This is going to be fun, as we have another one of our rivalry reports between Heathrow and Gatwick. And this week it’s all about the luggage which went right for one and oh so wrong for the other; more about that in a few paragraphs.
It’s been one of those odd weeks where one particular news story just didn’t go away; more about that later. In other news we found bits and pieces from the US (this time San Francisco and Denver made the cut) as well as our almost surely reoccurring news from England.
What a busy airport week this one was again! We’ve got more strikes albeit this week from a different European country, a culinary feast about to be unveiled in the UK, Chinese turtles and a couple of “interesting” stories from the US of A. So let’s get started right away!
Wow, what a big week for LateDeparture this one was! On Monday we announced the winner story from our Airport News of the Year award voting process. As you probably heard by now, the story about Jack the Cat who was lost at the JFK airport won the title. Subsequently many of you commented on the sad fate of Jack and reinforced on your views about who was to blame. If the award did one thing, then it showed that some airlines still have a long way to go in regards to handling incidents like this one.
First it seemed all just a distraction from the failed third runway expansion for London Heathrow but more recently, the concept of an entirely new airport located in the Thames estuary is gaining momentum. This is the time for us to investigate and report on this idea in more detail.
Okie dokie, let’s get this week’s news round-up going as we’ve got a lot to get through! Our tour will bring you to Singapore, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Moscow and London. It’s obviously been a news week from around the world!
Another busy aviation related airport week has passed and with that news about missing cats, stranded passengers a new runway, the world’s worst airports and a frequent renaming of a US airport nicely filled our inbox. Let’s start chronologically:
For once this week’s round up of airport related news is focusing entirely on one country on the island of Great Britain. With Qantas’ ongoing strike woes continuing in Australia and Spain’s decision in delaying its airport privatization, to just name two examples, other regions certainly weren’t absent from news headlines around the world, yet it was England that caught our full attention this week.
I’ve been to London’s Gatwick airport (IATA: LGW) a few times now but so far all my flights departed from the South Terminal from where there isn’t much to report from. It’s actually probably one of the most boring terminals on this planet. Yes, there are a few shops and eateries, but there’s nothing really exciting there. Mind you, there are still things you can do at the airport in such a situation, check out some of my more creative suggestions here, here and here.
But now, let’s rather focus on the North Terminal. First of all, getting there was a bit of a hassle on this April’s fool’s day as the connecting shuttle that normally runs between the two terminals wasn’t working because they are currently upgrading it. A new shuttle should be ready by this summer. I therefore had to cue up and board a bus. Once in the North Terminal, however, it’s actually quite a pleasant experience. This building seems to be the quieter and more airy terminal. This is simply about the ratio of space to people one would accept for an airport.
Then, once through security, you’ll get to a large open space with shops all around you. There are 2 levels, the ground floor containing mostly shops such as Harrods, Dixons Travel, Accessorize, WH Smith or Boots among the more general ones. Upstairs you’ll find mainly restaurants and bars, however luckily there wasn’t as single McDonalds or Burger King in sight, sadly no Starbucks either.
So here are a few suggestions of what to do:
- Get your last minute flip flops from the well stocked “The Shoe Studio” on the ground floor
- Stock up your miniature travel essentials from Boots
- Check out the English old school, but fairly well stocked toy store “Hamley’s”
- Treat yourself to a few innovative cosmetic solutions from “Rituals…”
- If you’re hungry, go upstairs and check out Café Rouge which offers a nice seating area both facing inside and outside the terminal. Or grab a bite to eat at my favourite “sandwich franchise”, Eat. If you’re a bit more adventurous, go to the Lloyds bar and try one of their Bitters with a great view towards the runways. And finally, if you’re the milk shake & hot dog kind of person, then checking out “Shake-a-Hula” is a must. They serve, you guessed it, milk shakes and hot dogs. But don’t worry; you don’t have to have them in one go necessarily.
|Airport Name||London Gatwick Airport, North Terminal|
|£32.99 (incl. Ice Jacket)|
[Picture from Flickr – some rights reserved]