I hope somebody out there can help me out.
Friends of ours fly from KL with AirAsia to London Stansted, they'll arrive on a Saturday in the late afternoon.
Is it possible to take a budget flight the same evening to Belgium? I know there are some flights to Düsseldorf (Germany) and Eindhoven (the Netherlands), but of course, it would be a lot easier if I can pick them up in a belgian airport...
According to the Wikipedia page for Stansted (hat-tip to Utrecht for the old pointer to look there), the only airline flying directly from Stansted to any Belgian airport (Brussels in this case) is Blue Air (check that yourself, I might've overlooked a city). According to Blue Air's schedule, that flight only flies on Wednesdays and Sundays, and leaves at 15:00, so it's doubly useless for you.
So, doesn't look like there's any good options, unfortunately. :/ Alternatives would be for these friends to make their way from Stansted to another London airport (don't recommend that; although British Airways does have a really cheap flight in the evening (20:15) from Heathrow to Brussels), or flying on from Stansted to Amsterdam (easyjet at 18:40) and then training to Brussels from there (there's a direct train from Schiphol to Brussels which takes 2.5 hours; faster than a train from Eindhoven to Brussels would be), or indeed for you to pick them up at an airport just over the border.
The budget airline, Ryanair might be of use to you:
If they don't mind making the trip between Stansted (Stansted Express and Underground) and the London City Airport, than VLM Airlines is also an option, with multiple destinations in Belgium and the Netherlands. http://www.flyvlm.com/emc.asp They will be a bit more expensive, but you have to count the petrol that you would spend if you were to pick them up in e.g. Eindhoven.
The flights you mentioned to Dusseldorf by Ryanair, are NOT going to Dusseldorf, but the small airport in Weeze (nowhere near Dusseldorf) and with pretty bad connections. However there is the option to fly to Eindhoven, take the bus from the airport to the trainstation, and from there into Belgium. (or pick them up there, depending on where you live in Belgium that might be a good option)
And the other option is to take the train. Eurostar non flexible tickets don't need to be very expensive if you book well in advance, and they can take you straight to Belgium. The only hassle you have is to get from Stansted to the Trainstation in the City.
[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jan-2009, at 17:56 by Herr Bert ]
Stansted to Brussel (Midi) via rail.
Stansted to Liverpool Street via Stansted Express. (52 minutes)
Liverpool Street to King Cross St Pancras via London tube (Circle line). (16 minutes)
King Cross St Pancras to St Pancrass International via walking. (7 minutes)
St Pancras International to Brussel (Midi) via Eurostar. ( 2 hours)
However this route is for those adventurous.
I'll be using this route this early May.
I've opted for Eurostar again in April, free travel throughout Belgium!