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Old 02.10.2014, 23:09
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AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

Until further notice.

Due to current refurbishments and unprecedented Ryanair traffic this airport has become completely unusable for all but the most determined.

Last night my wife and kids took the 11pm Basel to Stansted flight arriving in at 11:20pm GMT. Upon arriving the airport was in complete chaos, hundreds upon hundreds of passengers queuing for immigration. So what they do is keep passengers in these holding areas like cattle and then let them trickle out towards the even bigger queues for immigration. It took over 1hr 40 mins from landing to finally walking through the arrivals gate. And by that time all the car rental desks were closed, so the car that she had booked was obviously not waiting.

My wife spoke to several employees at the airport and they told that its like this 7 days a week, night time is when all the Ryanair and other budget flights hit an already crippled airport, without enough immigration officials to handle the volume. I also checked Skytrax and its just pages and pages of the same kind of stories.


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LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT customer review : 1 October 2014 by K Mulkern (UK)
There seemed to be a few signs in the terminal apologising for 'disruption' caused by refurbishment, but that doesn't come close to describing the chaos, queues, delays, and total lack of customer care. Equally awful on way out to Italy, and on return 7 days later. Will not use it again, and did not remember it being this bad years ago!

LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT customer review : 1 October 2014 by Ash Martinez (Ireland)
Overcrowded. Not enough seating. Not enough restaurant facilities. People sitting and eating on the floor. Infrastructure is completely incompetent for the volume of passengers.

LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT customer review : 1 October 2014 by S Mink (UK)
Arrived back in the UK on Saturday night, 27th September 2014, landed at 23.49, got through the border control E- gates at 01.15! Disgraceful and unacceptable. Never experienced this, this can't be the improvements that Stansted promised. Never again!

LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT customer review : 29 September 2014 by David Ebdale (UK)
Had the misfortune to travel from Stansted to Greece on 1st September for a flight at 6.40am. We arrived at 4.30 got luggage checked in and had a quick coffee and then proceeded to security, where we encountered a complete shambles. Staff were totally disorganised and rude. No one seemed to have any idea how to direct passengers to pass through speedily. We eventually had to run to gate 84 and made the flight with three minutes to spare. We are advised to be at the airport at least 2 hours before the flight, I would recommend at least an extra hour on that. Stansted used to be efficient, but not anymore, avoid it, if you want stress free travel.

LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT customer review : 18 September 2014 by Simon Bentley (UK)
I have used Stansted about 40 times a year for the last 9 years or so. The deterioration in the airport since the change of ownership is alarming. It took me 50 minutes to get through security yesterday with only one scanner open for more than 160 people in my queue, leaving many passengers with no option but to jump the queue in desperation to try to catch their flights. Even the staff on security were actively advising passengers to complain as "otherwise things will get much worse before they get any better". If MAG cannot get the basics like security control right, the only advice must be to use a different airport.
I don't know how Stansted could have gone from being one of the best, most efficient London airports to the absolute worst.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:13
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

When I was at BSL a few weeks ago waiting for my Swiss flight, I saw a Ryanair flight to Stansted that was delayed by over 5 hours.

I don't care how cheap they are, Stansted is awful right now as you say, and so is Ryanair. By contrast, easy jet (to Gatwick) is fine.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:17
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

I expect the government cut the border control budget, leaving a skeleton night shift to cope with the delayed planes from Ryan Air and Easy Jet.

From Switzerland, EasyJet to Southend looks to be a good alternative.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:17
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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I don't know how Stansted could have gone from being one of the best, most efficient London airports to the absolute worst.
Uhm...what? Stansted, Luton and Gatwick are all Ryanair/Easyjet hubs - they're the Happy Eater of airports. LHR and London City are both, very different, world class airports. Don't fly into London anywhere else.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:21
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

Gatwick is fine (well, I've only used it for one return flight in 4 years, but it was fine when I did a couple of months ago).
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:21
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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LHR and London City are both, very different, world class airports.
I assume you haven't been there in the last 20 years.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:23
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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Uhm...what? Stansted, Luton and Gatwick are all Ryanair/Easyjet hubs - they're the Happy Eater of airports. LHR and London City are both, very different, world class airports. Don't fly into London anywhere else.
I used to fly in and out of Luton regularly. The airport is fine. It's a shame it's in Luton though.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:33
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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I used to fly in and out of Luton regularly. The airport is fine. It's a shame it's in Luton though.
Another vote for Luton, its absolutely fine and very handy for those of us with ties in North London and a need to drive to/from the airport (due to kids, luggage etc..).

