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We take you inside Manchester Airport’s new Terminal 2 extension

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On Tuesday we were invited to visit the brand new Terminal 2 extension at Manchester Airport.

Completed during 2020, the terminal had sat empty. Manchester Airport had been waiting for passenger numbers to pick up before opening the terminal in July.

Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Aegean, Air Baltic, Ethiopian, Jet2 and TUI are all operating flights from the new terminal now – quite a varied group.

Manchester Airport T2 entrance

The expansion of Terminal 2 is part of a £1 billion transformation program that will see the old part of Terminal 2 refurbished and Terminal 1 completely demolished. When T1 is gone Manchester Airport will consolidate completely around T2, with the new half offering a 150% capacity boost versus the old half.

The extension looks very smart, although only about 1/3 of it is currently in use by the airlines:

Manchester T2 departures

Here is the connection to the old terminal:

Manchester T2 connection

The whole building feels very open, with check-in staff located at little island desks around the baggage drop area.

10 new security lanes also make for improved boarding with the latest body scanners – although not the latest 3D luggage scanners, yet. Whilst Manchester has a reputation for slightly chaotic security it looked very orderly and fast when we visited. We were asked to use a PR picture for privacy reasons.

Manchester Airport security

Of course you are sent through Duty Free first, although the walk isn’t particularly long here:

Manchester T2 duty free

I was surprised to see different signange from the ‘yellow for departures, purple for connections’ signage you see at Heathrow as I had always assumed this was a British standard. You’ll be pleased to know that the slightly depressed public announcement voice from Heathrow Terminal 5 is being used!

Once airside you can find a whole raft of new retail outlets and restaurants, including a JD Sports:

Manchester Airport T2 JD Sports

The centrepiece of the terminal is this atrium with escalators that take you up to several restaurants and the two new lounges on the first floor:

Manchester T2 airsde

The colour of the ceiling panels is changable. It didn’t look quite so purple in real life!

Manchester T2 escalators

One of the restaurants upstairs is the Amber Alehouse Manchester brand Seven Bro7hers Brewing Company:

Manchester Airport Amber Alehouse

We made a quick pitstop here to try some of their craft beers, including a watermelon and cornflake beer (both very delicious):

Manchester T2 Amber Alehouse beers

There are two more restaurants on this floor, with one still to open, as well as the two brand new lounges which we will cover in two separate articles.

The Escape Lounge is already open and is accessible with Priority Pass. The more premium 1903 Lounge is currently open for select Virgin Atlantic flights only. It is due to open fully from September.

Virgin Atlantic will have its own dedicated Clubhouse lounge but the project has been paused until passengers numbers pick up enough to justify it.

Manchester Airport premium lounges

On the ground floor there are more retail outlets with a number of local Manchester brands in addition to the usual Pret, WH Smith etc:

Manchester Airport T2

A range of seating areas are available for anyone without lounge access, including bar stools, benches, sofas etc. The airport has made an effort not to just put row upon row of airport seating into the terminal.

The terminal also has its own immigration area and half a dozen new luggage belts.


The new Terminal 2 extension at Manchester Airport is a big upgrade for anyone travelling through the airport. It’s great to see Manchester Airport with an excellent modern building that puts customer needs first.

The new Terminal 2 is a great alternative whilst PremiAir, the ‘pay to use’ VIP terminal which we strongly recommend remains closed until next year.

Stay tuned for two further articles where we will look at the two new lounges in greater detail.

Comments (88)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Matt says:

    Plus one for the comments about Manchester security staff. They always seem one errant bag away from a full mental breakdown, in a perpetual state of panic like startled hares ready to fight or flee at any second. Hopefully now the absurd DIY bin bag tunnel they ahd operating as a security queue must be gone, they can chill out a bit.

  • Bill says:

    Calling T3 security chaos doesn’t do it justice. It’s poor layout & bad staff attitude to say the least

  • LC says:

    Echoing what others have said – All done in vain – the staff, and in particular the security staff are inept, with awful customer service / attitude. Absolutely no chance I would choose to fly from Manchester.

  • JP-MCO says:

    Crikey, a new JD Sports? A hallmark of quality I’m sure. T5 has F&M and Manchester has JD Sports – that about sums it up.

    • Rick says:

      LHR T5 has Wetherspoons…

      MAN has a local brewery beerhouse.

      Sums it up.

  • Rick says:

    SEVEN BRO7HERS will be sending a few of their heavies down to London to educate Rhys.

    “Manchester Brand” !!!!

    They are based in Salford.

    • sayling says:

      Isn’t Salford to Manchester like Camden is to London?

    • Ian says:

      Manchester is one city, Salford is another city. It isn’t difficult.

      • Red Flyer says:

        Then why don’t they play as Salford Utd rather than Manchester United? 🤭

        • Sandgrounder says:

          Because they are in Trafford, the clue is in the name of the stadium!

        • TJones says:

          Manchester CITY FC. Salford CITY FC. It’s not difficult. Although I don’t get why Stockport call themselves “County”.

  • QwertyKnowsBest says:

    As a (no choice) frequent MAN User (victim?). How I would love to put to senior management the failings of the airport from a customer perspective. I would seriously like to know how they can ignore the widespread customer dissatisfaction.

    Is any management from MAN reading these comments?

    Once stuck behind a MAN manger in the security Q who Q jumped (staff are allowed even if not operational staff I was told). When I asked him what he thought of the chaos around us, he replied ‘that’s how airports are today’.

    • Ian says:

      “I would seriously like to know how they can ignore the widespread customer dissatisfaction.”

      Because people like you say you have no choice about using MAN frequently. What incentive is there for them to improve?

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        It really is this simple – they make £x a year on their current investment of £y

        You want them to spend £y + some extra on top for that same revenue? Net of any compelling reason (competition in the main) why would they want to do that?

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          To be fair, they’ve spent £1BN on improvements and we’re reading about them here. It may or may not resolve things, but I’d hardly call that ignoring the problem or failing to spend.

  • Degsy says:

    Not sure to what extent this counts as ‘Levelling Up’ but good to see some serious investment in this country’s infrastructure outside of London (now to sort the surly staff)

  • Liam J says:

    Plus 1 for the “never flying out of MAN” ever again due to staff attitude. One too many bad experiences at security to mean it’s avoided at all costs by me.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      T3 was overcrowded, once they shifted the fast track away from the pram queue it was fine, as long as you were flying business/willing to pay the extra.

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