I know if I buy it at Gatwick airport I can but If I don't know if I do at Downtown, will it work? My idea is to buy one at Heathrow and then go to visit London and take my connection to Gatwick. Am I right? What do you recommend me? If I pay by contactless CC, how secure and cheaper is compared to get a one day unlimited transport card?


If you pay by contactless, do not worry about travelcards. The fare you pay will be automatically limited by the daily fare cap. The cap used to be the same as the price of the day travelcard that would have covered the same journeys, but is now generally even less than that.

(Beware that Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express charge special fares that do not count towards the cap. But nor are travelcards valid for them anyway. Traveling to/from the airport by tube, TfL Rail, or regular Southern/Thameslink trains do count for the cap).

  • Thanks for your reply. When you say Heathrow and Gatwick express you mean to the express service right? but I can take the regular tube and TFL service (no express) from/to airports (Heathrow and Gatwick) to/from London and those journeys count on my day pass? Thanks very much for your kind reply – Luis Oishi Jun 25 at 20:45
  • @LuisOishi: Correct. For extra confusion, beware that at Heathrow Terminals 2-3 the TfL Rail trains to Paddington leave from the same platform as the expensive Heathrow Express. There are employees with bullhorns on the platform yelling angrily at passengers to remember only to board the right train. (The Underground's Piccadilly Line, on the other hand, is an entirely separate station). – Henning Makholm Jun 25 at 20:52
  • Excellent! I will buy only a 1 day pass so. Very grateful for your help. A+++ – Luis Oishi Jun 25 at 21:10
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    @LuisOishi: When you write "buy a 1 day pass" it sounds like you're misunderstanding the system. With a contactless card you don't need to buy anything in advance. Just touch the card to the reader on the turnstile your way onto a platform, and again when you leave your destination station. The system will automatically detect when several journeys are made by the same card, and make a single charge for all of them, taking caps into account, somewhen the next day. – Henning Makholm Jun 25 at 21:23
  • @LuisOishi Also just to clarify. There are no TFL services from Gatwick. Trains from other companies service this station. But you are still able to use contactless, the other train companies and TFL cooperate to collect the fares so you don’t have to worry about multiple tickets – Martin Jevon Jun 26 at 13:15

Since nobody actually answered your question as phrased, I thought I'd make this very clear:

No, a Zone 1-9 Travelcard is NOT valid to Gatwick Airport.

You can see a map of Travelcard validity on the London's Rail and Tube Services map.

You can see that while Gatwick Airport is in the Oyster Pay as you Go area (meaning you can use Oyster or contactless bank cards to pay for travel), it does NOT have a zone number listed, meaning it is not valid with ordinary numbered-zone Travelcards.

You can still buy a Travelcard from Gatwick Airport if you wish but it's a so-called "outboundary" Travelcard, which is in effect just a one-day return (Americans would say "round trip") ticket to the boundary of Zone 6, combined with a Travelcard valid within Zones 1-6. There are various available depending on whether you need validity on Gatwick Express trains or not and whether or not you're travelling at peak times, but in any case, it will almost certainly work out more expensive than just using Oyster or Contactless. Henning gave more details on how this works in his answer.

  • Ohh.... thanks for clearing out my thoughts. Actually I am new in this forum and first time going to London. Thanks very much – Luis Oishi Jun 26 at 13:58
  • @LuisOishi no problem - when you get used to the idea of using Oyster or Contactless everywhere it all becomes much easier, but it can take a while to get your head around when you're used to other systems. Hope you enjoy London! :) – Muzer Jun 26 at 23:03

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