Always follow your airline’s guidance on how early you need to be at the airport before your flight.

As a general guide, you will need to have checked in and be ready to go through security at least 2 hours before your flight departure time.

Check-in desks

On arrival at the airport, please check the information screens to find out which check-in desks you need. After you’ve checked in, it is advisable to go to security control straight away, leaving you plenty of time to relax and explore the many shops and restaurants in the departures lounge.

See an interactive map of the check-in area

Online check-in

Online check-in offers you the ability to check yourself in and print your boarding passes in the comfort of your own home or at the office (a printer is required). Once you get to the airport, if you have baggage you can take it to the bag drop, or if you only have hand baggage you can proceed directly to security control. 


Those in need of accessibility services will find plenty on offer at check-in.


For safety reasons, the following items cannot be taken on to an aircraft. Please do not pack them in any luggage, hand or hold.

  • Flammable liquids and solids.
  • Oxidisers such as bleaching powders.
  • Organic peroxides.
  • Tear gas devices or any gas cylinders.
  • Infectious substances such as live virus materials.
  • Wet-cell car batteries.
  • Magnetrons.
  • Instruments containing mercury.
  • Instruments containing magnets.
  • Fireworks and pyrotechnics.
  • Non-safety matches.
  • Fire lighters, lighter fuel, paints, thinners.
  • Poisons, arsenic, cyanide, weedkiller.
  • Radioactive materials, acids, corrosives, alkalis, caustic soda.
  • Creosote, quicklime, oiled paper.
  • Vehicle fuel system components which have contained fuel.
  • Ammunition, detonators, blasting caps, mines, grenades, and related equipment and any other explosives.
  • Smoke canisters and smoke cartridges.

Your hold luggage (items that you check-in) must be below a certain weight and size. Please check with your airline for more information.

It is an offence to carry any of the following items into the aircraft cabin:

  • Acid
  • Billiard, snooker or pool cues
  • Builder’s tools
  • Catapults and sling-shots
  • Darts
  • Explosives
  • Gas cartridges, or gas cartridge re-fills
  • Hammers, nails or screw-drivers
  • Hypodermic syringes (unless supported by medical evidence)
  • Knives with blades more than 6cm
  • Lighter fuel
  • Lighter top-up fuel (passengers are allowed to carry one disposable lighter in a clear re-sealable plastic bag)
  • Mercury
  • Paint
  • Razor blades
  • Scissors – specifically blades measuring greater than 6cm in length
  • Sporting bats
  • Toy or replica guns (plastic or metal)
  • Umbrellas – unless foldable

Miscellaneous luggage

Baggage that is larger or heavier than normal must be checked in separately from your hold luggage.

Packing tips

To avoid bags becoming jammed on the conveyor belt, please ensure that:

  • All loose straps are tied up or removed.
  • All flaps are securely fastened.
  • Extendable handles are retracted or secured.
  • Old tags and barcodes are removed.

When deciding what to pack and what to carry as hand baggage, please bear the following in mind:

  • Don’t wrap gifts. Security staff may wish to examine them, so may unwrap them.
  • Never carry anything on to an aircraft for anyone else. 

Hand luggage security rules

For more information about hand luggage and going through security, please see our dedicated Security page


We have plenty of assistance to offer passengers requiring accessibility services in the Domestic Baggage Reclaim Hall.

Passport Control

Head towards Passport Control, which will be clearly signposted on your arrival. There are two separate queues: one for European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), British nationals and Swiss nationals, and a second for all other nationalities. At the passport desk a Border Force officer will ask to see your passport or travel document and any supporting documentation necessary for your visit. Please remember that your passport must not expire during your visit to the United Kingdom. For full details on entry requirements into the United Kingdom, please visit the Border Force website. Border Force use scanners to ensure that passports, visas and other official documents are genuine.

ePassport Gates

ePassport Gates are a secure and convenient self-service alternative to the conventional border control process at London Stansted.

The system uses facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph recorded on the ‘chip’ in your passport. Once the checks are made, the gates will open automatically for you to go through. You can use the gates if you are a passport holder of a country in the EEA – including the UK – or Switzerland, and if you have the EEA chip logo on your passport. You cannot use the gates with a national identity card instead of a passport.

Customs and Immigration

Please be aware that all passengers will be required to pass through Customs and Immigration. Border Force secures the border and promotes national prosperity by facilitating the legitimate movement of individuals and goods, whilst preventing those that would cause harm from entering the UK. After passing through Passport Control, you will enter the Baggage Reclaim hall, which is where you will collect your checked-in baggage. Check the information screens to see which carousel you need to go to. For lost and delayed luggage please view the Lost Luggage page.


Those passengers requiring accessibility services can find plenty of aid in the passport control and immigration areas. 

Lost Property

For items left on board an aircraft please contact your airline for further information.

The lost property service for all items found within the passenger terminal at London Stansted Airport is provided by Excess Baggage.

For any enquiry please see contact details below.

Location: Excess Baggage Airport Services desk, International Arrivals landside concourse

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Telephone: 0330 024 0099


Travelling with Children

Contact your airline

Contact your airline in advance to see what they offer onboard for children, such as sky cots, baby food, toddler meals and children’s entertainment. Ask whether you can reserve seats in advance, so you can guarantee you’re all flying together as a family. If you can, book a flight that’s not likely to be full. You may get an empty seat next to you or even a free row. To avoid accentuating tiredness, try and fly during reasonable daytime hours, so that your children’s daily routine isn’t disrupted too much.

Baby changing facilities on arrival

At London Stansted Airport, there are baby changing facilities at the following locations on arrival:

  • International Baggage Reclaim – family room near reclaim 1, baby change cubicles in both ladies’ and gents’ toilets near reclaim 9.
  • UK Baggage Reclaim – baby change in ladies’ toilets.
  • Arrivals route from Gates 40 to 59 – baby change with accessible toilet.
  • Main arrivals greeting area – baby change cubicles in both ladies’ and gents’ toilets.

Baby changing facilities on departure

At London Stansted Airport, there are baby changing facilities at the following locations on departure:

  • In both ladies’ and men’s toilets in zone A check-in area.
  • Baby changing and nursing room located in the main departure lounge.
  • Gates 1 to 19 – family room near Gate 13.
  • Gates 20 to 39 – family room near Gates 33/34.
  • Gates 40 to 50 – family room near Gate 43.
  • Gates 51 to 59 – family room near Gate 59.
  • Gates 81 to 88 – baby change with accessible toilet and ladies’ toilet.

Food and other essentials

Most restaurants and bars provide high chairs and children’s menus. Boots supplies baby essentials including nappies, formula milk and baby wipes.


There is a breastfeeding room located in the main departures lounge, as well as family rooms located near several of the gates. On arrival there is also a family room at the International Baggage Reclaim. Please note that we promote feeding across our site and don’t restrict where this can take place.  

Pet Travel Scheme

The Pet Travel Scheme, offered by the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), allows cats and dogs to travel between some countries and UK airports, without the need for quarantine. If you are going away for a long period of time and want to take your pet abroad from London Stansted Airport, we have listed a few companies that can help you with this.

• AIA Pets 
Telephone: 0203 432 7828
Web: AIA Pets Website

• Airborne Pets
Telephone: 0845 1801 851
Web: Airborne Pets Website