Manchester Airport has an excellent route network, but even its biggest supporters have to admit that the passenger experience is dire at best. Even the lounges are a mess.
Things are changing. A new pier is under construction, which will include a swanky new Virgin Atlantic lounge amongst other facilities, but this will take time to complete.
In the meantime, Manchester Airport has had another idea. It is building a totally separate VIP terminal to open this Summer which anyone can use. (EDIT: the opening has now been delayed until November 2019)
Called PremiAir, it is currently under construction near the Runway Visitor Park. It looks like this:
If you decide to pay up – and reports say that it will cost ‘from £50’ which is a bargain compared to the cost of paying for lounge entry in the main terminal – this is what you will get:
Flights from Manchester:
- Free food and drink in the lounge
- A dedicated baggage desk to check your bags immediately with no queueing and no hassle
- Passengers and their party will be called forward from the lounge when their car is ready and taken through security to be driven to their aircraft. They will be the only ones passing through security at that time.
- A chauffeur-driven ride to the steps of the plane
Flights to Manchester:
- A chauffeur-driven ride to the terminal from the aircraft
- Fast-track immigration with dedicated Border Force staff (it isn’t clear what happens to your baggage)
For clarity, the terminal will be open to anyone irrespective of their airline or class of travel.
At any airport this would be a welcomed innovation. At Manchester it will be like Christmas for regular premium passengers who are fed up with the existing facilities. I get a feeling that some of the long haul airlines may even want to pay for this as part of their regular offering.
In a press release, Andrew Harrison, CEO for Airport Services at Manchester Airports Group, said:
“It is something a large number of customers have been telling us for some time they would be interested in and we hope the services it will offer will appeal to a wide range of passengers, whether they are travelling for business, want to mark a special occasion or just want to add something different to their experience.”
The even better news is that Manchester Airports Group is already looking at building similar facilities at East Midlands and London Stansted, both of which it also owns.
Ross Powell, director of operations for terminal designer Jacobs said:
“We have worked hard with the Airport to create a simple yet elegant design, utilising natural materials, full height glass and visual connection to the airfield to offer the guest a warm, relaxing and personalised environment.”
Obviously this is something which Head for Points will need to try out, so look out for a report later in the year.
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