There are some really well-designed airports, then there are the Gatwicks of the world.
You can’t help but wonder if airport designers do drugs when they’re doing their airport design thing, with the type of drug they’re on being the determining factor in just how cracked-out the airport layout actually is when it’s finished.
I just got done whisking through the maze that is London’s (/Brighton’s) Gatwick airport to make another flight to Stuttgart, and I couldn’t help but stop at a few points to admire the nonsensical gate numbering system that passengers here have to suffer through every time they fly out.
First, the gaggles of gates seem to be spread out over random little buildings strewn around the whole airport property haphazardly. Then, there are huge gaps in the gate numbers. At one point you’re looking at a sign that says gates 45-55 to the right and gates 101-113 are that same way. So naturally one might assume that gates 56-100 are down that way as well and that perhaps gates 1-44 were to the left.
Nope, those gates evidently just got vaporized in the puff of smoke coming out of the bong that whoever designed this airport was going to town on when they were designing Gatwick’s layout.
So what’s in that other direction, you may be asking about now. Well, take a hit of something good to swallow this logic… the 500s. No, that’s not a typo. The 500s gates are on the opposite side from the random chunks of 100s, and the layout potheads just pulled some random numbers out of their asses for that side too. According to the sign, gates 557-574 are to the left. Say huh?
Oh, and it gets better (and evidently the potency got better too)… they eventually decided to just give up on numbering gates and just started throwing letters at them instead.
As I made my way towards my gate of 112 for my flight to Stuttgart, I passed signage for one gate, 45, that got subdivided 12 times in gates 45A through 45L, and another gate, 55, that got subdivided 11 times into gates 55A through 55K. Those Shifty Five gates even had their guard dudes body blocking the entrance to them (prob passport control).
So in all, this North Terminal at Gatwick seems to have had about 62 gates if I’m not high myself and am counting correctly. So why the hell couldn’t they just label them gates 1-62? Why45A-45L, 46-54, 55A-55K, 101-113, and 557-574?
I’ll tell ya why! Because those airport layout designers were high AF when they put together the gate numbering system for this scareport. That’s why. What other possible explanation could there be?