departure from LGW

Jun 4th, 2008, 06:56 AM
  #1  
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departure from LGW

I am going to London with four friends from 17-27 July. I was looking over our final itenerary and everything looks good. But I do have a question for those of you who have traveled out of Gatwick before.

The LGW website says that int'l passengers are advised to check in 3 hours before their flight. For our 10:40 AM departure, this would mean us having to be there at 7:30 AM. Problem is that we are staying in the city, and the Circle Line tube doesn't start up until 7:20 AM from Gloucster Station on Sundays. Add to that the time it takes to travel the Gatwick Express.

Are Sunday departures usually less hectic than other days of the week? If so, should we just not worry about the 3 hour rule and just get there as soon as we can?
tnnonline is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 06:59 AM
  #2  
 
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Are Sunday departures usually less hectic than other days of the week? If so, should we just not worry about the 3 hour rule and just get there as soon as we can?

No, no, yes.

Possibly a car service?

Gardyloo is online now  
Jun 4th, 2008, 07:19 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Airlines always tell you to get to the airport for international flights 3 hours ahead, but it's not mandatory. That's just the time they open up the check-in counters.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 08:25 AM
  #4  
 
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You could take a taxi to Victoria, then Southern Trains - em train - to Gatwick

Wouldn't take a car service as getting between London & Gatwick by car EVEN on a Sunday is a truly miserable experience

In any case, don't sweat about the 3 hours.
alanRow is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 08:53 AM
  #5  
yk
 
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Just a reminder for traveling on Sundays. The trains (either Southern Railway or Gatwick Express) run slower on sundays and often cancel the trains.

The last few times I flew out of Gatwick on a Sunday, the GEX service was cut to every 30 minutes instead of every 15.

If you are leaving from Gloucester Rd tube station, why can't you take the District line? It shows service in the 6am hour.

Worse comes to worse, you can take 2 cabs to Victoria Station (assuming there's 5 of you plus luggage).
yk is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 09:02 AM
  #6  
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Didn't consider the District Line. Our directions on the hotel website say on/off the Circle Line.

Looking at my London map, I am assuming that these lines do not just travel one way? If this is the case, then we shouldn't worry about showing up at the tube station by 6:15-30.
tnnonline is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 09:25 AM
  #7  
yk
 
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Which hotel is it?

If it's near Glocester Rd tube station, then you can definitely take the District line.

And yes, the trains go both directions - you just need to get yourselves on the correct platform.

We had stayed at the Millennium Gloucester before, and we took the black cab from the hotel to Victoria station. It was £10 (this was November 2006.

Will you have an oyster card or travelcard? If you don't, each tube ride is £4 per person, and you'd be better off with a cab.
yk is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 09:31 AM
  #8  
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We're staying at the Quality Crown Kensington, which on the map is a 5 minute walk away from Gloucester Road station.

I just ordered a 20 pound Oyster Card today, even though I will probably put more on it while we're there.

Doubtless, we will have to ask a few things of the hotel staff once we arrive.
tnnonline is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 09:33 AM
  #9  
yk
 
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One more thing to add - the trains to Gatwick (either GEX or Southern Railway) arrive at the South Terminal. If your departure flight leaves from North Terminal, you need to take a train there, which can easily take up an additional 10 minutes.

Just pointing these things out so that you allow enough time to get yourselves to check-in. Couple of years ago we cut it real close (due to tube station closure, then GEX taking longer on Sundays etc) and we almost missed our flight home!
yk is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 09:36 AM
  #10  
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Just to encapsulate, our flight leaves the South Terminal at 10:40 AM LGW. A possible plan could be:

Be at Tube by 6:15

Get to Victoria Station, take Gatwick Express, arrive LGW by 7:30-8:00

Have sufficient time to check in. (We are flying US via CLT, so it shouldn't be as crowded as some of the other airlines.)
tnnonline is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 09:51 AM
  #11  
yk
 
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Your plan looks fine to me.

Just FYI, with 5 of you, you should qualify for the 4-for-2 promo for the Gatwick Express.

I am pretty sure the Southern Railway also offers a 4-for-2 discount as well.
yk is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 12:43 AM
  #12  
 
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Make sure to check for planned line and station closures. They are always doing work on the weekends.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 12:10 PM
  #13  
 
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How about moving to Sofitel Hotel at Gatwick (it's attached to North Terminal) on Saturday evening for the last night?

You'll be able to have a nice fine dinner and be able to check in 3 hours before the next morning and then return to hotel for nice breakfast before going thru security to departure lounge.

If it were us we'd do this - we do not want to miss the flight.

BlueSea is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 03:30 PM
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tnnonline,

You need to take a cab to St Pancras or Victoria, as tubes don't start running till around 7am on Sunday. I prefer taking First Capital Connect trains from St Pancras. It's a direct train, nearl half the price of Gatwick Express.
W9London is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 07:01 PM
  #15  
yk
 
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So to be sure, I used the tube "Journey Planner" to check the schedule for tnnonline for July 27th 2008 (Sunday).

The first District line train will depart Gloucester Rd Station at
6:42am
arrive Victoria at
6:48am

The next one departs at
6:53am
arrives Victoria at
6:59am

If tnnonline catches the first train, he & his friends should be able to make the 7am Gatwick Express, and definitely the 7:15am GEX.

Either train should still get them to Gatwick before 8am.
yk is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:19 AM
  #16  
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Thanks for all of your help and useful suggestions! For 3 of us, this will be our first time to London. Fortunately, one of our travelers is someone who lived there in 1997.

Knowing that we can get there by 8:00 is a relief. We are flying US Airways, so I doubt that the check in will be as packed as some of the other airlines.
tnnonline is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 08:41 AM
  #17  
 
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Be warned - Gatwick South Terminal is usually packed during the summer and very much so in late July when the UK schools end.

Many European and cheapo flights depart from South Terminal.

BlueSea is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 10:23 AM
  #18  
yk
 
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Last thought - you should still check the tube's website (or at the station) a few days before your return journey to make sure the Tube hasn't planned some maintainence service or closure on your travel day. Again, worst case scenario is to flag down a black cab to get to Victoria Station.
yk is offline  
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