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. You can see our full list of UK airport lounge reviews here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All very nice indeed, I must admit.
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 this page of the Manchester Airport website here.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 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.
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.