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Review: the Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 2

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This is our review of the Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 2.

You can find out more, and book for cash, on this page of the airport website.

This article is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

Last week, we asked for your help in completing our directory of UK airport lounge reviews.  One lounge we were missing was the Escape Lounge at Terminal 2 in Manchester.  Reader Nigel very kindly submitted this review after his recent visit on his way to the Dominican Republic for a family holiday.

Manchester Airport owns the Escape, Escape Plus and 1903 lounges in the airport.  You will rarely see a third party lounge operator such as No 1 Lounges, Aspire or Plaza Premium at any airport run by the group.

Over to Nigel:

“The airport lounges are fairly easy to get to at Terminal 2, with the majority being on the same corridor above the main departure area. After walking through Duty Free and into the main terminal, simply follow directions for Gate 209 – about a 100 yard walk.  The lounges are well signposted opposite the gate, and are accessible via a staircase or lift.  Just a word of warning, if you are travelling with a pushchair or have mobility issues – the lift is small and you may be in for a wait at busy periods.

The Escape lounge is on the left side of a long, narrow and pretty bland corridor.  There was a queue to get in when we arrived at about 8am which was not a great sign.

Access can be pre-booked online from £21 per adult.  It is also open to all the major lounge passes – DragonPass, Priority Pass and Lounge Club – as well as to paying customers on the day if there is room for £30.   Luckily our access was included as we were travelling in Premium with Tui.  [HFP edit – we have seen a lot of feedback that you will struggle to get in using a lounge pass at peak periods.]

Manchester Terminal 2 Escape Lounge review

A number of people in front of us in the queue were being turned away.  This was not actually because the lounge was full but because they were actually trying to access Escape Plus, the business lounge for some airlines – including Virgin Atlantic and Qatar Airways – which is poorly signposted.  HfP reviewed the Escape Plus lounge in Manchester Terminal 2 here.

We were greeted by the friendly and attentive reception staff and promptly shown to our seats. As there were five of us, we were offered two sofas with a table between them.

The lounge is a large room separated in the middle by a bookcase and other bits of furniture.  There are a couple of windows which overlook the terminal building below. Unfortunately there is no natural light but despite that the lounge appears light and airy with the bright green colour theme common to other Escape lounges.

Manchester Airport Terminal 2 Escape Lounge review
There are a variety of seats available, with the majority set around tables. There was a small buffet style seating area with plug sockets for those who needed to get some work done and plug in a laptop. There were also a small number of sofas reserved for larger families.

Manchester Terminal 2 Escape Lounge
One thing that did stand out was the lack of plug sockets available. Unless you were lucky enough to get one of the buffet seats or had one of the sofas, you would struggle to plug in any electronic devices. Whilst wi-fi is available in the lounge, the speed is fairly slow and we were unable to get mobile data signal on three of our phones from three different networks! Connectivity is therefore poor.

When we arrived, hot breakfast was on offer from a self serve buffet. The selection was not massive but all the basics were there: sausages, bacon, beans, hash browns etc. There was also a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurts and pastries. The food standard was average but perfectly acceptable. Drink-wise there are a couple of machines in the lounge which serve all the usual hot beverages.

Manchester Terminal 2 Escape Lounge breakfast


Manchester Terminal 2 Escape Lounge breakfast

Alcohol is also provided, with a small selections of wines: 2 reds, 2 whites, 1 rosé and 1 sparkling.  Carlsberg, Fosters and Strongbow were available via self-serve fridges. There is also a bar where you can obtain Guinness and premium spirits, which are free.  Champagne can be purchased upon request.

Manchester Airport Terminal 2 Escape Lounge Menu review


Overall, the Escape lounge in Manchester Terminal 2 is comfortable and spacious with a reasonable food and beverage offering.

The lounge is clearly aimed towards the leisure and family market and does the job for that group.  However the lack of a decent work area, plug sockets and wifi, makes it difficult to get your head down if you are travelling on business.  Knowing how busy Terminal 2 can get and with the limited bars and restaurants in the terminal, £21 is actually a reasonable price to access the lounge and avoid the crowds.”

Thanks Nigel. You can access the Escape Lounge for free with a Priority Pass (which comes free with American Express Platinum, or you can buy one separately), as well as the DragonPass and Lounge Club card (two free entry vouchers with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold).

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

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 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 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee 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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 £24.  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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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 £24 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 (11)

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

  • Tariq says:

    EMA and STN Escape lounges similarly have poor mobile reception IME, especially O2.

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    T2 lounge capacity is completely inadequate for the traffic volume. I have literally NEVER got in with Priority Pass at either T2 lounge and anyone travelling should work on that assumption. Don’t know if more lounge capacity will be available after expansion complete in 2022 but there’s definitely demand for it.

    • David Hunter says:

      I’ve had Priority Pass access in this lounge several times within the last 9 months, however this and all the lounges in Manchester are totally inadequate except for BA in Terminal 3 which is acceptable.
      Seating is poor, lack of power points, but major gripe is that Manchester Airport deems it necessary to impose an eggs & toast black out! Must be the only cafe, cos that’s all they are, in the World where toast & eggs are unavailable at breakfast.
      Manchester Airport has always been a dog’s breakfast, lol, parking, access, signage, up & down stairs, I could go on…….

      • Rob says:

        They really need to start outsourcing the lounges.

      • Kip says:

        One of the aims of the airport redevelopment is to increase lounge capacity and there will be increased airline lounges in the new T2. I believe there will be a Virgin Clubhouse and an Emirates lounge near the A380 gates. I would imagine both *A and OneWorld lounges are likely given the presence of CX,QR, AA & AY but it’s not clear if BA will be in the new terminal as they may stay in T3.

  • Gerry says:

    I visited the 1903 Lounge whilst transiting through MAN last year following the review & comments on this site. It was very quiet – compared to the manic airport a floor below – and the food, drink & staff were very good.

    • Paul says:

      I agree the 1903 lounge is the best choice in MAN. I paid 35 pounds last month, excellent choice of food and drink and no overcrowding. I fly regularly out of MAN and have had zero luck with my priority pass at the escape lounges, which is annoying.

  • the_real_a says:

    The last three times i’ve been in this lounge there have been no carbs in the food section. No potatoes, no pasta… nothing. So have been absolutely starving within 30 minutes. Just bizarre and no-one seems to care or be able to do anything about it.

  • Simon says:

    If the sparkling wine on offer is the same as the lounge in T3, it is draught dispensed from a tap on the bar and is really best avoided.

  • Colin JE says:

    Slightly off topic I returned to the Aspire Plus Lounge in Bristol at the weekend. A very different experience from the first time.
    Paid an extra £15 each on top of DragonPass. Apparently they don’t take LoungePass.
    No power sockets except by a few seats at the end. No fresh milk, only long life full fat, cheeses run out. Hot food that had sat there a while. Coffee served from a Nescafé machine. On the upside, it was v quiet whilst the standard Escape Lounge was heaving. But if you’re going to premium price, the product has to match. In retrospect we’d have been better off buying a meal at the restaurant opposite
    Makes the think the Stansted Escape Lounge is amazing value (and O2 has been fine for me there. Perhaps a mast is down).
    Also, No1 Lounge Edinburgh absolutely rammed on Friday. Despite booking there were no tables when we got there, only seats by a sort of shelf. Eventually a couple left and we got to sit down. Apparently, Friday lunch time is always bad (maybe for Etihad?). It served as a good ‘hardener’ for us before a Ryanair flight! Made the in-flight service actually seem quite good.

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

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