Landing in Gatwick

Has anyone arrived at Gatwick from an international flight (preferably from Canada) lately, and can give me an idea of the time it takes to get through customs and pick up bags etc? I’m trying to decide what time we can expect to pick up our rental car.

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been there and although we normally manage to be on the road with our rental car within about 90 minutes, I’m wondering if things are taking longer now since COVID?

Can’t give insight into arriving Gatwick, but we flew through arrivals at Heathrow last November and early January this year.

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Your question is impossible to give an answer to. Going through customs and immigration in any airport is a hit or miss. There are so many factors to take into consideration.
Give it a two hour window to get through. If your less then have a coffee before collecting. If your too late apologise and grovel.

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OK thanks. Our experience at Gatwick in the past has always been swift and easy. I guess I was mostly wondering if Post-Covid has caused any new delays.

Normally we book car pick up about an hour after landing, but hubby is thinking we should make it 90 min instead now. I just don’t want to have to sit around for any longer than we have to because I’m always so terribly jet-lagged after the flight and can’t wait to get to our B&B and have a nap.

Our local airport seems to be slower to get through right now.

That’s good to hear, thanks! My last (years ago) experience at Heathrow was probably the longest I’ve ever had to wait at arrivals!

fwiw - arriving at Heathrow on 2 Feb it took about 30 minutes from plane to going into the Virgin Arrivals lounge.


What does fwiw stand for?

For what it’s worth @Smiley

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I’ve always had to give my flight details to a car service and they check the flight status. They would offer you a collection time based on your flight schedule & the airport you are landing at.
If they don’t ask them what the collection time is. Then you are not at fault if you’re late. Regular drivers also know the peak airport times.

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I did fill in my flight info on the form so they will be aware if my flight is late. So I guess there’s that.

Yes, I’ve heard of delays like that too. Although, I guess maybe things will go smoother now that I don’t need to show anything other than my proof of vaccination.

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We have been through Heathrow twice in the last few months (with hand baggage) and both times it was basically as quick as we could walk so 15-30 mins from getting off plane. It was excellent :slight_smile:

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Perfect thanks. No doubt, Gatwick will be the same then.

As an update to my own post, we landed at Gatwick North at noon, straight thru e-gate, straight thru customs “nothing to declare” and off to pick up rental car. Fast and easy.

Also got an EE SIM card at the W H Smith in arrivals. Went full bore and got 100gb for a month. 30-40£ I can’t remember now. Anyway, I popped it into my phone and it activated immediately.


Welcome to Britain @Kelownagurl sounds like the perfect landing … safe onward travels :uk:


Perfect, we landed at Gatwick 2 weeks ago with the same experience :slight_smile:

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Are you guys housesitting in the area? When and where?

We are visiting family in the midlands but have added a couple of sits - currently kitty sitting in Loughborough and in 2 weeks kitty sitting in Brighton before we head home.
If our paths cross would enjoy meeting up.


As an update, we flew home to Canada out of Gatwick on Friday, June 17 at 2pm. We arrived at the airport about 11am, whizzed thru baggage drop (no real queue for Westjet, online check in already done), and then about 30 min thru the 3 stages of security which were all fast moving and well organized.

Landing in Canada, was super fast as well. We had Arrivecan app filled in already, landed in Calgary, as Canadians with a connecting flight, we were thru the customs line in about 15 min, and on our way to relax at our gate for our flight home.