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Manchester Airport Guide

manchester airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Manchester Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

As Summer approaches T1 will remain very busy throughout the night and can resemble a refugee centre at times. -a traveller

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover, here is a quick run-down of what travellers have reported to us during their time at Manchester Airport.

What to Expect

  • Airport staff and security are generally tolerant of overnight travellers.
  • Many travellers report on poor service, security, and facilities in this overcrowded airport.
  • This is an older, large airport with several spread-out terminals. T1 is the largest, with international and regional flights. T2 is smaller and houses international and regional carriers. T3 is the smallest, and is home to domestic and low-cost carriers.
  • Free WiFi is available. See WiFi in the airport guide below.

Where to Sleep

  • T1 is the most comfortable terminal; head here if you can. Landside has few benches, and most are metal with armrests. Airside has a few more options, with some benches that have no armrests - arrive early for these.
  • In T2, avoid the departure level. Instead head to the arrivals levels with plenty of benches.
  • Avoid spending the night in T3 as it lacks amenities and has little seating.
  • It can get really loud at night, especially as the cleaning crews come through.
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel connected to the airport and several nearby hotels. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

  • Showers are available in the hotel in T2.
  • Economy class travelers can buy a pass and relax in several airport lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Manchester Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.


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Manchester Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use & Single Visit Passes

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • Escape Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Executive Lower Level. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Buy a lounge pass (£25.00 - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • Aspire Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Buy a lounge pass (£21.99 - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • Aspire Lounge - Location: Terminal 2, Airside. Lounge Access: Buy a lounge pass (£21.99 - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • Escape Lounge - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, opposite Gate 209. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Buy a lounge pass (£25.00 - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • Escape Lounge - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Gate 19. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Buy a lounge pass (£25.00 - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • 1903 Lounge - Location: Terminal 3, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£40.00).

» Buy a Lounge Pass

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available in Manchester Airport for 60 minutes, within a 24-hour period of time. Connect to the “spectrum” or “MAG Airports WiFi” network. After your free hour runs out, you can purchase the premium service at the following rates: £5.00 per hour, £10.00 per day or £30.00 per month.

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Manchester Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport - This is the only hotel connected directly to the airport. Access from Terminals 1 and 2 via a covered, elevated walkway called Skylink.
  • Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport - (5 minute walk from the airport terminal) Located in the Manchester Airport Complex. Free shuttle runs to the airport and the train station. Shuttle Hours: 24 hours, departs every 15 minutes. For pick up at the airport use a courtesy phone located in the Arrivals Hall and at Information Desks. The driver will inform you of pickup spot.
  • Crowne Plaza Manchester - (8 minute walk from the airport terminal) Located in the Manchester Airport Complex. Free 24-hour shuttle bus runs between the hotel, Terminals 1, 2, 3, and the train station. Use a courtesy phone in the arrivals hall to dial 4090 and arrange a pick-up.
  • Hilton Manchester Airport - (5 minutes from the airport) Located next to Terminal 1 in the Manchester Airport Complex. Free 24-hour shuttle runs on demand. Use the courtesy phones located in the airport terminals and train station to request airport pick-up.
  • Premier Inn Manchester Airport M56/J6 NORTH - (3 minutes from the airport) Airport shuttle available, upon request, for a fee.
  • Holiday Inn Express Manchester Airport - (3 minutes from the airport) The airport shuttle runs from 4:00AM - 12:00PM, every 20 minutes. After 12:00PM, contact the hotel at 44-161-9802556. Rate: £3 per person.

