So last October I went on Holiday to Turkey. The flight there was at 9am. And I flew with Thomas Cook. Firstly, I had to book the carpark as I heard it was cheaper if you book in advance. So I went on the website, put in my dates and times and the cheapest price I got was about £66 for 9 days. When I first got there at about 6am it was really easy to find the Long Stay car park, when you get close there are lots of signs around and you cant miss it. I had it in my TomTom but it didnt know all the roads and round-a-bouts near there.
When I got there, it was about an hour and a half from where I live. It was easy ti find where to park as it shows you where is open to park in and where is closed. I parked in D I think, there are a lot of different car parks so its important you remember where you parked. I read on the internet that the shuttles come every twenty minutes but there was always a shuttle there while I was there. I didnt have to wait in the freezing cold. The bus/shuttle was really long and there was plenty of space for your luggage. It took about 10-15 minutes to get to the airport from the car park. The shuttle drops you right outside the airport.
When we got there and got into the airport it was really easy to find the check in, because there are loads of signs. Then once we had followed the signs, there were screens with a number on to tell you where abouts your check in desk was. Ours was something like 41, it was really easy to find. I got there and handed over out bags, the staff was friendly and gave us our boarding passes.
Something I noticed while I was there, was there were lots of people sleeping all over the airport. It freaked me out to be honest, I found it really strange. People were just layed all over the floor and I did not like it. I suggest maybe a proper big waiting room. Its asking a lot, but the people sleeping made me feel really uneasy.
One we had checked in, we had loads of time before our flight so we went around the airport. There were quite a lot of book shops and shops like WHSmith. Me and my boyfirned had not eaten so we was looking for somehwere to eat. There was a Starbucks and a Costa coffee. There was also lots of food places. I was looking for somewhere that did a full English breakfast. There was a few places but I saw somewhere that looked really nice, unfortunately I cant remember the name of it. But I can tell you it was the poshest place there, and looked slightly like a pub. The food was a good price, we both had full English breakfasts which cost about £6 each and we had a coke each which was about £1.50 each. The food was really nice and I was really impressed as I expected much worse.
As I have a very weak bladder, the three hours we was there I went to the toilet about four times. I must admit I thought they were really horrible. Not clean and just plain dirty. I didnt want to keep using them. I thought because we were at an airport they would be a lot nicer. My boyfriend says his were fine. But I think women must have higher standards when it comes to public toilets. And I didnt just keep going to the same set of toilets, I went to three different ones in the whole airport. They were an epic fail!
When you go through the secureity bit, it was quite quick and didnt take too long. I was impressed as I thought we would be waiting for ages. You go through a beaper thingy which goes off if you have anything bad on you. And you bag and coat goes through a scanner were they can see everything!! I mean EVERYTHING!!
Duty free was quite a nice place/shop. There were cig's, booze and perfume. You dont have to pay the duty on these products so there much cheaper. Personally I thought the purfume was more expensive then the prices in the shops. There were a lot of sunglasses shops which was helpful as we had a lot of time to kill. They also had make up which was nice to look at, as Im into make up at discounted prices. Ofcourse I didnt buy anything, we was just looking.
When we went to the bit just before you get on a plane, they was plenty of signs to tell you were to go. To get to the bit where we had to go, we had to get a train/monerail type thing. This took about ten minutes. I thought it was a great idea to get to places.
When we got there, there was a large room with a lot of people waiting to get on our flight. When we finally got on the plain they went in seat order. We was last, because we were farely close to the front.
THEN THERE WAS THE FLIGHT, THE HOLIDAY, THE FILIGHT BACK, then getting back into the airport ---
When we got back into the airport, it was really late. About 4am. I was really tired as I hadnt been to bed all night and the plane was a nightmare to get to sleep on. We had to get on the train thingy again to get back to the main part of the airport. Im not sure if it was because it was late, but there was not many people around. There was not much secureity. We had to get ours bags which was the worst bit because everyone was waiting and it isnt a quick process. We walked straight through after that which was nice simple and easy, plus it was completely stress free. Which was just what I needed after the long plane journey.
We had a Costa coffee on our way out, as we hadnt had a nice tea or coffee all week. When we got to the shuttle stop, it was really easy to get on the right shuttle. They were colour coded, and sections depending on which car park you were in. Ours was blue and we didnt have to wait long. Once again the journey was about 10-15 minutes and it dropped us off right near our car. I was very pleased and all I wanted to do ws get home.
All in all - it was an ok experience. Obviously airports arent the best place, but atleast this had some shops which was a lot more interesting than the airport we flew to (Antalya, Turkey). Thanks for reading!
After a recent holiday to Ibiza I reviewed the airport in Ibiza, so I thought I would look at the other side of the trip and review Stansted airport. We chose to fly from this airport as it is only half an hour drive from where I live and is smaller and less busier than other airports, although I have to say this airport appears quite large compared to the one in Ibiza. We were dropped off outside the main terminal of the airport where there is a large lay-by especially used for dropping off passengers and luggage, although you cannot leave your car here it is very handy if you are getting a lift as it means you do not have a long way to walk with your luggage, although if you drive yourself there are various parking options available.
