In January I had the pleasure of experiencing the Bollins Lounge at Terminal 1 of Manchester Airport. Well I say Bollins but it was sometimes called “Bollin” depending upon which board you read.
I was passing through the airport in January as I was about to take my first flight with Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS). The airline SAS normally uses the Aspire lounge operated by Servisair yet this was closed for a refit.
Thankfully Servisair operate the Bollin Lounge too so it was an easy connect. For those unfamiliar with Servisair they manage a lot of lounges in UK airports, mainly those which are shared with a number of airlines. For example the Bollins Lounge normally serves airlines such as Jet2, Libyan Airlines and Thomas Cook amongst others.
On entering the Lounge I was greeted by two middle-aged women sat on reception who were very welcoming. I immediately noticed a sign giving notice that the lounge had a dress code. I’ll remember next time not to wear a baseball cap, shorts or a football shirt if I’m likely to use an airport lounge.
I’m glad to say that the lounge offered free wifi for my stay so I was only too happy to receive a complimentary code from the receptionists.
The décor of the lounge was not overly inspiring with a combination of green, cream and black furniture. A TV hung on the wall yet as is often the case with digital TV the signal was very poor due to winter weather conditions outside.
I arrived at the lounge shortly after 10am so breakfast was still the food of the moment. There was a limited selection of juices but I enjoyed my glass.
For the more adventurous at that time in the morning you could find something a little stronger!
The breakfast selection included some cereals, buns, croissant, fruit and yoghurt. Nuts could also be found if you were that way inclined.
Okay the selection wasn’t overly generous but the food was free in the lounge. Compare this to airline lounges in America where the selection is often even more limited and you have to pay for many drinks. The US v Rest of the World when it comes to airline lounges is no contest.
The lounge also offered an array of newspapers and magazines just in case you didn’t have or wanted to be on your computer/tablet.
I did struggle at first to find a plug socket as I don’t want my computer battery to drain before boarding a plane. I eventually did find some though.
These were hidden away in the business area of the lounge. Whilst a great name (Business Area) it was far from inspiring with three work desks hidden away. I didn’t mind so much as it was comfortable and a quiet spot.
It was also a further bonus as I could just eavesdrop on the receptionists chat about their shift patterns and what holidays they have booked off.
Overall the Bollins Lounge was okay in nature and much better than sitting out in the main terminal. I do believe that there are higher quality and more comfortable lounges at Manchester Airport if you are fortunate enough to try them.