring 2010 we created separate security lanes – “Assistance lanes” - to give famililes travelling with young children in buggies extra help through security after checking-in.
In Spring 2011 we created dedicated “Kids zones” in both our terminals for parents and/or guardians to keep children entertained while waiting in the departure lounge.

Looking inwards, we recognise that many of our staff are parents or guardians with childcare responsibilities. We are sensitive to their needs and we see our maternity and paternity HR policies as progressive. We understand that often childcare related matters can develop at short notice and, as an operations based business, where possible we try to be flexible and accommodating to parents or guardians.

Indeed, our option for flexible working applies to not just those employees with young children but is available to employees who may be carers for an elderly parent or other family member (a total of 11% of our employees have flexible working in order to care for an elderly relative).

We also work in partnership with a nearby childcare nursery that opens earlier and closes later in the day than most other childcare nurseries in the area to support our employees’ shift patterns. We promote Childcare Vouchers as an alternative way of paying for all types of registered or approved childcare to help save employees money. These can be used to pay for an approved nursery, nanny, playgroup or out-of-school club.

Through discussion and consultation we aim to ensure we have a family friendly airport. Our Passenger Advisory Group (PAG) which is the sub committee of our statutory consultative committee (GATCOM) represents the passenger interest and advises us on matters of relevance and importance. We developed our new kids zones in consultation with PAG.

Our Commercial department commissions regular surveys and polling of passengers and other airport users on their experience of our services and their future expectations. We have a dedicated customer service team that regularly collate feedback on family matters.

Our promise

To help us meet the Family Promise we are committed in 2013 to get these areas of our work right for families:

modernise all baby changing areas across our terminals

trail the provision of airside strollers for arriving passengers with toddlers

provide play areas for children aged between '5 - 11' in both our terminals.

provide facilities for 'teenagers' with mobile/laptop charging points and large screens to host interactive games consoles in North Terminal.

develop specific seating areas for passengers with young children to create family only areas with appropriate baby/toddler feeding facilities.

offer a pre-booked 'porter service' for departing family passengers to take care of luggage and escort the family members through the terminals.

work with on-airport retail and catering outlets to seek discounted deals for families

review policies on maternity, paternity and flexible working

Contact us

Address: Gatwick Airport Ltd, Destinations Place, Gatwick, West Sussex, RH6 0NP

Opening hours

n/a - 24 hour airport

How to find us

Comment and rate this service

User comments

Rating: 3/5Jill Hatton
So pleased at the service when we arrived at gatwick. Lots of...
So pleased at the service when we arrived at gatwick. Lots of buggies available and superb changing facilities for babies. Will recommend Gatwick to those travelling with babies and toddler.
Rating: 3/5Jill Hatton
How can you ensure buggies are available when you disembark ? I...
How can you ensure buggies are available when you disembark ? I travelled recently and couldn't find one and then saw loads in the baggage hall . I tried to call various numbers today to check but couldn't contact anyone. I need to have two when I disembark on Wednesday.
Rating: 3/5Caroline Walsh
Hi, I came through Gatwick with my 3year old and my 2...
Hi, I came through Gatwick with my 3year old and my 2 year old tonight. My buggies weren't given to me at the plane and I had to carry one on my back and another sleeping child all the way to baggage pickup. I also had to try carry my canin luggage! My eldest child is 25kg - heavier than the bags airport baggage handlers carry. When I got to bagging claim I saw a rows and rows of blue buggies for airport use. They are no good to anyone in the baggage hall - I needed one at the plane. I needed two at the plane. My arms are still sore..
Gatwick Airport replies:

We’re truly sorry to hear that there wasn’t a pushchair available to...