There are a total of 4 car parks at Stansted airport, although I did not use the car parks for this holiday we have used them at this airport in the past.
Short Stay - This is designed for those who wish to drop off or pick up friends and family and only need to park for a few hours and is located next to the terminal. The rates are charged hourly depending on how long you stay for. You can actually pre-book a parking space in the short stay car park by going online, by booking a space this way you also get a discount. There is also a fast tracking option in the short stay car park, these are spaces located straight in front on the actual terminal and have wider spaces, one thing which does not make sense is that these spaces are mainly for 24 hour parking, surely that's not short stay!!!! Another short stay area is the 15 minute pick up(this is different to the lay-by outside of the terminal) It is an area designed again for picking up and dropping off but is chargeable and your can be left here, the rates are charged at about 15 minute intervals.
Mid Stay Car park - This is slightly further away from the terminal but a little closer than the long stay car park. I believe this car park is suitable for all lengths of stays, and with it being closer to the terminal it makes transfer quicker. There is a transfer shuttle available from the mid stay car park to the terminal and this runs about every 10 minutes traffic depending, this is a free service. Should you wish to leave your car here it will be perfectly safe as there is CCTV in the car park, security fences surrounding it and regular patrols aswell. Again rates depend on your length of stay here.
Long Stay Car park - This is suitable for longer trips and holidays. It is open all year round and there is a free coach service from the car park to the terminal, this runs every 15 minutes. Again security here is high with like the mid stay car park CCTV cameras, security fences and regular patrols.
Within the various car parks at Stansted airport there are ample disabled parking spaces should they be required, aswell as spaces for over sized vehicles and motor cycles so there is parking available for everyone.
We entered the main terminal through large glass automatic doors and my first impression, as it always is of airports was how chaotic it was and how are we going to find our check in desk!!!!! Anyway we found the nearest screen and quickly and easily found the correct desk. There are plenty of screens within the check in area which clearly inform you of the check in desk you require. Luckerly our desk hadn't long opened and there was hardly any queue, once at the desk our luggage was quickly checked in, the staff we very friendly and helpful, everything was done efficiently. Aswell as the usual check in desks Stansted also has one or 2 shops in the check in area, these are mainly newsagents, coffee shops other places selling food and drink, there are also various information desks, bureaux de change and toilets spread around the check in area. The overall appearance was very good, the whole area was clean and tidy with no litter around, all areas looked very well maintained. After we had been quickly check in and dropped our luggage off we needed to make our way to security, this area was opposite our check in desk and very easy to find and well sign posted.
The security area was a little busier than the check in desks as everyone went through the same security area despite the desk they checked in at. However the queues moved very quickly as there were several security scanners for you to go through. As at the check in area all of the staff we extremely polite and helpful, we were directed to a scanner when it was our turn and given a tray to put all of our belongings in, I was a little surprised to have to remove my sandals through when no one else had to!!!!! I must have looked suspicious!!!!!! Once everything had been scanned along with ourselves we could move into the departure area.
This area was very large and where all of the main shops were. There were several shops all situated around the edge of the departure lounge, these included boots, Accessorize, Ted Baker, The Body Shop, Glorious Britain, Dixon's, aswell as shops selling books, perfume and cosmetics, the usual duty free shops and travel essentials. In this area there are also several places to eat and buy snacks for the journey, these included Burger King, Weatherspoons, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, various bakery type shops and many more. In the departure lounge you really can get everything you need. I was very impressed with the selection of shops that were available, if you forgot anything it is very likely that a shop will sell it in this area. There are also computers available should you wish to access the internet whilst waiting for your flight, or if you have your own laptop with you, you can also access the Wifi which is available, think the computers are chargeable depending on the length of time you use them. In the centre of the departure lounge there are plenty of seating areas, all of which have screens up nearby allowing you to keep an eye out for when your plane is boarding, however there are also regular announcements of which planes are boarding from which gates. Whilst we were there the small screens around the seating areas went down, however there is a large main screen right in the centre of the departure lounge which was working meaning we could still look out for our boarding gate. Whilst there we did buy some food from one of the bakeries which was lovely so I would certainly recommend the food which is available. We also bought a few bits for the flight from one of the newsagents (WH Smiths I think) this was quite a large shop selling various types of snacks, drinks and accessories for the flight, I have to say that although they did had 5 or 6 tills open there was a very large queue meaning we had to wait a while. One thing I have to say about the shops in the departure lounge is that everything is so much more expensive than what you buy in regular shops. Personally I try not to buy too much whilst waiting for my flight however we did buy a bag of sweets for the flight, whilst I cannot remember the exact cost I know they were quite expensive for a bag of chocolate éclairs!!!!! Although I do think there is a good selection of shops available I would avoid buying too much from the departure lounge as you could end up spending quite a lot of money, especially in the clothes and cosmetic shops!!!!!!! Overall I was impressed with the departure lounge, there was lots to look at and occupy you whilst waiting for your flight and the whole area was very clean and tidy, the toilets were the same, very clean and spacious!!!!!!
