Review of the Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

This is our review of the Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 3.

A few weeks ago we asked for your help in completing our collection of UK airport lounge reviews, which you can find on the ‘Favourites’ page here. HFP generally does not accept third-party reviews. There is zero chance of Rob or myself making it to most of the missing UK lounges, however, so we were happy to take some help here.

We currently have reviews of:

Heathrow: Club Millesime T5 Arrivals, British Airways Concorde Room T5, British Airways Galleries First T5, British Airways T5 Arrivals, Aspire T5, Plaza Premium T4, Etihad T4, SkyTeam T4, Qatar Airways T4, Cathay Pacific T3 (and video and video), American Airlines T3, British Airways Galleries T3, Club Aspire T3, Emirates T3, No 1 Lounge T3, Virgin Atlantic T3, Aer Lingus T2, Plaza Premium T2, Plaza Premium T2 #2, Plaza Premium T2 Arrivals, Lufthansa T2, Air Canada T2, United Airlines Business and First T2, Singapore Airlines T2

Gatwick: No 1 Lounge North, My Lounge North, My Lounge North #2, No 1 Clubrooms North, No 1 Lounges South, No 1 Lounges Clubrooms South, British Airways South

Other: London City: First Class / Private Jet Terminal (and a video) London Luton: Aspire London Stansted: Escape London Southend: SkyLife Belfast City: British Airways Belfast International: Causeway Lounge Birmingham: No 1 Lounge, Aspire Bristol: AspirePlus Cardiff: Executive Lounge Edinburgh: No 1 Lounge, British Airways, Aspire Glasgow Airport: BA Lounge, Upperdeck Lounge Isle of Man: Rendezvous Lounge Leeds Bradford: Yorkshire Premier Liverpool: Aspire Lounge

(We’re not looking for further volunteers at the moment as a few people have offered to write pieces. Once those are in we will do a list of all the remaining gaps.)

Reader John (who spent £1052 on LEGO last year and resold it to earn cheap Avios!) kindly sent in some photographs and a brief review of the Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport T3.  This is what he had to say:

If you depart from Manchester on a legacy carrier you’ll as often as not find yourself flying out of Terminal 3. British Airways and a number of its oneworld partners fly from here along with Ryanair and EasyJet.

As such, whether you’ve booked an award trip with British Airways that connects in LHR, a flight with American Airlines to their hub in Chicago or a weekend break to Madrid, you’ll be leaving from there.

It’s a pity, therefore, the main departures concourse is as poor as it is!

You get access to a smattering of shops and a few eateries / places to grab an overpriced beer but the gates are usually a fairly long walk from the central retail hub (given how small the terminal feels) and security can be a total nightmare if you time it wrong.

Luckily, help is at hand!

On a recent award trip – once again connecting in London with BA – I stopped by the Escape Lounge. The Escape Lounge is situated right next to the BA Terraces Lounge (which I will review tomorrow) and the two actually share the same view through the cupola onto the restaurant/bar in the centre of T3.

Escape lounge 1

I swung by using Priority Pass (my ticket in British Airways Club World didn’t permit me to enter – I would have been sent to the BA Terraces lounge instead).  It is also part of Lounge Club if you have your two free lounge passes from the American Express Gold charge card and also HSBC’s LoungeKey scheme.

Truth-be-told, I found myself quite jealous of the visitors for a few reasons.

Escape lounge 2

The lounge is compact, but not poky, and well decorated. It feels modern and upbeat without trying too hard. It was very clean and offered a range of comfortable areas to sit, eat and work.

Escape lounge 3

The food was nothing out of the ordinary, the classic diabetes-inducing selection of pastries, cakes and cereals, but a really nice touch was that they were serving hot bacon breakfast rolls. The food over in the Terraces lounge was fine but nothing was hot and nothing was that fresh.

Escape lounge 4

The lounge had a self-service coffee machine (very similar to the one offered in the Terraces Lounge) and a well stocked bar complete with a member of staff to pour you a drink.  Alcohol is free except for premium spirits, champagne and prosecco.

Escape lounge 5

All very nice indeed, I must admit.

Escape lounge 6

Any drawbacks (other than having to pay for the booze)?

