Love at first flight: Tips for making your Valentine’s unmissable

Love at first flight: Tips for making your Valentine’s unmissable

Around 450,000 loved-up passengers are expected to descend upon London Gatwick between 13-17th February. For those among the crowds, here are a few tips for making your Valentine’s airport experience extra special

Love is in the airport this Valentine's Day as thousands of love-birds flock to Gatwick. Barcelona, Amsterdam and Copenhagen have made the top 10 romantic destinations of choice over the weekend (full list below), while some parts of Britain remain popular too, with couples opting to cosy up in the Celtic cities of Dublin, Belfast and Edinburgh.

Nick Henderson, of Gatwick's terminal operations team, said: "Barcelona is definitely the hot destination for star-crossed lovers this year. Couples are certainly taking the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the sun over the Valentine's weekend and with Gatwick serving more destinations than any other UK airport, it is proving a great starting point for any romantic weekend away."

Here's how to make the most of the bustling West Sussex airport and start your trip in style…

Majestic music

Arrive early to enjoy some Valentine's entertainment in the departure lounges of the North and South terminals - from classical guitarists and the band 'The Valentines' to a dressed up King and Queen of hearts. Gatwick staff will also be handing out chocolate treats to passengers, too.

Perfect packing

If you're whisking your loved one away for a short break, don't forget to pack light so you can carry your luggage on board, leaving more time to enjoy your romantic destination when you arrive. Check with your airline before you travel to ensure you've got your luggage limits in order. There's also a helpful overview on the Gatwick website.

Make an entrance

Avoid lugging baggage from the car park and simply breeze straight into the airport with valet parking. It will make a big difference on the tiring return leg too.

Wine and dine

Checking in online before you travel means you can make the most of your time before you board: head straight for a glass of bubbly or dine in style in one of the airport lounges or restaurants. At Gatwick, there's a wealth of options to satisfy everyone's taste, from a smoked salmon seafood platter at the Caviar House & Prunier, to a hearty, signature pan-cooked 'full monty' at Jamie's Italian.

Pre-flight pamper

With lounges like the No.1 Traveller Lounge, you don't have to fly business class to indulge in a little bit of luxury. Pre-book before you fly for the best rate and relax with complimentary food and drink, free Wi-Fi, a games room (perfect if you have kids, or are just a big kid yourself!), mini cinema and much more. You could even treat yourselves to a massage or get your nails done before you fly in the No.1 Spa!

Stress-free shopping

Why save gifts until the end of the holiday? Buy your better half some duty-free perfume, aftershave or chocolates as a romantic gift and save up to 20% off high street prices. Better still, go one step further and take advantage of the tax-free savings on jewellery. If you're travelling light but want to enjoy a mini-spree, Gatwick's Shop, Fly, Collect service means you can leave your shopping for free at the airport and then simply pick it up on your return.

Popping the question?

Don't forget to take the necessary precautions to make sure your ring stays a well-kept secret as you travel through airport security. Ideally pop it in your bag to avoid it setting off the metal detectors and try not to wrap the box, as you could be made to unwrap it. It's also always worth attaching a little note saying 'engagement ring inside, please be discreet' - thus minimising the risk of having to get down on one knee in front of airport security.

Gatwick's top 10 Valentine's destinations for 2014:

1.    Geneva
2.    Barcelona
3.    Dublin
4.    Tenerife
5.    Amsterdam
6.    Belfast
7.    Dubai
8.    Edinburgh
9.    Malaga
10.  Copenhagen

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