Stansted Airport has received a boost this week with two big announcements – which is great for those of us who use the Essex airport regularly.

British Airways Makes A Return

First, British Airways has announced they are returning to Stansted Airport in 2024. The short haul subsidiary BA CityFlyer will be offering flights to Florence (Italy), Nice (France) and Ibiza (Spain).

Although these destinations are already well-served, I am hopeful that BA uses this as a launchpad to expand their network from Essex. Given that British Airways fares aren’t that different to Ryanair‘s (once you add on ‘extras’ like luggage and seat selection), it will be good to see some competition back at Stansted. Plus the opportunity to earn some Executive Club tier points from our local airport.

Notably, British Airways is was the only airline offering business class services from Stansted Airport, until…

Royal Jordanian Touches Down At Stansted

In something of a surprise move, Royal Jordanian has announced they will be operating 4x weekly flights between Stansted and Amman (Jordan). How popular this route will be remains to be seen, but if the fares are low enough, it might be tempting to hop on a city break to visit Petra.

Royal Jordanian also offer ‘Crown Class’ on all their aircraft too. Which puts a dent into BA’s claim to be the only business class offering at Stansted.

What About Lounges?

Although BA is pitching their Stansted service at the budget market, their planes will still have a Club Europe section. And one of the perks of business class is lounge access before a flight.

Currently Stansted Airport only has one lounge, The Escape Lounge, which costs (a frankly ridiculous) £31.99 per person for a very basic offering. The lounge will certainly not impress anyone travelling Crown Class on Royal Jordanian – or Club Europe. It doesn’t even impress us when we manage to score free access through a credit card offer or similar.

Top tip: You can get access to the Escape Lounge for £20 per person if you are a member of Priority Pass. If you have an AmEx Gold card or a Revolut Metal plan, you already have free Priority Pass membership (worth $99 USD).

Bonus tip: £20 is probably still over priced for the Escape Lounge at Stansted.

WARNING! The Escape Lounge is quite small and frequently full. The only way to guarantee entry is to pre-book – which means you won’t be able to get a discount rate or use your Priority Pass membership.

Personally, I hope BA sees enough success in their Stansted offering to encourage further investment. A BA/oneworld co-branded lounge would be great – but they would need to significantly expand their flight schedule to justify that outlay.

However, Stansted Airport recently received planning permission to extend the terminal building by 30%. So there is always potential should BA and Royal Jordanian services take off (sorry, awful pun).