Checking in at Gatwick
Where to go
The check-in areas are clearly signed within each terminal.
To 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.
When to arrive
Check your ticket or contact your airline for advice on checking-in times. The following times provide a general guide, but we advise you to arrive at least two hours before your flight to allow plenty of time.
- Long-haul flights: check-in opens around three 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
We recommend that you check with your airline for specific check-in times, as these may vary.
Alternatively, you may be able to use self-service or online check-in. If you have an early morning flight you may prefer to stay in an airport hotel and check-in the evening before your flight. Find out more about day before check-in.
To save time, have your tickets and passport ready, and make sure your hand baggage contains only valuables and items you will need during the journey.
Many of our airlines offer online check-in from two to 24 hours before departure.
You will be able to choose your seat and print your boarding pass or simply save an electronic version on your phone or the airline's app.
When you get to the airport, simply take your bags to the bag drop facility for your airline, or if you are travelling with hand luggage only, then head straight to security.
Several of our airlines offer you the option to use their self service check-in kiosks at the airport. Save time by using the self-service check-in terminal to choose your seat and print your boarding card. Airline staff will be on hand if you need help. Once you've checked in then head to bag drop with your checked-in luggage.
The following airlines operate self-service check-in at Gatwick – but not all passengers and routes are eligible to use the service - please ask a member of staff if you're in doubt.
- British Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
Security and boarding
Information screens in the departure lounge show flights, boarding times and gate numbers. Boarding usually begins around 45 minutes to one hour before the departure of your flight.
Please note that no flight calls are made at Gatwick, so watch the screens closely.