London Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport’s giant barcodes

Art or advertising?

London’s Gatwick Airport is using giant barcodes to both cover up construction walls and share information about what’s going on behind those walls.

Gatwick airport barcode

Passengers who scan the codes (using a stickybits iPhone / Android app) will see a short video about the airport improvement program.

The first giant barcodes went up earlier this week in the airport’s North Terminal Shuttle stop, with more to follow.

Gatwick airport stickybits

Here’s what you’ll see

Tidbits for travelers: Talk back at Gatwick

Lots of airports are using Twitter as a tool to interact with travelers passing through.

London’s Gatwick Airport has been one of them.

Now the airport is kicking its social media program up a notch by integrating Twitter messages into the physical space of the airport. Throughout the day, Gatwick passengers will see this message on the check-in monitors.

Airport officials say reaching out by Twitter is part of an overall airport upgrade and rebranding program that will improve facilities but also “provide passengers with a more human and personal experience.”

That sounds promising.

The goals is to monitor and respond to in-airport comments 24 hours a day.

But not yet: while Twitter works round-the-clock, Gatwick’s social media team does not. So for now you can talk back to Gatwick on Twitter, but the airport will only Tweet back during working hours.

London Gatwick Airport Twitter screen

Sleep fast and stretch your travel dollars at the airport

When you’re stuck at the airport, wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where you could take a shower and a nap or just close the door and watch a movie or get some work done?

In some airports there are. A great example is the YOTEL, the short-stay hotel located inside the South Terminal at London’s Gatwick airport.

The brainchild of Simon Woodroffe, a brash British entrepreneur who also created a conveyor belt-style chain of sushi bars called YO! Sushi, the 46-room Gatwick YOTEL offers rooms that are a cross between what you might find in a Japanese pod-hotel and an amenity-rich first-class airplane cabin. But these rooms also include full showers, flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet access and room service.

Travelers can book a YOTEL room for as little as four-hours. So it seems ideal for those times when you’ve just come off a long flight or have a super early departure in the morning. Prices start at about $50 for a standard cabin for the minimum four-hour booking, but during August, to celebrate the GATWICK YOTEL’s first anniversary, overnight stays will go for under $100.

Not traveling through Gatwick? There’s a 32-cabin YOTEL in Terminal 4 at London’s Heathrow airport and another YOTEL scheduled to open at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport later this year.

So sleep tight – but sleep fast!