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.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three 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.
You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021. Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.
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 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.