Written on: 14/10/2010 by Angels Sin (65 reviews written)
We flew with Virgin back in September and the flight was going from Gatwick. We live in London so it was pretty easy for us to get the tube to Victoria and then the Gatwick Express which took us to the South Terminal which was luckily where we needed to check in.
Check in was fast, although that was more due to Virgin, and we headed through to security. The queuing system here is a little bit cramped and not very well supervised, but the line moved fairly quickly and after about 20 or 30 minutes we were done and headed through to Departures. The area is placed over two floors and has a range of shops including Boots, WH Smiths, All Saints and Duty Free. There are also places to eat that vary from quick snacks to sit-down meals. We picked TGI Fridays for a cooked breakfast with a view of the Virgin planes.
The departures area was fairly clean if a little small to accommodate all the passengers. It would have been helpful to have a bit more seating and some bigger boards to list the gates and take off times. People tended to stand right in front of these boards and so they could be difficult to check because the text is fairly small - but then again, my eye sight isn't fantastic!
All in all, I don't think the departures area is all that bad. However, on arriving back into the UK, I was amazed! We had to queue up to get our passports checked, as expected but after that we were free to leave, absolutely no security at all!! We also waited a good 30 minutes for our bags to come through which isn't what you want a 6.30am after an 8 hour flight with no sleep!
Finding the Gatwick Express was easy and well signed so no complaints there!