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British Airways lounge at Manchester Airport will not re-open – report

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According to reports on Flyertalk, from someone with impeccable credentials, British Airways has decided not to reopen its lounge in Manchester Airport Terminal 3.

The Manchester lounge is, effectively, the lounge that time forgot. In all the years that I have used it, there was never any noticeable change.

Like the Newcastle lounge, which has also been permanently closed, the Manchester lounge would have required significant investment to bring it up to modern standards.

Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

There is also the question of which terminal British Airways will be using once the extension to Terminal 2 is open. Terminal 3 is very lacking in terms of, well, everything really. Shops, bars, restaurants …. it doesn’t really have them.

Inside the British Airways Manchester lounge

If you ever visited the lounge, you will remember it.

The lounge was surprisingly large and doughnut shaped.  The centre is taken up by a cupola that provides a natural light both to the lounge and the main departure hall below.

Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3


Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3


Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

The bar was not to be sniffed at:

Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

Here is a typical breakfast – no bacon rolls here though:

Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3


Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

It even had a small business centre which I used quite a bit in the years before I bought a laptop light enough to happily carry around:

Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

It isn’t clear what British Airways will do now. There are plenty of other oneworld airlines using Manchester, and of course Aer Lingus will need a lounge for its new long-haul operation launching from Manchester this Summer. The official launch information on this is due very soon.

There is also Finnair, Iberia, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific etc ….. assuming that all of these services return. There was talk of a oneworld lounge in the Terminal 2 extension but this was never confirmed.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2022)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients 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 £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.

Comments (89)

  • Paul465 says:

    First they pull the City Flyer flights and now they pull the lounge. Hardly a vote of confidence in the North West.

  • David Cliff says:

    I wonder what provisions will be made for those of us that already have Club flights booked ? I have flights booked for Sept and Dec.

    • Rob says:

      Expect nothing – flying out of MAN last September I had to rely on PriorityPass

      • Craig says:

        You can’t rely on Priority Pass / Lounge Key at Manchester. Most of the time they turn you away as the lounges are “full” or “prebooked”. I imagine they will become even harder to access if BA start using them.

        • Alex Sm says:

          Prebook then!

          • Craig says:

            And how do you suppose I do that with Lounge Key?

          • kitten says:

            …you mean just because you’re in Manchester, pay more for the lounge pass you paid for already?

            BA needs to do what LX used to do at LCY and hand Business Class passengers a £12-£15 voucher (current reasonable values) to spend in the terminal on the day.

        • Cheshire Pete says:

          It a way, Escape have been wanting to expand round the atrium. Space will not be an issue in the future, I don’t think. The door is still there to be opened even before any official refurb.

    • Rob says:

      Some Priority Pass deal is likely I think.

  • PGW says:

    Understandable but but yet another reason for MAN flyers like me to further postpone returning to air travel in the foreseeable future and, possibly, beyond.

  • Geoggy says:

    Whilst old it was literally the sole reason for burning Avios on Club domestics if like me you have no status.

    And doing long haul now via LHR in Club or First?

    • Stuart says:

      I’m in that exact situation from Newcastle. Have no status but burned some Avios on a club domestic which is now pointless for the 50 min flight as it was all about the lounge. I also have a First booking on avios from Newcastle via LHR, not exactly the best way to start the trip!

      • The real John says:

        You can FTV the avios booking and turn it into 2 domestics

  • Paul says:

    Many a happy hour spent in this lounge. It was something to look forward to after a hard days work / getting through security (which is particularly strict at Manchester!)

  • Czechoslovakia says:

    That is a shame, whilst dated, it was the only BA lounge I could say I actually liked, and the staff there were lovely. The rest of T3 needs bulldozing though!

  • Cheshire Pete says:

    Will miss the staff. Probably the only lounge I’d know all of them. BA never even gave them a scanner when mobile boarding passes became fashionable! I suspect they were due to move into T2 by 2022, and Escape have always been desperate to expand into that area. We’d started using PremiAir anyhow, so it was slowly but surely being bypassed.

    • Rob says:

      PremiAir is absolutely the way to go.

    • kitten says:

      What’s the current cost of PremiAir?

      Is it still about £90 each?

      • Rob says:

        On promotion, yes. Best £90 you would ever spend if you were flying HBO.

        • Red Flyer says:

          I’d forgotten about Premiair and have a big birthday in April 2022 so while disappointed this gem of a lounge won’t be available I think it gives me an excuse to use this instead. Reviews online seem favourable – do you get dropped off from the BMW at the plane to board independently or do you have to go up the stairs and join the ‘normal’ queue to board?

          • Cheshire Pete says:

            Yes, you go back inside on arriving at the gate and join the queue. I heard they used to take you to the front at the gate, but I never got that on my visit.

  • John says:

    That’s too bad. I liked the BA lounge in MAN. It was much better than the horrible Aspire and Escape lounges in T1. When flying Lufty from MAN, I always prefer Pret or Giraffe over the dreadful lounges I could access via Star Gold and Priority Pass cards. When flying BA instead, you had a lounge worth a quick visit.

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