Now this for me is the boring part of the flight, after finding out your boarding gate you proceed to this area, we had to take a short shuttle bus which only took a couple of minutes if that, whilst there are a few seats on the bus it is mainly standing room only, personally I would prefer a few more seats on here but I think the idea is they can fit more people in if they stand. We had to go to the second floor for our boarding gate, however escalators and lifts were available should you not wish to walk up the stairs. In total it probably too about 5 minutes to get to our boarding gate. This area is very basic, there are no shops just one or two vending machines if you require any food or drink. There were plenty of seats in the boarding area which was handy and the area was very clean just as the rest of Stansted airport had been. Again the boarding staff were very friendly and helpful. This was the last area of the airport we accessed before boarding our flight!!!!
Other facilities at Stansted airport include a conference room/ meeting rooms, showers are also available should you wish to freshen up after travelling (they even provide a towel) he usual dedicated smoking areas, lost property, left baggage, beaurex de change, cash machines (located in the departure lounge) and information desks, there is even a chapel should you wish to visit it.
There were plenty of facilities for disabled passengers, including disable toilets, ramps to raised areas, disabled parking, wheelchairs, aswell as people to help disable passengers on and off our the planes. We had an elderly lady on our flight you obviously struggled walking long distances but she was helped by 2 members of staff both on and off of the plane, she was taken on to the plane first meaning she could settle down before the rest of the passengers boarded and she was provided with a wheelchair to save her from having to walk.
All in all I was very impressed with Stansted airport, all areas we visited were clean, tidy and very well maintained. I am keen on flying however in the departure lounge there was plenty to do and look at to take my mind of the thought of flying. There really is something for everyone and something to cater for all of your needs. The staff were very helpful in all areas we visited. I have flown from Stansted several times and have always been impressed with the service I have received, it is my preferred airport and one I would recommend.
I use Stansted airport probably once a month if not more to travel back and forward to Dublin and I have always found it to be a well maintained friendly airport.
Stansted airport is situated in Essex and has always been the easiest airport for me to use personally. I live in Hertfordshire so we normally take the car and leave it in the long stay car parks about 10 minutes from the terminal. The cost of parking your car there is pretty cheap and we spend about £45 for a week's stay. This works out better than getting a cab there and back and is not that inconvenient. The buses to and from the airport are laid on well and are reliable running every 10 minutes or so.
Stansted airport itself has one long runway situated along way from the terminal building but there are plans to build another runway in the not too distant future with approval.
When I first started using Stansted airport a number of years ago it was quieter than it is now and the amount of passengers that use the airport has grown steadily.
One of the things that I like about the airport is that the departure and arrivals are all on the same level so you don't have to trek to different places for each.
There are alot of checking in desks so depending on how many each airline open there is normally enough to make things quite easy. Obviously around this time of year it can get very busy so leave a bit of extra time to check in.
Once you are through security there is a host of things to do before you head to the gate itself. We often head to the Weatherspoon pub in the waiting area and grab some food and drink before we go as it's quite cheap.
But there are many other restaurants and shops if you want something else or want to do a bit of last minute shopping. This area hasn't changed for some time but I don't think it needs to as it caters for everyone.
At the gates you have more limited things to do but there are still a few bars and places to eat, plus a couple of shops.
Stansted airport is very handy for me, plus still modern and clean, and far better than the hustle and bustle of other airports like Gatwick so I will continue to use it for a long time to come
Only had to use this airport on a couple of occassions but on those occassions I found London Stansted Airport to be a fantastic airport. One of my stays was for hours due to landing in the evening and my connecting flight not due until the next morning but I was exceptionally impressed with the things on offer throughout the night allowing you to keep yourself entertained.
The airport itself is one of the busiest airports in the UK but one of the lesser of the London airports. It is an airport which offers flights from many of the major airlines including Easyjet (who we flew with) and we found the layout of the check-in areas to be well thought out with them organised by airline rather than just mixed around with airlines spread throughout.
The terminal building is clean, airy and spacious and feels like a very fresh and modern airport. There are a number of shops, pubs, restaurants and arcades on offer with the opening hours exceptionally good and allowing you excellent variety to pick up your needs and wants and keep entertained.
The food on offer in the airport was well priced and offered good quality and variety.
Overall an excellent airport with a nice and simple layout plus a huge amount to keep you entertained during any and all stop overs. The facilities on offer are well maintained and cleaned regularly with the staff around the airport helpfull and efficient.
