I have been impressed by the ‘Escape’ lounge at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 3 on the two occasions that I have used it. I was pleased to hear that a new ‘Escape’ lounge has opened at East Midlands Airport, which is also owned by Manchester Airports Group.
The new East Midlands facility is four times the size of the existing lounge. Here are a few pictures provided by their press office:
You can pay for access to the lounge at £22.50 per person (£3.50 discount for online booking, discounts for children under 12). This is a pretty chunky fee, especially as most passengers will be flying budget airlines on cheap tickets to Europe, so I would expect a decent amount of food and drink for the money.
The good news is that you can access the lounge for free. It is part of Lounge Club so you will receive two free passes if you apply for an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card (full review here). It is also part of Priority Pass. You receive two free Priority Pass cards – each admitting two people, so four people are covered – with the American Express Platinum card. My full review of that card is here.
For a one-off visit, you can pay for admission via the airport website here. This guarantees that you won’t be refused admission due to overcrowding.
Next week I will take a comprehensive look at the UK lounge coverage offered by Lounge Club and Priority Pass.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2022)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.