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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 (November 2021)

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 (90)

  • barnaby100 says:

    The toilets were really nice, much better than any at LHR and very superior to the supermarket style loos in the Concorde Room.

    • Anna says:

      Indeed, the scent of Elemis hand wash and cream is indelibly associated with holidays for me now!

    • Happy Tim says:

      Indeed the toilets were the best part of the lounge.

      In fact, those toilets were the best part of the whole terminal!

      • Lady London says:

        It comes to something when you’re choosing which airline to fly with based on its toilets.

        Don’t KL and AF give access to the 1903 lounge? Sounds like I’ll be flying with them instead if another contract comes up for me in MAN.

        • Peggerz says:

          Ah, the 1903 Lounge. My favourite paid lounge experience in the UK so far. Connecting at MAN en route to EDI. It was recommended many years ago in HfP comments. It was ‘reassuringly expensive’ compared to the opposition.

        • David D says:

          Copied from the KLM lounge directory for MAN.

          Terminal 3 Departures Upper level. AF KL passengers are eligible to use the 1903 lounge, however, passengers traveling with children under 18 must use the Escape Lounge.
          Opening Hours 04:15-20:30”

  • Chris P says:

    How sad – I’ve spent many a happy hour there & it was my first ever lounge! I feel sorry for all the lovely staff also.

  • Martin says:

    A great shame, first used it back in the mid 90’s and although it has essentially stood still since then it did not matter – always a most pleasant start to a journey with good food (bacon rolls were a regular morning feature in my experience), drink and views with plenty of space. Far better than the Heathrow lounges IMHO. Hopefully this is not yet another sign of BA abandoning all but the South East, and something equally palatable will emerge

    • Lady London says:

      ‘Something equally palatable will emerge’ is KLM or AF or other airlines that provide the 1903 lounge…. am itching to find a reason to visit

  • Doug M says:

    That was a nice lounge, used it a couple of times. But nothing could repair the damage done by the surly, difficult and largely incompetent security experience. Quite why MAG wouldn’t want to address that was beyond me.

    • Sean Crannigan says:

      Absolutely right. The security staff there are beneath contempt.

    • Anna says:

      They’re just awful – yet the staff at LHR mostly seem to be an extremely friendly bunch even though it’s a massively bigger operation! Once I forgot I had a BA amenity bag in my hand luggage after a long overnight flight and when it came out of the scanner I was convinced I was going to get a brutal public dressing down like I’ve seen people get at MAN but the guy just said, “Oh I can see what this is, I’ll just put it in a plastic bag for you and pop it through the scanner again”. All with a smile!

  • TimM says:

    Agreed, the T3 BA lounge is the best part of the entire airport. It was somewhere you could recover your humanity after the degrading trauma of Manchester Airport security.

    I am already looking into alternatives to my forthcoming CE bookings. Without a lounge at Manchester, is it really worth all those points which can now be spent at Sainsbury’s and Argos?

  • Paul says:

    Great lounge lousy terminal. The BA lounge made T3 bearable it was roomy and always had plenty of free seating unlike LHR. When T3 was first built and was only largely BA and affiliates it was a pleasant small terminal. Once the other airlines were crowbarred in it became overcrowded with not enough facilities to service the extra travellers. And don’t get me started on the security.

  • TimM says:

    I remember when he current pier of Manchester T3 was the ‘domestic’ pier of the one and only terminal. What is now a shopping mall of T1 (with the compulsory duty free maze) was the lounge for both domestic (left) and international (right) piers. After security (international flights only) there was one shop, the duty free shop, which was as sparse and bare as any Eastern European supermarket. The airlines I flew on in those days were BEA, Dan-Air, British Caledonian and Britannia.

    How Manchester Airport grew into the monstrosity it is in every way today, I can only imagine it is decades of intentional punishment of travellers by those who would rather be running concentration camps.

    You can be assured that the BA lounge will not improve under new management. It is not MAG’s style to improve things.

    • Cheshire Pete says:

      You should try PremiAir then. MAG have definitely got that right!

  • Nick says:

    Will BA be moving to T2 though? I’ve seen nothing to suggest it will have domestic facilities. Could be wrong of course.

    I also liked the MAN lounge. Isn’t massively dated, and there was always somewhere to sit near the window with fantastic runway views.

    I won’t miss for one second the evil witch who worked there though. I’m sure we all know who I mean. Every single staff member was lovely apart from one BS lady who acted as if every drink, scone, whatever, came out of her personal wages and didn’t care in the slightest about actual customer service.

    What’s also missing in any third-party operation is the BA duty staff. The MAN lounge reception could handle flight queries and basic ticketing, which is invaluable at times. If they pay for a contract lounge instead the this disappears instantly, which is almost as big a hit as the lounge itself.

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