- Excellent shops, pubs, restaurants, arcades and facilities on offer
- Modern and well maintained airport
- Clean, spacious and well designed terminal
- Check-in desks are well laid out and it is easy to locate your airlines desks
- Helpfull and efficient staff
This airport offers a comfortable stopping point on your way to your destination and offers excellent connections to Europe with major airlines. The airport is busy yet feels spacious and airy with an exceptionally modern look and feel and continued improvements and developments.
London Stanstead is an airport situated in Essex, around 30 miles to the north-east of London itself. It's very popular with the low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, making it the third busiest airport in the UK.
I recently got to experience it for the first time last year when I managed to get a cheap Ryanair flight to Stockholm in Sweden. Although the airport was not ideal to fly from due to it's location, for the price I got the tickets for I couldn't really complain.
The only way really for me to get there from Oxford was to drive. Luckily there is ample car parking provided so you can leave your car there & pick it up when you get back from your holiday. The parking is very reasonably priced too in terms of airport parking. It cost me around £30 to park for 5 days. Also the car park zones were easily marked so you can easily get back to you car. Also regular buses run from here to the airport terminal.
The terminal itself is very clean & well organised. There isn't a huge variety of duty free shops, but the selection isn't all that bad considering the size of the airport. There could also be a bigger selection of food & drink outlets to relax in whilst you're waiting for your flight.
The thing I did really liked though are the screens directing you to where each gate was so it was actually really difficult to get lost. Also there were many other information screens around the terminal building.
My experience at Stansted was generally a positive one, the only negative for me was actually getting there in the first place.
London Stansted is a phenomenal airport, it ticks all the boxes. Everytime I've used this airport I've been extremely happy with everything. I've travelled to and from the airport many times since my first in 2005 because I like it so much.
The terminal building has an extremely easy layout and has lots of flight information screens telling you specifically where to go, so it's impossible to get lost. Not only does the exterior and interior of the building look brilliant, it's very clean and tidy as well as being very spacious and having lots of natural light.
Queues at check-in/bag-drop desks, security and passport control are always very swift, even at busy times. Check-in/Bag-drop and security queues never take any longer than 10 or 15 minutes and passport control is very rarely longer than 5 minutes. Your hold luggage is on the baggage reclaim belt within minutes and is sometimes already there when you get through passport control.
The customer service at the airport is excellent thanks to the very friendly, helpful and efficient staff who are always extremely polite and happy to help you if you need anything.
I am always extremely happy with the fantastic amount and variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets thoughout the entire airport. The prices of the products in shops and of food and drink are very good and all provide an excellent service.
There are many buses from the terminal building to all car parks around the airport and are regular, quick and reliable train services to London Liverpool Street aswell as a good service to Birmingham New Street from the railway station at the terminal building.
London Stansted is an airport that I will certainly use as much as I can as it is the best airport I've ever been to, and I've been to alot of airports. I highly recommend it to everyone for a pleasent and stress free start and/or end to your journey.
Stansted Airport is a large international airport & is one of the 5 "London" airports but as with the others (apart from London City), Stansted Airport isn't really London, its actually in Essex just on the outskirts of North East (ish) London.
The airport operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year & is owned by BAA who also own London Heathrow & London Gatwick airports and a few others across the UK too. Stansted is the third largest UK airport (after Heathrow which is largest and Gatwick as second largest). It was opened in 1991 on the same site as a previous airport and carries approximately 22.3 million passengers a year to & from over 160 destinations in 34 countries using 29 airlines (at the time of writing this review). The airport has one large terminal and one main runway.
The airport is very easilly accessable, especially using public transport. Trains operate directly into the airport, with the airport having it's own railway station just below the airport terminal building. Trains operate regulary to & from London with Stansted Express and National Express East Anglia rail companies. Trains run every 15 minutes on the Stansted Express service stopping only at Liverpool Street & Tottenham Hale taking just 46 minutes from Liverpool Street and 35 minutes from Tottenham Hale. National Express East Anglia trains run to & from London Stratford via stations in the Lea Valley hourly on Monday to Saturdays during off peak hours. Cross Country Trains also operate to the airport from Birmingham, Leicester & Cambridge making connections to the North East & Scotland on long distance trains.
Passengers can make very easy connections onto London Underground lines by changing at Tottenham Hale for the Victoria Line and at Stratford for the Jubilee & Circle lines, the Docklands Light Railway & London Overground so the rest of London is very easilly accessable too.
A bus & coach station is located opposite the main terminal building with tons of local buses running to nearby areas & coaches from National Express, Terravison, easyBus & Arriva running regulary to & from London & the rest of the UK including the Midlands, Cambridge & connections to the other London Airports (Heathrow, Gatwick & Luton) so if your connecting flight is from another London airport, its easy to travel between the two, this provides greater choice of flights for the budget or time concious.
You can of course drive there, it's located just off the M11 at Junction 8A and has ample amount of parking spaces around the terminal & off site for you to use, remember though to prebook car parking and prebook trains as it's cheaper to do it in advance online than when your there.