We’re truly sorry to hear that there wasn’t a pushchair available to you when you landed recently. We’ve gathered lots of passenger feedback on how we can assist passengers travelling through the airport with children and having a pushchair on arrival is something that passengers told us would help them greatly. In the past we’ve worked with airlines to establish how we can get your own pushchair to you as soon as you disembark the aircraft. As this is full of complexities for the airlines and handling agents, we took the opportunity to provide this service ourselves. We’ve been thrilled with the feedback we’ve had on the pushchairs and admittedly, we underestimated how popular the service would be. You experienced this first hand when you saw that the pushchairs had all been used by the time you came to need one. Once again, we apologise for this.

We’ve ordered an additional 150 pushchairs to ensure that there are more available for our arriving passengers. These are on their way to us and will be operational within the next week. We’ve increased the number of times per day these pushchairs are returned to the arrivals route from being dropped off into the baggage hall. We hope you can forgive us on this occasion and would always welcome your input into future plans for families travelling through Gatwick.

Rating: 3/5Dwynwen Randall
I was Travelling home from Lanzarote yesterday on a monarch flight with...
I was Travelling home from Lanzarote yesterday on a monarch flight with my Daughter, 4yr year old Grandaughter, and 1yr old Grandaughter, I was expecting pushchairs to be available for our journey to the arrivals hall as stated on your site. Alas when asked on disembarking for a pushchair, I was told that they would be scattered around the airport. She had to be carried all the way to the baggage hall. There were approx. 20 pushchairs there, which was of no use at all.
You should not advertise this service if it is not available for all flights. There were a number of babies on our flight and am sure they would have appreciated a pushchair. I
do not understand why our own pushchairs cannot be given back on landing! as they go on the aircraft as we embark.
I look forward to hearing your reply
Gatwick Airport replies:

We’re truly sorry to hear that there wasn’t a pushchair available to...

We’re truly sorry to hear that there wasn’t a pushchair available to you when you landed recently. We’ve gathered lots of passenger feedback on how we can assist passengers travelling through the airport with children and having a pushchair on arrival is something that passengers told us would help them greatly. In the past we’ve worked with airlines to establish how we can get your own pushchair to you as soon as you disembark the aircraft. As this is full of complexities for the airlines and handling agents, we took the opportunity to provide this service ourselves. We’ve been thrilled with the feedback we’ve had on the pushchairs and admittedly, we underestimated how popular the service would be. You experienced this first hand when you saw that the pushchairs had all been used by the time you came to need one. Once again, we apologise for this.

We’ve since ordered an additional 150 pushchairs to ensure that there are more available for our arriving passengers and we’ve increased the number of times per day these pushchairs are returned to the arrivals route from being dropped off into the baggage hall. We hope you can forgive us on this occasion and would always welcome your input into future plans for families travelling through Gatwick.

Rating: 3/5Richard Bustard
Recently flew out of Gatwick North to Lanzarote , Departures experience with...
Recently flew out of Gatwick North to Lanzarote , Departures experience with a 2 year old was very good, Arrivals procedure however far from good. Landed in the satellite then had to carry a tired 2 year old the miles of walkway and escalators to security and baggage reclaim as buggies are not delivered to the jetty, has anybody from Gatwick tried carrying hand luggage and children this distance? Then to cap it all, bags took an hour to arrive (Sat Sep 28) and then when they did the buggies are the last thing to come off, which I’m told is policy. If you are travelling alone with one or two children, what do you do with them whilst retrieving suitcases from the belt? The arrivals procedure is frankly unacceptable and also dangerous with the prospect of children running around whilst the parent(s) retrieve suitcases. A rethink of policies is required as the family friendliness disappears as soon as you take off from Gatwick, no care is given for arriving passengers with children. I would welcome a response to my points.
Gatwick Airport replies:

Thank you for the feedback about your journey through Gatwick Airport. ...

Thank you for the feedback about your journey through Gatwick Airport.

It might be useful to know that each airline employs a handling agent to manage their ground handling. The handling agents responsibilities include assisting the aircraft on arrival, disembarking passengers into the terminal building and removing the luggage from the aircraft and delivering this to Baggage Reclaim. However, we work closely with all airlines and their handling agents on every aspect of this operation.

