Review: the Virgin Trains First Class lounge at Manchester Piccadilly
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My review of the Virgin Trains First Class lounge at Manchester Piccadilly was only supposed to be part of a ‘bits’ article. However, even though the lounge is quite small, I really liked it and it can have a bit more coverage!
The Virgin Trains Manchester lounge is located on the first floor overlooking the Piccadilly concourse and the platforms:
Despite the small size the lounge wasn’t too busy and there were enough empty seats.
There was one coffee machine, water and soft drinks:
I was quite surprised to find fresh orange juice and coconut water in the lounge.
Next to the juice fridge was also a juice station for your phone.
The highlight of the Virgin Trains Manchester Lounge was the snack selection:
Not only were there fruits and crisps, but also a broad selection of biscuits, cakes and chocolates.
(To quote dirtyneedlebluesky’s comment on our Instagram photograph: ‘Small but find it better stocked than Euston. Often get a cheap first class single from Stockport to Manchester just to use the lounge‘.)
I don’t know how many HFP readers have used Virgin’s BEAM app for on-train entertainment, but I thought I’d give it a try and downloaded it whilst I was in the lounge. You cannot use the onboard WiFi to download the app as it’s too slow. I found BEAM very impressive and will write about it separately later this week.
I was positively surprised by the Virgin Trains First Class lounge at Manchester Piccadilly. It might be small but the snack selection and service were outstanding. You can easily offset part of the extra cost of a First Class ticket over Standard Class before you even get on your train.
You can find out more about Virgin Trains First Class lounges on this page of their website.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (April 2023)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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.
You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get four 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
A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review
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.