"Stansted airport" Stansted by leics

Stansted Travel Guide: 72 reviews and 141 photos

I've been to the nearest settlement to Stansted, Bishop's Stortford, in the past...it's a pretty small place which once offered cheap airport parking facilities.

But they are now closed, so I park at Stansted airport itself. And that's what this very short page is about.

Please note: Stansted *not 'Stanstead'!

Stansted airport is quite some distance away from London but, as it is used by many European budget carriers, it is still a very busy airport.

It's an airport I use fairly frequently but do generally try to avoid simply because it is a 2+ hour drive from my house. 2+ hours driving after a long flight is no fun! But if that is from where a cheap flight departs (such as Easyjet to Naples) then I grit my teeth, get up very early and make the drive.

Nowadays I park on the airport itself. It has very good parking facilities but they are expensive unless you book well in advance. The car park buses are reliable and you are guaranteed to see lots of rabbits (and cowslips, in season) on the way. Stansted is set in a vast area of green space, which is nice.

I've always liked Stansted, despite the journey. It's well-organised for its passengers, with lots of clear signage and an uncomplicated check-in area. It's clean and airy, with plenty of shops and places to eat & drink. I've always found staff to be pleasant and courteous...but I'm always pleasant and courteous to airport staff, and that makes a difference.

Landside there are cafes and juice bars (and a Krispy Kreme), some of which have tables outside the terminal. I always enjoy sitting with a coffee and a pastry after my long drive down.

There isn't a great deal of seating either landside or airside, and none is very comfortable. But I believe the airport is quite used to people sleeping there before their early flights, and it does stay open all night.

There are plenty of shops after security including a branch of Boots the chemist (always, always cheapest for buying bottled water) and several places to eat including Pret A Manger (very good sandwiches) and a JB Wetherspoon's 'pub'.

Stansted security has always been fine for me. Staff are courteous and pleasant, even if I do get searched (as is often the way). Sometimes shoes come off after the main scanning, sometimes they do not.

What *really* irritates me are the people who arrive at the conveyor belt and only then start taking off coats, scarves etc. I was so cross with the last lot (two young women faffing about disrobing and unpacking their carry-ons) that I simply overtook them. Me...queue-jumping? How terribly un-English!

One thing to note is that many Stansted gates are some way from the main terminal, so you have to take an automatic train. This is quick and efficient when flying out but can be a nuisance on arrival, especially if several planes arrive at the same time. It only holds a certain number of people (obviously) and takes you to border control. so you can expect to wait on the 'platform for a while...I think it's a way of making sure border control queues do't get too long.

To be honest, I've experienced far worse airports than Stansted...it's not a bad place to enter or leave the UK. :-)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Modern, clean, plenty of facilities.
  • Cons:Can get very busy at certain times of day.
  • In a nutshell:Gateway to the UK.....
  • Last visit to Stansted: Oct 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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