London Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport, an hour north of London, is popular with easyJet, Ryanair, and many other low cost carriers
London Stansted Airport (airport code: STN)—popular with no-frills airlines and low cost carriers (including easyJet, Ryanair, germanwings, and Air Berlin)—is located 39 miles north-northeast of London.
How to get between London Stansted Airport and central London
- In a hurry? Use the Stansted Express train.
- Saving money? Use the shuttle bus.
- Want a private ride door-to-door?
- For 1–2 people, use a taxi.
- For 2–3 people consider a private car shared transfer.
- For 4 or more people, book a private car.
Full details and tips are below, but in brief:
|Stansted express train||£8–£19 ($12–$28)||47 min.|
|Shuttle bus / coach||£1.95–£12 ($2.85–$18)||65–125 min.|
|Private car||£18–£47 ($26–$69)||55–65 min.|
|Taxi||£20–£85 ($30–$125)||55–65 min.|
By express train: £8–£19 ($12–$28); 47 min.
The Stansted Express (Stanstedexpress.com) travels between the airport terminal and London's Liverpool Station in 47 minutes every 15 minutes. There is free WiFi on-board.
The ticket price depends on how far in advance you book it—£19 within three days, £17 within a week, and £12–£15 if you book more than a week in advance, £8 roughly six weeks ahead. (The ticket is good for the entire day, not a specific train, so you don't have to worry about a delayed flight getting in the way of booking it in advance).
By coach / bus: £1.95–£12 ($2.85–$18); 65–125 min.
From Stansted Airport, easyBus (Easybus.com) runs the cheapest service, 2–3 per hour to London Victoria Coach Station (115–125 min.), with stops at several Tube stations along the way, including central ones like Baker Street (90–100 min.) and Marble Arch (100–110 min.). Fares are lowest when booked in advance, starting as low as £1.95 a month or more out—though more like £8–£10 when booked within the month, topping out at £12.
Terravision (Terravision.eu) runs half-hourly buses. Some are direct bus to London's Victoria Coach Station (75 min.); others stop first at Liverpool Street (55 mins) before continuing to Victoria. Fares for either bus (and any stop) are a flat £6.
Also, National Express (Nationalexpress.com) runs an airport shuttle which gets you to London's Liverpool Street Station in 65 minutes, making up to 15 other stops within Greater London, for £6–£12 (the cheaper prices are for booking tickets at least a few days in advance.)
By private car: £18–£47 ($26–$69); 55–65 min.
The easiest way to book a private transfer is through Viator.com.
Note that the "private" transfers (with the lowest lead price) are per person but for the entire vehicle—so you'll only pay that lowest per-person rate if you stuff it with eight people. The per-person price goes up the fewer people you have in the car, so it only really makes sense if you have at least four people in your party (paying roughly £29/$43 a piece).
The better option for three people or fewer is to book one of the the "shared" transfers. You may have to make a few stops along the way at fellow passengers' hotels, but the per-person rate is capped at the much lower, £31/$46 per-person price.
By taxi: £20–£85 ($30–$125); 55–65 min.
The priciest option—though not for three or more people—is to grab a taxi cab.
The preferred service at Stansted Airport is 24x7stansted.com (tel. (0)1279-661-111).
They also offer a "taxi share" option for a minimum of three people that drops you off at a suburban Tube station. The rate is £12–£18 per person, but once you add in the Tube fare to get into central London, it's more like £23.
- Momondo.com - (Aggregator) Before I get into details, just know this: 95% of the time, I find the lowest fares on Momondo. Momondo quietly blows most of the other aggregators out of the water. It searches more than 600 airline sites, plus booking engines, search engines, travel agencies, online discounters, etc. This is two to three times as many sources as the competition—including the low-cost carriers and no-frills airlines most of the other search engines ignore—and it pays off. You can also quickly see which flight is cheapest and which quickest (and which best overall), as well as use all the usual filters on the results (length of flight, departure/arrival times, number of stops, airlines, etc.). I ran Momondo through many tests, and it almost always found the lowest available fares on domestic, Transatlantic, and inter-European flights. It found fares from carriers none of the others did, and when it did find the same flights as some of the competition, it almost invariably managed to find a lower price for it. For now, at least, I'm calling it: Momondo is the single best resource out there, bar none.Partner
- Flyinternational.com - (Consolidator) The airfares branch of AutoEurope.com consistently offers among the cheapest (and most reliable) European airfare consolidators out there. Barring some sale fare elsewhere, this is where I almost always end up buying my transatlantic tickets for the simple reason that they are almost always the cheapest. This is also why I chose to partner with them for this site.Partner
- Skyscanner.com - (Aggregator) Another excellent aggregator that, like Momondo, also includes the little low-cost carriers and no-frills airlines ignored by most other search engines. I like that you can be as vague on your departure/arrivial points as simply an entire country, rather than a specific city of airport—you never know when, say, a flght into Manchester will actually be cheaper than one to London.Partner
- Hotwire.com - (OTA) Offers regaular fare searches and Hot Rates opaque fares (cost less, but with slightly less control over departure times and other details)Partner
- VirginAtlantic.com - Given all options, I will actually pay a bit more for Virgin Atlantic flight than one on any other airline. They just treat you so much better.Partner
- Google.com/flights - (Aggregator) Google has acquired ITA, the original airfare booking engine long used by travel agents. It's now available to the general public, and niftily shows you the rough current lowest cost for flights to pretty much anywhere from your hometown via a Google map measled with red dots marking major cities around the world. It doesn't allow you to book, but will tell you where/how to book the results it finds. Not really a strong performer on internaitonal flights yet—though, oddly, does a good job with last-minute international fares, so worth checking.
- Expedia.com - (OTA) Expedia—which does a fine job on middle-of-the-road fares—is the last remaining of the Big Three online travel agencies. (Expedia bought both Travelocity and Orbitz in 2015; Travelocity's search results are now identical to those at Expsia, and we can only hope Orbitz's lackluster results follow suit.)Partner
- Hipmunk.com - (Aggregator) The aggregator that rethought how searches should be delivered—and I always like those who think outside the search box. All results are shown on a timeline, and the default sort-order for flights that match your search is "Agony"—a combination factoring in price, flight duration, and stopovers—so that the least annoying options pop up first. You can also sort more traditionally by price, duration, departure time, arrival time, non-stop only, and ask it to favor your preferred airlines (or airline alliance). One drawback: It really only serarches the airlines directly plus a few booking engines like Expedia, so you're not getting the full story (no discounters are in the mix). Still: handy.
- CheapOair.com - (OTA) Upstart consolidator and discounter using the power of the Web to weave together the best bargains and negotiated discounts with three reservations systems and fifteen travel service providers—something of a mash-up of a traditional booking service and a wholesaler. It claims 18 million exclusive flight deals, a low airfare guarantee, and 84,000 negotiated hotel rates.Partner
- Vayama.com - (Aggregator) One of the original international airfare aggregators, and still one of the better ones.Partner
I'm glad you asked, because I created an entire page detailing how to transfer between London airports.