There are multiple ways to check yourself and your bags in at London Gatwick, but make sure you arrive at least two hours before your flight

Check-in with ease at London Gatwick

The check-in areas at London Gatwick are clearly signposted within each terminal. 

Look at the flight information screens at the terminal entrances to find your specific check-in desk. If you have already checked in online and only have hand luggage, you can go directly through security to the departure lounge.

When to arrive:  

Check your ticket or contact your airline for specific advice on checking-in times. The following times serve as a general guide and generally we recommend you arrive at least two hours before your flight to allow plenty of time. 

  • Long-haul flights: check-in opens around three hours before your scheduled departure
  • European flights: check-in three hours before your scheduled departure
  • UK and Ireland flights: check-in two hours before your scheduled departure

We recommend that you check with your airline for specific check-in times, as these may vary. 

What are my options for checking in at London Gatwick?

London Gatwick offers multiple methods of check-in to cater for all passengers and how you want to travel. Some of our airlines allow you check your bags in online ahead of time, whilst we also still offer physical check-in options for those who prefer to speak to someone before their trip.

Passenger using digital boarding pass on their phone to drop bags using self-service terminal
In person check-in

To save time, have your tickets and passport ready. Make sure your hand luggage contains only valuables and items you will need during the journey. 

See our security advice on what you should pack and where.

Early check-in

You may be able to use self-service or online check-in to save time on the day of your departure. If you have an early morning flight, you may instead prefer to stay in an airport hotel and check in the evening before your flight.  

You can then drop your luggage off the day before you fly and relax without worrying about early morning queues.

Online check-in

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. If you are travelling with hand luggage only, you can head straight to security.

Self-service check-in

Several of our airlines offer you the option to use their self-service check-in terminals at the airport. You can use these kiosks to choose your seat and print your boarding card. Airline crew will be on hand if you need help. Once you've checked in, head to bag drop with your checked-in luggage. 

The following airlines operate self-service check-in at Gatwick.

  • British Airways 
  • easyJet 
  • Norwegian 
  • WestJet

Not all passengers and routes are eligible to use the service, so please ask a member of our team if you're in doubt. 

Day before check-in
The following airlines also offer day-before check-in at Gatwick. Terms and conditions apply, so you should check with them for more information.

British Airways

Opening hours: 18:00 - 21:00. 

Eligible flights: All next-day flights departing before 13:00. Use the self-service check-in kiosks, then deposit your luggage at the fast bag drop in zone A. 

Cost: free. 

Other conditions: all passengers must be present at check-in. 

Visit the British Airways Website for more information. 

TUI Airways

Opening hours: 14.00 - 21.00. 

Eligible flights: all next-day departures before 12:00. 

Cost: free. 

Other conditions: all passengers must be present at check-in. This service is not available for flights to the USA and only available for TUI flights with a TOM flight number. 

Visit the TUI Airways website for more information. 


Opening hours: 19:00 - 22.00. 

Eligible flights: passengers departing before 08:00 the following day. 

Cost: free. 

Other conditions: all passengers in your party do not need to be present, but all boarding passes and passports must be present. 

Visit the easyJet website for more information. 

Security and boarding

Once you've checked in, we recommend that you head straight to security and through to the departure lounge. We've got plenty of shops and restaurants to browse, or you may choose to simply relax. 

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.