Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club The journey through ‘hell’ that is Manchester T3

  • QwertyKnowsBest 301 posts

    For those of us that endure MAN and in particular BA domestic in T3, interesting video and comments over on Matt’s Planet https://youtu.be/1J_2OBn4_xg?si=WV2H5zSw0Yn9O9Uh

    NorthernLass 8,440 posts

    This 😂😭

    No Longer Entitled 122 posts

    I enjoyed that. The new T2 is significantly better but T3 is no longer fit for purpose.

    NorthernLass 8,440 posts

    I think the person who invented the rules at the Escape lounge bar must have previously worked in T3 security. When we were there last month I discovered that you can order neat whisky or brandy but you can only have rum or vodka with a mixer – go figure!

    davefl 1,435 posts

    No word of that is untrue. That’s just the daily experience.

    T2 isn’t significantly better it’s just much larger and will get even larger in the next few years as the extension is completed. It’ll be interesting to see when they demolish T1 what kind of access route from the railway station and T2 they provide to T3. It’s absurd now, I expect it’ll get much worse.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,190 posts

    I lapped this video up. I felt my pain was seen.

    BA itself doesn’t get a free pass though. The crew do nothing to help themselves achieve a full service in flight. Easy things like taking drinks orders while the plane is on the ground, offering menu cards before take off. Instead you can end up in row 5 rolling your eyes while everyone in row 2 says “What are the meal choices?” despite the crew having already explained this to Row 1 within earshot of Row 2. And as for people who request unusual drinks while meal trays haven’t yet been distributed to all rows! I’m quite sure other airlines hand the tray over to all with a glass of still water to stave off extreme thirst so that the on-request drinks can come after everyone has their food.

    NorthernLass 8,440 posts

    It’s good that a Southerner validated our pain, and also mentioned the appalling rail services! Perhaps now people will stop telling us we shouldn’t be flying MAN-LON as 3 changes with luggage is so easy.

    I’m sure there was a time when menus were on the seats when you boarded, and you were then ready to order as soon as asked. At least the quinoa salad that absolutely nobody ate seems to have been ditched!

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,190 posts

    It’s good that a Southerner validated our pain, and also mentioned the appalling rail services! Perhaps now people will stop telling us we shouldn’t be flying MAN-LON as 3 changes with luggage is so easy.

    I’m sure there was a time when menus were on the seats when you boarded, and you were then ready to order as soon as asked. At least the quinoa salad that absolutely nobody ate seems to have been ditched!

    Exactly; if I’m expected to lug my own luggage on an unprotected connection by trains to Heathrow, I’ll just fly via CDG or DUB or FRA thank you very much

    QwertyKnowsBest 301 posts

    I used to play a game of how many mini bottles of champagne could be secured on this short flight (MAN-LHR), you need to be on row one or two to be in it and win it, record is 5. Sadly the game is no more, small bottles replaced with pour from big bottles.

    I know, small things amuse small minds, but good therapy to recover from the mental battering of a journey through T3 at MAN.

    TooPoorToBeHere 264 posts

    Great video, thanks for the link.

    I made my own way back from LHR T2 by train last Sunday – BA wanting £400 for a single LHR-MAN, which in hindsight I should probably have paid.

    After walking approximately 38 miles from the arrivals lounge (not sure I’ve ever seen a meaner cooked breakfast, but at least it was free, and the showers are superb) to the station, dragging my bags down escalators in despair at the queues for the lifts, and going past several Heathrow Express con-men/booths trying to defraud foreigners into buying unnecessarily expensive tickets, I took a total of 5 trains to get home, spending 3 hours sitting on my bags in Class 390 vestibules. Heathrow Express needs killing.

    The squalor of the trains is bordering on third world and I can’t imagine any normal female, or anyone with children, ever voluntarily using a long-distance train again after seeing the state of the toilets.

    I don’t know why the various ticket machines and websites I tried were so ruthlessly determined to sell a £79 “route MANCHESTER” ticket over the equally valid £69 “ANY PERMITTED”, but in the end a London Northwestern machine was willing to sell the right one. I was billing it back to my long-suffering customer anyway, but I dislike being robbed blind.

    Euston is a sh!thole of MAN-esque proportions at the moment, possibly worsened by construction work, but their habit of making everyone wait under the departure boards until just before departure and then charge down the ramp to the train at the last minute goes back decades.

