London is an excellent summer holiday destination. After a tremendous week-long holiday, we flew back home from London's Stansted Airport which serves mainly low-cost airlines. Because we had a lot of waiting time before our flight departure to Helsinki, we decided to visit Escape Lounge. Read more from our lounge review.
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London Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport is one of the six airports in the London area and also the third busiest airport in London. London Stansted Airport serves as a home base for many low-cost airlines. For example, Europe's largest airline, Ryanair, has tens of routes from Stansted. Easyjet is another well-known carrier operating from Stansted.
Terminals and Escape Lounge
Stansted Airport has only one terminal with three satellites for gates. The airport has only one lounge: Escape Lounge. Since Stansted Airport serves mainly holidaymakers and customers of low-cost airlines, there are no lounges owned by specific airlines.
It is easy to imagine how easily it gets crowded in the Stansted Airport's only lounge which unfortunately means also that many travellers can't be accommodated. Only the luckiest passengers get a chance to enjoy the services of Escape Lounge. Even being a member of a lounge membership program, like Priority Pass, does not guarantee access.
Escape Lounge Facts
The Escape Lounge is easy to find. A passenger must clear the security check and walk to the central departure lounge of the terminal. We advise reserving at least one hour to pass these formalities since the queues may be long.
From the departure lounge, the path to the Escape Lounge goes between Coast to Coast and Pret a Manger. It takes only a few minutes to reach the stairs that lead downstairs to the lounge. According to our experience, the lounge is one of the easiest to locate despite being at a large airport like Stansted Airport.
How to Get in?
Escape lounge serves business class passengers of airlines. For example, Emirates invites customers to this lounge. Business class passengers are prioritized so if you have an invitation to this lounge, we expect you to get in without any issues.
The lounges serves also customers of Priority Pass, LoungeKey and travellers with DragonPass lounge membership program. However, one's lounge memberships do not guarantee entry but these customers will get in only if there is enough free space. During busy hours, chances to get admitted are low.
Pre-booking an entry is almost mandatory to guarantee access during busy hours. Unfortunately, the holders of lounge membership cards cannot pre-book access so buying a single lounge pass with money becomes the only viable option if you want to secure admission to the lounge.
Our Escape Lounge Experience
We visited Escape Lounge using LoungeKey membership that was come together with Curve Metal card. Many flights were departing from the airport that our first entry attempt was rejected. Luckily, a friendly security lady staff arranged for our entry to the lounge after 10 minutes of waiting. Perhaps, we looked so disappointed after the rejection that she wanted to give us a second chance.
Normally, when you arrive at a lounge, you only clear the formalities at the reception desk. That includes showing a boarding pass and maybe making a payment. Escape Lounge was a positive exception. A member of staff personally explained the lounge's services and directed us to our table. Even though this small chat was short, it gave us an excellent first impression.
It was a little odd to notice that there were surprisingly many free seats in the lounge even though the staff were continuously restricting the number of incoming customers.
The lounge looked a little outdated so it could be time to renovate it. For example, ceiling panels were missing and furniture was old. The lounge did not give the impression of a premium premise but it seemed just like an ordinary area of the airport.
The lounge was large having outside windows but the view to the outside was nothing special. This is not the best lounge for plane spotters. On the walls, there were aviation-themed boards and world clocks. Naturally, flight information screens were also easy to find and the lounge had a few TV screens. Food tables took up much of the lounge's space since the selection was so good.
The lounge had different kinds of chairs and tables. This is good because for eating, a regular table is good and a sofa with a smaller table is better for relaxing with drinks. Travellers need to charge devices but only a few power sockets were free to use and EU socket adapters were needed. The lounge had all the basic services we were expecting but the decorations of the lounge could have been nicer.
This is our rating of the lounge.
Stansted Airport is not the most comfortable airport in the world. Keeping that in mind, the lounge is perfectly located in the middle of the airport after the security check.
Escape Lounge accepts multiple lounge membership cards and also a few other methods to get in. Unfortunately, the lounge is often so crowded that many customers need to queue or get denied entry despite memberships during busy hours. Pre-booking access with money is perhaps the best option to get in.
Food and Drinks
Lounges that are maintained by ground service companies rarely meet the level of airlines' lounges. Escape Lounge is maybe an exception because it had a surprisingly good warm and cold meal selection and also a manned bar desk where you could order alcoholic drinks.
During our visit, the lounge served soup, chicken, pasta, potatoes and tortillas from a warm buffet. In addition, there were salad, vegetables, bread, sandwiches, fruits, bakery, cookies and chips .
Customers could order complimentary alcoholic drinks from the bar desk. For example, there were five wine options. Juices, coke and coffee could be taken as self-service. As a nice extra, Escape Lounge had also a few bigger dining tables to make eating easier.
The lounge had the usual services like a well-working Wi-Fi, flight information screens, TVs and magazines. The lounge did not have in toilet or shower but they are upstairs quite far. During our visit, the staff behaved friendly but the cleaning of our table was extremely slow.
Pre-booking price of the lounge is about 30 British Pounds which is a good price for a lounge in the London area. Because Stansted Airport is so crowded, the lounge gives good value for this money. In our opinion, the service level matches the price well.
We rate Escape Lounge as a 3.5-star lounge. The lounge is not especially stylish but it offers versatile services and many food options. The location is perfect. Unfortunately, the lounge is often crowded and it does not have a toilet or showers. With a small face-lift, we could give 1 star more.
- How many airport lounges are there at Stansted Airport?
- There is only one lounge, the Escape Lounge.
- How to find Escape Lounge?
- You need to clear the security and walk to the central departure lounge of the terminal. From there, follow the signs to the lounge and you will reach it in a few minutes.
- Does Escape Lounge accept lounge memberships?
- Yes, it does but business-class customers are prioritized if the lounge gets full.
- Is there warm food in the Escape Lounge?
- Yes, there is. The selection was good during our visit.
- Are there toilets and showers in the Escape Lounge?
- No, there are not. The toilets are upstairs outside the lounge.
- Is there free Wi-Fi in the Escape Lounge?
- Yes, there is and it works well.
- Is Escape Lounge far from the gates?
- The gates can be reached in 15 minutes from the lounge.
- Does Escape Lounge serve alcoholic drinks?
- Yes, it serves and the selection is good. You need to order them from a bar desk.
- What is the price of a visit to Escape Lounge?
- A pre-booking price is about 32 British Pounds
At Stansted Airport, you need to escape the noisy terminal to a lounge. Choosing the best lounge is simple since there is only one option.
It's better to forget lounge membership cards while planning to visit an airport lounge at Stansted Airport. Instead, we recommend booking a single entry directly from the lounge. The price is affordable because the lounge offers a lot of food and visiting Escape Lounges gives you an escape place away from the crowded public areas of the busy Stansted Aiport. Without a pre-booking, you can try your luck with a lounge membership card but remember there's always a risk to be turned down at the desk during peak hours.
Have you visited Escape Lounge? Comment on your experiences below.
About the Author
Ceasar, an immigrant in Finland, co-founded Finnoy Travel out of his passion for exploring new horizons. His content primarily centres around immigration, travel, and life in Finland. An avid road tripper, Ceasar also shares insider tips on car driving abroad.
When not embarking on adventures, he meticulously proofreads every article before it gets published on the Finnoy Travel site. His responsibilities also extend to managing the social media channels of Finnoy Travel.