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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

and

Review British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 3

and

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

and

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)

  • Gareth says:

    I spent 20 years flying out of Manchester, from late 70s to early 2000s,
    2 or 3 times a week. I remember the first BA , lounge landside in terminal 1 when you had to pay to join Exec club and no airmiles/avios. When terminal 3 and this lounge opened was really up-to-date. I rated it along with the best BA had to offer. In those days you could fly to most of Europe from Manchester, with 5 flights a day to Paris, Amsterdam annd Brussels and about 6 long haul destinations on BA, the lounge was a full circle. Remember when they halved the size of thelounge. Now you can only fly to London, it must be a waste of what once was a great lounge. Yes BA has long been London airways.

  • Stagger Lee says:

    I concur with the general consensus. I loved this lounge. Spacious, always somewhere to sit, great views and excellent toilets.

    Always a pleasure to start a holiday here. I just wish BA actually flew overseas from up north. Works saved me having to go through Heathrow all the time.

  • BJ says:

    I think you’re all missing the key point … BA wants to ditch Manchester period, and will eventually do so.

    • Ian says:

      @BJ, I think it’s you that’s missing the point. BA only fly to LHR from Manchester. Nowhere else. It’s a regional feeder into their long haul network. I think the chances of them ditching the NW England/North Wales market entirely are precisely zero.

      • BJ says:

        Don’t think so, much better places for them to use the LHR slots than MAN. Fast rail and polititcs will have an impact in the coming decade but management priorities could change too so who knows. My guess remains there will be none or a maximum 3 or 4 daily rotations a decade from now.

    • Anna says:

      I’m hoping the fact that they recently re-instated the LGW shuttle (albeit only one per day) suggests otherwise!

      • Cabal of rabid baboons says:

        Whilst speaking to Youfirst yesterday the lady said Manchester-Gatwick was finishing as well?

    • TimM says:

      I agree with Ian. Manchester airport serves a population greater than Greater London. If BA ‘ditched’ Manchester Airport, they would have the ‘British’ stripped from them, ‘period’ or “full stop” as we say in English.

      In 10 years, I very much doubt BA will exist under its current ownership. It will have been renationalised, again, with a mandate to serve the flying needs of the UK population – and strictly carbon neutral. With depopulation of the cities, Heathrow may have gone by then too and replaced with something on the HS2 line instead.

    • Tim says:

      Does nobody understand why BA’s 320 operation exists in the first place? It’s not because they really love to fly to every possible airport for the sake of it. They connect people across Europe to their long haul network at LHR. For as long as people live in Manchester and they want to connect to a long haul network, there will be flights. End of.

      • BJ says:

        They can take the train, same as Birmingham folks. If I could get from Edinburgh to LHR by train in 3h then I’d take the train over the domestic connection flight. Politics not passenger number might yet be the key to MAN connections.

        • David says:

          So how long does it take to train from Heathrow airport to Manchester airport then? I presume at least three trains, but perhaps it can be done on two.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          If you can buy a through ticket, perhaps.

        • Tim says:

          As someone who frequents the MAN LHR shuttle, I can assure you, nobody is replacing their connecting short haul flight with 3-4hrs of trains with bags, or setting off the night before to catch their early morning long haul flight from LHR, any time soon. MAN is very reachable to a huge northern audience, and will continue to be a popular way to begin a journey that is often cheaper when starting from MAN than LHR.

          Politics changing the route? I’m not sure. The government has no vested interest in a competitive reliable train network unlike the french, and would be making a huge shift to shut down a massive freight network that previously brought in 7 A320s a day to MAN alone.

    • Lady London says:

      Clear

  • Prince Charles says:

    Really hope BA move to the new expanded terminal 2 at MAN and have not only an improved OW lounge but also decent security lines and proper baggage carousel for the LHR flights.
    A big percentage of passengers on the LHR-MAN flight have connected from long-haul routes and will most likely have checked-in luggage. There are usually 100+ people standing around the smallest baggage carousel in the world!

    • Cheshire Pete says:

      Lol! Too true!

    • Doc says:

      Yep. Been there many times waiting for our bags and it always takes a minimum of 30-40 minutes at least every time and our bags exclusively come out last since the “Priority” tags on BA means you get your luggage last at MAN.

      • Anna says:

        Indeed, and as an occasional treat they sometimes leave a piece of your luggage (or a pram, once) at LHR which you don’t find out till everyone else has collected theirs!

    • Lord Doncaster says:

      Indeed. Manchester is an absolute hole of an airport though…

  • Sam says:

    Effectively all other oneworld airlines are in Terminal 1 which means that this lounge has long been exclusively to BA only, with no possible revenue being made from the oneworld airline member access. Won’t be surprised if BA ends up cancelling lounge services in all UK domestic routes, with most of the users are only members sitting in UK traveller and not cash customers in Club.

  • Alan T says:

    As BA have no BHX presence, I quite like flying from MAN to connect at LHR. Had some great J and F deals from there, compared to straight LHR, plus the extra 80 TPs in CE round trip.

    Will miss that lounge and the staff, next trip in Sept…hopefully?

  • James says:

    Is it confirmed there will be a OW lounge in T2 or it’s still TBC?

  • Anna says:

    What happened to that premier lounge set-up at Manchester where you got driven to your plane, has it become another victim of the pandemic?

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