Stansted Airport Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know

Published by: Bounce1 July, 2022

London Stansted is a small airport situated 34 miles from the city itself. This means that if you are traveling to or from London, then you need to consider your travel connections carefully.

The airport has an annual footfall of over 22 million passengers per year, and the reason so many people pass through is that the airport is served by many of the low-cost airlines. Very often, if you are flying to or from Europe, you will be able to find tickets at a fraction of the price that you would if you were flying to Heathrow or Gatwick. 

The airport lies to the north of the city and passengers with onward northerly destinations stand to benefit from this. If you are visiting London, however, bear in mind that you will need to include the cost of getting there from the airport. 

That said, there are often bargain air tickets to be had that make this an ideal airport to use, even with the added cost of one of the city links, hence the airport's popularity. Store the bulk of your luggage at a locker rental facility near Stansted Airport and venture into London with just what you need for your stay.

Stansted Airport baggage policy


If you are on a budget flight, be sure to check your carrier's onboard luggage restrictions. Some of them can be rather small and they are rigorously enforced. What's more, excess charges may be eye-wateringly high.

To pass through security the bag size is limited to 56 x 45 x 25 centimeters but this is no indication that it will correspond with what your carrier will allow onto the flight. 

The usual liquid, gel, and cream restrictions are applied at the security check. No liquids in containers of over 100 mls is allowed and all must be contained in a clear plastic bag that remains separate from the rest of your hand luggage until after you have passed through the checkpoint. 

Stansted Airport food policy


Despite being quite small, this airport has all of the amenities you would expect of a modern European airport. For £20.00 you have access to an airport lounge if you need to take a break from the crowds. Here you will find complimentary snacks and soft drinks as well as free newspapers.

Shopping includes a duty-free section where all of the well-known luxury brands are represented. 

In the dining hall, you will find everything from burgers to salad bars, as well as some high-class dining options. You can enjoy a pint of cask ale or stick to tea, coffee, or a smoothie.

Stansted Airport camera policy


You're welcome to take photos inside Stansted Airport if you want. However, normal rules regarding photography in airports apply. Commercial photography is not permitted without prior permission from the airport authorities. Also, make sure you don't take photos of security personnel or secure areas of the airport. If you have a lot of bulky camera gear, a better option may be to leave it behind at a luggage storage near Stansted Airport before you travel.




Stansted Airport rules

  • Pets must be contained within appropriately sized carriers while inside the airport. The only exception is for registered service animals.

  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the airport building. Once you pass through security, you won't be able to smoke without going back outside.

  • Passport control is in effect for travelers from outside Britain. Keep your passport with you at all times and be prepared to present it to border agents.

  • Never leave your bags unattended, as this may be perceived as a security threat.

Stansted Airport city links


There is a railway station directly underneath the airport, so you will have no trouble catching a city-bound train. The Stansted Express leaves every fifteen minutes and the journey to London Liverpool Street Station will take forty-seven minutes and cost from just under £10.00. 

Many of the cheapest travel bargains are to be had by flying early in the morning. Outrageously early in the morning. The Stansted Express caters to this demand, and there are trains that leave as early as 03.40.

Another popular option is the coach. Several services leave from the coach and bus station which is a two-minute walk from the terminal building. Most of these services will do journeys to major London stations where you will also be able to link up with the London Underground. Journey time is around an hour but is always traffic dependent.

Stansted Airport lockers


This airport makes an ideal starting point from which to explore either London or some of England’s more northerly tourist sights. Whether you are hitting the city to dive into its museums, art galleries, and theatres, or searching for quaint villages with country pubs, hauling a mountain of luggage is going to prove irksome.

The best option is to seek out a locker rental service, keep just the bare minimum with you and store the rest. Fortunately, there are services that cater expressly to people doing exactly that. Look for a service that offers online booking so you can rest assured a locker will be waiting for you when you arrive. Better services include free insurance and security seals.

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