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Manchester International Airport

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LocationManchester International Airport is the third-busiest airport in the UK. It has provided direct flights to over 180 destinations worldwide by over 95 airlines. The airport is located on the boundary between Cheshire and Manchester in England. The airport I swell-known in this part of the world for its services. The airport is at about 20 minutes drive from the core of Manchester on the M56 motorway. The airport is owned by the Manchester Airport Group.

Know your Airport - Manchester Airport is the 12th busiest European airport. A home to around 95 airlines, the airport currently serves over 170 worldwide destinations. The airport is proud of the distinction of being able to affect almost 1/3rd of UK population. The airport is famous for its cargo capacity and services. In 2001, Manchester Airport facilitated more than 120,000 tonnes of cargo. The airport has 3 well-spread out terminals which offer excellent services to both visitors and travelers. Manchester airport is still been used as a deviation airport for Concorde if Heathrow and Gatwick were fogbound. The reason behind this is the large and spacious runways. It can easily handle Airbus A340 and Boeing 747.  

Airport Structure

  Terminals – The airport has 3 side by side terminals.

Transit systems
– On can use the bus services to travel from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1. There is also a train station in the heart of the airport complex. The Skylink moving walkway connects the station and the three terminal buildings. The options are easy and fast.

Inside the terminals – Terminal 1 and terminal 3 are connected and terminal 2 is accessible via the Station - the airport's main public transport hub. There are separate check-in areas for international and charter flights. It is important to note that the charter check-in for Air-tours passengers is on the lower level and the two zones are linked by lifts and escalators. For the international flights, the check-in is 2 hours before departure. The same applies for European flights. The comparatively mild rush for domestic flights has resulted in the check-in time being reduced to 1 hour before departure. Arrival is arranged on the lower level. The purely international passengers don’t need to go through Immigrations or Customs. All the passengers who are traveling from international to domestic destinations are put through special immigration check points. Their baggage is thoroughly checked. Generally terminal 1 & 2 are used for international flights. Terminal 3 is usually used for UK domestic flights.

Safety - Enhanced security measures are adopted at Manchester International Airport. This means that travelers should allow more time while going for security checks. Manchester Airport is policed and secured by Greater Manchester Police. It is advised that one should always check the exact hand luggage allowance with particular airline before packing. Some items like scissors, blades, knives, needles and even pool cues/darts are not allowed while traveling. The security troops have strict policies for cylinders, magnets, fire-lighters, poisons and radioactive materials. The lapses in security at the airport are a thing of past with latest gadgets replacing human intervention. As a result, the airport has been spared of delays and emergency security landings.

Business facilities
– There are a whole range of world class business facilities available inside the terminals of Manchester International Airport. The Business Centre at Terminal 3 offers private workstations with telephones, fax services, and photocopying facilities. There are rooms available for hire (Ringway suite at terminal 2) and videoconferencing facilities are also available. There are many points from where internet can be accessed. Manchester Airport can provide for up to 400 people at its out-and-out conference and banqueting facilities. Comprehensive range of audio-visual equipment including overhead projection system, PA system, centralized control consoles, telephone, fax, etc. arte available. Executive lounges are located in all terminals at the Airport and at the Business Centre, situated in Terminal 3. They cater exclusively to business passengers. Click here to know more.

Family interests
– There are a variety of facilities to accommodate the needs of families traveling through the airport. Babies present a significant problem to their parents at airports. This is why the owners of the airport have baby changing facilities located in all three terminals close to the ladies toilets. There is a new facility on level 5 which plans to put together baby change rooms in a unique way. They will be having attractive decor, a children's high chair, a bottle warmer, a soft padded changing mat and a specially designed chair for nursing mothers. Within the airport, many restaurants and cafes provide high chairs and offer food right for children. There is a Playcare centre. This place offers a chance for young children to play or enjoy TV in a special children's area. It is located in the departure lounge in Terminal 1 and is open 24 hours a day. There is also a play area in the Departures Lounge of Terminal 1. Art Desks are located at most eating areas. They are colorful and relaxing. The Manchester Airport offers many viewing areas like Spectator's Terrace at Terminal 1. There are fantastic viewing options available in the WH Smith, located in all three terminals. They sell important merchandise.

  Special services – are available for all the passengers who require assistance in planning travel-route and shopping. Theses services are specially suited for the visually-challenged, hearing impaired individuals and the very old. Several assistance points are located throughout the airport. All terminals offer ramps, wider pathways, telephones at a height accessible to wheelchair users. Check-ins are done usually faster for these people. The authorities have kept a keen eye on the special needs of some travelers. At Manchester Airport, they are given that ‘special’ consideration.

Parking options
– There are in all 6 secured parking options in and around the Manchester airport. Short Stay parking as well as Long Stay parking are available. The minimum duration for keeping a vehicle in long stay car parks is eight days. There are separate arrangements and special discounts.

Extra information
- Manchester Airport is not only famous as a key passenger airport, but a major cargo centre. The airlines that operate cargo services Air Hong Kong, Cargolux, China Airlines Cargo, Dragonair, Federal Express and MAS Kargo.

All passenger information is available in the airport information systems. Important information on airlines, timings and vital announcements are made public much before arrivals & departure. It is advisable to be present at least 30 minutes prior to international or local connection flights.

Leaving from Manchester airport – The airport is just about 20 minutes drive from central Manchester on the M56 motorway. There are ample ground transportation facilities available. Taxi ranks are situated by arrivals at all three terminals. National Express operates coaches from all over the UK to terminals 1 and 2. There are urban bus links to the Manchester Urban Cornubation. There is also a train station in the heart of the airport complex. For avid walkers, the Skylink moving walkway links the station and the three terminal buildings. The trains operated by Northern Rail or First Transpennine Express – enable you to go to many destinations around UK. The journey times are minimal. Currently there are plans to build a Metrolink light rail extension to the airport from Manchester Piccadilly.

- Currency exchange can be done by using the Currency pre-order and pick up services at the airport. Exchange rates for over 50 currencies are available at competitive rates. Other essentials like hotel booking and travel planning can be done online using many reliable service providers. Group discounts are also available.

Airlines operating from Manchester Airport

  Prominent airlines from terminal 1 - Terminal One is mostly used by non BA international traffic. Plans are underway to remove Terminal 1 in 2010 as it is overburdened. Prominent airlines operating are Air Atlanta Europe, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air Scandic, bmi – International, bmibaby, European Air Charter, Estonian Air, Etihad Airways, Fly Air, Flybe, Jet2.com, Kibris Türk Hava Yollari, Lufthansa, Luxair, Monarch Airlines, MyTravel Airways, Olympic Airlines, Saga, Scandinavian Airlines System, SkyEurope, Skyservice and Thomas Cook Airlines etc.

Prominent airlines from terminal 2
- Terminal 2 is used mostly by long haul and charter traffic. Airlines operating from terminal 2 include Adria Airways, Air France, Air Malta, Alitalia, Atlasjet, Astraeus, Britannia Airways, Bulgaria Air, BWIA West Indies Airways, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Excel Airways, First Choice Airways, Freebird, Inter Airlines, LTE International Airways, Maersk Air, Onur Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Syrian Air, US Airways and Zoom Airlines. Many other airlines also operate from terminal 2.

Prominent airlines from terminal 3 - Terminal 3 was before known as terminal 1 domestic. It was revamped and renamed in the late 1990s. Terminal 1 is primarily used for British Airways, oneworld and domestic traffic. Airlines operating are Air Southwest, British Airways, British Airways operated by GB Airways, BA Connect, Eastern Airways, Finnair, SN Brussels Airlines and VLM etc.

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