London City is by far my favourite airport, but its stunted by the unpredictable and perpetually awful A406 North Circular. A 25 mile journey can take anything from 45 minutes to >3 hours which has led to me missing two separate flights. However if you're going by tube, then its all good.

Heathrow suffers from similarly poor access (Hanger Lane, A40, A312, M4 etc..) which all get completely clogged during rush hour. So again another airport best served by public transport.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:41
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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I assume you haven't been there in the last 20 years.
I was at London City yesterday and at T5 the day before. Next...
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:42
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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Gatwick is fine (well, I've only used it for one return flight in 4 years, but it was fine when I did a couple of months ago).
As an airport it isn't that bad, it just happens to not be particularly near London. Luton too, that's fine if your destination is near Luton/very North London but as a general London airport it's just too far away.
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Old 02.10.2014, 23:53
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

Luton for me too . but strictly only for the Airport
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Old 03.10.2014, 00:21
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

London City is the tops, but limited on destination and bit pricey for me most of the time. It is brilliant, fast arriving and seems like blink of eye, check in suitcase and 2 minutes to departure gate. Good for business people depending where they have to get to.

Luton, I love how quick it is to get off the flight and out to the front of the airport.

Stansted is enormous and seems so much walking to get to the departure gate and again get out of the airport. If they now have this immigration queue that Heathrow had a few years ago YUK

I am wondering which UK Government Minister to complain to?
re the time for immigration clearance at Stansted
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Old 03.10.2014, 18:02
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

Littlejohn had a nice complaint about STN in the daily hate this morning.
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Old 06.10.2014, 16:04
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

Oh no, just booked my Christmas ski holiday going from Stansted! Do you know when the renovations are due to complete? I could switch to Gatwick...
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Old 06.10.2014, 18:47
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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Gatwick is fine (well, I've only used it for one return flight in 4 years, but it was fine when I did a couple of months ago).
I've used Gatwick a few times recently and find it surprisingly good. It's a bit of a 'walky' airport, but the every half hour connection to Victoria is quite speedy.

What it really needs (apart from a bit of an internal redesign to speed perambulatory transit) is a ten-minute maglev ride to central London. (Cancel the HS2 and spend the money on this glorious project!)

If fact a maglev triangle linking Heathrow, Gatwick and central London would obviate the need for a third runway at Heathrow (stuff it all in Gatwick) and be, well, amazing...
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Old 06.10.2014, 19:26
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

Maglev from Russell Square to Brausebad. Sorted.
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Old 06.10.2014, 19:35
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

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Until further notice.
So what they do is keep passengers in these holding areas like cattle and then let them trickle out towards the even bigger queues for immigration. It took over 1hr 40 mins from landing to finally walking through the arrivals gate. And by that time all the car rental desks were closed, so the car that she had booked was obviously not waiting.
So just like every experience I've had at Heathrow. Hundreds or thousands of passengers waiting to go through immigration, with only one old man processing people through the only open desk! It took him at least 1-2 minutes with each person, so I considered myself lucky to get through in only 2 hours.
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Old 06.10.2014, 20:40
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

London Southend is amazing and was recently voted the best airport in the UK. Easyjet flies there from Geneva.
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Old 06.10.2014, 20:42
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

My last experience of Luton reminds me very much of your experience at Stansted. One of those times when having no baggage didn't speed anything up. But that was 9 years ago, so I guess they've finished refurbishing now.
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Old 06.10.2014, 20:51
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Re: AVOID - London Stansted Airport - AVOID

.... And I had no luggage either today when leaving Heathrow since BA lost it :-(

A shame really because I must say that Ive been quite impressed by what Ive seen from BA lately. Seriously considering changing my loyalty but this put a dent in my experience.
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