The Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport is a frequent stopping off point for me when I head off on international flights. It offers a fair level of comfort with refreshment and a decent complimentary wifi.
The Escape Lounge currently serves the following airlines and lounge access passes: Air Malta, Air Angels, Delta Airlines, Lounge Club, Lounge Pass, PIA, Priority Pass, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
You can also gain access by paying a £20 fee (correct November 2013) if you’ve not received an airline lounge access invitation from your airline.
Thankfully I was flying Business Class with United Airlines during this trip so it was no concern for me.
The Escape Lounge Manchester Airport is located upstairs by gate 209 in Terminal 2. You have to wind down some corridors to find it but it is well sign posted. Also as you are walking down it is worth noting where the toilets are since they are not located within the lounge itself.
On arriving at Reception it is clear that the Escape Lounge is split into 2 parts. As I often find to be the case I’m directed out of the Reception area to a separate room which is a part of the Escape Lounge. I suspect they allocate people to rooms based upon the airline they are flying with. It will help them control rooms numbers as they can become very busy.
As always try to arrive early at the airport and you should be able to get a seat.
Whilst the room is not overly large it can seat over 40 people on a range of low back leather or soft upholstery chairs. There is a reasonable number of tables plus some electrical sockets so you can use your computer or charge your phone.
I arrived just after 9am so the food was a breakfast selection. There were at least 4 different cereals to choose from plus the chance to order porridge to be made especially for you.
If you didn’t fancy cereal then you could help yourself to toast or a selection of pastries, danishes and yoghurts. They all looked appealing. It was also possible to order a bacon sandwich or cumberland sausage sandwich. After all you only want to eat these hot.
Later in the day you can help yourself to a selection of freshly made sandwiches and cakes or order the soup of the day. There is also fresh fruit throughout the day.
Fruit juices were on display along with a selection of teas and a coffee vending machine. The nearby fridges also showed a reasonable selection of beer and alcoholic drinks but it was far too early for that. If they are not to your liking you could also buy a glass of champagne or a premium wine.
To pass the time whilst in the Escape Lounge there was a selection of the day’s newspapers, certainly enough to cover most political persuasions. Plus in one corner of the room I found a range of magazines ranging from business to fashion and women’s entertainment.
In one corner of the lounge was a side room with 4 computer terminals available. In addition the lounge had a pretty reliable wifi connection which is free with the clearly displayed code around the food area.
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As far as airline lounges go, the Escape Lounge is a pretty good standard as far as UK airport lounges go. I would probably say mid-range. It can be tight on space and pretty crowded. The food selection was reasonable and the wifi a definite must. It will never come close to the selection and quality of an Emirates lounge. However as a passenger flying with United Airlines it is much preferred to a lounge based in the US.