London Airports

Which London airport is better: Heathrow or Gatwick?
Please help. I need advice.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2732 posts

Heathrow is much better as an airport, but their grounds fees and charges are very high. Charges are high also on people transferring to other destinations. Some U.S. airlines are no longer flying into Gatwick, i.e. U.S. Airways. When we flew down to Pisa on in April, it was a strange airport. We waited in a big mall for the flights' gates to be posted. Then, everyone made a mad dash to the gate to get in line for an unassigned seat. Gatwick didn't announce the gates until the last moment. It was just a bad experience. You can get into London city center easy from either airport on train or subway. Go for the cheapest fare with acceptable schedules.

Posted by Andreas
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2676 posts

is better for what? Heathrow is huge BUT it's cheaper to get to and from from the city center. Gatwick is smaller but very old and some concourses are really old and uncomfortable... so not a good place if you have to kill some time.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7431 posts

How long has it been since you've been through Gatwick Andreas? The owners have spent hundred of millions rebuilding the terminals over the past few years. It's practically a new airport.

Posted by Marco
Oxford, United Kingdom
1721 posts

The question that needs to be answered by the OP is '"better" for what?'. There is no absolute between them - and indeed for some purposes City or Stansted might be better than either of them. Without knowing for what purpose you have asked the question, or what your plans might be it isn't really possible to give a particularly useful answer. For me it is Heathrow every time. Because it is nearer to where I live.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11639 posts

two questions - as above, better for what? secondly, if you've already made your decision and opened your wallet, why ask the question? And, by the way, what caused you to choose Heathrow?

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
892 posts

Michael - Andreas seems to be describing the late and unlamented Heathrow T2, certainly Gatwick North seems pretty modern to me (if a long walk to arrivals). And poor David spending time in a "big mall", what a culture shock for an American!

Posted by Lee
1017 posts

OP now seems to be absent from this thread, but to others reading who have a choice, I can say that we prefer Gatwick because of the night-before travel features of the surrounding area. We had a B&B about a five-minute drive from the airport rental car check-in. It was also a five minute walk from a nice pub where we had a reliably tasty dinner after we got to the B&B. I don't think there's anything like that around Heathrow; if so, we haven't found it. Heathrow is a fine airport, very efficient in our experience, but I wish flights from Texas still went to Gatwick because the whole travel experience was much better for us there.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1671 posts

I prefer Gatwick over Heathrow as we usually stay in great village five minute drive away and has to me a more English feel to it than Heathrow.

Posted by Andreas
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2676 posts

Michael, Keith, my last flight to LGW was in summer of 2012. Then Lufthansa discontinued the flights from FRA to LGW in lack of business travelers making use of it. I liked the flight. It was always on a nearly empty Boeing 737-500 (the plane matched the age of the terminal building). There is no T2 in Heathrow anymore - but yes, that was pretty bad as well.