We’ve been working with all handling agents to see how we can provide a better service to families arriving with young children as they are unable to deliver the buggies to the door of the aircraft. We carried out some trials at the beginning of this year with Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook Airlines providing modified child buggies to families and this proved to be successful, however the overall feedback was that families preferred to have their own buggies. We’re reviewing the feedback we received about the trails and monitoring passenger feedback before making a decision on how we can better this service.

Gatwick has a series of public commitments to our passengers. We are the first UK airport to do this. As part of them, we aim to reduce baggage delivery time with the first and last bag reaching Baggage Reclaim. We have engaged with our airlines and their handling agents to agree specific targets, but most importantly, we’ve also worked with them on how best to achieve them. Their performance is discussed daily at our airport meeting and any shortfalls are raised with actions for improvement. We’ve been publishing their performance on our website since December 2010 and in Baggage Reclaim.

We’re taking our drive to improve the baggage delivery one step further, and working with our airlines to see how we can all achieve the delivery of all baggage to Baggage Reclaim within 45 minutes. We’re also looking at introducing expected delivery times and displaying these on our airport screens.

Again thank you for your feedback and I do hope this hasn’t deterred you from using Gatwick in the future.

Rating: 3/5Felicity
Hi, Just wondering if you had any ideas about things to do...
Hi, Just wondering if you had any ideas about things to do at Gatwick airport for an afternoon with an 11-year old? Thanks
Rating: 1/5sinead mc brearty
Travelling with my partner and two children (a newborn and a two...
Travelling with my partner and two children (a newborn and a two year old), we were invited to go through the special assistance lane at security. There was a long queue with elderly people and folks in wheelchairs in the lane, whilst the remainder of the lanes were pretty free. So, we tried to through one of the other lanes, at which point the staff aggressively insisted that we return to the special assistance lane. The special assistance lane was notable for the complete lack of assistance and the very long queue. We were not especially laden with kit, so could easily manage to pass through the regular lane as a family. Again, we moved into the regular lane ( which was empty) and began to put our bags on the security conveyor belt. At this point, one of the security staff on duty got very angry and complained a lot about our presence, asking us to rejoin the long special assistance queue. Since the ordinary queue didn't have anyone else in it, we declined the invitation of "special assistance", at which point this woman called in her superior to complain about us joining the regular queue.

In the event, we passed through the security check whilst this woman was complaining, but the net effect was that we were left feeling very poorly treated (with raised voices coercing us to join special assistance). The special assistance queue felt like some horrid holding place for the poor souls that had the misfortune to be in it, whilst the other aisles moved quickly and painlessly along. Our two year old would not have lasted at all well in such a long and slow queue. The whole experience was unpleasant and not in any way family friendly.

Gatwick Airport replies:

Thank you for the email I received about your experience at...

Thank you for the email I received about your experience at Gatwick Airport.

I understand you, your partner and two children were invited to use the Family/Assistance Security Lane. Unfortunately, there was a large queue and you tried to use the main Security Search area but were told this wasn’t an option for you. I’ve noted from your email that this experience was an unpleasant and I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve investigated the point you’ve made and I’d like to offer an apology and some comments.

We’ve created one large security area for South Terminal, with 19 new lanes and dedicated facilities for passengers who need a bit of extra help, and a premium lane for those passengers in more of a hurry. The Family/Assistance Lane is for passengers requiring special assistance and for families wanting to travel through at their own pace. Our Security Officers are expected to control the passenger flow in this area and direct passengers to the main Security Search if the Family/Assistance Lanes becomes congested.

In support of our new approach to our passengers, all security staff have received customer service training leading to a recognised qualification. The drive to improve service has already made a difference to the way our staff approach passengers, nonetheless, I’m really disappointed to read about the way you were spoken to by the Security Officer and that this caused you and your family an unpleasant experience.

