I went through Manchester Airport – twice.

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Charles-P 18 Jul 2018
at 15:24
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  • Tallinnman
    Participant

    They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different outcome.

    Sadly with airports we often have no choice but to join the ranks of the insane.

    Two weeks ago I combined returning to Belfast for father’s day with the opportunity to visit friends in Manchester on the way back to Helsinki.

    Queued for 40 minutes in the security line at Manchester Airport and once at the front you could see that the decision as to which of two lanes you were directed into had a dramatic effect on your queuing time as two of the three scanners on the side I entered were completely backed up with bags for searches and also taking fast track.

    I mentioned that they might want to redistribute the load to the staff member directing traffic, as the other lane had 5 machines and was told did I think I was special?

    I was at the front of the queue and was trying to offer what I thought salient advice to help others behind. It was also noticeable that other travellers gave me looks of thunder.

    The person helping travellers load the trays for scanning was very helpful and pointed out to me that my tray would be stopped for search as there were too many items on one tray (was trying to be helpful and speed up the process). He patiently redistributed my laptop, phone, jacket and carry on using 3 large trays.

    All 3 trays went straight through and off I went. No time for a sit down breakfast nor time to join the queues for all the fast food outlets.

    2 weeks later I was back in Manchester to enjoy playing in a friends charity golf day. Trying not to be sectioned I’d purchased “fast track” for the return – what could go wrong?

    As I came down the escalator I could see a long line for baggage drop which only got longer as the escalator descended. It was 50-60 metres long. Why did I bring my golf clubs with me (I have extra long clubs)?

    The helpful Finnair agent checked to see if the other outsize baggage desk was open – it wasn’t so I went and joined the queue.

    I then noticed that most people in the queue around me had normal luggage. Apparently soft bags (predominately from south Manchester 🙂 get “ripped to shreds” by the baggage system according to a manager I invited to join us in the queue to discuss what was happening.

    No attempt was made to help the one staff member scanning board passes and then checking names on luggage tags.

    Other passengers in the queue had perfectly normal but hard luggage (north Manchester) and had been sent because their flights were later that evening or even the next day?

    People were stressed about missing flights and when I asked about opening the second desk was told they haven’t the staff to have two desks operating at once.

    Help eventually was offered to the staff member on the desk and 35 minutes later I was on my way to fast track.

    Yes there was a long queue here as well that wasn’t moving – nothing to do. I enjoyed seeing two passengers from the “soft and pampered” and outsize baggage queue make it through security at the same time from the normal queue (good for them – they were scathing about Manchester Airport which was somewhat soothing to hear at the time.)

    This time once through, it was final call for the flight so no time to even contemplate joining a queue for any refreshments.

    2 flights from Manchester and over an hour and a half queuing for security and baggage drop with the appearance that there is not one iota of management ability to make any changes that will improve the experience anytime soon.

    Think I’ll leave it for another year before I return.

    Madness.


    openfly
    Participant

    MAN is a nightmare, always has been, always will be. The staff and their managers get so much pleasure out of constantly causing passengers distress….must be some form of collective sado-masochism. God knows why there are so many shops airside as nobody gets time to spend their money on the expensive junk. Maybe there is a God….😀😀


    FrDougal
    Participant

    I utterly detest that airport.

    I have a number of family and friends in the region and I am now of the opinion that if I can’t get there by train or get a flight out of Liverpool I simply will not be visiting! The airport is not good for my nerves. The absolute worst facility in the UK!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I don’t think it can be as bad as STN – but I haven’t used either STN or MAN for about 10 years, I also prefer LPL or even LBA if I have to go to the NW.


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    Don’t they both have the same american operator?
    No airport regulation in the UK so they’re laughing at us!


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Don’t they both have the same american operator?

    No airport regulation in the UK so they’re laughing at us!

    LOL – MAG (Manchester Airport Group) owns both!


