How to get a discount on Stansted Express

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++++++++++++Fare data updated Jan 2019++++++++++++

I realised recently that I had never written much about Stansted Express, even though I have done various articles on saving money on Gatwick Express and the best way to get a discount on Heathrow Express.

I thought it was worth running through the options for Stansted Express, although there isn’t much flexibility unfortunately – apart from a special easyJet deal I will discuss at the end.

Here are the base fares at present between Stansted and the terminus at London Liverpool Street:

Advance Fares (Standard):  £7+ single / £14+ return  (can only be bought online, price increases nearer to date of travel)

Advance Fares (First):  £22+ single / £36+ return (can only be bought online, price increases nearer to date of travel)

Standard Class:  £18.10 single / £29.90 return

Business Plus:  £25.80 single / £38.20 return (can only be bought online)

First Class:  £26.80 single / £41.20 return

Children aged between 5 and 15 pay less.  Children under 5 are free.

Most fares are £2 cheaper to Tottenham Hale where you can change for the Victoria Line underground service.  This will be more convenient for anyone heading to West or Central London.

Standard railcard discounts are available on most ticket types if you have one.

Stansted Express discount code

The pricing is a little illogical in places, especially in the difference between a one-way Business Plus and First Class ticket.  The ONLY difference between Business Plus and First Class is that the latter allows you to use the Fast Track security lane at Stansted when departing.  Both ticket types seat you in First Class.

Special deals

Stansted Express has a number of ‘online only’ deals:

WebDuo – From £28 for two single tickets or £52 for two return tickets, valid on any date

Group 3 or 4 – three or four tickets for the price of two

Special easyJet discount

This is the one deal that you will not see only advertised.

Stansted Express runs a special discount for easyJet customers, although you will not be asked to prove you are flying with them.

Go to the Stansted Express home page here and then change the web address to delete /tid=CJ and add /easyjet-referral at the end.  You will receive a 10% discount on Standard, Business Plus and First Class tickets.

There is no similar offer for Ryanair customers, so this may be as good as it gets.

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  1. Tim Millea says:

    I see from the Stansted Express website that First also includes lounge access.

    “Entry to one of our award-winning No.1 Traveller lounges, with food and drinks, free Wi-Fi, magazines, newspapers and the best views of the airport. Lounges located at Gate 16 – International Non-Ryanair flights (open 04.30-21.00 daily), and Gate 49 – Ryanair flights (open 04.30-21.00 daily).”
    “Simply present your First Class train ticket at the airport Fast Track Security gate and No.1 Lounge to gain complimentary access.”

    I will be arriving at Stansted on a First Class ticket from the North in a couple of weeks. What do think my chances are of obtaning the same perks?

    • No 1 lounges don’t exist at Stansted anymore. They have the new Escape lounge in the main terminal.

  2. Tim Millea says:

    Retraction. I see that was an old link and that both No. 1 lounges have since closed 🙁

  3. I recall looking into this for a student. There were also various bus services at more reasonable prices headed for various destinations in London These might be a better bet if they go closer to where you need to be.

    • Indeed – National Express £10 (maybe £11) to (I think) Golders Green, Finchley Road and Victoria.

      • The only issue with taking a National Express bus is you have to book a specific bus on a standard ticket. So it doesn’t give you much in the way of flexibility if your flight is delayed. Had a few times where I’ve been running through the airport, then out, then in again, then out (hate how at Stansted the domestic arrivals exit takes you straight outside so you have to work your way back in to go down to the train/buses). There is a flexible ticket for an extra £5 but then that takes it to around the same price of the train so not much in the way of savings to be had.

  4. As far as I can tell, the Groupsave discount is available when you’re buying tickets at the station too – it’s a standard discount on many train companies. It’s listed on which suggests it’s a public fare available for walk-up tickets.

  5. If you time things correctly you could split at Mountfitchet or Bishops Stortford, although it requires proper analysis of the fares available for a not very large saving.

    • The beauty of the ticket splitting sites is that they work on the basis you never leave your seat or change trains, you simply have 2 or more tickets that cover exactly the same journey split into adjoining chunks

  6. On a similar theme don’t forget to look at splitting rail tickets on getting to/from Stansted, I was quoted £70.80 single to Chesterfield but recently did it for £25.40 by buying separate tickets to Stansted-Peterborough-Nottingham-Chesterfield (£10.90+£9.00+£5.50) extra time was about half an hour and I was able to stay on the same train from Peterborough

    • I ought to add, paid for by tesco clubcard points via Red Spootted Hanky

      • Tim Millea says:

        Yes, I am travelling from Huddersfield, even further beyond Chesterfield :-), to Stansted, a journey of over four hours, First Class, splitting tickets at Peterborough and using Tesco CC vouchers via Redspottedhankey for £17 of CC vouchers. I will try to use my first class ticket for fast track security – now that I know. It is a shame about the lack of free lounge access though :-).

    • There are a number of ticket splitting companies out there, with fairly similar success. I recently used Raileasy

      This got me a significant saving (ISTR 40%) on a Paddington-Cornwall ticket vs the cheapest single-ticket price.