On arrival you will find large yellow signs these will direct you throughout the airport and are very easy to read & see, theres luggage trolley bays everywhere but bare in mind you need a keyring trolley coin or change to use them, it's refunded once you return the trolley to a bay. When you enter the airport, on the ground floor, your met by a whole host of checkin counters, each in a line in blocks, these are classes as 'Checkin Zones' named A to K, each airline generally operates from a certain Zone. Located at entrances you'll find large bright LCD Plasma type screens which are very clear & new, find your flight number and it will have a letter next to it this is the zone you need to go to, zones are easy to see as there are letters on big yellow boxes, in black to tell you which zone your at. Then next to the letter on the screen are the desk numbers to use.
The airport is large and can be quite busy so please get there as early as possible, allowing extra time incase of traffic. Remember to checkin 3 hours before your flight for Long Haul & All Charter flights i.e. Thomson & Thomas Cook, 2 hours before scheduled flights to Europe & UK i.e Easyjet, Monarch Scheduled & BA. Check airlines direct for checkin times as they do vary. Ryanair (between Zone F & J) & Air Berlin (in Zone A) have self service checkins, machines that you use to check yourself in, only certain passengers to certain airports can use these so check the machines first to make sure, you can even use these when you have baggage just take your boarding pass (which the machine prints) to the airlines Baggage Drop desk (located in the same Zone areas).
Once checked in you'll easilly find the security/passport control areas, again clearly sign posted using bright yellow/black signs. Remember to make sure all sharp/dangerous items are in your suitcases & you have no liquids exceeding 100ml per container & no more than 1litre in total (law at time of writing this), remember liquids include all gels, pastes, lotions, drinks, perfumes, aftershave, deodrants etc etc.
Once your in the departure lounge you'll find cash machines which take all major credit & debit cards where you can draw money out in English & Euros, there are bureux de change offices too but a word of advice, its cheaper to get currency BEFORE getting to the airport from your local travel agency or post office, even using a high street travel agency bureux (i.e Thomas Cook) at the airport will give you worse exchange rates than the same company would if you got it at one of their high street branches.
You'll find dotted all over the terminal male & female plus disabled toilets and also baby changing facilities which are generally kept clean using a team of 24hour cleaners. You'll also find showers for refreshing yourself, great if your transferring onto other flights or just coming for an early morning flight.
In the departure lounge you'll also find a wide range of food & drink outlets offering anything from quick 'grab & go' snacks to full blown restaurants with full 3 course meals. You'll find something for everyone at Stansted even the fussiest of eaters like myself don't go hungry. You've got top brand names there to like Costa, Frankie & Bennys, Millies Cookies, Pret A Manger, Starbucks & Wetherspoons.
Your spoilt for choice with shops aswell the usual airport & high street brands of Boots, JB Sports, WH Smiths, Claires, Tie Rack, Dixons (great deal for tax free electricals), La Senza & Accessorize are just some of the names you can grab some great deals from during your wait. Other names include Sunglass Hut, Benefit, Hamleys (the famous toy store), All Saints, Body Shop & even a HMV for tax free DVDs, Games & CDs. There is obviously a Duty Free Shop, the one at Stansted is ran by World Duty Free which has Duty Free shops across the world selling a wide range of duty free items for eligable passengers.
Theres 88 boarding gates and some of them are quite a walk from the checkin area so make sure you give yourself plenty of time, there are screens located throughout the departure area which tell you when flights are boarding, last time I used Stansted it was a 'quite airport' which is a term which means no tannoy announcements are made so make sure you do keep an eye on the screens or you will miss your flight.
When you leave the aircraft you'll see signs to baggage reclaim & passport control/customs, there are then screens to tell you which baggage belt your luggage will arrive on, baggage trolleys are available around the reclaim hall for you to use. You then have three exits, you must go through the RED CUSTOMS exit if you have goods to declare to Customs and the GREEN OR BLUE CUSTOMS exit for passengers with nothing to declare. GREEN if you started your journey in a EU Country (baggage will have a green edged tag) and BLUE if your journey began OUTSIDE the EU (baggage will have a white tag).
Once your out of baggage reclaim and passed through the relevant customs channel, your landside and this is where people can wait for you if your meeting somebody, theres no official meeting point but the coffee shops tend to be a good place to wait for passengers arriving. You have a Costa Coffee, Burger King, WH Smith & Spar.
Overall a good large airport, a lot of choice with Ryanair having a massive presence here, other airlines include easyJet, British Airways, Flybe, Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines & Air Berlin.
Stansted Airport is quite a large airport based in north east London. It's the second home of Ryanair - the low cost airline, with their main base being in Dublin, Ireland - hence they are an Irish airline. The airport has local 'pink elephant' parking, which we have used and it's pretty good. They also have more car parking nearer to the airport.
The check-in part is enormous and half of the large hall towards the front is for arrivals. The airport is one huge building, which forms one enormous hall and walls split each section but the roof is very high so it feels quite nice and spacious. There are check-in desks all over the place in parallel rows. They have many airlines flying from there including Ryanair, Easyjet, Air Berlin, Monarch, BMI and Thomson airways.
