easy bag ‘connections’ with Gatwick Connect

easyJet are now participating in the airport operated ‘Gatwick Connect’ service – enabling arriving passengers to quickly re-bag-drop checked items as soon as they have collected them from the reclaim belt – regardless of the airline they arrive on.

Gatwick Connect counter to re-drop bags in reclaim hall

Launched originally with Norwegian airlines and then joined by Virgin Atlantic (and now significantly by easyJet – the largest operator at LGW) the service is open to passengers arriving on any airline (including British Airways, etc) in either terminal and departing from either terminal – providing the onward departing flight is operated by:

  • easyJet
  • Norwegian
  • Virgin Atlantic

So, if you see the ‘Gatwick Connect’ desk in the reclaim hall, don’t think it is tickets for a train service they are trying to sell you. In fact, they are not trying to sell you anything – the service is free to use.

You can find more details about the service on the Gatwick Airport website flight connections page, along with a dedicated FAQ.

Passengers remain responsible for their own connections and the airlines don’t acquire any liability for missed connections even if you use this service, but it should mean a slightly easier journey – especially if you would have to drag your bags between terminals.

For those unfamiliar, easyJet are still a strictly point-to-point Low-Cost-Carrier (LCC) airline, they do not offer connection tickets, even with themselves – passengers remain responsible for miss connects and buying new tickets, and there is no through-checked luggage at all, even with themselves. So being able to instantly re-bag drop will be a big benefit to customers doing unofficial onward ‘connections’ with easyJet.

easyJet moving closer to a full service airline?

I’ve long said that what BA should be worried about is when easyJet start to offer official ticketed connections – as per the vueling model. Despite being a LCC, vueling allow passengers to book through checked connecting flight tickets (on their routes with reasonable frequency), giving passengers the protection of a through connection ticket against any delays and not needing to worry about re-checking their luggage while connecting.

It is worth pointing out that this has NOT happened with easyJet ..yet.

But with the talk of easyJet consolidating their operations at one terminal at Gatwick, if this happens Gatwick would likely be the place to try an official easyjet-to-easyjet connection model.

The European Common Customs and VAT area:

What I am less clear on is how ‘Gatwick Connect’ works with passengers arriving from flights outside the European Common Customs and VAT area, but ‘gatwick connect’ing onto flights to destinations inside the area.

On official through checked connections, transit bags that originated outside the area will be subject to customs at your final destination airport – Europe thankfully does not have the USA practice of needing you to walk your bags through customs when connecting.

To facilitate customs officers at the destination quickly and easily spotting those bags that began their journey outside the area, those that began inside have green-edged bag tags (those from outside will be all white).

The Gatwick Connect desks are inside the baggage reclaim halls, this is after immigration but before passengers and their bags have been through customs channels.

While the passengers themselves will still pass trough customs (as they head land-side to connect), their bags will surely be re-tagged as part of the ‘Gatwick Connect’ process. What colour tags will be put on? Plain white or green edges? Will they base it on the tag they remove from the bag?


easy bag ‘connections’ with Gatwick Connect — 8 Comments

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  3. I am flying back from Innsbruch to Gatwick on 26th dec I then have a flight on to Newquay with flybe.

    Can I check my bags straight through in innsbruch or cna I use the Gatwick Connect service?

    I only have 70 mins between landing and take-off!

    E Mounter

    • Who are you flying with from Innsbruck to Gatwick?
      – British Airways
      – easyJet
      – Monarch

      If you are on easyJet or Monarch, etc, they are strictly point to point airlines, they do not allow through checked bags with anyone (not even themselves), so in Innsbruck you could only check as far as Gatwick.

      If you are flying British Airways, is your flight to Newquay on the same ticket?
      – if it IS on the same ticket, then your bags should be checked through all the way from Innsbruck to Newquay. If you are on a separate ticket, you could try asking – as BA can interline to flyBe, but expect them to say no.

      As for using the Gatwick Connect service, the crucial questions are (1) whether your onward airline is supported – and flyBe are listed as supported. And (2) whether 70 minutes is sufficient time. I don’t know what time cut off the ‘Gatwick Connect’ service insists upon, but I expect 70 mins is probably OK, although you will have less than that by the time you have got off the aircraft and bags have arrived etc.

      • Hi David

        I’m new to this site, do you work for connect?

        Innsbruch to Gatwick is with easyjet, lands at 11:45

        Gatwick to Newquay with Flybe, takes off 12:55

        Seperately bought flights

        Do you know if connect work with these two airlines?

        I was told I could use Connect last year but when I got to the desk they said ‘No’!

        Regards Paddy

        • Hi Paddy,

          No I don’t work for connect, I do think it is a rather … interesting… service idea though.

          You should be fine to use the Gatwick Connect service.

          Given those are your airlines, there is no chance of checking it in at Innsbruch ALL the way to Newquay – as easyJet don’t interline with anyone, not even themselves.

          So you will need to collect your bag at Gatwick. The question is then whether you can drop it straight away using the connect service and avoid lugging it around.

          FlyBe is supported, so your airline is fine.

          The bag drop cut off time for Gatwick Connect is the same as that for using the normal desk. Which in FlyBe case is 30mins I believe for domestics.

          So you should be able to drop your bag immediately at the Connect desk, when you have retrieved it from the Innsbruch belt.

          Hope that helps/makes sense.


          • Thanks David

            Do you know a contact email address for connect?

            70 mins may be cutting it a bit fine thats all!!


          • Hi,
            The only email address I am aware of is: enquiries@gatwickairport.com
            Regarding time, you have 70mins between flights. The key thing would be how long it takes for baggage off your easy jet flight to be delivered to belt (and for your flight to get on stand first, assuming no delays).
            If you are running late, the Gatwick Connect bag drop should save you a lot of time.

            However, if you are seriously late, nothing really they can do (the only other option would be to travel hand-baggage-only for the first easyjet flight.

            Good luck.

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