After COVID-19 disrupting the bulk of people’s travel plans since March 2020, this summer is, for many, the first summer holiday for a couple of years – but, with the news crammed full of what a nightmare Manchester airport in particular has been: flight delays; flight cancellations; hours and hours of waiting and queuing to get through check in and security – what was is it really like?
I’ve outlined our personal experience below.
We decided that one of us would drop the others at the drop off area whilst the other one went to park as we had no idea how the queues would be and with six of us and all the baggage that entails, we figured that would be our best bet.
We had pre-booked the parking in advance, I wouldn’t advise you just turn up as a lot of the car parks were already fully booked when we booked our parking.
One parking and one queuing for the bag drop worked well, as had we have all gone to park the car we would have hit the busier check-in time and stood in a larger queue. It also meant minimum lugging of all the bags for everyone.
Check in/bag drop
We had checked in online the day before. This involved stating the weight of our bags, choosing our seats and inputting all our passport information, a time-consuming process for a family of six! We had anticipated this speeding things up on the day of the flight, but that was not the case as the bag drop process took just as long as a normal check-in! The staff were not at all efficient. There was not a massive queue but it moved very slowly. The staff seemed disorganised and were making mistakes, which delayed passengers and increased the length of the queue quite rapidly.
This was a pleasant surprise, we had bought fast passes but this didn’t get us through much faster to be honest. We were slightly delayed as one of the boys soft toys fell out of the tray so the staff were trying to locate it. The security staff seemed efficient and organised and this area seemed to operate well.
Food and drink
We picked a bar/restaurant (The Bridgewater Exchange) that looked like it had plenty of space to and was family friendly. Unfortunately, the staff were rude, the place was filthy, tables had not been cleared, the food was poor, prices extortionate, and when we left there was a huge queue of people waiting to be seated but around 100 empty seats! Not a great experience!
Overall we were pleasantly surprised. Given the horror stories we had heard, we were expecting much worse. Obviously this is just a snap shot, another day it could potentially be completely different, and I think that is part of the problem at the moment.