With complimentary access to the Gatwick premium security lane through my BA Gold status, I can occasionally take the benefit for granted. That said, there are times when I’ll actively avoid using the lane due to overcrowding. Read on to find out why and, more importantly, when I would recommend travellers should pay to use the premium Gatwick fast track security lane.
Gatwick Airport priority security is available in both the North and South terminals and is open between 4am and 8.45pm.
Premium Gatwick Fast Track Security – Access Rules
One of the easiest ways to access the Gatwick fast track security lane is through the Gatwick Airport website (found here) for a charge of £5 per person with children under the age of 5 going free. For a permanent saving of 20% you can also use the myGatwick page and look out for the occasional £1 offer which appears a couple of times each year. It’s also possible to pay £5 on the door of the Gatwick premium security lane, however I don’t believe you’re guaranteed entry during busy times!
As I mentioned, I’m able to use the premium security Gatwick North & South lanes with my British Airways Executive Club Gold status when travelling on a BA flight. BA provides access to the following customers:
- Customers travelling in First, Club World and Club Europe
- Executive Gold and Silver (plus one guest – I have an admission. I never knew that I could take a guest through with me until today – shock, horror, I know!)
- oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (plus one guest)
Holders of the easyJet Plus card (reviewed here) will also be able to gain complimentary access. You should also be granted access if you’re travelling in a premium cabin or have elite status with another airline.
Finally, Gatwick fast track security is available for those who are either purchasing a pass to use the No 1 Lounge or are simply reserving guaranteed entry (£5) using either Priority Pass or Lounge Club. As I’ve discussed during my recent review here, if you’re planning on visiting the No 1 Lounge during school holidays or peak times I’d strongly recommend reserving a space to avoid disappointment. The premium security should also guarantee more time in the lounge to make the most of the complimentary food and drink…
Regular readers will know that you’ll receive two free Lounge Club airport lounge passes with the (free for the first year) American Express Gold card. This is currently our favourite UK credit card for travellers. Alongside the complimentary Lounge Club card and 2 passes, you’ll also receive a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points which can be transferred to Avios (BA air miles) at a rate 1:1. This would be enough for 2 return tickets within Europe. You can boost the sign-up bonus to 22,000 points using this link.
Booking Premium Security Gatwick
We’d recommend booking Gatwick premium security through myGatwick to benefit from the 20% discount (sometimes more). You can do this through either the website found here or alternatively through the myGatwick app.
You’ll need to select a 30-minute time slot – it’s not clear whether they enforce these time slots however I suspect not. Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive a confirmation email which you’ll need to present at the entrance as confirmation.
How to Find the Gatwick Premium Security Lane?
In both terminals the Gatwick premium security North and Gatwick premium security South lanes are situated to the left of the main security lanes and as such are easy to find.
The Premium Gatwick Fast Track Security Experience
As I mentioned at the start of this review, there are times when I actively try to avoid using the security lane. With a significant number of business travellers who have either Silver or Gold BA Executive Club elite status gaining access, I tend to avoid the premium security lane first thing on a Monday morning and Friday afternoons except for during school holidays. I’ve made this mistake and queued for 10 minutes while watching people sailing through the empty standard security lanes.
Also if you’re travelling in BA First Class (or are a BA Gold member) the fast track security at Gatwick has nothing in comparison to the dedicated First Class wing at Heathrow T5. Whenever I’m lucky enough to fly First I always try to leave from Heathrow T5 to experience the First Class wing and more importantly the uber-exclusive Concorde Room. You can find my recent First Class BA flight review here where I used the Amex Gold card alongside another credit card to earn enough points for 2 First Class flights between London and Sao Paulo!
One final point I’ve noticed during my travels is that the Gatwick premium security South lane is situated right next to the family security lane. Whilst this doesn’t bother me in the slightest it occasionally doesn’t feel like the ‘tranquil environment’ suggested by the Gatwick website – see below!
Let’s Wrap Things Up
So would I spend £5 per person to use the premium Gatwick fast track security lanes? Yes, but only on two occasions.
- If I was planning on using my Priority Pass card (comes free with the Amex Platinum offering unlimited access to a large number of lounges) to visit the No 1 Lounge during peak times. I’ve been turned away before so now pre-book most times I go. By pre-booking I’ll also gain access to premium security.
- If I’m not travelling with BA (or a oneworld partner) during school holidays or peak times I’d be prepared to pay – although I haven’t ever had to purchase entry to date.
As always I’m interested to hear your thoughts and experiences on the Gatwick premium security lane so please do share in the comments section below.