Last year I went up to Manchester to try out the brand new premium independent lounge in Terminal 3 – the ‘1903’ lounge.
My review of the 1903 lounge is here. The airport spent £1.6m on the lounge and I was impressed – it was a quiet, grown up space with (fairly) premium drinks and food and very welcoming staff. I wrote that, so nice was it compared to the BA lounge, for a special occasion I would recommend paying for 1903 rather than using the tired British Airways lounge for free.
(1903, by the way, references the year that the Wright brothers made their first flight.)
The ‘1903’ brand is owned by the airport – as is the cheaper ‘Escape’ lounge brand – and the plan is to roll it out at other Manchester Airport-owned sites such as London Stansted and East Midlands.
There seem to have been a few changes since I visited. A few airlines have started using it, which presumably makes it busier, and the cash price has come down to £30. It has retained the ‘no kids’ and ‘no groups of more than four’ policy.
The concept seems to be going well though.
Last week, 1903 took over the Etihad lounge in Manchester Terminal 1.
The opening hours are:
6.00am – 10.30am
5.30pm – 8.30pm
This is a little odd, to be honest. The Etihad flights depart at 9.05am and 8.35pm, so these times were not chosen to fit around those. Does the airport assume that there won’t be enough paying customers to justify keeping it open for seven hours during the day? Or are they doing refurbishment work during that period?
It also isn’t clear how the ‘no children’ policy can work alongside Etihad’s need to allow all Business Class – and presumably status card holding Economy passengers – to use the lounge.
If you are flying another airline from Terminal 1 when the 1903 lounge is open, you can buy admission at the reassuringly expensive price of £45 per person. It is NOT possible to gain access with a Priority Pass or any other lounge club scheme.
Full details and how to book can be found on the airport website here.
PS. The photos in this article are of the Terminal 3 lounge and not the new Terminal 1 site
PPS. I found some further information on Flyertalk. The prayer room in the lounge is to remain as will some halal food options, although pork will be introduced too. Children travelling on Etihad will be allowed in but must remain in a designated family room.
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