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Checking In

Before Leaving Home 

Where to check in

The check-in area is on the ground floor of the terminal.

To find your check-in desk, look for your flight number on the screens near the terminal entrance. Check-in zones A to K are signposted by illuminated yellow cubes.

How early to arrive

Please check your ticket or contact your airline for advice on checking-in times. The following timings provide a general guide only.

  • Long-haul flights: Check in three hours prior to scheduled departure.
  • European scheduled flights: Check in two hours before scheduled departure.
  • UK and Ireland flights: Check in two hours prior to scheduled departure.
  • All charter flights: Check in three hours before departure.

Online check-in

More and more airlines now allow you to check in online from your home, office, hotel... in fact, anywhere with an internet connection.

Please check with your airline to see if this service is available for your journey, as not all passengers and routes are eligible. Some carriers restrict the service to those travelling without hold baggage.

Please remember to print your boarding card prior to arriving at the airport as some airlines will make a charge for the issue of a boarding card at the airport.

You should also pay attention to the times given for dropping bags, collecting boarding cards and arriving at the gate.

Below are links to online check-in pages for some of the airlines offering this service at Stansted.

After check-in

Once you've checked in and dropped off any baggage you'll need to pass through security control to reach the departure lounge. To avoid any delay to your journey, you are recommended to do this as early as possible.

Find out more about security control


Keep an eye on the flight information screens in the departure lounge which show flight numbers, destinations, boarding times and gate numbers. Boarding usually begins about 45 minutes before departure, and you should allow a minimum of 12 minutes to get from the departures lounge to your gate.

Owner Contact PIN - Let your lost property find you

Owner ContactPIN Tags use a 16 character alpha numeric code to anonymously link owners to their property. The Tags can be used on anything from luggage to golf bags to keys and wallets etc. Owners details are kept secure on a portal and personal data is never given out unless at the express request of bodies such as the Police or Border Control.

When a lost item is found the finder submits a report on our secure portal by providing the unique code. Airport baggage handlers in over 2,200 airports worldwide can put the code directly into the baggage handling system. Within minutes owners receive an email and or SMS text informing them where their property is. The service is available globally 24x7 every day of the year.

Airport hotels

Early flight? Avoid travel stress – spend the night at a hotel near the airport.

Stansted has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Visit our online hotel booking system to find out more.

If you're making a stopover you've plenty of choice around Stansted Airport.

Hotels close to the airport include the Hilton, Radisson Blu and Express by Holiday Inn, and there are plenty more to choose from nearby. A number of hotels offer courtesy transport to and from the terminal.

Use our hotel finder page to see what's available for your journey.

Book a Stansted Airport hotel