    AL 624 posts

    Oh, god. The horrors. You’ve all summed up my thoughts exactly. And, it’s good to hear someone else who also thinks that BA consolidate in T3 for economical reasons.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens when T1 closes – will the likes of EasyJet and Jet2 add to the crappiness that is T2? The number of times I’ve been stopped by overzealous prats at T2 claiming that I can’t use fast track security despite it being listed on my boarding pass, because MAN has a stupid system which requires the airline to put a MAN-branded ‘fast track’ sticker on the boarding pass (or, in one amazing cock up, on my phone, which I then submitted a receipt for cleaning fluid to MAN and was, surprisingly reimbursed).

    Whilst T2 is the best of a bad bunch, it’s going downhill pretty quickly.

    MAN wants to pretend it’s some form of international gateway to the north. It clings on to that title by technicalities, but it is not an airport that I am at all proud to be associated with. It is entirely unfit for purpose.

    AinsworthLord 11 posts

    The whole MAN experience is awful at best – every time.
    I’m stuck for more words. Still recovering from my recent trip through MAN. Sadly I have to endure this several times a year.
    I pray for more flight availability from Liverpool and or Leeds Bradford.. and if God is good.. Blackpool one day..

    Aston100 1,495 posts

    The whole MAN experience is awful at best – every time.
    I’m stuck for more words. Still recovering from my recent trip through MAN. Sadly I have to endure this several times a year.
    I pray for more flight availability from Liverpool and or Leeds Bradford.. and if God is good.. Blackpool one day..

    I would honestly like to see someone try to land an a380 at John Lennon.

    davefl 1,435 posts

    I used to play a game of how many mini bottles of champagne could be secured on this short flight (MAN-LHR), you need to be on row one or two to be in it and win it, record is 5. Sadly the game is no more, small bottles replaced with pour from big bottles.

    I know, small things amuse small minds, but good therapy to recover from the mental battering of a journey through T3 at MAN.

    I used to regularly fly the 9.30pm (ish) AMS-MAN on a friday night when BA didn’t despise those of us in the north. The guy next to me one evening ordered 6 beers as we took off and got them.

    davefl 1,435 posts

    Euston is a sh!thole of MAN-esque proportions at the moment, possibly worsened by construction work, but their habit of making everyone wait under the departure boards until just before departure and then charge down the ramp to the train at the last minute goes back decades.

    I travelled Eus-Man a few weeks ago and they’ve improved this slightly but only for those buying an Avanti ticket. You get texted the platform 5 mins before the platform crowd.

    masaccio 806 posts

    It’s good that a Southerner validated our pain, and also mentioned the appalling rail services! Perhaps now people will stop telling us we shouldn’t be flying MAN-LON as 3 changes with luggage is so easy.

    I’m sure there was a time when menus were on the seats when you boarded, and you were then ready to order as soon as asked. At least the quinoa salad that absolutely nobody ate seems to have been ditched!

    I’m surprised you don’t drive to LHR! Obviously you shouldn’t need to, but the trains are getting worse and worse. For my trip to Manchester next week, I’m driving and parking centrally (6 quid for the day). Much faster than any rail alternative even at a 3 hour drive.

    StaggerLee 61 posts

    I had the joys of a LHR-MAN flight yesterday after flying in from Vegas, which hadn’t loaded an amenities kits so my wife didn’t get an eye mask as we’d both forgotten to leave the ones form eh outgoing flights in our bag. Oh and no champagne on arrival to our seats as apparently the bottles hadn’t been opened by the inbound crew and our crew weren’t allowed to do it because of the local licencing laws!!!

    Due to the bizarre timings of the MAN flights, I had 4 hours to wait between landing and our flight time of 19:30. We were sat in the lounge waiting for a gate number until 18:55 so obviously we were going to be late. We made our way to Gate 4. When we went down the stairs, we had a huge number of people in a corridor and I tried to make my way through the throngs to find somewhere to sit as, being somewhat disabled, I couldn’t stand in that kind of crowd for more than a few mins.

    Astonishingly there were two flights waiting to board in that tiny space (gate 4a & 4b). There were no signs so the only way I knew that I was in the EDI queue was other passengers telling me. After a few more mins of saying excuse me and people grumbling at me for queue jumping my wife managed to nab me a seat. Obviously, everyone in Groups 4-9 were being told to check their bags but luckily I was in Group 1 so didn’t have to explain myself.
    Finally, we got to the boarding process, by which I mean being herded on to buses and driven round the whole of Heathrow to find our plane (that had been late coming in from Gibraltar). Eventually we found our seats in Row 6 and the flight and crew was perfectly fine and was only 30 mins late landing. As I’ve said before doing a full service on this short a flight is just nonsensical.