You have to make sure your liquids are all within a small bag that is available before you go through security. There are also weighing scales and desks to sort out luggage. You then enter security, which usually takes around 10 minutes and can be pretty busy. Once through, you are into the departures lounge and sometimes immediately given free samples for chocolates or drinks by nearby shops.
The departure lounge is very large and it has many shops and restaurants including WHSmith, Duty Free, Dixons, Boots and many more as well as an arcade. The departure lounge is quite large so never gets overly busy. The only problem with this airport is you have to walk so far to the gate! Sometimes it's a 20 minute walk from the departure lounge, which isn't great! Make sure you check your gate number as soon as it comes up to get there on time. It's a good airport though and has a large variety of shops with very good security too.
Thanks for reading,
Stansted Airport is where I start the majority of my holidays, I have been there countless amounts of time. It is situated in South East England and 40 miles outside of London, even though it's classed as a London airport.
There are a number of ways to get to Stansted Airport by public transport, one is by train. There is a 'Stansted Express' train which runs from Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport. It only takes 45 minutes and makes one stop off at Tottenham Hale. The other way is by bus and coach. Buses and coaches regularly run from Liverpool Street, Baker Street, Victoria and Kings Cross directly to Stansted Airport.
Of course the quickest and easiest way is by car. I live in Essex so it's only around a 20 mile drive away which is really convienient otherwise I'd have to go to Gatwick or Luton which is a bit of a trip. The airport is situated just off the M11 and is well signed up. The best way to find it if you are unsure is by sat nav or route planner.
The downside with driving to Stansted Airport is having to pay for the carpark whilst you go on holiday - the best way to avoid this is to get somebody to drop you off and pick you up from the airport. If you decide to do this you can get dropped off and picked up directly outside of the terminal building or your drop off can park in one of the short stay carparks and go inside the airport. Alternativley you can always book a taxi.
When you arrive at the airport the choice of carparks is really quite confusing. There is a short stay carpark suitable for people planning to spend less than 24 hours there, a midstay carpark suitable for short breaks and business trips and a long stay carpark suitable for long trips and holidays. The long stay carpark is situated away from the terminal building but a shuttle service runs every 20 minutes which only takes around 10 minutes. There are a number of different short stay and midstay carparks outside the front of the airport. The price varies for how long you plan to spend in the carparks but isn't cheap.
Airlines that operate at Stansted Airport include Easyjet, Rynair, Atlantic Airways, Germanwings, Israel Airlines, Iceland Express, Cyprus Airways, Air Berlin, Eastern Airways, Pakistan Airlines, Air Asia, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Snowjet, Air Moldova, Air Malta and Blue Air. I have personally flown from Stansted with Easyjet, Rynair and Xcel (rip!) plus more but which I can't remember.
Destinations from Stansted Airport include Spain, Portugal, Canary Islands, Great Britain, Pakistan, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Italy, Asia and parts of America. This is only a small list, check the Stansted Airport website for more destinations.
From the outside the airport looks quite attractive. It doesn't look too overly built up and is made of glass which makes it look quite modern and unique.
The inside of the airport is always clean and tidy, and feels very open and spacious - I think this is because of the natural light that comes through. Some airports can feel closed in and claustrophobic.
When you enter the airport you either walk through some rotating doors (if you are being dropped off outside the terminal building) or up a ramp from the carparks where you will find all the desks to check in. All of the check in desks have screens up to inform you what the airline is, the flight destination and the flight number. Even though there are quite a lot of check in desks, it is usually quite easy to find the desk you need. If you're lucky you might not have to que to check in but in most cases you do. It all depends on what time you arrive really - if you arrive early there is usually less of a que. As long as their are no problems with your documents check in is usually quick and easy. You'll check your suitcases in here and be given your boarding passes.
Once you have your boarding passes you can head straight to passport control and security or you can browse the shops and restaurants if you have plenty of time. Last time we flew from Stansted we had a few hours to kill so decided to have a full english breakfast at one of the restaurants. Shops include WHSmiths, Boots, Tie Rack, Claire's Accessories, Accessorize, Clarks, Coral, La Senza, Monsoon and Rolling Luggage. There is also a money exchange beraeu, entertainment centre (fruit machines etc) and area with computers which are connected to the Internet. Places to eat and drink include Costa, Krispy Kreme, Lovejuice, O'Neills, Ponti's, Pret A Manger, Caffe Alba and Caffe Espresso.
At security there can be ques but it usually just depends - sometimes I've had to que, other times I've gone straight through. They check your passports and boarding passes here and send you through to the x-ray machines where again there may be ques. At the x-ray machines you have to put your bags and belongings on a conveyabelt whilst they check you haven't packed anything naughty. You have to also walk through a sensor - if it beeps you have to be frisked by somebody of the same sex. The people who do this are generally utterly miserable but I suppose they are just trying to be professional. New rules mean you can't take any liquids through unless it is less than 100ml - that includes drinks and make up. The liquids have to be put into a resealable plastic bag (8 inch by 8 inch) which is provided by the airport and have to be x-rayed seperatley to your bags. The only liquids exempt from this rule are medicines, baby milk and baby food. Beware if you are carrying baby milk and food, they make you dip your finger in and taste it!
