Manchester Airport handles over eighteen million passengers per year, and is one of the major international airports in the United Kingdom. It is located 14 km (8.6 miles) from central Manchester, in the country of Lancashire, Northern England. It is also situated nearby a number of important cities and towns, such Bolton, Rochdale, Pemberton, Sheffield and Macclesfield. Passengers arriving at Manchester Airport will find three extremely modern and well-equipped terminal buildings. The terminals are named Terminal 1,2 and 3, and they all handle international and domestic arrivals and departures. The terminal you will be using is determined by your airline company.
The terminals at Manchester Airport are all connected, and are within reasonable walking distance of one another. Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 are connected by an external walkway. At present, this is an uncovered area, but construction underway will soon provide a new covered walkway area. While this is being built, a bus service offers transport between the two terminals, as well as to ‘The Station, which is Manchester Airport’s ground transportation hub. The Station is where the railway station of the airport and bus stop areas are situated. Buses and coaches from here provide transport to central Manchester and to all the neighboring cities and beyond. Trains provide the fastest form of transport, and the airport is directly connected to many destinations and to the Piccadilly Railway Station, which is Manchester’s main train station, offering services to all major destinations in the United Kingdom. Alternatively, passengers can use the taxi services available outside each of the terminal buildings. Although always more expensive than the bus and train, taxi services are quick and convenient, especially if you are carrying a heavy luggage load. Taxis can be pre-booked or used directly from the taxi ranks at the airport. However, passengers must be aware that Manchester Airport employs a ‘no waiting’ policy for security reasons, and therefore all pick-ups must take place in one of the short-stay parking areas.
Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are connected by the skylink, a moving walkway to facilitate passengers with the 10 to 15 minute walk between them. The skylink also connects Terminal 1 with The Station and the Radisson BLU Hotel. These two terminals are well equipped for parents with small children, as they have a superb entertainment area, and all the catering outlets offer ‘parent points’ with cleaning materials, and high chairs. Special kiddies meals are available from The Real Food Company, and bottles can be warmed at facilities in the children entertainment areas. Passengers may request additional assistance should it be required from their airline company. All the terminals feature three different VIP lounges, with refreshment and catering facilities, and TV and newspapers for the latest news. All the lounges have a luxurious, comfortable and relaxing environments in which to relax and unwind. Free WiFi access (up to 30 minutes per 24 hour period) is available in all the terminals, as well as banking and currency exchange services. There is also a huge range of shops to explore, and dining opportunities to enjoy.
All passengers arriving at Manchester Airport will be required to pass through Customs and Immigration. These are control measures in place to ensure that only appropriate and legitimate items are brought into the UK. There are no mobile phones allowed in this area, and customers are asked to have their passport open at the photo page ready for scanning. Passports will need to be scanned at the desks, therefore the process may take a few minutes. This is due to tighter passport restrictions. Manchester Airport offers the services of five ePassport gates in Terminal 1. These may be used by all British passengers, and passengers from Switzerland, Liechtenstein or the EEA, who have a new biometric passport. Passengers will then not need to wait in the queues, but simply scan their passport with the chipped section and be on their way. Passengers may also register for the Iris Recognition Scheme, a process where a person can be identified by simply looking into a camera. This is because the iris of everyone’s eyes are unique. This form of border control ensures passengers can enter the UK quickly through automated barriers. Registration points for this service are available within the departure area of each terminal building.
Lost property services at Manchester Airport are offered by the company of Excess Baggage Limited. Their offices are located in Terminal 1, in the passageway between ground level check-in and the Arrivals Hall, and in Terminal 2, on the Arrivals level adjacent to WH Smiths. Their services include taking charge of items which have been left or found at the airport, and the storage of passengers’ baggage at their own discretion. They also ship luggage to other countries. For information on lost or delayed baggage, your airline company’s appointed Handling Agent should be contacted.
Manchester Airport is fully accessible to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility. There are disabled toilet facilities, pavement ramps, elevators, moving walkways and reserved parking spaces available. Staff at Manchester Airport will also provide additional assistance if requested from your airline company. Ensure that your airline company is aware of any special requirements you may have at least 48 hours before your date of departure.
If you have some time to spare at Manchester Airport, be sure to visit the Runway Visitor Park. This is one of the North West’s most popular outdoor attractions. Tourists, locals and visitors can enjoy the most terrific views of the airport’s runway activities from this location, and also purchase some interesting items from the Aviation shop. Bring along your own picnic basket, or dine at the Ringways Restaurant. There are also four aircraft on display, and tours in the cockpit and cabin area of the Concorde G-BOAC can be arranged.
Passengers arriving at Manchester Airport can obtain additional information about the airport’s services from the information desks located in the Arrival areas of all the terminal buildings.