My flight was delayed by half an hour. Never mind, I thought, settling back back into my comfy leather couch and taking another sip of wine. There’s probably time for another brownie.
I could get used to travelling like this. Between my flight from Barcelona to Gatwick that morning and my next flight home to Guernsey four hours later (now four and a half hours), I decided to make the long wait more bearable by trying out an airport lounge for the first time. So, I made a booking with Airport Parking and Hotels, printed out my confirmation, and made a beeline for the No. 1 Traveller airport lounge in Gatwick South Terminal straight from check in. Minutes after passing through security, I was sipping a complimentary glass of rose in the serene interior of the lounge, and feeling like I’d just moved up in the world.
The lounge was quiet. At least, it was far quieter than the main area of the terminal outside. Cut off from that busy, frantic world, I was in a calm and relatively peaceful environment, where relaxation, rather than the usual stresses of travel, is the order of the day. The décor was serene and airy, making the most of the light streaming in through large windows, which provided an interesting view of planes coming and going on the tarmac outside. A bright, white colour scheme, trimmed with plenty of warm neutral tones to keep it from looking too clinical, created exactly the kind of tranquil environment I needed to escape what was otherwise a fairly stressful journey with an annoyingly long layover.
No. 1 Traveller are airport lounge specialists, and they’ve created some super stylish, award-winning airport lounges which turn an ordinary journey into a VIP experience. The smart-casual dress code, while not particularly strict, made my trip home feel a little bit more special – and the exceptional service in the lounge made me feel like a celebrity. Which is the intention; after all, travelling – at it’s best – should be exciting and glamorous, rather than stressful or tedious.
With free, unlimited wifi, I was able to make the most of all that quiet time to catch up on a little work. Plus, the excellent self-service buffet, offering some very tempting hot food and delicious desserts – not to mention the fully staffed bar and complementary drinks – meant that I was able to treat myself, too.
Never have I been less annoyed about a delayed flight in my life. Although I probably couldn’t justify using an airport lounge everytime I fly (of course, I intend to try to), the benefits of splashing out on a little bit of luxury like this for a long layover are well worth it. Making full use of the No. 1 Traveller lounge in Gatwick made my trip feel that little bit more luxurious and, if I’m honest, a little glamorous too. Definitely a great way to pass the time at the airport.
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No. 1 Traveller lounges start at £20. Book online at APH.com.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary access to the lounge from APH, in order to research and write this review. However, that hasn’t influenced my opinion in anyway, and all thoughts and words above are my own and 100% honest.