Escape the crowds at Stansted airport: review of the Escape lounge at Stansted airport

The last time I visited London Stansted airport it was a bit of a mess. That was several years ago and now the (mostly) short haul hub for (mostly) low-cost airlines is looking quite snazzy. It certainly stands head and shoulders about London Luton airport at the moment.

While there I took the chance to visit the Escape lounge to see what the facilities are like for those who want a little more space. With few of the major airlines flying from Stansted the choices for lounges are limited. Thankfully Escape was a pleasant surprise.

Firstly, Stansted airport these days is not a bad place to have to spend a couple of hours anyway, once you make it through security (my experience here was actually quite good too).

The Escape lounge is located in the main departure lounge. Proceed through security checks and the Duty Free area. The entrance to the lounge is located between Coast to Coast and Pret a Manger. I used my Priority Pass to gain access to the lounge. You can use the lounge for up to three hours prior to your flight time, which is open from 4am until 8.30pm (closed on Christmas Day).

There are a few lounges that only offer the bare minimum, making it almost pointless to bother leaving the main departure area. Escape was worth it. The layout is nice and spacious with areas for relaxing, eating and for working. Here’s what’s on offer:

  • Complimentary hot and cold buffet food – an upgrade menu is also available, providing a wider range of hot meal options to purchase
  • Complimentary wines, beer and spirits – premium drinks such as champagne and prosecco are available for an additional cost
  • Self-service soft drinks, tea and coffee
  • Wide range of newspapers and magazines
  • Unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Flight information screens
  • Device charging points
  • TVs

To access the lounge you pay £25 per person or £21 if booked in advance. Infants under a year old are admitted free of charge. The following passes are accepted - DragonPass, Diners Club, Holiday Extras, Lounge Pass, Lounge Club, Lounge Key and Priority Pass.  If you are travelling in business class, check with your airline to see if you can receive a complimentary pass.

This is not the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Hong Kong, or even the Virgin Lounge in Heathrow, with its complimentary champagne and jacuzzi. But it is a nice treat if you need some space or decent quality food before you fly from Stansted.