Flying in style includes your experience pre-flight such as using airline lounges at the airport prior to departure. I was fortunate enough to experience the Etihad VIP Lounge Manchester Terminal 1 on a recent trip to Australia.
This was my first ever flight from Manchester with Etihad so on my journey there I had to confirm which terminal at Manchester Airport they flew from. After a reshuffle of airlines across the terminals in recent years it is now at terminal 1. The same terminal where you can find Emirates.
On check in at the Etihad Manchester terminal desk I was able to bypass much of the queue for the flight due to my Gold card status with the Etihad frequent flyer scheme which is called “Etihad Guest”. The booking agent also confirmed that my card status allowed me complimentary access to the Etihad Lounge at Terminal 1. You can access the lounge if you are either flying First or Business Class or have an Etihad Guest card which is Silver/Gold/Platinum.
After passing through security and an obligatory walk through duty free I made my way to the Manchester airport vip lounge section which is down a corridor just by the Dixons Travel shop. There are some stairs and an elevator to take you to the lounge level which is up a floor. Keep your eyes peeled whilst walking through here since you might catch sight of a celebrity or two. In years gone by I’ve come across the footballers Ryan Giggs and Ian Rush.
You have to walk past every terminal 1 Manchester lounge including the Servisair Aspire and Emirates to finally get to the Etihad lounge, yes it is right at the very end of the corridor but it is well sign posted.
The Etihad VIP Lounge Manchester Airport
The reception area was very classy in appearance but dimly lit. The Receptionist was welcoming and it was easy to spot the wifi code available for pick up from the desk. I didn’t use the Etihad wifi in the lounge for long but it seemed to work fine with my VPN connection.
The reception area was also decorated with pictures and signed shirts from local football team Manchester City. Etihad Airways sponsor Manchester City. As a Liverpool fan myself I didn’t find the display overbearing.
As I walked through it was immediately clear that this was a relatively small lounge, a long way short on size compared to the nearby Emirates Lounge. Many people had arrived before me and it was not possible to find a quiet spot. Very few seats were free and the ones that were had people occupying the neighbouring seats.
It was breakfast time when I arrived. The Etihad timetable had been quite favourable and my Manchester to Abu Dhabi flight was due to take off at 8:40am. As a result the self service buffet was full of cereals and breakfast items. The range was not extensive but sufficient to provide choice.
As I was filling my cereal bowl a well dressed gentleman came across and offered to source a hot drink for me. It had to be coffee at this time in the morning.
I soon realised that hot drinks and hot food were waiter served only. I was quite happy to settle first before selecting anything from the reasonable selection of hot food items. The waiter however advised that I better order now since the kitchen was closing soon. After checking my watch I realised he had a point since it wasn’t too long until boarding.
I ordered an omelette. It was freshly made and very tasty too. I was happy with my selection although felt a little bit like having TV dinners by eating it off my lap due to how busy the small lounge was.
On my stroll around the lounge I did see 3 sets of dining tables and a small business centre. Since it was so busy I was unable to take advantage of these.
I sat back in my seat which was relatively comfy and not untypical of an airline lounge chair. I noticed a large TV screen broadcasting Sky News plus a selection of newspapers in the corner to pick from.
After this being my first visit I think that I’ve quickly identified the main features of the Etihad Executive lounge at Manchester airport. Free wifi, hot food and drinks to order and access to free news. It was a shame the lounge was so small as it doesn’t take much to make it feel crowded. Service staff were very polite and overall it was a pleasant experience. It may not quite match the nearby Emirates Lounge but on balance it was a very worthy lounge.
The Etihad VIP Lounge Manchester Airport can only be used by Etihad and Partners customers. If you are flying with Etihad in Business or First Class or are Silver status or higher on Etihad Guest then you can gain entry.
If you don’t qualify for the above but are flying with Etihad or another airline through terminal 1 Manchester Airport it is possible to buy access to the Aspire or Escape Lounge. You can buy one off entry with Holiday Extras or if you fly frequently you could get a Priority Pass to access airport lounges worldwide.