After that you'll be in the departure lounge where there are a large selection of shops and food places. Shops include HMV, Hackett, Dixons, Glorious Britain, Goldsmiths, Boots, All Saints, Accessorize, Hamleys, Hugo Boss, JD, Sunglass Hut, WHSmith, Tie Rack, World Duty Free, Ted Baker and The Body Shop. Food and drink places include Frankie and Benny's, Giraffe juice and coffee bar, Millie's Cookies, Costa, Pret, Cavier House and Seafood Bar, Starbucks and Wetherspoon. This is a great place to pick up last minute essentials such as snacks and drinks for the plane, cameras and films, magazines and books etc. Everything is duty free, plus you can pay in either sterling or euros.
Whilst in the departure lounge you need to keep an eye on the overhead television sets which tell you which gate your flight will be leaving from and keep an ear out for announcements. Once your gate is called you should go there as soon as possible. A number of the gates are in walking distance but other gates are further away and you need to catch a shuttle/monorail to get to them.
Once you are at your gate you'll have to wait until the person on the desk opens up to begin boarding onto the plane. If you have booked with an airline that seats on a first come first serve basis then this can be the worst part of the whole airport experience - it's where everybody turns selfish, pushy and is desperate to get on the plane first (for some reason). The staff on the desk check your passports, tear off your boarding card and you can make your way onto the aeroplane.
On arrival back to Stansted you have to pick up your suicases from the baggage carousel. It's a minimal area which nothing much other than toilets and a pay phone. It's also a time consuming and boring experience (although I have memories of loving it as a child!?) but it's just the same in every airport I've ever been to. I've never had my bags lost or damaged at Stansted but that's not to say lots of other people haven't! Once you have claimed your bags you then have to go through passport control. The staff at this point vary - mostly they are very boring and seriously but the last time the man that took our passports was talking about tattoos with us! You can then go through to arrivals, where there are yet more shops and food and drink places. This is where your pick up can wait for you.
The staff around the airport which I have dealt with in the past have been very helpful, nice and professonal. I have never had any problems or incidents at Stansted Airport. I think the majority of problems that people get in to at the airport are usually down to the airlines rather than the airport itself.
The whole airport is wheelchair and pushchair accessible and has lots of toilets and baby changing facilities scattered around. Toilets always seem clean and well maintained. I've never found the airport hard or confusing to find my around - everything is well laid out and signed up. There are a number of information desks if I did have a problem of any kind. There are also plenty of baggage trolleys around so I don't have to lug around my suitcases and bags.
Overall Stansted Airport gets my holiday off to a good start and stress free end.
First of all London Stansted is not in London it is around 25 miles away from the centre of London. The airport can be reached from the M11 motorway junction 8. The car parking charges is very cheap compared with other airports especially if you book via the baa website.
For travellers using public transport there are trains that go to Stansted Airport its own train station. Trains to Birmingham and the midlands trains are run by cross country. Trains to London are run by stanstead express although it is quite slow for its name. The airport is one terminal with different zones for different airlines, if you are not familar with the zones then it is better to ask someone rather and try to work it out for yourself as this is time consuming. There is one point to access passport control which can sometimes be a pain especially in the summer holidays when there are many people queuing. Just to be on the safe side allow 10 minutes for this. The choices of shops past passport are alright, a few shops that sells perfume, womenwear and electrical items. The design of the airport is also good because it allows a lot of light into the terminal which makes the airport experience.
Although the airport is out of the way by public transport the airport is well designed. I would keep travelling from this airport.
London Stansted is hardly in London as we know it, but is easily reached from London using coaches and trains rather than driving. It's set out as one large terminal, obviously divided into check-in areas etc and there's a glass roof so you don't get that trapped kind of feeling that I seem to get in Heathrow. It is set out quite well, but there was a bit of queueing at passport control, but nothing too unbearable. I was also glad there were plenty of those clear plastic bags for your toiletries available for free, as some airports as I found on my return, charge for them. I wish I had stocked up!
The shopping here is not as good as Gatwick, but there is a bit of choice. Because there is only one shopping area, it does get quite crowded at times so be prepared to queue up in shops. I headed straight to Boots and Smiths for toiletries and something to read, but was drawn to the other shops such as Kurt Geiger shoes and even Mulberry (though I don't have that kind of money). The shops seem to be a mixture of high-end high street upwards, such as Reiss, so they could maybe benefit from something like a Topshop or La Senza. Food wise, there is a Whetherspoons, Frankie and Benny's and Pret, so although not bargain prices, you can still get a decent meal before you go on your budget flight. Duty Free was also confusing to me, really wanted a bottle of Absolut vodka but the only one they seemed to have was for customers leaving the E.U. Luckily I was able to buy some easily on my return journey.
