Is it possible to use a railcard on Stansted Express?
If you are trying to book tickets on the official Stansted Express website here, you would probably think that you can’t. After all, there is no option to add a railcard.
You would be mistaken.
We recently ran an article explaining how to use a railcard to book Heathrow Express tickets. A reader, Sol, dropped me a note about a quirk when booking Stansted Express tickets which I thought was worth sharing.
There is no option to use a railcard on stanstedexpress.com. Arguably you would therefore assume that it wasn’t possible, and would shrug your shoulders and pay the full price.
This is what you would pay for a one-way trip for two adults and two children:
The cheapest option, given that there is no ability to use a railcard, is £48.
However, let’s see what happens if we use the website of another train company. I’ve used LNER because many of you will have an American Express cashback offer currently available for anything bought on their site.
Other train company websites DO let you apply a railcard for Stansted Express bookings. Here is the same booking as above but adding a Friends & Family Railcard:
The price drops to £35.10, a saving of £12.90.
It is worth noting that your saving could be far higher. The ticket I am using for comparison, the £48 ‘Advanced Offer Standard Class Single’, is only available online and is heavily restricted with only a handful of tickets available per train. You could end up paying far more. The £35.10 price is for a bog-standard ‘Anytime Single’.
I should say that, tucked away on a standalone page of the Stansted Express website, is this message about railcards. It says that you can use a railcard at a ticket office or on the Greater Anglia website – which is interesting, since Greater Anglia and Stansted Express are effectively the same company. It isn’t explained why railcard functionality is not available on the official Stansted Express website.