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Manchester Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - Travelex ATMs are available throughout the airport.
  • Baby Care Facilities - Baby changing facilities are located in or near the women’s restrooms. All baby changing facilities have comfortable chairs for breastfeeding. Boots Drugstore, located both landside and airside, offers a pre-order service for baby milk. Simply place your order five days before your travel, and pick up post security, freeing up space in your hand luggage for other essentials. You can warm up baby bottles at Starbucks in Terminal 1, Broderick's or Caffe Nero in Terminal 2, and Costa Coffee or Caffe Nero in Terminal 3.
  • Baggage Trolleys - Available for a fee of a £1 coin or 2 euro coin.
  • Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
  • Children's Play Area - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Departure Gate 213.
  • Currency Exchange - Travelex currency exchange is available throughout the airport.
  • Duty Free & Shopping - Biza Duty-Free shops are available in all three terminals, along with a small selection of popular retail shops.
  • Family Services -Travellers with children in strollers are allowed free fast lane service through the security checkpoints. The airport is trialing a breastfeeding facility in Terminal 1, Departure Lounge. The room allows up to four women to use the room at once. Please note this facility is for breastfeeding mothers only, and if they are travelling alone their young children may accompany them. Opposite the facility is a Children’s TV Zone, so partners and children can comfortably make use of this area whilst waiting.
  • Fast Track Service - As a premium service, customers with Fast Track security passes will be given priority service to ensure that waiting is kept to a minimum. Cost: £4.00. Book on-line.
  • Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate from first flight departure of the day until the last flight departure of the day. At the time of this update, there are no 24-hour dining options. If you are Airside in Terminal 1 there is a Grain Loft which is open from 6:00AM - 4:00AM or you can head to Terminal 3, Landside where WHSmith is open 6:00AM - 4:00AM.
  • Grocery Store - If you need to pick up groceries on your way home to your destination in Manchester, stop at Spar. A wide variety of hot and cold sandwiches, take-away meals and general groceries are available. Location: landside in Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Hours: Open from first flight departure of the day to the last.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - Location: Terminals 1 and 2, Arrivals Level. Rates: £5 per item per 24 hour period.
  • Mobile Charging - At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, write a review or email us at guides@sleepinginairports.com.
  • Pharmacy - Boots Pharmacy has 3 locations, airside, in all Terminals.
  • Prayer Room - Four multifaith prayer rooms are available in the airport. The rooms are deliberately kept neutral, aside from the “qibla” directional sign for Muslim visitors. Religious prayer books and Muslim prayer mats are available from the Chaplaincy. Special “wudu” washing facilities for Muslim visitors are available landside and airside in Terminals 2 and 3. Here are the locations of the four prayer rooms:
    »   Terminal 1: Christian prayers are held at 8:30AM (Mon-Fri). Location: T1, landside, Ground Level Check-In, next to the Chaplaincy’s main office (There are no airside prayer rooms in T1).
    »   Terminal 2: Locations- airside, Departures, in the main retail area • landside, Main Arrivals concourse at Ground Level, near the Chaplaincy’s T2 office.
    »   Terminal 3: Jummah prayers (Islamic) are held every Friday at Friday at 13:00 GMT, 13:30 BST. Location: on the far right of the building (from the kerbside), on the first floor (below Departure level, above Arrivals).
  • Rest Zones - Not available.
  • Runway Visitor Park - Watch planes take-off, enjoy exhilarating views of the runway from the onsite restaurant, or take a guided tour of the Concorde Hangar at the Runway Visitor Park. An aviation-themed gift shop, orbital cycleway, raised viewing mounds, and children’s play area are available. Entry to the park is free for visitors who arrive on foot, bicycle or public transportation. Location: Less than 3 miles walk from the airport. Hours: 8:00AM - 4:00PM (winter months) 8:00AM - 6:00PM (spring and autumn months) 8:00AM - 8:00PM (summer months).
  • Showers - Freshen up before or after a long flight with a shower at the Radisson! You can opt for basic access to shower and change facilities at £6.50 per person, or for £12.00, you can shower, change and use the hotel’s leisure facilities. Location: Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport in Terminal 2, accessible by elevated walkway from all terminals. Hours: Open from 6:00AM (Mon-Fri) and 8:00AM (Sat,Sun).
  • Smoking - Designate smoking areas are available in Terminal 1 (access through food court) and 2 (by Gate 300). At the time of this update the airport is investigating adding a smoking area in Terminal 3.
  • Spa & Salon Services - Pamper yourself before your flight with an express beauty treatment, manicure or massage at CLOUD SPA: nails & beauty! Location: T1, airside, near Starbucks • T2, airside. Hours: Open from first flight departure of the day to the last.

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus and Coach

UK largest coach operator, National Express, offers economical and frequent door-to-door service from Manchester to Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London Victoria Station, as well as to/from airports in Birmingham and London (Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and Gatwick). Tickets are sold at the airport ticket office, by phone or online (discounted fares available for online purchases).

The following public buses serve the airport: 200 Wilmslow - Manchester Airport via Styal and Quarry Bank Mill; 18 The Trafford Centre - Altrincham; 19 Manchester Airport - Altrincham; 43 Manchester via Wythenshawe, Fallowfield and Rusholme (24 hours a day); 105 Manchester city centre via Wythenshawe, Benchill, Sharston, Northenden and Moss Side; 369 Manchester Airport - Stockport; 199 Stockport Express via M56 & M60 Then Hazel Grove, New Mills, Whaley Bridge, Chapel en-le-Frith and Buxton; 44 Manchester Airport - Manchester

For timetables, fares and route maps, go to the Transport for Greater Manchester website.

Car Rentals

Onsite car rentals are handled in a designated facility known as the Car Rental Village, linked to the airport terminals by free shuttle bus service, with departures available every 10 minutes. The following car rental agencies are available: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National and Sixt.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service as a courtesy to their guests. Most hotels request that you contact them via the courtesy phones once you have collected your luggage. Courtesy phones are located on the arrivals level, near the Information Desk. Here are a few hotels offering airport shuttle service: Holiday Inn Express Manchester Airport   •   Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport  •   Hilton Manchester Airport   •   Etrop Grange.

Metrolink

Metrolink light rail trams serve the Greater Manchester Area. Metrolink tram service line F connects Manchester Airport Station to Cornbrook interchange, where passengers can connect to trams heading into to the city center, Altrincham, Bury, Ashton, East Didsbury, Eccles or Rochdale. Trams depart every 12 - 15 minutes during service hours, which vary per tram line. Automated ticket vending machines are available at all tram stops. For tram routes and stops, timetables and fares, visit the Metrolink website.

Taxi

“Black Cab” taxis are available in the ground transportation area of the terminal on a 24-hour basis. All taxis are metered and reservations are not required. Fares for trips within the Manchester Licensed Area are charged according to the meter. However, drivers are not required to use the meter for trips outside of the licensed area. A list of maximum fares is available at the taxi rank, to help you negotiate a fair price for your journey.

Train

Manchester Airport Station is served 24 hours a day by local and regional trains operated by TransPennine Express and Northern Rail. Trains depart every 10 minutes, traveling between the airport and Manchester Piccadilly in the city center (total trip time 20 minutes). Some of the destinations connected to Manchester Airport by train are Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield, York, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, The Lake District and Wales. Rail tickets are sold online or at the Manchester Airport Station ticket counter. The train platforms are connected to the airport terminals via covered walkways known as “SkyLink”.

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Last Updated: 14 November 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us .