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How to get a discount on Stansted Express train tickets

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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.

(EDIT:  This article was updated in January 2019 with the latest fare information.)

Stansted Express discount code

What are the normal Stansted Express fares?

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.

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 on Stansted Express tickets

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 for Stansted Express

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.

Comments (44)

  • 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?

    • Matthew says:

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

  • Tim Millea says:

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

  • James67 says:

    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.

    • nerd. says:

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

      • Red says:

        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.

  • martin says:

    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 brfares.com which suggests it’s a public fare available for walk-up tickets.

    • Tom Allen says:

      +1 – I got Groupsave tickets on the spot last year when arriving at Stansted and coming back to London.

  • John says:

    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.

    • harry says:

      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

  • Mark B says:

    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

    • Mark B says:

      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 :-).

    • harry says:

      There are a number of ticket splitting companies out there, with fairly similar success. I recently used Raileasy https://raileasy.trainsplit.com/main.aspx

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

      • Mark B says:

        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

  • Sally G says:

    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?

    • Callum says:

      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!).

      • RTS says:

        Not if you have a day, weekly, monthly or annual pass.

        • martin says:

          This presumes that your travels travelcard covers zones 1-3, and wouldn’t work if you’re on pay-as-you-go.

  • 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.

    • Matthew says:

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

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