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Luton - Stansted Airport Bus Shuttle Transfer

National Express Airport Coach Service - The Only Direct Public Transport Link Between LTN & STN

National Express Bus

The only direct public transport between London's Luton and Stansted airports are the National Express coaches which shuttle between the two airports. Both Luton and Stansted airports are about 35 miles (56 kms) north of London. The National Express coaches going direct between the two airports do so without coming into London itself.

Note - there is no direct train service.

National Express Bus Between Stansted & Luton Airport

The Luton - Stansted Airport Bus is operated by National Express with comfortable coaches complete with on board washrooms. Stansted and Luton Airports are about 55 miles (88 kms) apart to the north of London.

This coach service is the fastest public transport travelling between Stansted and Luton airports. Scheduled time is around 80-90 minutes and there are 1 or 2 buses an hour each way for most of the day.

The buses are not dedicated Stansted to Luton buses. There are several routes which terminate at Stansted and go to Luton Airport before going onto other English cities like Oxford, Birmingham and Northampton.

Minimum Times Between Flights?

The journey time on the bus is scheduled at around 90 minutes. Absolute minimum time with no contingency between flights that you should contemplate making a transfer between Stansted and Luton is 5 hours using this service.

Remember both Luton and Stansted are dominated by the low cost budget airlines where missing your flight means losing your ticket.

Map of Relative Positions Of London's Airports

Finding The Bus At Stansted & Luton

Luton Airport

In front of the main front doors of Luton Airport's passenger terminal is a very large bus station, you cannot miss it. Everyone has to walk through it to get to the other forms of transport like the taxi rank and car park shuttles. All the different buses are lined up with their own bus bays.

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.

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 Bus Routing

The Stansted - Luton buses are not dedicated Stansted to Luton buses. There are three different services that terminate /start at Stansted Airport and travel by two different routes to Luton airport before continuing onto their eventual destination.

Indicative Journey Times of National Express Stansted - Luton Bus

Stansted Airport












Luton Airport



Note: There are no stops at any airport hotels

National Express Fares

The cheapest tickets are on-line in advance from the National Express web site, (link below).

You can also buy tickets on the day at the National Express ticket desks and ticket machines at the Gatwick and Heathrow passenger terminals and Heathrow Central Bus Station subject to seat availability.

A ticket is for a specific schedule you select and is printed on the ticket. If you book on-line you are also guaranteed a seat on the schedule you select, turning up on the day to buy a ticket you are not.

For on-line reservations there is also a £1 booking fee per booking, (not person).

It is recommended booking a service at least 90 minutes after the arrival time of your flight.

Ticket Formats

The easiest and cheapest option is to use e-tickets, where you simply print your ticket after purchase.

There are alternatives, m-tickets sent to your mobile incur a small surcharge, the same surcharge for collecting tickets from a ticket office. Tickets can also be mailed to you for a larger surcharge.

National Express Airport Coach Services

What if my Flight is Late and I Miss my Bus?

Allow 90 minutes minimum from flight arrival time to any airport bus departure.

When you reserve a ticket, you reserve a seat on a specific schedule.

So what happens if your flight is late and you need to change your coach schedule?

Funfare Tickets

The cheapest fares one-way fares are called “funfares” and do not allow any changes of any kind.

Amendable Not Refundable Tickets

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 Amendable & Refundable

On many journeys this fare is offered at time of reservation and carries a small surcharge.

Unlimited amendments can be made anytime prior to departure without incurring an amendment fee.

In order to claim a refund, you must cancel your ticket at least 72 hours in advance of your journey and an administration fee applies.

Airport Flexible Add On - For Journeys Staring or Ending At An Airport

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 Airport Flexible Fare 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.

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