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London Stansted Airport Guide

london stansted airport guide

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 some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

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

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported to us during their time at London Stansted Airport.

What to Expect

  • The airport is small and crowded, as it hosts several budget airlines.
  • Several food and beverage spots are open 24-hours.
  • Free WiFi is available for 60 minutes; after that you have to pay. See WiFi below.

Where to Sleep

  • While not exactly sleep-friendly, the airport tolerates overnight travellers trying to sleep.
  • Arrive early! Travellers say that arriving by 11pm is too late for a decent sleeping spot, you’ll likely be sleeping on the floor.
  • A few benches and chairs are scattered near Arrivals and by the landside shops. Not enough for everyone, so be prepared to sleep on the cold floor.
  • Some travellers report security doing a middle-of-night wake-up. There is a higher chance of wake-up if you are sleeping on the floor in a high traffic area.
  • The International arrivals area has more space and comfier chairs.
  • Cafes and restaurants no longer allow overnight travellers to sleep on their chairs and benches.
  • The airport was once referred to as "Camp Stansted" by travellers who brought tents and air mattresses. After last year’s renovations the airport is still fairly sleep-friendly but doesn’t tolerate the camp vibe. Consider a small yoga mat or blanket instead.
  • Fairly quiet but bright – bring a sleep mask/eyeshades.
  • The airport is cold! Dress warm and bring a blanket!
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel connected to the airport by a covered walkway and other nearby options that provide an airport shuttle. See Airport Hotel below for more info.

Good to Know

  • Recent renovations have removed public showers.
  • There are plenty of electric outlets to charge your electronics.
  • Economy class passengers can pay to use one of the first class lounges. See Airport Lounges section for locations and rates.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our London Stansted Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.

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London Stansted Airport Information

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.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use & Single Visit Passes

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there is a lounge that you can enter by paying at the door or purchasing a lounge pass. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • Escape Lounge - Location: International Terminal, Airside, Mezzanine Level. Hours: 4:00AM - 8:30PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£27.50) • Buy a lounge pass (£22.50 - 24 hour advance purchase is required)

» Buy a Lounge Pass

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available in London Stansted Airport for 4 hours. Connect to the “_stanstedairport” network. After your four hours is up, additional time can be purchased in increments as little as 24 hours for £9.

If you don’t have a mobile device for connecting to WiFi, internet kiosks are available landside. Printing facilities are available as well. Payment can be made by credit card, voucher, or coin.

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Stansted Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Hampton by Hilton - (250m from the airport) Connected to the terminal via a walkway.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel London Stansted Airport - (2 minute walk from the terminal) Connected via covered walkway. Day rooms for 4 & 8 hour blocks are offered between the hours of 8:00AM - 6:00PM.
  • Holiday Inn Express London Stansted Airport - (5 minutes from the airport) Shuttle bus operates from 4:00AM to 12:30AM (every 30 minutes). To the airport: the shuttle operates on the hour and half hour. From the airport: the bus departs from Bay 21 at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. (£3.00 per person).
  • De Salis Hotel Stansted - (5 minutes from the airport) The hotel’s 24-hour airport shuttle departs every 20 minutes. Cost is GBP 6 per person.
  • Hilton London Stansted Airport - (6 minutes from the airport) Shuttle bus operates from 4:15AM to 1:00AM (£3.00 per person). The shuttle bus departs Coach Station Bay 20 at the airport on the hour and 30 minutes past the hour. The shuttle bus departs the hotel for the airport every 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Stansted Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATM - ATMs are located landside and airside throughout the terminal.
  • Baby Care Facilities - Baby changing facilities are available in the following locations:
    » Departures: Zone A Check-In area restrooms • Main Departures Lounge (nursing room also available) • Family restrooms at Gates 13, 33/34, 43, and 59 • Gates 81-88 area (ladies restroom)
    » Arrivals: UK Baggage Reclaim (ladies restroom) • International baggage reclaim 1 (family restroom) • Intl Baggage Reclaim 9 (restrooms) • Arrivals Route 40-59 (accessible toilet) • Main Arrivals Greeting area (restrooms).
  • Baggage Trolleys - Available for a refundable deposit of £1, €1 or $0.25 coin. Trolleys are available in designated areas of the terminal, baggage reclaim, car parks, and the airport rail and coach stations.
  • Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
  • Changing Rooms - Changing rooms are available airside in the main Departures lounge, and landside at Arrivals.
  • Currency Exchange - Moneycorp kiosks can be found in these locations: Zone A (next to M&S) • Zone F (landside) • Airside (before World Duty Free) • Departure Lounge • Baggage Reclaim • International Arrivals. Hours: Vary per location, but the one in Zone A is open 24 hours. Moneycorp foreign currency ATMs dispense Euro and Sterling 24 hours a day, both landside and airside.
  • Duty Free & Shopping - World Duty Free is available, as well as a variety of retail shops. Most stores are open from first flight of the day until the last.
  • Fast Track Service - As a premium service, customers with Fast Track security passes will be given priority service to ensure that waiting is kept to a minimum. Cost: £7.00 book online before 10 PM.
  • Food & Drinks - Most food concessions throughout the airport operate according to flight schedules; however, Pret-a-Manger coffee shop is open 24 hours. A 24-hour grocery store is also available.
  • Grocery Store - Need to pick up groceries on your way home from the airport? M&S Simply Food has produce, wines, deli items, ready-to-go meals and everyday household items. Location: Arrivals, landside. Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Information Desk - Get info about the airport or flights, page a person, send or receive faxes, make photocopies or print online boarding documents (£5.00 each) at the Information Desk. Locations: International Arrivals area, landside • Departures lounge, airside. Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - Left luggage storage is available at the following per-item rates: £8 per day / £48 per week for carry-on suitcases/bags • £10 per day / £60 per week for larger suitcases/bags • £20 per day / £120 per week for oversized items. Location: Luggage-Point Airport Services desk, landside, International Arrivals, Zone A. Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Luggage Weighing - For £1 per bag, you can avoid overage charges by checking the weight of your luggage before you check it in. Six Luggage Point weight check systems are located throughout Zones A - G, landside in the Check-In area. If your bag is overweight, you get a free weight recheck after you have adjusted the weight.
  • Luggage Wrapping - Rates start at £10 per bag. Location: Luggage-Point Airport Services desk, landside, International Arrivals, Zone A. Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Mobile Charging - At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, write a review or email us at guides@sleepinginairports.com.
  • Pharmacy - Location: Boots, after security (airside). Hours: 4:00AM - 10:00PM.
  • Prayer Room - There are two 24-hour interfaith prayer rooms in the airport: One is located landside opposite Check-In Zone A, and the other is located airside near Escape Lounge in the main Departure Area. Ablution (ritual washing) facilities are located next to each prayer room.
  • Rest Zones - Not available.
  • Showers - Not available.
  • Smoking - There are no designated smoking areas inside the terminal. Once you have passed through security, there will be nowhere to smoke.
  • Spa & Salon - Pamper yourself before your flight with an express beauty treatment, manicure or massage at CLOUD SPA: nails & beauty! Location: airside.

