Originally founded in 1938 as Ringway Airport, Manchester Airport is located 13.9 km southwest of Manchester city centre, and is the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom by passenger volume, servicing 25,600,000 passengers in 2016. The airport is made up of three passenger terminals and a goods terminal.
Your Guide to Manchester Airport
Shops at Manchester Airport
A wide assortment of products is available at the Manchester Airport, including a range of technology/electronic devices, beauty and fashion, wines and spirits, and a large selection of books.
For a nominal fee, travelers can relax before their flights in one of Manchester Airports lounges, featuring complimentary food and drinks, Wi-Fi, and other amenities.
Restaurants at Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport hosts more than two dozen restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines. From American fast food (Burger King, KFC) to Italian (Trattoria Milano), or from street Mexican (Mi Casa Burrito) to French patisserie (Delice De France), not to mention a take on the British pub (The Lion and the Antelope), the Manchester Airport gives the traveler a wide range of options.
And if you’re not in the mood for dining, numerous cafes and restaurants offer an assortment of coffees, beers, wines and spirits.
Airport Baggage Rules
Each airline has its own rules and policies in regard to the sizes of permitted baggage on the flight. Please consult with the airline you’ll be flying to exact specifications.
One Extra Shopping Bag Policy:
All airlines departing Manchester Airport now allow travelers to take up to one additional bag of airport shopping on board along with their hand luggage. So feel free to shop for a wide range of tax free goods in the shops inside the airport after passing through security.
In addition, Manchester Airport offers supporting programs for the airport shopper, like ‘Collect on Return’, which lets a traveler purchase goods in the tax free shops and leave their purchases at the airport until their return, and ‘Reserve and Collect’, which allows a traveler to shop online and then simply pick up their purchases in-store on their way through the airport.
To pass through security as painlessly and quickly as possible, please review the following restrictions and rules regarding items that may be taken through security.
Please note that each airline has its own rules as to the size and amounts of hand baggage allowed on the flight, and travelers would be well served to confirm those rules with their airline prior to the flight.
The current restrictions on the size of hand baggage a traveler may take into the restricted area of the airport remain at their current level, with 56cm x 45cm x 25cm being the absolute limit for bag size.
Bringing Liquids onto the Aircraft:
Passengers are permitted to bring liquids, gels and pastes through security, provided the liquids are sealed within a transparent resealable plastic bad, and that the quantity of liquid is under 100ml.
Preferably, travelers will pre-seal their liquid bags, which should be no larger than 20cm x 20cm. However, if not pre-sealed, Manchester Airport will provide liquid bags before security. Please note a limit of one liquid bag per passenger. All liquid bags should be one litre or smaller. Also, any container holding liquid must have printed measurements attesting to what the container can hold.
Large Electronic Items:
All electronic items should be removed from bags for separate screening. If traveling to USA, electronic devices should be charged and able to be switched on.
Passengers are permitted to carry medicines and dietary requirements (including baby foods) in their hand luggage to use during the flight. In order to carry medications through security, the passenger must have a prescription or doctor’s note for the medication.
Please note that a baby is considered to be a child from 0 to 3 years old, and a baby must be present in order to bring baby food onto a flight.
FastTrack Security Ticket
In order to expedite passage through security, Manchester Airport offers an option for a FastTrack security ticket, which gives the traveler access to a dedicated, limited access queue to a security checkpoint for outbound flights. By skipping the general queue, a traveler will have more time to relax, eat, or shop before his or her flight. Currently, Manchester Airport is offering a deal on 2 Security FastTrack tickets for a price of £7.50.
Please note that FastTrack has the following hours of operation:
All Terminals: 02:30 – 23:00
The Security Scanner
Manchester Airport has implemented state-of-the-art non-invasive body scanners as a result of new regulations from the UK Department of Transport. Passengers will be randomly selected to be screened by body scanners in a designated area.
The scanners have been tests and pose no threat to human health, as they do not produce x-rays or ionizing radiation. Additionally, the scanners do not produce an image of the human body, so travelers’ privacy remains intact.