I’d like to reassure you that our Security Duty Managers have spoken to staff during their Team Meeting reiterating how the area should be controlled and most importantly, how their actions impact on their experience. We expect all staff to be friendly, organised and professional at all times, therefore please accept our sincere apologies.

Again, I’m very sorry for what you and your family experienced I do hope this experience hasn’t deterred you from using Gatwick in the future.

Rating: 3/5fisis1
Why not provide trolleys for passengers travelling with children? It is exhausting...
Why not provide trolleys for passengers travelling with children? It is exhausting carrying your bags and travel weary toddler from plane to baggage retrieval and that walk becomes something to dread at the end of your holiday
Gatwick Airport replies:
Gatwick Airport are currently undertaking trials for supplying buggies for families arriving...
Gatwick Airport are currently undertaking trials for supplying buggies for families arriving with children. We are gathering feedback from our passengers and so far the trial has been positively received. We realise this is a concern for passengers arriving with children and we are determined to make a difference to their arrivals experience.
Rating: 3/5Kathy Escott
I have just read a comment from a family having to carry...
I have just read a comment from a family having to carry twin toddlers from the plane to baggage collection. My Daughter is travelling alone with a thirteen month old baby. She has back problems and will fine it extremely difficult to walk with child and hand luggage all the way from Easyjet's Gate in Gatwick North. Can she get assistance?
Gatwick Airport replies:

Yes, they can. A person with reduced mobility (PRM) who is travelling...

Yes, they can. A person with reduced mobility (PRM) who is travelling with a child will still receive PRM assistance and if they are carrying their child we won’t stop them.

What we don’t offer is the service to people who aren’t PRMs but are travelling with children.

Rating: 1/5B. Brown

I would like to express my deepest indignation about the approach of...

I would like to express my deepest indignation about the approach of the security staff towards my 21 month old son. He has only one kidney which is also diseased, so we have to take very special care about his liquid intake. As he is very small he drinks only special juices and sterilised water, and his mineral intake has to be moderated.

We arrived at the security check last Sunday evening and I had two bottles of liquid with me.They were more than 100ml, because my son needs to drink more than 200ml during our journey and I didn't know if I would be able to find a drink which he would actually drink behind the security check. We have flown with my son many times in the past and those two bottles were never a problem to any security checks anywhere else. We have no problem to taste the liquid if asked. I tried to explain to the member of staff many times that the conditions of my son are very special and that i can prove he has kidney disease. She wanted me to go back before the security check and empty out the water outside. I sugested going to the departure lounge area toilet, which was just around the corner, which she denied. She offered me to go and buy some 100ml containers in Boots, which I told her I think that is not needed as i had other empty bottles with me. They had ml marked on them, so I suggested to put the juice to them and make sure they are 100ml. She denied and insisted I go to Boots (suddenly I was allowed to go to the departure lounge). After the conflict they took the juice off us and we had to empty out the water.

I am asking how you can claim to be a child friendly Airport? I understand security checks but surely there must be some space for improvisation in special cases be given to members of your staff. This experience was very very distressing for my family after a month we had to spend in hospitals with my son. This approach was very shameful and abusive. I would like to ask what should I do next time to be allowed to carry special juice, which contained pills for my son illness, with me?

Gatwick Airport replies:

I am disturbed to hear of this incident, and would like to...

I am disturbed to hear of this incident, and would like to assure the passenger, that we would like to follow up with them to ensure we find out when this was and who the security officer was. I would like if possible to get details of when this incident took place, so that I may follow it up.

We pride ourselves in offering a great service to all out passengers and have set up the area specifically for families. If the process is not working we need to rectify it for future travellers. In terms of the rule set around the carriage of liquids such as these we are bound by Department for Transport regulations; however in these circumstances as long as there is a supporting letter from the GP or Hospital to prove a medical condition there should be no issue going through security.

Gatwick Airport website states the requirement for 50% of baby products needing to be taste tested; for medication, a prescription or a statement from a medical professional will be required to ensure a genuine medical need for carrying liquids over 100ml.