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus and Coach

Stansted Airport has a bus and coach terminal, located opposite the main terminal entrance. Tickets are sold at ticket desks in Arrivals, at the bus and coach terminal (open 24 hours), or on board from the driver. The following buses and coaches serve the airport:

National Express offers low-cost, frequent service between Stansted and various main underground and bus stops throughout London, as well as other London-area airports, for fares starting at £5. For passengers traveling to or from destinations outside of London, National Express connects Stansted Airport with over 900 cities and towns across the country. Key cities served by National Express include Birmingham, Cambridge, Thetford, Norwich, Oxford, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Brighton and Ipswich.

The following is a list of local buses and the destinations they serve: Stansted Aircoach X30 (Southend); Airport by Bus 133 (Colchester and Braintree); TGM 510 (Harlow); First 42A (Chelmsford and Galleywood); TGM 308 (Bishop’s Stortford); Uno Bus 700 (Baldock) and Service 5/7/7A (Saffron Walden/ Stansted Mountfitchet).

Car Rentals

The following car rental companies are located at the airport: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National • Sixt.

Local bus

Stansted Airport's bus and coach station is opposite the main terminal entrance. Tickets can be bought at the ticket desk in arrivals (open 6:00AM - 1:00AM), in the coach station (24 hours, seven days a week) or on board. Bus fares and times are subject to change, so confirm with the operator before you travel. For more details on schedules, visit the Stansted Airport web site.


Stansted Airport rail station is located directly below the terminal building, just a 2-minute walk from Check-in and Arrivals. Train tickets are sold online, at the rail station or in the Arrivals area of the airport terminal.

Stansted Express offers the fastest, most direct service between Stansted Airport and central London. Trains depart every 15 minutes, running between the airport and Liverpool Street with a stop at Tottenham Hale in either direction. London Stratford can also be reached via change of trains at Tottenham Hale. Travel time between the airport and Liverpool Street is 47 minutes, and travel time between the airport and Tottenham Hale is 36 minutes. Connections to the underground are available at Tottenham Hale (Victoria line) and Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines). Trains depart Liverpool Street as early as 3:40AM on Monday, Friday and Saturday mornings, and run as late as 11:25PM. Trains going to London operate daily from 5:30AM - 12:30AM. Single fares start at £7 per person. For timetables and ticket information, visit the Stansted Express website.

Stansted is also served by hourly long-distance train service, linking the airport directly to Cambridgeshire and the Midlands. Trains run to Audley End, Cambridge (35 min travel time), Ely, Peterborough, Leicester (2.5 hour travel time) and Birmingham (3.5 hour travel time). Connections to northern England and Scotland are via Peterborough (service to Leeds, York, Newcastle and Scotland) and Leicester (service to Derby and Sheffield).


24x7 Stansted is the official taxi service provider of Stansted Airport, offering 24-hour transportation to and from the airport. Fares are flat rate, accessed according to final destination, with any extra fees or tolls already included. Credit cards are accepted. Shared rides and discounts for pre-booked returns are available. Taxi service from the airport must be pre-booked online, by phone or via 24x7 Stansted kiosk, located in International Arrivals or accessible via courtesy phone from the Domestic Arrivals Baggage Reclaim area.

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Last Updated: 14 November 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us .