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A Practical Guide To Manchester International Airport, UK

Manchester International Airport (airport code MAN) is the third largest airport in the United Kingdom and the busiest international airport in the U.K. outside of London. It was opened in the 1930s and is arguably one of the oldest airports in the U.K. In 2014, MAN saw 22 million passengers.

Manchester International Airport Terminals

With two runways and three terminals, Manchester International Airport is a huge airport. Terminals 1 and 2 are used by airlines from other countries as well as budget airlines, so most flights are to countries and regions other than the UK. Terminal 3 is a dedicated terminal for British Airways, and flights from China usually stop at Terminal 3, making customs entry and exit a breeze. If you’re travelling worldwide on a British Airways flight in Manchester, the terminal is Terminal 3.

Manchester International Airport Map
Airport Map

Manchester International Airport Main Routes

As the third largest airport in the UK, around 60 airlines, including British Airways and Flybe, use MAN as their hub airport, offering return flights from here to over 200 destinations around the world.

Manchester International Airport Transport Guide

Unlike the rest of the UK, getting to the city from Manchester International Airport is very easy:

  1. Train: It is one of the few UK airports with a train station on-site, where you can catch a direct train to Manchester Piccadilly, the city’s central railway station, which takes only 15-20 minutes and costs only £4 each way! Time-saving, cheap and convenient. You can also catch a train from the airport railway station to Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and other UK cities.
  2. Coach: You can also take the National Express bus to Manchester city centre. It runs every half an hour, takes about 40 minutes and costs £4.20 for a one-way ticket.
  3. Taxi: There are taxi stands outside each terminal, it takes about 20 minutes to reach the city centre, and the price is around £20. It is also possible to call an Uber cheaper than a taxi.
Manchester International Airport Terminal 3
Terminal 3

Tax Refund Points at Manchester International Airport

The good news is the airport has recently opened cash refund counters, so you no longer need to go through the mailbox. There are now counters in T1, T2 and T3.

T1 and T2 cash refund counters are open from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm;

T3 cash refund counter are open from 6:00 am-4:30 pm.

Manchester International Airport VAT Refund
VAT Refund Point

Manchester International Airport Duty-Free

The Duty-Free in the airport is big and full of stuff; you can click “Manchester International Airport Shopping Guide” for further information on buying guide and unique services.

In addition to shopping, the catering is more attractive; coffee, fast food, Mini Bar and convenience stores have everything you need, and the price is the same as the city. 

Duty-free shop in Manchester International Airport

Other services at Manchester International Airport

1. Currency exchange: The entrance and exit are equipped with ATMs and currency exchange points. Domestic UnionPay cards can also be withdrawn from the cash machine in pounds sterling. Fees and exchange rates are based on transaction accounting, which is very convenient.

2. Luggage storage: The luggage storage point in the airport is very easy to find, and if you have lost your luggage, you can go to the luggage storage point to claim it.

3. Communication: Mobile phone cards can be bought at the airport convenience store, which allows you to report to your family when you arrive in the UK. Of course, there is also Wi-Fi in the airport, but it can only be used for 30 minutes free of charge.

special reminder is that Manchester International Airport is vast. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are not connected, and it takes more than 10 minutes to walk, so remember to look at the terminal before getting off the train. In addition, if you are travelling to the airport by train, it is also a 15-minute walk after getting off the train, so be sure to allow time to avoid travel delays.


At Manchester Airport, international flights are primarily handled by Terminal 1. This terminal serves a multitude of airlines offering services to global destinations, making it a bustling hub of activity. However, it’s always advisable to verify with your specific airline as operations can occasionally be subject to change.

Yes, Manchester Airport and Manchester International Airport refer to the same air transport hub. Known for its three passenger terminals and dedicated cargo centre, it is the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom. Not only does it connect the city of Manchester to various domestic locations, but it also provides gateways to numerous international destinations, genuinely living up to its ‘international’ moniker.

Manchester, a vibrant city in the United Kingdom, is served by Manchester Airport. This international airport, the third busiest in the United Kingdom, facilitates domestic and international travel, connecting Manchester to the world.

Manchester Airport, the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom, experiences a tremendous volume of traffic throughout the year. With over 27 million passengers passing through its terminals annually, there’s an unceasing hustle and bustle. Despite the challenges of managing such a high passenger flow, the airport continually strives to provide a remarkable customer experience, balancing efficiency and comfort and constantly planning for future growth and improvements.

If you are interested in more tips in UK. Please check following blogs!

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