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I'm travelling Ryanair with no bag drop at the end of September from Stansted airport. My train arrives the night before. Is it possible to go through security when I arrive and sleep overnight when I'm there? I've read that Stansted isn't sleeper friendly but I plan on just sitting at a bench overnight, is this allowed?

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Yes. I've done it several times, the most recent being July 2019.

It depends when you arrive to if you can go through security though. The airport is 'shut' for a few hours in the middle of the night.

Basically, you can arrive anytime and stay in the arrivals/departures area before going through security, there's loads of floor space (not a lot of seating) and some people even use sleeping bags and eye masks.

Last time I was there security was closed between 12-2am, so you won't be able to go through until after that time. After you go through there's a lot more seating and again, quite a lot of sleeping people. Security make their rounds and sometimes wake people up to check passes etc.

A great source I use for things like this is the sleeping in airports site, heres the one for stansted.

  • Thanks, yeah that was the site I was looking at but it seemed to have a lot of "maybe this is the case" rather than the concrete details. My train arrives at 11pm so would I be able to go through security the night before or would it be better to sleep landside anyway? – Oscar S Sep 3 at 15:30
  • Personally I like the floor space they have landside, but it does get busy as that is what most people tend to do, but if you go through you are more likely to get woken up to have your ticket checked, so it depends what you prefer! The site is pretty good if taken with a pinch of salt, like I said many people still use blankets and sleeping bags even though the site says they are not allowed (they probably aren't, but no one will stop you) – Uciebila Sep 3 at 15:35
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    No, you can't go through beforehand. The airside area closes overnight and your ticket won't admit you the previous day anyway. – MJeffryes Sep 3 at 16:22
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    If they won't let you through, there are two hotels within walking distance to the terminal. A bed for the night beats a hard floor in my book. Rates seem to be around £100 per night. – Nick Sep 3 at 16:40
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    @Nick, the main benefit of staying in a hotel isn't the bed but the quiet. The tannoy announcements in the airport start quite early (about 03:00 from memory), and other passengers might prefer to talk on the phone rather than try to sleep. – Peter Taylor Sep 3 at 22:48

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