I still find it hard to believe, but the new VIP terminal – open to everyone for a modest fee – is actually happening at Manchester Airport. The launch date is set for 21st October.
Called PremiAir, it is near the Runway Visitor Park. It looks like this:
It can be used by anyone travelling on BA, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian, PIA, Finnair, TAP, Oman Air and Hainan Airlines, irrespective of your class of travel. Other airlines, most noticeably Virgin Atlantic, have not yet signed up.
For departing passengers, there are two options:
For hand baggage only passengers, you can pay £50 per person and check in at PremiAir. You will clear immigration and immediately be driven across the airport to your departure gate in a shared vehicle. You only need to arrive 60 minutes before departure.
For passengers with luggage and/or who want a private lounge, you can pay £100. You will check in and clear immigration, and then be able to use the lounge in the terminal before being driven across the airport directly to the steps of your aircraft in a private vehicle.
There is also an arrivals service, as well as the ability to book a private suite for your party on arrival or departure. You can find out more on on the airport website here. Note that pre-booking is required.
This is clearly something that HFP needs to check out, so expect a review in early November. Before that, however, Rhys will be trying out the £660 Signature Private Jet Terminal at London Gatwick before an upcoming easyJet flight!
Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here. You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here.
You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here. The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much. Additional visits are charged at £20 per person. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. No annual fee in Year 1. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course). The card has an annual 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.