London Stansted Airport
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our London Stansted Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of nearby hotels if you really can't handle sleeping in the terminal.
Its just the biggest youth hostal I have ever seen... So many people all over, in the seats, on the ground, and wherever you can imagine. -phabioo
Sleep in Section K. It is towards the end of the terminal, no doors open throughout the night, it is near a 24 hour cafe, toilets are nearby.
Only power outlet I found was behind the coke machine. Set yourself up near there.
Get there relatively early, around 9pm or 10.
Make sure you get a bench with no armrests between seats. I had to drag my original one 50m across the terminal to swap it for a better one. Yes everyone was looking at me as I did it and yes I had a much more comfortable sleep than they did.
If you arrive too late for a bench, sleep under one of the pillars with ads on each of its sides. Almost like a pseudo 'pod'.
Make friends with someone so you can mind each other's stuff if you need to go toilet etc.
Burger King is good for cheap and healthy food.
Wifi is through Boingo which is around 4 pounds a month. Make sure you remember to cancel it after a month thought because I think it is a subscription. Although it did seem to be useful in many other cities I went to.
Make sure you wake up in time. There are many other early morning flights. Checkin security train to gate can take some time.
Have you been to London Stansted Airport recently? Tell us about it!
In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
If there is such a thing as a budget traveller's airport, it is London Stansted airport or Camp Stansted as we lovingly refer to it here. Every night - throughout the year - budget travellers descend upon this airport awaiting the departure of their early morning RyanAir flights. The airport has become so popular that you must arrive early in order to secure a good spot. Some nights "early" may mean 10PM. During the busy summer months you would not be foolish to arrive at 8PM. If it is your first time at Stansted airport, you will be able to easily identify the regular Camp Stansted Sleepers as they will be the people inflating their air mattress or erecting their tents off in the corner. When you see the hundreds of sleeping bodies all over the floor during peak airport sleeping season, it will be a sight to behold. With its liberal airport sleeping policies, the availability of food, showers and left luggage 24 hours a day, we consider Stansted Airport to be very airport sleeper friendly - if not entirely comfortable. Just get there early, bring your air mattress and be quiet - there will be many other people trying to sleep!
Update 13 Feb 2014 - the airport is currently undergoing renovations making overnight sleepovers difficult. Seats are even more limited. According to one traveller, seats are close to doors, ensuring a cold evening.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at London Stansted airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- No. 1 Stansted at Gate 49 - Location: Satellite 3, airside, Gate 49 (Ryan Air uses this lounge). Hours: 430am - 9pm. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£20.00) • Priority Pass.
Free WiFi is available at London Stansted Airport for 60 minutes. Connect to the " _stanstedairport" network. Additionally, Internet kiosks are also available. Locations: Domestic Arrivals (Landside), Departure Lounge (Airside) and International Arrivals (Landside)
If sleeping in the Stansted Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport....
- Radisson Blu - 2 minute walk from the terminal via an undercover walkway. Day rooms for 4 & 8 hour blocks are offered.
- Premier Inn - 15 minutes from the airport. The shuttle bus operates every 30 minutes starting at 345am. Last departure not known as of this update. ( £3.00 per person)
- Hilton Hotel - 10 minutes from the airport. Shuttle bus available 430am-100am (£3.00 per person)
- Holiday Inn Express - 5 minutes from the airport. Shuttle bus operates every 30 minutes from 4am-1am ( £3.00 per person).
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Stansted Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- Arcade Games - Location: Voyageur Entertainment (Landside and Airside)
- ATM - Locations: Cash machines can be found throughout the airport (Landside and Airside)
- Baggage Trolleys - available for a refundable deposit of £1, €1 or $0.25 coin. You will find change machines in the international and domestic baggage claim halls.
- Car Rentals - Alamo • Avis • Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National.
- Chapel - Location: Landside, Check-in Zone J, opposite Caffè Alba. Hours: 5am-11pm
- Currency Exchange - Location: Moneycorp is three locations (after security, arrivals and the baggage claim hall).
- Games - Voyager Entertainment offers video games for the "big" kids. Location: Landside and Airside
- Food & Drinks -
There are several 24 hour food and coffee concessions.
»Landside: Burger King (Arrivals) • Costa Coffee (Arrivals) • Gourmet Hotdog • Joe's Coffee House • M&S
- Information Desk - There is an Information Deck located in the International Arrivals area. Hours: open 24 hours.
- Luggage storage / Lockers - Located between check-in Zones G-H. Hours: Open 24 hours. Rate: £10 per 24 hours. Most major credit and debit cards can be used for payment.
- Pharmacy - Location: Boots, after security (airside). Hours: 4am - 10pm.
- Prayer Room - Located landside in Check-In Zone J, opposite Caffe Alba. If you enter, please be respectful of the people who do use the facility for prayer. You may be asked to leave by security. Open from 05:00 - 23:00.
- Showers - At one point there were free showers in the Departures area (Airside) and another in the International Arrivals area (Landside). Recent renovations may have changed this situation, as a reviewer in Nov 2014 was unable to find them.
- Smoking - There are no designated smoking areas inside the terminal. Once you have passed through security, there will be nowhere to smoke.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting There
- Bus - Express buses operate overnight service between Liverpool Street Station (via Stratford) when the trains are not running. Journey time 65 minutes. Fare £17. There are several other coach services that you can find in the coach station opposite the terminal. Fares to the city center £2-15
- Train - take the Stansted Express train from London Underground Stations Tottenham Hale (Victoria Line) or Liverpool Street (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines) . Journey Time 35 - 46 minutes. The train runs 05:20- 01:30 depending on the day of week and train. Check the schedule online. £18
- Taxi - A taxi journey into London for one to four people costs about £99
- Bicycle - feeling energetic? You can ride your bike to the airport. The airport offers a free bike shelter near the short stay car park.
If you need to transfer to one of the other London airports, National Express operates inter airport coach service.
- To Heathrow - departs every 60 minutes. Journey time is 90 minutes. Fare £23
- To Gatwick - departs every 30-60 minutes. Journey time is 2 hours 45 minutes. £30
- To Luton - departs every 30-60 minutes Fare £12
Facebook and Twitter Tips
@AirportSleeper ..wtf...no seats at all at stansted now ...its going to be a very long night :-(— Dinah Hancock (@dinksdinah) February 18, 2014
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Last Updated: 23 February 2015
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you du ring your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.