    Of course, we pitched up at Gate 142 and had to walk down the stairs, which is awful for anyone, like me, with restricted mobility who doesn’t always need to use the airport assistance.

    There was the usual scrum at the baggage claim belt, but the bags appeared pretty quickly, well half of them did. One of our ‘priority’ bags arrived but they’d only off-loaded half of the bags and it was about 30 mins before the rest turned up. At that point the 20:30 from LHR had also just deplaned into the same cramped space and it became an absolute zoo.

    Finally, my other bag arrived and we could escape for the drive back to Leeds (because flying to LBA was ditched by BA many years ago.

    I will say, however, that our journey through MAN security on the outbound trip was quick and relatively painless, for a change.

    John 1,084 posts

    I travelled Eus-Man a few weeks ago and they’ve improved this slightly but only for those buying an Avanti ticket. You get texted the platform 5 mins before the platform crowd.

    The planned platform is in the schedule months in advance, and once the train arrives in the platform 20-30 minutes before departure (unless there are delays) which you can see using realtimetrains/traksy then it’s pretty much guaranteed not to change.

    The only issue with going early is getting barked at by the incompetent staff. Also got challenged by a police officer once but he knew when to back off.

    NorthernLass 8,440 posts

    @masaccio – if 3 hours was guaranteed, maybe! The vagaries of the motorway network are yet another potential complication so you need to factor in an extra day either side.


    @StaggerLee
    , on one recent evening hop back up to MAN we got the “Delayed” warning, followed 20 minutes later by the notification that we were now boarding from a B gate! Of course, we rushed over there at once (fortunately being fully able-bodied and not dependent on any assistance) to find boarding being held up by pleas/demands for pax to check their hand luggage. Then when groups 1 and 2 were called several people stood at the queue entrance preventing anyone else from passing. I lost my rag a bit at that point and asked if they were in said groups and when they responded gormlessly that they weren’t, loudly but politely asked them to move to one side so we could make a bit of progress. Perhaps BA should ask for volunteers to perform this function as well?!

    davefl 1,435 posts

    @John Thanks for the link, not one I’d seen before and really useful.

    Luckily the days of 5am starts for biweekly/monthly torture on the 7am to Euston for early meetings and back just after lunch are behind me.

    JDB 4,801 posts

    @Northern Lass – I think I would have enjoyed your polite but loud assertion of your Group 1/2 rights! I doubt most of them had a clue what you were (loudly) talking about.

    The Australians, being rather more direct, handle these things better. On boarding a ferry that offers standard or posh pit classes, there is a lifebuoy ring at the entrance, one half orange and marked ‘plebs’ with the other side diamond encrusted gold marked posh. Stupid, but clear.

    On four QF domestic flights the rear rows were boarded via rear stairs, strictly enforced and it speeds things up no end. People can understand row numbers, but groups are stupid; nobody understands them. Here, there is a reluctance at bigger airports to allow passengers on the tarmac unless strictly necessary.

    Aston100 1,495 posts

    A number of airlines in SEA seem to board those in business class first (or hot seats in the case of Air Asia) and then from the back of the plane up.
    I noticed at various airports in Malaysia they’ve got queues already setup for this arrangement.
    Seems to work very well, even with all the additional oversized cabin bags on display.
    Possibly been like that forever but I hadn’t been paying attention until recent talk of chaotic boarding in the UK which made me realise I’ve never experienced chaotic boarding in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

    NorthernLass 8,440 posts

    The antipodean bluntness is highly refreshing, remembering our trip to NZ and Oz a few years ago; the newsreaders especially were very entertaining.

    It is ludicrous that BA has a system which is supposed to make its status holders feel special but actually just confuses many passengers and slows things down!

    Tocsin 67 posts

    Finally, my other bag arrived and we could escape for the drive back to Leeds (because flying to LBA was ditched by BA many years ago.

    I’m biased, but if you can – consider heading North and going from NCL! No BA lounge now (Aspire is ok), but the security and boarding are usually much much better than you described at MAN. Baggage carousel can be iffy, but we usually travel light.

    StaggerLee 61 posts

    Finally, my other bag arrived and we could escape for the drive back to Leeds (because flying to LBA was ditched by BA many years ago.

    I’m biased, but if you can – consider heading North and going from NCL! No BA lounge now (Aspire is ok), but the security and boarding are usually much much better than you described at MAN. Baggage carousel can be iffy, but we usually travel light.

    I have started looking at NCL for any future trips but my elderly father-in-law lives in Manchester so we normally visit him before going away.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.