Organising travel plans for over 20,000 people each year, it is inevitable that we are going to have to deal with some delayed flights. From an operator’s point of view, it is good to experience a delay first hand as it can be easy to forget just how much this can impact on a traveller’s journey.

So, on a recent business trip to Lithuania after the initial disappointment at being advised of a three hour delay, I decided to sit back and use the experience as one of those reality check moments on how it feels to be delayed!

We have recently signed a contract with the new ‘No 1 Lounge’ at London Gatwick in the South Terminal. Having included the lounge as part of our Viking Gold flight upgrade service we thought it would be good to offer the lounge as a stand alone product to those customers not travelling with Viking or those who just want a lounge without the added onboard enhancement.

Having never been in the lounge I thought this delay would be an ideal opportunity to check in and see what it has to offer.

As soon as you enter through the large wooden doors, there is an immediate feeling of calm. Although vastly improved over the last few years, the South Terminal at Gatwick is still very busy and so having somewhere to escape to is bliss!

With a panoramic view of the boarding gates and runway I sat on a large comfy sofa and ordered a drink from one of the attentive waiters. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, carefully selected wines, beers and spirits are complimentary, with champagne and tailor-made cocktails available at an additional charge.

After relaxing, taking in the sight of the busy apron below, and catching up on the day’s news from one of the large TV screens I ordered a freshly prepared sandwich from the complimentary food menu.

Depending on the time of day, there is always a selection of food available. Breakfast is available from 4am – 11am and comprises a buffet which includes freshly baked pastries, fruit salad, yoghurt, cereals, toast and fresh juices, as well as a choice of Eggs Benedict, warm bacon roll or crepes with maple syrup.

At other times of the day there is normally a selection of soup of the day, spicy chorizo & avocado salad, salmon fillet with watercress & mango, warmed chicken Caesar pita, Eggs Benedict and cheese & tomato tartlet.

Children are welcome in the lounge when accompanied by an adult, but may be asked to sit in a designated family area.

Complimentary wi-fi and desktop internet access are available or you can pass the time with a game of table football or choose from a selection of other games from the comfort of your chair.

Having used several pre-pay lounges over the last few years, more often than not I have been disappointed. The No 1 lounge was a completely different experience and one that I would highly recommend.

It really is on par with some of the business class lounges available and at £17.50 for adults and £10 per child you only have to have a drink and a snack for it to have paid for itself!

The No1 Lounge is open from 4am – 10pm daily and can be prebooked via our Sunvil reservations team.

Chris Wright
Operations Director, Sunvil