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Best Stansted Airport Bus To/From London ? – A Decision Tree

There is no universal best way of getting between London and Stansted Airport, each service offered has its strengths and weaknesses.
There are currently six airport buses operated by three separate bus companies connecting Stansted Airport and Central London. This decision tree style question and answer page should help you identify the right airport bus for your individual needs.

If you are still confused after reading and need some help, use the discussion facility at the foot of the page to help you out.

Do You Just Want The Quickest Most Stress Free Stansted Airport Transfer

The overriding reason for using one of the Stansted Airport bus services is the low cost.

If your main priority is just to get between Stansted Airport and Central London as quickly as possible then you should be looking at the train instead.

The Stansted Express train is more frequent and faster by far than any Stansted Airport bus and you also have much more personal space. As you might have guessed it is also the most expensive Stansted – London public transport transfer,

However, if your destination or hotel is on the west side of Central London and the airport bus stops real close to your destination then the airport bus may be more appropiate. The Stansted Express London terminus at Liverpool Street is on the east side of Central London and you may be able to avoid the cross-London transfer if an airport bus goes nearer.

This is particularly true if your London destination is in Victoria, Marble Arch/Oxford Street, Baker Street or Swiss Cottage districts of Central London, major stops on various airport bus services

Stansted Express Train – Full details including fares and times

What Is The Cheapest Bus Company? National Express, Terravision or easyBus

There is no definitive answer here as the three operators having different pricing models and destinations.

I would suggest that on price alone Terravision will most often be the cheapest fare available to you.

Do You Have Children? - Agebands Differ Between Bus Companies

National Express offer child fares for those between 3 and 15 yeras and those under 3 travel free.
Terravision child rates apply to those between 5 and 12 years with those under 5 travelling free.
easyBus have no child fares.

Is Your Destination/Origin In London In Marble Arch /Oxford Street / Paddington / Bayswater / Baker Street or Swiss Cottage hotel districts/

If the answer is Yes, then take the National Express London Victoria Service, the only Stansted Airport bus that stops at these popular hotel districts, (though Bayswater and Paddington will require a very short bus or Underground ride)

Is Your Destination/Origin In London In The Victoria, Pimlico, St James's Districts

If the answer is Yes, then take the Terravision London Victoria Service, cheaper than the National Express service and runs non-stop.

Is Your Destination/Origin In London In The King Cross / St Pancras / City Of London / Tower Bridge or Bloomsbury Districts

If the answer is Yes, then take the Terravision or National Express London Liverpool Street Service.

Stansted - London Transfer Route Map

Stansted - London Termini Map

What If My Flight Is Late And I Miss The Schedule On My Ticket?

There is very good reason to purchase your ticket in advance on-line, guaranteeing a seat on the bus you require and getting the lowest cost fare available.

However, all three operators do not offer fully flexible fares. You have to select a specific timed schedule you want to travel on.

You are only guaranteed to board the bus schedule on your ticket with priority over everyone else.

National Express Coaches

One option is to simply pay a £5 fee to switch to another schedule at the ticket office. You will also be charged any difference between the fare you paid on-line and the walk-up fare available on the day.

The second option (if you are purchasing a return fare) is to purchase a “Flexible airport journey” – pay a £10 additional supplement per person, (half price children). The facility allows you to board any available coach 12 hours before or 12 hours after your original departure time, amend your ticket to a new departure date or get a refund on your ticket up to 24 hours before departure, all without charge.

This facility is only available for on-line purchases and only for return trip purchases. The flexible airport journey supplement is made available as an extra on the extras screen displayed immediately after you have selected your coach tickets during the purchase process.

Terravision Coaches

If your London Stansted flight arrives early or late, you may use the same ticket at no extra cost to travel on the next available Stansted Airport to Central London bus service subject to seat availability.


You can use your ticket only on buses within 60 minutes of the schedule on your ticket. Note, easyBus use small buses which may not have spares seats available on alternative schedules within the 60 minutes.

Are There Differences Between Bus Companies Regards Luggage Allowance

The answer is Yes, again Terravision come out on top with regards luggage restrictions.

Terravision have no formal luggage restriction.
Clearly if you are travelling with something outrageously outsize or hazardous there are limits. If in doubt contact Terravision.

National Express allow two large bags per person neither of which should weigh more than 20kg and one small piece of hand luggage like a laptop or handbag.

easyBus allow one bag max dimensions H+W+L equalling 57 or less inches and weighing 23kg or less plus one hand luggage no more than 5kg

Any Other Significant Differences Between Bus Operators

National Express are the only operator with toilets aboard the buses.

Terravision loading and unloading of luggage from the hold of the bus is less controlled than the other carriers on arrival at the desination.
With Terravision at the destination its basically a mad rush off the bus, passengers then identifying and pulling out their own luggage themselves. The driver just opens the luggage hold doors and leaves everyone to it.

Nervous About The Bus Being Stuck In Traffic And You Miiss Your Flight?

You should give yourself plenty of contingency time, especially when going out to Stansted Airport. London\’s traffic is unpredictable and delays do happen.

The busiest period for traffic out to Stansted is the evening commute hours between 3 p.m and 7 p.m. Monday to Fridays.

Coming into London, expect routine traffic congestion between 6:30 a.m and 10 a.m.

You can minimise the traffic congestion delay risk by using the London Stratford – Stansted services run by Terravision and National Express.

Stratford is served by the Central and Jubilee Lines of the London Underground and is outside the centre of London close to where the motorway grade road to Stansted begins.

Links To Service Detail Pages Of All Stansted - Central London Public Transport

Terravision Stansted – London Victoria Service – In depth information including fares


National Express Stansted – London Victoria Service – In depth information including fares


Terravision Stansted – London Liverpool Street Service – In depth information including fares


National Express Stansted – London Stratford / Liverpool St Service – In depth information including fares


Terravision Stansted – London Stratford Service – In depth information including fares


Stansted Express Airport Train – In depth information including fares


Discussion and Questions

If you have any further questions with respect the Stansted transfer options please do ask using the facility below.
I\’ll normally answer within 24 hours.
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