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12 July 2013
London Gatwick is getting set for an exciting summer, as the school holidays approach at the end of July. The airport is expecting to welcome around six million passengers travelling through the airport between 19 July and 2 September, with plenty of fun and entertainment on offer in the terminals to get the summer started in style.
Destinations in Spain remain the most popular travel spots this holiday, with Malaga topping the list for a second year running as families look to make the most of the Med. However, new entries into the top ten most popular destinations include Dublin and Belfast - suggesting some passengers may be choosing to stay closer to home this summer.
Gatwick predicts that its busiest day for departures over the summer will be Friday 26 July with around 72,000 people expected to fly out of the airport. The busiest period is set to be week commencing 12 August, when it is estimated that more than 460,000 people will depart from Gatwick.
With so many families and flyers passing through the airport over the summer, Gatwick will be entertaining passengers with a wide programme of acts and activities. Each week of the summer holidays will have a different theme including music and dance, family fun, British and circus acts.
Additionally, 120 ambassadors used during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be on hand throughout the summer months to give passengers arriving at the airport a warm welcome and help provide information on travel from the airport.
Nick Pope, Terminal Operations at London Gatwick, said: “Gatwick is looking forward to welcoming passengers this summer with some fantastic events to entertain and delight people travelling with children in particular. Passengers will be able to enjoy everything from dance shows and circus performers to live music and magic acts. We want to ensure the journey through our airport is smooth and speedy but also fun and memorable – and giving passengers a great send off and warm welcome is all part of achieving this.”
There is plenty of help and advice available for passengers heading off on holiday from the airport this summer on the Gatwick website – and the airport has also pulled together some handy hints and tips for travellers.
Your ticket to summer: top tips for a great travel experience
The summer period is one of the busiest times of year at any UK airport, so Gatwick has compiled some essential tips for keeping your cool - from the airport car park right through to the runway.
Timing is everything
Summertime is busy at any airport, so if you prefer to travel at a quieter time try to plan your journey for off-peak hours. Weekdays, during the middle of the day are often quieter times.
Try the trains
Gatwick Airport is one of the best connected in the country with 120 stations connecting directly to the airport. If you are travelling from central London, direct services to Gatwick are available from Victoria and London Bridge in less than 30 minutes.
Perfect parking Plan your parking early to avoid any last minute dash to your check-in gate. Some airports, including Gatwick, have exclusive parking available for pre-booking. What’s more, you can make great savings of up to 65% by booking in advance.
Are you being served?Start your holiday off as you mean to go on by booking a porter or a member of the Gatwick First concierge team to help you on your way. Concierge services not only provide assistance with bags, but also priority check-in, premium security and help with your meal and shopping arrangements. So if you want to cut down on queue-time or need extra time for the family, an extra pair of hands might be the perfect solution to ensure your holiday starts smoothly.
London Ambassadors Gatwick is pleased to announce the return of ambassadors used to provide a warm welcome during the Olympics last year. With us throughout the summer for the next three years, the 120 ambassadors will be able to direct you quickly to your check-in desk and speedily on your way.
Lightening the load of travelling with kids...When you have the whole family in tow we know you have a lot to contend with so we’ve created dedicated assistance lanes at security to ensure families have the extra time and space they need. What’s more kids can enjoy our castle and space rocket-shaped metal detectors as a bit of added fun. It’s also worth checking out the dedicated section on our website where you can order essentials such as baby milk in advance to collect after security.
Let us entertain you Here is just a taste of some of the different activities and entertainment you can expect as you arrive at the airport this summer:
- If you are travelling in the week of 26 July, watch out for the dancers and musicians who will be keeping passengers happy as they arrive and in the departure lounge too.
- The week of 2 August is our family entertainment week. Look out for stilt-walkers, puppet shows and candyfloss treats in both the North and South Terminals.
- If you are travelling during the week of 16 August, prepare for a good old British send off as a brass band and comedy royal guards will be putting a spring in your step as you set off for the sun.
- Throughout the week of 23 August, circus performers will be entertaining passengers with performances from mime artists, clowns, unicyclists and hula hoopers.
- Check out the wide range of children’s audio books available to keep the kids entertained while you are waiting for your flight. All completely FREE on Soundcloud.
- Once you’ve reached the departure lounge, make sure you head to the special kids’ zones located in both terminals. Watch TV or play close to parents whilst waiting to board.
Shop until you drop......with a difference! If you are travelling within the UK and EU, and want to take advantage of the great shopping deals available at the airport but don’t want to take them with you, leave your items at our FREE Shop and Drop service and pick them up on your return – it’s a great way to spoil yourself whilst saving up to 20% off high street prices.
Wine and dineStart your summer holiday in style by treating yourself to a glass of something bubbly or to a taste of the delicious food in one of the numerous airport lounges or restaurants – top choices include the Caviar House and Prunier Seafood Bar or Jamie Oliver’s restaurant at Gatwick (Jamie’s Italian, deli and Union Jack’s bar).
This summer, Jamie’s Italian, Frankie and Benny’s and Pret-A-Manger will also be offering special ‘grab and go’ kids lunches too. Perfect if you and your children need to pick up a quick bite to eat before heading for the plane.
Pre-flight pamperThe few days before travelling can be stressful but airport lounges can help you relax and indulge in a little bit of luxury. The No.1 Traveller Lounge at Gatwick offers complimentary food and drink, free Wi-Fi, a games room and even a mini cinema. You can also treat yourself to a massage or a pedicure in the No.1 Spa in North Terminal before you fly so your feet are in tip-top shape before hitting the beach.
Top ten destinations from Gatwick – 19 July to 2 September 2013
t: + 44 (0) 1293 505000
About London Gatwick
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for more than 36 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is 28 miles south of London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.
In its December 2013 interim report, the Airports Commission included London Gatwick and Heathrow on its shortlist of potential locations for a new runway in the UK. Expansion at Gatwick will best meet the UK’s aviation needs for the future, can provide the greatest economic boost with the least environmental impact, and a new runway can be operational by 2025. For further information, see: www.gatwickobviously.com
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