Not really – except that every time I have visited this lounge it has been busy. Not bursting at the seams, but you’d possibly struggle to get seats in a group of more than four.  This is probably not an issue if you’re travelling solo or as a couple but I have heard stories of families being denied access when the lounge was too busy.”

Thanks John.  If you want to book entry for cash, you can do so via the Lounge Pass website here.

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Comments

  1. What? Use one of my Lounge Club passes and get no booze! Not likely.

    Slightly OT but lounges. Accessing No1 at LGW S Terminal with CX invite at the weekend I was behind a bloke being refused entry with PP – “We’re full sir”. He was unceremoniously told to wait in the main departure lounge along with the several other would be PP entrants. I say this because the lounge was busy when I got inside but in no way full. Not good.

  2. Nice review but I had visited that lounge numerous times alongside the BA lounge, the alcohol in the aspire lounge has always been included with the exception of premium spirits, champagne and Prosecco. Their website still states free alcohol “bar, and there’s also a selection of complementary spirits, wine and beer”.

    Has something changed in the last couple of weeks since my last visit.

    Mark, Manchester

  3. owain thomas says:

    The alcohol was certainly free when we passed through here six weeks ago…

  4. Alcohol is free other than the premium stuff as others say.
    Food also includes pasty and pies !

  5. Joseph Heenan says:

    This lounge is also part of HSBC LoungeKey according to the app. (I’m actually really impressed with the number of lounges in LoungeKey, I’ve yet to visit an airport where there’s not a LoungeKey lounge!)

  6. Thanks for the review. The lounge is on the LoungeKey app.

    I spotted a typo. Should be ‘seams’ not ‘seems’.

    • I was resisting mentioning it too 😛

      At the Cathay First Lounge at T3 just now (Finnair flight but BA Gold) – fantastic a la carte breakfast and lovely lounge. So relaxing after being bussed all round the airfield in Edinburgh them multiple delays leaving and arriving into LHR with BA!

      • I have a BA flight from EDI – LHR tomorrow morning. Which lounge is best to use? BA, Aspire or No.1?

        Weirdly my economy flight shows Club Europe on the electronic boarding pass, due to Sapphire Status? No onwards connection.

        • Club Europe hasn’t started yet so not sure why it’s showing that, bit of an IT glitch!

          If you want hot food avoid BA lounge, but they’re all fairly decent I find!

          • Yeah read on FT its an IT glitch, and its applied to both tickets on the booking (one with status, one without).

            Too early in morning for lounge surfing, will be interesting as boss will be with me and wondering how the heck i can get into the BA lounge!

          • Haha that’ll be fun! (although if it’s a convo you want to avoid then go for one of the other two and just say you get ‘access via your bank’). I’ve taken to visiting the Aspire most times (often then BA after) – collect a stamp and pass on completed cards to work colleagues for free access for them/their family!

  7. Jason Hindle says:

    I’ve had many a free bacon butty in this lounge. Main issue with the various MAN lounges is they fill up over the peak season. Not so bad in T3, but I have found myself without a lounge option in both T1 and T2.

    As noted in the article, security can be a nightmare. If you’re there before the US bound flights leave, it’s often the Richard Reid Honorary Carnivale de Shoes.

  8. where2travel says:

    I used to find this lounge a somewhat depressing experience when it was the only option flying the Little Red services when they were running. It always seemed busy and because all the tables and chairs are close together it felt cramped. There were typically fairly dismal offerings all round.

    Many people dislike the BA lounge at MAN but it’s actually one of my favourite BA lounges for the space, views and reasonable (but limited) food, and drinks. Maybe I’ve been lucky but it’s always been quiet as well.

    • I have always enjoyed the BA lounge at MAN. It’s a good little starter to your holiday if you’re doing long haul via LHR. Always been very relaxed. I have no complaints about it at all. I prefer that over the Escape lounge.

  9. Speedbird_ABZ says:

    Good and fair review, thank you!
    I like this lounge – and the BA one at T3, the views are terrific and I must mention the staff who are unfailingly very friendly.
    I think the BA one shades it for me though – as has been said, Escape is far too busy a lot of the time and I was actually turned away a few weeks ago.

  10. Hi,

    My experience is the escape lounge is always full of stag do’s whether it be 0600 or 2000. I prefer by far the BA T3 lounge which is quiet with a good selection of beverages.

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