Heathrow-Stansted Airport bus shuttle transfer

National Express airport coach service, the only direct public transport link between LHR & STN

Heathrow Stansted Airport Bus

Direct link: bus at Heathrow Coach Station

National Express bus between Heathrow & Stansted airports

The only direct public transport between London's Heathrow and Stansted airports are the National Express coaches which shuttle between the two airports.

The Heathrow-Stansted Airport bus is operated by National Express with comfortable coaches complete with on board washrooms.


This is the only scheduled direct public transport service operating between Heathrow and Stansted Airport.


The only alternatives are taxi/charter bus or to travel by public transport into central London, then get transport out again.


Note - there is no direct Heathrow-Stansted train and there is no Heathrow-Stansted shared van shuttle.


If you are a group or can put a small group together (groups can be anything from 2 to 200!) then it can work out cheaper to hire a private car or charter bus.

Private car/bus between Heathrow and Stansted Airports


Minimum times between flights?

The minimum time you should contemplate making a transfer between Heathrow and Stansted is 5 hours.


Terminal layout at Heathrow is such that if you are flying into or out of Terminals 4 or 5 the bus will take 25-30 minutes longer than using Terminals 2 or 3.


Road congestion warning!

The route of about 65 miles (105km) between Heathrow and Stansted is along heavily congested motorway/freeway. Mondays to Fridays between 6.30am and 10am and 3.30pm and 7pm traffic congestion is routine, expect delays of 15 minutes or more. There can also be severe congestion late Sunday afternoon/ early evening. But at anytime the slightest incident can bring the road to gridlock.

London Inter Airport Coach Services


Finding the bus at Stansted & Heathrow

Stansted Airport

In front of Stansted Airport's passenger terminal is a very large bus station. All the different buses are lined up with their own bays. There is a waiting room and somewhere to get a coffee and snacks. When you come out of the customs area, just look up and follow the signs downstairs to the bus station.


Heathrow - Stansted Bus Route Map

Heathrow Airport

At Heathrow its a lot more complicated, the key points are:

  • No buses visit Terminals 2 and 3 - you walk to the Central Bus Station

  • All buses visit the Central Bus station. (Terminals 2 and 3)

  • Buses will normally but not always visit Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 which are a couple of miles apart on the other side of the airport.

  • You can travel free from Terminal 4 and 5 to the Central Bus station by Heathrow Express train which runs every 15 minutes.

  • The walk from Terminals 2 or 3 to the bus station takes about 10 minutes. It is luggage trolley friendly and is mostly along moving walkways and lifts. It is also underground so you are not exposed to the elements.


National Express luggage allowance

You can carry two medium-sized suitcases - weighing up to 20kg (44 lbs) each - plus one small piece of hand luggage per person. Drivers loading the baggage do not weigh bags.


Customers will be permitted to pool their individual allowances if they are travelling in a group or as a family, but they must be travelling on the same ticket. Over this allowance and steep excess luggage charges kick in.


If you need to take extra luggage on your journey, this can be arranged either in advance or on your day of travel when you arrive at the coach station. However buying your extra luggage on-line in advance is much cheaper.


National Express fares - the key points

Remember: with National Express you book a seat on a specific bus schedule.

National Express fare types

National Express have three fare types:

Restricted Fare: online only - not amendable

This fare is the cheapest fare of all for a reason - it is neither refundable nor amendable.

Standard Fare: the cheapest fare. Amendable (for a fee) but not refundable

This ticket is not refundable but the journey date and time can be changed prior to your current departure date and time. Amendments must be made prior to the journey. An amendment fee will apply.

Fully Flexible Fare: unlimited amendments and refunds allowed before travel

The most expenstive option means that you can make unlimited amendments anytime prior to departure without incurring an amendment fee. You can also receive a full refund up to 24 hours before travel if you need to.

The Airport flexible add on - (Change & Go) The flexibility to switch schedule if your flight is early/late

(£5 each way)

For peace of mind if your flight is early or delayed with this add-on you may board any available coach 12 hours before or 12 hours after your original departure time you have selected on reservation.

You can amend your ticket to a new departure date as well - free of charge.

You can obtain a refund on your ticket up to 24 hours before departure.

You add the Change & Go Add On during the booking process, not at the original selection screen where you select your schedule and fare.

The option comes up on a subsequent screen with other supplemental options like excess luggage and travel insurance are offered and before payment.

National Express Group Discount (for 3 people or more)

If you're travelling on the National Express services in a group of four or more, you can travel between London's airports for just £20 per person.

Luggage supplements

The National Express coaches come with a free luggage allowance of either 2 medium or 1 large cases for the hold of the bus.

Medium cases should be no more than 70cm x 45cm x 30cm.

Large cases no more than 75cm x 50cm x 32cm.

Neither case should weigh more than 20kg (44lb).

An item of hand luggage is allowed in the passenger cabin but only laptop/handbag size.

There are steep excess luggage charges if you exceed these limits.

For supplement prices please click through on the link below.

3 extra cases is usually around twice the price to just one extra case if you book in advance, but will cost up to three times as much if you leave it to the day.

You will usually save at least a couple of pounds (or more if multiple extra bags) by booking in advance, in addition to guaranteeing yourself a space (extra luggage space can't be guaranteed on the day).

London Inter Airport Coach Services

If there are 8 or more then charter bus with driver will be cheaper than public bus

A vehicle with driver just for your party has a lot going for it, especially if you are a small group or larger.

The driver will meet n greet you as you exit the customs/luggage hall of the passenger terminal (or at an airport hotel) and lead you to the waiting vehicle for an immediate departure.

The driver also monitors your incoming flight and will adjust his/her arrival time to the actual time your flight arrives.

We can supply vehicles from sedans to 70 seat coaches and if you want to do some sightseeing on the way, no problem too, with or without guiding.

Private Airport Car Transfers

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.