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Review: the Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

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

You can find out more about the lounge, and book for cash, on the airport website here.

Reader John (who spent £1,052 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 Terminal 3.

Review Escape Lounge Manchester Airport Terminal 3

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.

Review Escape Lounge Manchester Airport Terminal 3

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.

Review Escape Lounge Manchester Airport Terminal 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.

Review Escape Lounge Manchester Airport Terminal 3

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.

Review Escape Lounge Manchester Airport Terminal 3

All very nice indeed, I must admit.

Review Escape Lounge Manchester Airport Terminal 3

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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2023)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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 Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

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

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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (22)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Leo says:

    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.

    • Jason Hindle says:

      Booze is complementary. It’s just the champers/top shelf stuff you need to pay for.

  • Mark says:

    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

  • owain thomas says:

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

    • Andrew says:

      It was free yesterday. Sparkling wines and premium spirits are however chargeable.

    • the real harry1 says:

      ‘Champagne’ John obviously prefers top shelf 🙂

      Good review – thanks

  • bill says:

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

  • 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!)

  • Kevin says:

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

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

    • Alan says:

      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!

      • CV3V says:

        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.

        • Alan says:

          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!

          • CV3V says:

            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!

          • Alan says:

            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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Claire says:

      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.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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