Manchester Airport opening a private terminal with ‘drive to plane’ – and anyone can use it!

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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:

Premiair terminal manchester airport

and

PremiAir terminal Manchester airport

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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Comments

  1. Elena Nikolova says:

    I would happily pay for this service at Manchester. I might start flying more from there than going down to London.

  2. OT: If I book a hotel through Marriott now for which I don’t currently have the points will the points I need change when the new category is introduced or will I still only need the points required at time of booking?

    Thanks,

    J

    • I’d like to know this to.

    • After the August merger they were asking for the higher figure in case where it went up. I never got to the bottom of whether this was (another) IT screw up or if that is how it was meant to work ….

      • Thanks Rob, will give it a go and see what happens.

        • Chelseafi says:

          I booked 2 rooms last July 18 for June 19 stay, I have now finally got it sorted at original points price one was a TP, which I got upgraded, but most times I called they didn’t want to do it at original points price, I managed to speak to one guy who seemed to be on the ball and he put a note on my account to say when I got all the points in my account to attach to booking it should be on the old points pricing. It seems they have to just credit your account with the short fall of points and then add to booking.

      • Just spoke to a manager.

        If a redemption stay is booked for a date after the point changes come into effect, it won’t be impacted. But if a modification is made e.g. dates, room type etc. you will have to pay the new updated redemption pricing.

        J

  3. While this looks good, it has to be said MAG runs the most miserable set of points of entry in the world with airports they own in the UK. :/

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      It’s possible that I don’t see it as a UK national returning but I’ve been through many a gateway in the US that has provided a significantly worse reception. And that includes traveling on a US passport!

  4. Wow this one has generated a lot of feedback. Here is my two pence worth. Manchester is my home airport and I use it a lot. In the past I would bore my southern colleagues with how efficient Manchester was compared to LGW and LHR at handling queues and relatively quiet lounges. Over the past years there has been a notable increase in the queuing (downstairs in T1 anybody) and the rip-off drop off charges. Could I be cynical and state they have created the market for this new Premium experience which is actually in some areas just selling what was free previously….

    • +1 – one distinct possibility is that using this faculty will become a status symbol and will result in the other lounges and public spaces becoming less crowded.

    • Lady London says:

      Just like Premium Economy offers for quite a high extra money, exactly what was given to all in Economy a very few years ago.

  5. Love New Places But Dont Like Getting There says:

    What an excellent idea… love it, please make it happen.

    I travel frequently from MAN to all kinds of destinations, and often find myself travelling early or late. I also change plans at short notice and have to chain 2 trips together (making a long layover at MAN.

    Often I find the existing lounges are closed, or (with exception of BA lounge) full of people being loud and obnoxious. There are not many other options to relax/catnap or find a quiet place to do calls or work on projects.

    This option would reduce my stress so much.

  6. Bob Davidson says:

    From the outside it looks like a golf driving range.

  7. Jonathan Owen says:

    MY personal opinion is that no one under the age of 12 should be Allowed in the new area let the people without small kids use it. Yes I do have kids before anyone moans. I say this because why should people put with kids that the parents can’t keep in control which is a lot of parents these days but not all I have seen some very well behaved kids also.
    That’s my 2p worth lol.
    MY questions about the lounge area are;
    1, will there be a duty free area?
    2, will there be a smoking area?

    About security at man airport we have not ever yet had a bad experience there.

    • I’m planning to take my kids into the First Class lounge at London City’s Private Jet Terminal in a couple of weeks!

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