The walk to the gate was a long one, so it'd be a good idea to check journey times to the gates so you don't miss your flight, as they don't all have shuttle services. On my return journey, since I was arriving at 11.30pm it was pretty crowded heading to immigration. It took me almost an hour from landing to clear it, just because of queues leading up to the desks and lots of stopping and starting and I barely caught the last train back to Liverpool Street. I wouldn't recommend arriving at this time as it's a lot of hassle and worry if you're traveling by the train, though I do believe there were coaches available so you wouldn't be totally stranded. This has never happened to me when I've arrived at Stansted before, so I can only assume it's due to lots of different flights arriving around this time.
The only problem I have with this airport is the distance from my house (south-east London) but if you live closer to North London or Essex, then it is easier to reach. There are plenty of decent facilities here and it is definitely a modern airport with everything you need.
I have spent quite a few very early mornings flying out of London Stansted, and some late nights flying back in.
Unlike many people, I like this airport. It is easily accesible if you drive (although parking is quite expensive) andalso if you take the train, for example from London.
The airport is spacious, well laid out, and has the facilities that most airports do- shops, restaurants, bathrooms.
I have in fact spent the odd night asleep in Stansted, waiting for a flight that left very early the next morning, and I found it to be clean and relatively comfortable. There are bathrooms all along one side of the check in desks. (If you ever spend a night here, stay away from the doors, as with the constant opening and closing, it gets very cold.)
On the occasions I have spoken to the staff, I have found them very personable.
Both easyjet and ryanair fly out of Stansted.
This is an airport I will use time and time again.
stansted is a good airport for cheap flights but everything else around it is well over pricedthe fact that it is situated in the sticks means all the local buisnesses can charge what they like egchecker cars airport to stansted village approx 2 miles thirteen pound
London Stansted is, in my opinion anyway, the worst of London's four main airports, and the one I try to avoid if at all possible.
First off, its location isn't ideal if you want to get to central London - the Stansted Express train service that connects it with London's Liverpool Street station is unreliable and overpriced. Unlike the Gatwick Express, there is no competition on the route so its that or the coach and being at the mercy of the M11 motorway.
The last time I had the misfortune to use Stansted I arrived for an EasyJet flight 2.5 hours prior to departure, ready to join check in for my flight. I had been abroad and had been unable to check in online, something I deeply regretted.
Despite allowing over the advised time for my EasyJet flight, I barely caught it due to a lack of check in staff provided by the airline, who in turn blamed the airport for not enough desks.
The day I endured this horrific wait the airport was crowded and packed to capacity. There was, however, no effort at crowd control and I actually felt like a sitting duck if a terrorist were to wander upon us.
After enduring the queues and crowds at check in, I rushed to security, only to be faced with an even longer queue and a handful of security points open, which led to very long waits to get through. Now BAA can deal with this at Gatwick, as I have experienced myself, but for some reason they cannot at Stansted.
I finally arrived at my gate to catch my EasyJet flight to discover it was already boarding, despite having requested a pre-board for my disabled daughter.
Of course we were then further delayed waiting for passengers to get through security which led to everyone on board the flight feeling disgruntled and angered at BAA's inability to ensure security was fully manned.
I have also been caught out several times using the Stansted Express due to engineering works on the line - check this out before you travel otherwise you could find yourself on a cramped and uncomfortable coach, stuck in traffic.
You might find it easier to get off the Stansted Express at Tottenham Hale as you can pick up the Victoria Line here, rather than continuing into Liverpool Street.
Stansted is the main low cost airline airport for London but I would recommend using Gatwick or Luton for EasyJet flights if at all possible, or a regional airport for Ryanair.
Stansted airport is located in the North east of London and is the base to some no frill airlines and charter flights to East Europe and the usual destination in the Mediterranean sea.
I visit Stansted airpot when I fly with Easyjet since I am based in the City and it is convenient for me to go there.
I normally take the train from Liverpool Street. It costs 16 Pounds one way, cheap it is not! For me this is the best way to get there. You can also take either the Nat Express bus service or the Terravision bus service from Victoria. I suggest you do not take these services at peak time, since although they claim that the journey will only take 75 minutes, some time it takes much longer.
There is a large car park at Stansted and a taxi shuttle company, which is very expensive. If you arrive late at night, it is probably better to take one of the buses I mentioned before, particularly if you are alone. A taxi to Central London may leave you up to 90 pounds out of pocket!
One thing I like about Stansted airport is that there is not much time to waste or wait for passport control when you fly back, particularly off peak. Having recently spent more than 1 hour in the queue at Heathrow, this is surely a plus!
Although to get there is surely more expensive than going to Gatwick, if you fly Easyjet, it is worth looking at the flights they have to and from Stansted, since they are normally cheaper than those from other airports.