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!
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2020)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge 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.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 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.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.