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Free Stansted lounge access with Stansted Express …. at a price

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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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (12)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Billy says:

    Note that there are two No.1 lounges at Stansted – useful if you know which gate you are leaving from.

    • Rob says:

      No, I think the other has closed – there was a comment on their website I saw.

      • zark says:

        Tried using No 1 Stansted lounge with Priority Pass 2 weeks ago. The lounge was empty (06.30 AM Saturday), but wife and I refused entry as they told us that they had a large booking of people arriving soon. Asked if we could use the empty lounge until this group arrived and still refused us entry , quoting some nonsense about logistics or health and safety!
        Didn’t even know you could / had to book these lounges.

        • lavey says:

          Something very similar happen to me last Saturday morning however we were allow entry but they told us if this “large group of people shows up ” we will have to vacate the table and sit at the bar.We left after an hour or so and no one showed up.

        • Rich says:

          Well worth a complaint to Priority Pass. I wouldn’t stand for that!

  • Alvador says:

    One way standard class tickets booked on the Stansted Express website are now £8 if booked 30 days in advance or £12 if booked 7 days in advance. These advance fares are only valid on the day specified on the ticket but you can travel any time that day.

  • Andrew S says:

    The No1 lounges have gone downhill since they opened.

    O People are rutinely turned away
    O Booking now costs an additional £5
    O The inclusive food portion size is now a joke
    O Poor staff training – Asked to leave after 3 hours when my flight was delayed, despite offering to swipe PP again or pay cash.

    Hopefully the new Aspire refurbs will offer some competetion.

  • CV says:

    Also a reminder that you can use any Red Spotted Hanky vouchers you have to book the train ticket, although the discounted £8 per fare isn’t showing.

  • Billy says:

    Thanks for heads up about 2nd Stansted lounge.

    With regards to being turned away, I have heard the about their Gatwick
    Lounges too.

    • Will says:

      When we flew to Vegas last year from gatwick we were on our way to the BA lounge and I saw loads of people being turned away on the ground floor Non airline related lounge. Some very annoyed people with PP cards

  • signol says:

    The wording on the Stansted lounge: Passengers should please be advised that the traveller lounge closest to gates 1-19 has now closed. Passengers are still able to make use of the excellent lounge facilites at Gate 49, but should be advised to allow additional travel between the lounge and their depature gate.
    So you can still use it, but have to walk to the end of the Ryanair pier, visit the lounge, then trek all the way back to the main terminal (against the flow) and then catch the train to the other pier…

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