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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.)

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 (43)

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

  • 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.

      • CV3V says:

        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.

    • Rob says:

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

    • Neil says:

      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.

    • nerd. says:

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

    • Red says:

      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.

  • bob mcbob says:

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

    • harry says:

      £6 each way cheapest

      good spot

      do all Elsenham trains stop at Stansted?

      • Rob says:

        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.

        • Genghis says:

          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’.

          • Rob says:

            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.

          • James S says:

            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.

      • Andrew says:

        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.

        • Daniel says:

          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.

          • harry says:

            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

          • Genghis says:

            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.

  • 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).

  • 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…

    • harry says:

      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.

  • 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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