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EasyJet Opens First Lounge at London Gatwick

An EasyJet A320 with Sharklets (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Fabian Behr)

One of the pillars of the low-cost airline concept, the one developed first by Southwest Airlines in the ‘60s and ‘70s, was the absence of frills and supplementary services in order to keep costs low and pass the savings on to passengers in the way of lower fares. However, especially during the past couple of decades, we have seen airlines that were born as low-cost (or no-frills) carriers “hybridize” to become more and more similar to traditional or full-service carriers. These airlines have added additional services that are intended to increase passenger satisfaction and potential revenue streams.

Last week European low-cost airline EasyJet took another step towards what can be described as “hybridization” by opening up its first lounge at their main hub at London Gatwick Airport. In cooperation with lounge operator “No1 Lounges,” the carrier opened “The Gateway by Easyjet and No1 Lounges.” This is the first-ever airport co-branded lounge created by the partnership between a budget airline and a lounge operator.

The space is intended as an area dedicated to passengers who want to work or relax in a relaxing atmosphere and can be booked as an extra service by the hour starting from 18.50 British pounds (approximately $25).

“We are delighted to be launching our very first airport lounge in partnership with No1 Lounges to serve passengers at London Gatwick” – said Rachael Smith, EasyJet’s Commercial Proposition & Innovation Director. “We’re always looking for opportunities to offer travelers more choice and great value, so we’re proud that The Gateway will be able to offer something for everyone whether it’s all the essentials for a workspace, somewhere comfortable to relax before jetting off, or to entertain the family.”

Smith continued to state: “The launch is timely as we are seeing the recovery begin in the U.K., not only for leisure travel where winter sun destinations are proving popular once again but for business travelers too, who are returning in their biggest numbers since before the pandemic. Whatever the reason for travel, we are confident that the lounge will provide the perfect destination for customers wanting to get their trip off to a perfect start.”

The undertaking is part of EasyJet’s partnership with British travel company Holiday Extras and it is possible for all passengers to book the lounge online in increments of one hour up to a maximum of three hours. The space will also be accessible to members of the Priority Pass program who will be able to use the services of the lounge starting from three hours before the departure of their flight.

Complimentary food and drinks will be available to all guests together with a selection of dishes inspired by destinations served by EasyJet from London Gatwick. There will be free WiFi as well as some armchairs for relaxation with refreshments, and families will be able to enjoy a game room aand TV den.

At the moment, EasyJet is not planning on providing lounge access to passengers purchasing their Flexi fares, those including more flexibility, a higher baggage allowance, dedicated drop bag desk, fast track at security, and a meal voucher to be used onboard. These passengers will have to reserve lounge access and pay the appropriate fees like everyone else, but it is not difficult to see how this could be a future development allowing EasyJet to further refine its premium offering in order to attract higher-yield customers.

After all, EasyJet was one of the first low-cost airlines in Europe to include in their list of destinations the main airports in Europe to be closer to the needs of business and leisure passengers; while most of its low-cost competitors like Ryanair and Wizz Air decided to stick to secondary airports in order to benefit from lower landing charges, no slot constraints and no ATC delays.

EasyJet decided from the start to serve the main European hubs like Amsterdam, Zurich, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Barcelona, and Rome Fiumicino to offer a service that would allow them to more effectively compete with full-service carriers.

Vanni Gibertini


  • Vanni Gibertini

    Vanni fell in love with commercial aviation during his undergraduate studies in Statistics at the University of Bologna, when he prepared his thesis on the effects of deregulation on the U.S. and European aviation markets. Then he pursued his passion further by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University in the U.K. followed by holding several management positions at various start-up carriers in Europe (Jet2, SkyEurope, Silverjet). After moving to Canada, he was Business Development Manager for IATA for nine years before turning to his other passion: sports writing.

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