(EDIT: The No 1 Traveller lounge at Stansted closed in December 2014)
I’ve no idea how long this offer has been going, but Stansted Express is currently offering ‘free’ access to the No 1 Traveller lounge at Stansted with the purchase of a first class ticket (one way or return).
I put the word ‘free’ in quotes because you are, technically, paying for it!
Stansted Express has three ticket types. One way pricing is:
Standard Class – £23.40, but reduced to £12 if you book online 7 days in advance, and £8 if you book 30 days in advance
Business Plus (with a First Class seat) – £29.90
First Class – £37.50
The ONLY difference between Business Plus and First Class is that, in First Class, you can use your train ticket to access the Fast Track security lane at Stansted and the No 1 Traveller lounge. You are effectively paying £7.60 for Fast Track security and the lounge.
It is not clear if through-tickets from other stations, which allow you to use Stansted Express but are not marked Stansted Express on the ticket, would be accepted.
The No 1 Traveller lounge at Stansted is well regarded although I haven’t used it myself. I couldn’t find a ‘real life’ photo of the interior, but you can find out more on the No 1 Traveller website here.
Entrance to the lounge is normally £17.50. It is by Gate 49, which is on the pier used by Ryanair for most of its international flights. You can access the lounge even if using a different part of the airport, but they advise giving yourself 20 minutes to get to your gate.
There is a similar offer available with Gatwick Express, with No 1 Traveller lounge access bundled in with First Class rail tickets.