Manchester Airport’s new PremiAir terminal affords clients a dose of luxury before their trip, regardless of class of travel. Gary Noakes checks it out
Turning left as you board an aircraft to head to the posh seats is a privilege, but turn left into Manchester airport’s PremiAir private terminal and you’ve really made it.
There are two paths into PremiAir’s Scandi-style building. The one on the right is for everyone; the one on the left has its own discreet entrance and leads either to a private suite or a sectioned-off part of the main lounge. Needless to say, both Manchester’s football teams turn left.
Footballers aside, PremiAir is democratic; anyone who can afford around £100 for a departure can use it – and if there is a big group of you, say a wedding party, you too can have your own suite or partitioned area. Class of travel is not important, but admission is limited to passengers on about 25 partner carriers, including British Airways and Oman Air.
Firstly you drive up – it’s just off the M56 next to the Runway Visitor Park with spaces for 20 cars or valet parking. Flight check-in is done at reception, where you hand over hold luggage. A few metres more and you’re in the lounge, where the light wood beams and furniture continue the Scandinavian vibe. Full-length windows overlook the apron and give an airy feel to the building, which can accommodate roughly 70 passengers.
PremiAir is run by Manchester Airports Group and being keen to stress the city’s cultural heritage, photos of The Smiths and Joy Division adorn reception. One of the suites is named after Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, whose son has donated artwork. Others pay tribute to Emmeline Pankhurst and Alan Turing; while at the bar, Manchester Gin is served.