Manchester Airport Parking
The Manchester Airport encourages travelers to pre-book for parking. Each terminal has a car park, and space is limited, so the best way to ensure that you get a space is to pre-book your spot. If you don’t pre-book, it’s still possible to find parking, but it’s not guaranteed, especially during peak times.
Note: that drop off areas will be applying parking charges in July 2018.
One option if pre-booking parking is to request Meet and Greet parking. As a convenience to the traveler, the Manchester Airport staff will take your keys at the terminal and park your car for you at your pre-booked spot.
Travelers with disabilities or decreased mobility have a number of options at the Manchester Airport. Blue badge parking is available in clearly marked bays even for travelers who haven’t pre-booked, though again the safest option is to pre-book.
Manchester Airport recommends that any disabled or limited mobility travelers contact their airline at least 48 hours in advance to secure accommodations. The airport has a specially trained assistance teams on hand to ensure that your experience is comfortable. Manchester Airport also employs a number of Assistance points in all Terminal Entry and Exit points and in all car parks to ensure that assistance will be provided if needed.
DisabledGo and Manchester airport have collaborated to create a detailed guide for disabled and limited mobility travelers. The guide describes all areas of the airport, and includes photographs of all areas covered in the guide. The guide can be accessed through the Manchester Airport website.
Transportation to and From the Airport
Manchester Airport is easily connected to the surrounding areas via taxi. Taxi fares are metered, and can also be rented by the hour. Options for taxis range from the standard taxi to mini cabs. It’s recommended that travelers taking a minicab agree on a fee in advance, as minicabs’ rates are more variable than standard taxis. For standard taxis, fares for any journey taken inside the Manchester Licensed area will be displayed on the meter within the taxi.
Taxis can pick travelers up at any of the three terminals, as well as at the Manchester Airport train station. When booking in advance, it’s wise to get the phone number of your taxi driver. The majority of airport taxi companies will offer a grace period of 45 minutes before departing.
A taxi ride from the airport the Manchester city centre would take about 20 minutes at fastest to 30 to 40 at peak traffic times. A likely fare would be between £25 and £35.
How to Get a Taxi:
The easiest way to get a taxi would be to pre-book online (Chester Taxis Online Booking), saving you the hassle of having to find a taxi driver after arriving. Alternately, Manchester Airport provides fully manned booths at all terminals where travelers can secure a taxi.
Our Taxis don’t just involve the drop off / pickup basics we try to help you further. Our airport transfers to or from Chester can also include our meet and greet service. This includes meeting you in the arrivals terminal and help you with you bags. We also offer minibus taxi for larger groups that are jetting off on holiday.
Please see our Taxi Airport Transfer page for the different airport terminal pick ups and drop offs which are all in a state of flux over the next few years with airport expansion and building.
The distance from Manchester Airport to Chester is 32.7 miles (37min) via the M56 and 35.5 miles (57min) via the A54 / A556.
Car Hire Services
Manchester Airport is serviced by most of the major car service companies:
- National Car Rental
To rent a car, a traveler should make their way to the Manchester Airport Car Rental Village, which is reached by free of charge buses departing from all Manchester Airport terminals every 10 minutes.
Travelers can rent a car upon arrival, though it’s recommended to book a car in advance to ensure that you receive the model you prefer. When renting a car, you’ll have the option of paying for fuel in advance, adding additional drivers, and/or requesting GPS to assist in navigating.
Airport Car Hire Tips
Please note that most car services will only hire cars out to drivers 21 years old or older. A few hire cars to drivers as young as 19, though be aware that you will incur extra charges in that case.
Car rental incurs and airport surcharge, and drivers below 25 years old will incur a young driver fee. Additionally, renters will be charged for fuel, unless the driver replaces all fuel before returning the car. If the traveler returns the car late, a late charge may be assessed. Finally, if the car is damaged, a fee of up to £2,000 may be assessed. Travelers can avoid this charge by purchasing insurance.