Stansted airport used to be a USAAF bomber base back in 1942, before it was turned into a brand new passenger airport in 1986. Opened by the Queen in 1991, the first flight took off two days later. Nowadays millions of passengers pass through Stansted every year. Here’s a brief overview of the important details you’ll need to know when travelling from the airport.
When arriving at the main terminal for both domestic and international departures, it is recommended you arrive for check-in two hours before your plane is due to depart. Arriving earlier would be beneficial to beat queues when you check your baggage in and go through security.
Airport information desk
There is an airport information desk next to the international arrivals area. The desk is open from 05.30am to 1.30pm every day, 365 days of the year (except in the event of airport closure). You can also find telephones dotted around the terminal which link directly to a 24-hour information desk.
Cash machines and Bureau de change
There are several cash machines stationed around the terminal, if you need to access your bank account. You will find bureau de change just outside the security area too, so helpful staff can change your currency for you. Once you are through to Duty Free, there is a final opportunity to do so there.
When in need of internet access, go to Zone A before check-in. There are also several wireless hotspots across the airport, from arrivals, to the departures lounges. Don’t forget to turn your phone off before your flight takes off.
There are male, female and disabled toilets all around the airport. For those with young children, there are baby-changing facilities on hand as well. If you need to freshen up with a shower, the information desk will supply you with a towel and access to the showers for £5.
Stansted Airport is a smoke-free airport. There are designated areas outside the terminal building, where smoking is allowed.
Warning: Be sure to get your last cigarette out of the way before you head through security, because you won’t be allowed afterwards.
Whether your flight is on time or delayed, you can while away your time by browsing through the shops, both before and after you’ve gone through security. For all of your girlie needs, you’ll find the likes of Accessorize, Claire’s, Monsoon and Fat Face. Dixons will help you out with your emergency gadgetry problems (like finding an international plug adapter). Need something to read on holiday? Go to WHSmiths. Alternatively, look through the designer shops, such as Ted Baker.
There are many places you can stop and eat, before your flight:
When waiting to check-in, Krispy Creme is on hand to keep the doughnut lovers happy. Or if you’re in the mood for an all day breakfast, you’ll find Ponti’s offers a large selection of fresh foods, including salads and pastas. Those in desperate need of a coffee pick-me-up, can get their fix from Costa, Café Modena, Est Presso! or Est Bar (which also serves alcohol).
You might prefer to get something to eat after manoeuvring your way through security. As a sushi lover, you might want to something from Yo Sushi. For those of you who are only interested in a coffee and a sandwich, Starbucks and Café Modena offer an array of paninis, hot and cold beverages and sandwiches. When in need of a proper meal, Frankie and Benny’s offers a full breakfast, lunches and dinners.
Airlines flying from Stansted
In alphabetical order:
- Air Berlin
- Aurigny Air Services
- Cyprus Airways
- Easy Jet
- German Wings
- Iceland Express
- Pegasus Airlines
- Ryan Air
- Stansted Charter
- WOW air
For those who aren’t interested in driving and parking at Stansted airport, or perhaps have no other means to reach the airport, you can get to Stansted via the train. Located directly below the terminal building, there are regular services that link to the airport from East London, the Midlands and East England.
From East London
When travelling from London, find your way to London Liverpool Street station, and you can catch the Stansted Express from there. The Circle, Hammersmith and City or Metropolitan tube lines will take you to Liverpool Street.
Important information to know:
- Stansted Express trains depart every 15 minutes.
- Your journey will take roughly 46 minutes.
- An Express class single fare costs £22.50 (online booking fee: £21.50).
From Eastern England & the Midlands
If you are travelling from East England, or the Midlands, long-distance services run hourly to Stansted airport, and will return you home afterwards. They run from Cambridgeshire and the Midlands.
Important information to know:
- There is a reduced service on Sundays, so plan ahead.
- Travelling from Cambridge will take 35 minutes approx.
- Travel from Leicester takes 2 hours 30 minutes approx.
- Travelling from Birmingham will take 3 hours 25 minutes approx.
There is a strong possibility you’ll need to stay in a hotel within close proximity to Stansted airport. This could be for a number of reasons: your flight takes off very early in the morning, there are delays or cancellations, or you prefer the convenience before a long journey from home. There are several hotels to choose from nearby Stansted airport’s main terminal. These include, Holiday Inn Express, which is 1.4 miles away, The Hilton Hotel, 3.0 miles away, the Radisson Blu Hotel which is 1.4 miles away and Warmans Barn House, an easily travelled 4.9 miles away. The hotels are good value for money, they have parking opportunities, and will keep you on the scene, in case there’s a change in your flight’s details.