Manchester Airport lounge bookings cancelled as airport reduces capacity at Escape Lounge & 1903 Lounge

One Greater Manchester woman who had booked a dream getaway for her grieving mother and family members spent a frustrating day trying to get the situation resolved.

Manchester Airport has had to cancel and refund some passengers for their bookings in its lounges in the latest problem to hit the turmoil-engulfed getaway hub.

Travellers who were hoping to relax and enjoy some complimentary food and drink before their flights have been encountering disappointment.

It is the latest issue to hit the airport after a month in which it has been in the headlines, most notably for long queues for check-in, security and baggage reclaim, due to a lack of staff on a number of occasions.

One woman from Greater Manchester shared her stressful experience of having her lounge booking cancelled, while the airport has apologised for the problem.

What is the issue with lounge bookings at Manchester Airport?

ManchesterWorld has been made aware of a number of people who had booked places in the airport lounges being informed their reservation had been cancelled and was being refunded.

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The facilities are supposed to allow passengers to escape from the crowds in the terminals and offer food and drink, comfortable seats and free WiFi.

However, the airport has admitted it has had to reduce the number of people who can be let into the lounges at any one time.

This means that the facilities have ended up over-booked and some customers have therefore been informed that they cannot have a place in there before their flight.

The airport says it is hoping to get this sorted out before the busiest months of the year.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “We are facing unprecedented operational challenges at present as we rebuild from the pandemic, and so to ensure that we continue to deliver the excellent standard of lounge service that our customers expect, we have had to temporarily review our capacity for some lounge products.

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“This has, unfortunately, meant that we have had to advise some customers that their booking cannot be fulfilled, with a full refund provided, and lounge spaces may fill up more quickly than usual.

“We are working to remedy this in time for the busy summer season and we apologise to customers for any inconvenience.”

‘We wanted to make the trip a bit special for mum’

Georgina White, from Leigh, had booked places in the Escape Lounge in Terminal 2 ahead of her flight to Jamaica with her mum, uncle, niece and best friend.

They decided to book the lounge because it was the first holiday for her mum since Georgina’s dad died last November.

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However, they were then shocked to receive a message that their spaces in the lounge had been cancelled and they were getting their money back, even though they had booked in early January.

They have now managed to rebook but had to endure a stressful 24 hours trying to get through to Manchester Airport to find out what was happening.

Georgina said: “My mum has been through the mill so we wanted to make it a bit special for her. We booked the lounge to start the holiday off well and lift everybody’s spirits.

“We got a random email cancelling the booking with no reason given, no telephone number, nothing. We tried to get through to the airport but it was an automated phone system and the Facebook messaging couldn’t guarantee getting back to us within 30 days, which was no use to us.

“The guy I finally spoke to was very helpful and apologetic. He played around with the times and managed to rebook but it’s an hour earlier.

“Given everything else that’s going on at the airport we will just have to hope the desks will open and we can get through check-in and security quickly enough to spend some time in the lounge.”

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Another traveller who contacted ManchesterWorld said he had also had his booking at the 1903 lounge in Terminal 2 withdrawn via email, two weeks ahead of his trip, with no explanation despite contacting the airport.

For our full guide on getting through Manchester Airport more smoothly, see here.