On my recent trip to Italy (christ, have I still not shut up about that yet? Sorry, i promise I will soon), I was planning on getting a taxi to the airport. I'm not stupid, I know Stansted is miles away, but even from my mate's house on that side of town, I was still quoted £85 by Addy Lee! £85 for thirty minute drive? no thank you!
This unfortunately left me with two options: be forever in debt to the friend who offered to drive me there at three in the morning, ooooooor get the last Stansted Express and deal with a few hours playing with free wifi and kipping in an uncomfortable chair. I chose the latter.
And it's not so bad. Stansted express, while it doesn't feel very 'express' (got, Stansted really is bloody miles away, isn't it?) it's probably the fastest way of getting there. 45 minutes one way, and if you've got a good book, that'll fly by.
It's £17 one way, or £26 return so definately worth the return trip. Although if you book online you can save yourself a couple of quid.
You're dropped right by departures and it's simple and painless. The last train there is 12.30ish so if you've got an early morning flight, you'll find yourself with only a few hours to kill before you check in. Not too shabby, although from now on I'm going to get a flight a bit later in the day.
The Stansted Express service is pretty reliable - getting you from Liverpool St to the airport often within an hour.
As with all train fares in the UK - it is far too expensive. Even with 1/3 off (young person's railcard) it was over £30 for two of us. When you think that the equivalent in Berlin costs E1.50, and the bus from Treviso E6, it's just not cricket. Or, well, it is cricket - have you tried to see a test match or ODI these days? Prices are absurd! That's beside the by.
It's easy though. And managed to get us back to Liverpool St just in time to catch the last Central Line train. That was a relief - saved us about a £35 taxi fare or a nightmare night bus adventure.
Very effective mode of transport from central London to Stansted airport, there really is no reason anyone should need to take a cab from Stansted into the city. The are trains generally every 15 minutes, which is not bad for London. The trains in general are fine, clean and well maintained, seats are comfortable and of decent size (unless the person sitting next to you decides to take half of yours.).
In terms of pricing, it is one of the cheaper options, there are cheaper ways, but balancing price, comfort and duration of travel, the Stansted express is still probably my transport of choice (especially when getting a return ticket, you can use the return leg anytime on that specified day - no need to worry about the flight being delayed or getting held up when circling the airport and waiting for a a gate).
As a whole family, getting anywhere is never cheap and for under 50 pounds return for 2 adults and 2 children, STansted express was cheap and reliable - we did use a coupon as it was a special offer though. Now the train journey - our experience was excellent, competitive prices and a fast journey! COmfortable seats, and there is free onboard wifi which is a good bonus! Faster than car or bus by far and relaxing too! It could have been a bit cheaper as if it wasnt for the code it would have been the full hundred pounds or so which isnt competitive when compared with bus services.
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