I hope this helps for future reference, and if there is any response with details of this particular visit, please pass them on to me, so I may investigate if fully.
Security Operations Manager, Gatwick Airport

Rating: 1/5Silvia Pani
The assistance on Departure is great and the staff are very friendly...
The assistance on Departure is great and the staff are very friendly. However, we had a bad experience when flying back to Gatwick with our 14-month twins. On getting off the plane we were told that our double buggy could not be offloaded at the aircraft, and that we had to collect it at baggage claim.
This meant walking a distance we estimated at around 1 km carrying two rather big toddlers, who couldn't certainly walk the whole distance, as well as several item of hand luggage.
I consider myself quite strong, but this was at the limit of my capability: a less strong person, or a parent travelling on their own with one or more children and several pieces of luggage simply couldn't have done this. This is, in my view, a rather major failure for an airport aiming at being child-friendly: I'd rather do without toys around the Departures lounge, but be allowed to spare my back a big strain on arrival.
Gatwick Airport replies:
Gatwick is committed to improving the customer experience for everyone and as...
Gatwick is committed to improving the customer experience for everyone and as part of our commitment to families we are currently working with our airline partners to provide customers pushchairs as they leave the plane. We are also working with a company to provide pushchairs around the airport.
Rating: 3/5Fia
The Family lane through security is great, what a great start to...
The Family lane through security is great, what a great start to our journeys! However, returning is always a different scenario. The passport queues have been immense, and there is no assistance in the evenings (when tired children and parents need it the most!). Last time I travelled (alone with my daughter), I spend 30 minutes carrying a tired 3 year old + hand luggage. No one there to assist us through. Please please, help us travelling with kids on late arrivals. Hard to rate, as leaving the airport is 5 but arriving I'll give a 1.
Gatwick Airport replies:
Thank you for the feedback; Gatwick is currently reviewing the options to...
Thank you for the feedback; Gatwick is currently reviewing the options to improve the arriving process for all our customers.
Rating: 1/5Paul Banoub
I'd like to complain about a shocking experience at Gatwick Airport passport...
I'd like to complain about a shocking experience at Gatwick Airport passport arrivals on 2/4/12.

Having arrived at approx 20:10 on the Thomson flight from Las Palmas (TOM4141) my wife and I, plus our 2 young children (2 & 3) were met at the passport control by a queue of approx 500 people at least, probably more.

We were not allowed to go through to he front or to any special assistance queue by the staff member there who stated that children were NOT allowed in certain queues so we had to join the huge queue.

We stood in that queue for 40 mins with my distressed and exhausted children screaming until some passengers allowed us through to the front where a staff member eventually ushered us through.

The whole thing was an appalling, upsetting and distressing end to an excellent holiday. Gatwick staff seemed totally uninterested in assisting us or other families with young children.