      • They are flawed though, using my route as an example whilst Raileasy brings the price down to £42.50 they price it via London so it’s still £17.10 more expensive, always found pricing my own to be best

  7. All the airport trains are expensive and often packed. If you have an Oyster card you only need to pay from Tottenham Hale even if you get on at Liverpool St. I do this and buy the tickets via red spotted hanky using vouchers from Tesco club card at 2:1
    Didn’t know a first class ticket got you throug the fast track security though – do you just show the ticket?

    • Though you have to get off the train and tap out at Tottenham presumably.

      I personally always use the coach services – much cheaper (and saving money is the main reason I would ever use Stansted!).

  8. InsideFlyer Tom says:

    One of the best ways to save on the Stansted Express is to not book it when you are in fact flying into Luton, as I recently did.

    • Haha – oh dear! There are a few positioner flights from Stansted to Luton though….but they are private biz jets!!

  9. Concerto says:

    Any recommendations on coach services? I’ve never used Stansted as a destination airport for London, considering it too far away and costly to get to.

    • sarahluv says:

      National Express from Liverpool Street is £8. They also run from Stratford.

      • Ive used National Express from Stansted to Stratford, nice quick drive down the motorway. Then at Stratford you can take your pic of train services to where you need to get to.

    • More Londoners now live East of Tower Bridge than live West of it …

    • Whatever you do , dont choose the terravision coaches, they left me stranded in stratford as their coaches didnt show up. When i googled them i found they had been barred from Stansted earlier in the year but were still running services to a long stay car park nearby. I ended up paying for a new ticket on national express and filed a successful paypal claim against terravision.

    • National Express also go to Finchley Road, Golders Green and Victoria if that’s any better.

    • Just be aware the standard ticket is for a specific coach. If your flight is delayed they may not allow you to travel on the next coach and ask you to buy a new ticket. Saying that the staff seem fairly nice at the airport coach station so if there was space on the next coach I would imagine they would let you on.

      You can buy a flexible ticket for £5 extra, but that puts it at a similar price to the train.

  10. bob mcbob says:

    A ticket to Elsenham is valid and will save you a load on the expensive airport fare.

    • £6 each way cheapest

      good spot

      do all Elsenham trains stop at Stansted?

      • If there are gates at Stansted, the ticket shouldn’t, in theory, let you out. Gatwick was the same (may still be) if you bought a ticket to one station further down.

        • Are you sure Raffles? The line is a National Rail line and terms and conditions for both anytime and off peak tickets state that you can do a ‘break of journey’.

        • There are reasons why everyone doesn’t do this. I also doubt you’d get back through the gate with a ticket starting in Elsenham.

        • You can break a journey from London to Elsneham. However, you MUST buy a anytime single not a super off peak day single. Prices have got more expensive since I did it a few years ago but cheapest way is Tottenham Hale to Elsneham Anytime Day Single for 14.80 (9.75 with railcard).
          Break of journey is permitted under the national rail conditions of carriage and is perfectly permitted tactic.

      • There aren’t any trains which go London-Stansted-Elsenham so I’d be surprised if you were allowed to do this. It’s not so much breaking a journey as going a completely different route. Having said that there are plenty of special exceptions on railway tickets but I’d want to see it written down before trying it.

        • It’s a permitted route shown in the national rail routing guide. Whilst there are no direct services via Stansted, there are services from Stansted to Elsenham, which makes it a legitimate route for those starting their journeys south of the airport. For once I’m afraid Raffles is wrong – provided you have an anytime ticket, for which break of journey is permitted on both portions as per the NRCoC, the gates will open as it is perfectly valid – you are permitted to leave at Stansted Airport Station.

        • oh right – that sounds like it would work London —> Elsenham —> Stansted

          but for Elsenham (starting at Stansted)—> London, you go north Stansted —> Elsenham, then south Elsenham —> London? I guess the reverse would not work

        • From London you’d buy a ticket to Elsenham but ‘break’ (stop) your journey at Stansted. For the reverse if you’ve already bought tickets, you ‘broke’ your journey at Stansted and then head to London.

        • friendofbiffin says:

          I couldn’t find any Stansted to Elsenham services when I skimmed through the timetable. There are plenty of Stansted to Audley End trains though and Stansted Airport shows up as a legit interchange station when you search for a Tottenham to Audley End journey. The off-peak return price is £25.40 for Tottenham to Audley End, compared to an Anytime return price of £30 from Tottenham to Stansted. That’s not a bad saving.

  11. Sarah Murray says:

    There are no automatic gates at Stansted train station, sometimes human checks though.

    It’s worth pointing out that one Network Railcard costs about £30 and gets a 34% discount for up to 4 people of any age (subject to time restrictions).

  12. CheapTrains says:

    Advance tickets from Stansted Airport to Rugby and Coventry via London are available for around £11.
    I believe travelling “short” (i.e. ending your journey in London) is illegal but unlikely that this could be enforced once you get off the train at Tottenham Hale or Liverpool Street…

    • It wouldn’t be criminally illegal. It might – just possibly – leave you open to a fine from the railco – but I doubt it – and they would have to prove a lot of things, eg that when you broke your journey you had no intention of resuming it.

  13. Tim Millea says:

    I am at Stansted and can confirm that a non Standard Express FIrst Class ticket was sufficient to grant access to Fast Track security. The chap on duty actually didn’t have a good look at the ticket and seemed to let be by on the bsis thhat I clearly thought I was entitled to Fast Track.

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