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    I only ever start my journeys from the UK from Manchester and have done so for 40 years and I can say I have never found it unacceptable, and I am not the most patient person. Also never any arrival issues early am international – often through and in car in 20 minutes – only carry-on bag.
    Security there is VERY strict so be super careful if you do not want secondary screening. I am usually leaving from T3 around 07.00 – 09.00, sometimes domestic sometimes international. Could this be a time/terminal issue ?


    bluemooner
    Participant

    I live 10 minutes from MAN so most flights I take are from MAN.
    I try to arrive at least 2 1/2 hours before a flight, so if things are a little slower, there is no panic.
    Fast Track through Security is usually good. A sensible knowledge of what goes in the security baskets saves re scrutinising by x ray staff.
    I then use the business lounge with a Business Class ticket or my Nat West provided Priority Pass.
    Opportunity to relax, have a snack, deal with e mails or surf the net. Rarely a rush.
    So what’s the problem?

    On returning flights, rarely has it taken more than 45 minutes to disembark, clear immigration and collect luggage.

    Always found staff to be polite and helpful. Treat people politely and 99% will reciprocate.

    There are plans to rebuild T1/T3 to bring it up to date.
    The Airport is owned by the various boroughs of Manchester, so Profits are returned to local councils to assist in balancing the budget.

    Patience is a virtue


    thebigseats
    Participant

    MAN is a total dump & needs flattening, quite frankly – ugly, outdated, cramped, & with (some) hostile staff manning security. I did go through MAN twice in June & purchased Fast Track security access both times, @ £5 per visit. Thank god. It worked pretty well & I only got secondary security screening on my second visit – which meant about a 10-15 minute process in total. Not too bad but “regular” security was rammed. An airport to avoid if at all possible.


    openfly
    Participant

    I can only assume that “Bluemooner” is the ceo of MAN!! Or maybe her/his tag, Bluemooner, suggests that you only get through MAN quickly without long waits….once in a “Blue moon”! 😉


    bluemooner
    Participant

    I can only assume that “Bluemooner” is the ceo of MAN!! Or maybe her/his tag, Bluemooner, suggests that you only get through MAN quickly without long waits….once in a “Blue moon”! 😉

    I think this website is about contributors sharing experiences.
    I can only report what I experience and appreciate others may have different ones.
    It would be a boring work if everything was the same and little to talk about.

    ps – No – I’m not CEO of MAN, just a traveller.


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    I can only assume that “Bluemooner” is the ceo of MAN!! Or maybe her/his tag, Bluemooner, suggests that you only get through MAN quickly without long waits….once in a “Blue moon”! 😉

    I think this website is about contributors sharing experiences.

    I can only report what I experience and appreciate others may have different ones.

    It would be a boring work if everything was the same and little to talk about.

    ps – No – I’m not CEO of MAN, just a traveller.

    I’m the same as you, bluemooner, in that I have flown in and out of MAN over many, many years and have had few problems if any. Yes, security is routinely strict and perhaps sometimes a little unfriendly but I never mind that. I find MAN no worse than other airports – and I like T2.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I can only assume that “Bluemooner” is the ceo of MAN!! Or maybe her/his tag, Bluemooner, suggests that you only get through MAN quickly without long waits….once in a “Blue moon”! 😉

    I think this website is about contributors sharing experiences.

    I can only report what I experience and appreciate others may have different ones.

    It would be a boring work if everything was the same and little to talk about.

    ps – No – I’m not CEO of MAN, just a traveller.

    I’m the same as you, bluemooner, in that I have flown in and out of MAN over many, many years and have had few problems if any. Yes, security is routinely strict and perhaps sometimes a little unfriendly but I never mind that. I find MAN no worse than other airports – and I like T2.

    As a regular MAN user, I concur- the only terminal where you can expect hassle is T3 and this is because the security setup is tight, with lots of pax trying to get through.

    I’d put the T3 security on a par with T5 at Heathrow, often obnoxious in attitude, but T1/2 are fine.


    Nogbad01
    Participant

    As MAN is my “home” airport too, I am well used to it and honestly don’t find any major cause to complain.
    Generally I find T3 better than T1/2, but in all cases I find treating the security staff with a friendly attitude is usually reciprocated.
    My only gripe is that the E-Passport machines at MAN are rubbish! My passport gets read by machines all around the world no problem, but always gets rejected at MAN.


    Gin&Tonic
    Participant

    Reports of traffic waiting 1 hour to exit T1 drop off after new charge implemented. Any one have experience of this yet?

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