Gatwick Airport replies:
Thank you for taking the time to send in your feedback...
Thank you for taking the time to send in your feedback - this is not the experience we want any of our customers to have at Gatwick. We are working with United Kingdom Border Force to improve their staffing levels and process throughout the Immigration process however it seems on this occasion they were not acceptable. There is only one lane you are unable to join and this is due to child protection issues. UKBF wish to see every child under 18 years of age to be absolutely certain that they are safe and not under any duress when entering the country. For this reason the gate has an "over 18 only" policy for the safety of the child. Gatwick is committed to improve the customer experience and once again thank you for letting us have this feedback.
Rating: 1/5ian goodridge
The main thing we required at the airport for our baby was...
The main thing we required at the airport for our baby was a microwave to heat his food/milk. There was none available or at least airport staff did not know of one and restaurants were not willing to heat bottles on health and safety grounds. All motorway service areas have microwaves e.g. Moto. Why not airports who appear to be living in the dark ages. With a 3 hour lag between arriving at airport and take off (at least) these are absolutely essential
Gatwick Airport replies:
We are reviewing the options for heating Milk as we need to...
We are reviewing the options for heating Milk as we need to ensure the health and safety around this are foolproof. The Food and Beverage outlets at the airport will always heat milk and food for our customers.
Rating: 3/5Scott Anthony
I was reasonably impressed with Gatwick's family friendly services. Whilst I was...
I was reasonably impressed with Gatwick's family friendly services. Whilst I was not told about any of them prior to travel, when arriving I was informed and used the family assistance lanes which were good, although the staff were a bit rude. Also, EAT. in Gatwick North terminal was excellent.
Gatwick Airport replies:
Gatwick is committed to Delivering Outstanding Customer Service to all our Customers...
Gatwick is committed to Delivering Outstanding Customer Service to all our Customers. Gatwick recognises the importance of making the journey as stress free as possible, and part of this is developing products such as the Family lane. We are also investing in Play areas and working closely with our Food and Beverage outlets to highlight the various family friendly menus we have. Thank you for the feedback.
Rating: 3/5Catherine
Hi

The Family Assistance lanes were great - a definite improvement...
Hi

The Family Assistance lanes were great - a definite improvement since last time I travelled through Gatwick. Then the staff were rude and extremely unhelpful so have avoided it ever since. Big improvement - staff were friendly and polite - my son (5) is chatty and inquisitive and they answered his questions willingly - a much better experience for both of us. We heard of the play area by chance - but couldn't find it signed in the airport so had to ask for directions.

My son was very excited about it, but when we arrived he was disappointed - it seemed to be a bit limited, aimed at much younger children and was quite congested. Although a step in the right direction could be improved a lot. Schipol Airport has/had a great play area with "houses" at different heights which allows children of a wide range of ages to play and use their imagination. Alhtough not relevant to me now, Schipol Airport also had a room with cots in where babies could have be put to play etc (handy when buggies lost in transit!) and also allow for nappy changing and feeding in a more relaxed atmosphere - far more comfortable than in a toilet cubicle.

The family eating area is a big improvement.

Glad to see that the airport is trying to improve facilities for children.
Rating: 1/5Suzanne Spooner

We travelled through Gatwick South Terminal in December and received no assistance...

We travelled through Gatwick South Terminal in December and received no assistance whatsoever despite asking and struggling with baggage and two children ( one just under 3 and the other 7 months). I was extremely disappointed that despite asking no assistance was given whatsoever.

Gatwick replies: Dear Suzanne, thank you for the feedback you gave regarding your experience through Gatwick. The experience you had was not acceptable and I apologise for that. I can assure you Gatwick takes very seriously and is working very hard to ensure all our customers receive great Customer Service. Gatwick has and is doing a lot of work to improve the experience families have when travelling through. We have introduced dedicated Family lanes through Security, installed Family areas in both our departure lounges and has a Porter service to highlight a few. I will follow up your feedback with all our operational departments.

Rating: 4/5Victoria Hartley
Well equipped for travelling children, lots of loos and big spaces for...
Well equipped for travelling children, lots of loos and big spaces for them o roam whilst waiting for flights
Rating: 4/5Fiona Vacher
We found the Gatwick play area by chance and it was a...
We found the Gatwick play area by chance and it was a life saver! We were delayed 4 hours having flown in from Spain and waiting for our onward flight home. The dedicated family security queue wasn't so brilliant. It seemed so much slower to wait for everyone infront of you to sort out buggy and children it took forever. Much better for all security staff to have the additional family friendly training and then have families join the standard queues.
Rating: 4/5Elspeth McPherson
We used Gatwick North Terminal in August 2011 and were greeted by...
We used Gatwick North Terminal in August 2011 and were greeted by a member of staff as soon as we came through the check-in who said that since we had two children (aged 4 and 2) with us would we like to use the play area? We didn't know it existed so were please to be directed to is. It kept the children entertained until our flight. Good service.

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