Questions about Virgin's Setup at MAN

Old Aug 12, 19, 7:43 pm
  #1  
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Questions about Virgin's Setup at MAN

1. How far is the airport railway station from T2? On this note, where are the hotel shuttles located (I'm arriving the night before by train and staying at the Marriott near MAN).

2. The VS website reports that it uses check-in positions 42-47, but then states that it does not have a premium desk. Does this mean that VS doesn't have a Flying Club Gold/Delta Sky Priority desk (I am a Delta Platinum).

3. As I am a Delta Platinum, will VS grant me fast track security access? If I have to go through regular security, how long would this take in the 8 am hour on a Sunday?

4. I take it that the Escape Lounge in T2 is for Upper Class pax only (I am flying PE). Does the Escape Lounge offer a breakfast buffet with hot items like sausage and bacon? I found a site to pre-book access to this lounge for 28 quid, which would be a good deal if they have a good breakfast on offer.

5. How many minutes before scheduled departure does VS commence boarding?

Thank you for any help you can provide.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 4:15 am
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1. I'd say it's a 10 minute walk roughly. No idea on the shuttles I'm afraid.

2. VS have economy, premium economy and upper class check in desks at MAN. Flying club gold use upper class check in. No idea how this translates to the DL tiers

3. I've no idea how the DL tiers translate to Flying Club. Flying Club gold's are given fast track. Quite often it doesn't translate to much of a time saving as the priority line twins as the special assistance and young children/baby line. Although it does make a difference during peak travel periods, e.g. school summer holidays. I'd say worst case regular line would be 30 mins at that time. But frequently you'll be through in 10.

​​​​​​4. There's an Escape Lounge Plus, which is for Upper class pax and Flying Club gold's. Then theres another Escape Lounge which other airlines grant access to I think and also offers paid access too. The plus lounge has small buffet style food options inc breakfast items like sausage and bacon. Not been in the regular Escape Lounge for a while now, but it certainly uses to offer very similar stuff and I'd be amazed if they didn't have bacon in the morning!

5. In my experience boarding usually starts about 50 minutes before departure. Sometimes a bit less if it's a smaller aircraft like the 332. Bear in mind the new pier 1 gates (I think they're prefixed Ax, e.g. A2) are a good 10 minute walk from the main T2 area.

If you want any further clarification, it would help to indicate the time of year of your trip and the destination from MAN.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 2:43 am
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Answers to a few of the questions:

1) The Marriott is a good hotel. The shuttle works on the basis of picking up and dropping off based on need. i.e. you request it on arrival at the airport and they meet you at your terminal. From the Marriott, you book on to one of the timed slots and ask them to take you to your chosen terminal. If you are arriving at Manchester Airport railway station, I would ask them in advance if that could be a possible pick-up location as it is something they pass. The drivers and the hotel have always been accommodating when I have stayed there, so I would certainly ask. That would save you a walk to the terminals for a pick-up on arrival. When you go from the hotel to T2, the drop off point is a short walk to enter the terminal. No more than a couple of mins.

2) As Matt mentioned, you would be buying access to the Escape Lounge at T2. It has a few hot items, but it is not a substantial buffet. For £28, I would be spending the money in the terminal for a more substantial (and better) meal for less money. The Escape Lounge I don't mind when I visit on my Priority Pass, but I wouldn't pay out of pocket for it as it is often busy, with a limited selection at best.

3) The Fast Track line (not sure on eligibility with DL status) will be the special assistance line at T2, as we have gone through the same route when our daughter was small. It often takes longer than the regular line despite being much shorter due to families etc taking longer.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 5:55 am
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The Fast Track and Priority (Special assistance) lanes at MAN are in fact different although adjacent lines . As mentioned above the Priority line can be quite slow, the one time I have used it painfully so.

For about half the cost of the Escape lounge I would recommend Frankie and Benny's who do a very good breakfast.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 8:59 am
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Thanks for the responses.

I'm going on a trip to see how far I can travel on trains for five days on a Eurailpass. I'm starting out in Rome on 3 September; taking high speed trains to Bern, Switzerland, connecting at Milano Centrale; I'll spend the afternoon touring Bern, then taking a train to Zurich to connect to a EuroNight sleeper train for Ljubljana, Slovenia. I have 6 hours in Ljubljana, then taking a train via Maribor to Graz, Austria, overnighting there. The next moring, an OBB Raiiljet train to Vienna, touring and overnighting there. On Friday morning, train from Vienna via Frankfut to Koblenz, Germany, and after photographing the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers heading to Luxembourg City. As the Eurailpass now includes the Eurostar and British trains, on Saturday I'm taking the train to Brussels, connecting onto the Eurostar there, taking the London Underground from St. Pancras to Euston, and then taking a Virgin train to Manchester.

I wanted to ride on a 747 one final time; so that is why I am doing MAN-ATL-IAD to get home.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ND76 View Post
connecting onto the Eurostar there, taking the London Underground from St. Pancras to Euston, and then taking a Virgin train to Manchester.
Unless it's really p*ssing down with rain, walk from St Pancras to Euston. No point taking the Tube.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
Unless it's really p*ssing down with rain, walk from St Pancras to Euston. No point taking the Tube.
I'm not as fast as I once was, and I have 25 minutes to get from St Pancras to Euston to get the train I want.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by ND76 View Post
I'm not as fast as I once was, and I have 25 minutes to get from St Pancras to Euston to get the train I want.
Given the time it takes to enter and exit /navigate the tube stations, waiting a couple minutes for the train, etc., even a relatively leisurely walk is going to be no slower. Plus, will you have luggage? You'll have to carry it up and down steps if you go the tube route (maybe Euston and St. Pancras have escalators from train to street, I can't remember offhand, but it's not particularly pleasant with luggage regardless).
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Old Aug 25, 19, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by ND76 View Post
1. How far is the airport railway station from T2? On this note, where are the hotel shuttles located (I'm arriving the night before by train and staying at the Marriott near MAN).

2. The VS website reports that it uses check-in positions 42-47, but then states that it does not have a premium desk. Does this mean that VS doesn't have a Flying Club Gold/Delta Sky Priority desk (I am a Delta Platinum).

3. As I am a Delta Platinum, will VS grant me fast track security access? If I have to go through regular security, how long would this take in the 8 am hour on a Sunday?

4. I take it that the Escape Lounge in T2 is for Upper Class pax only (I am flying PE). Does the Escape Lounge offer a breakfast buffet with hot items like sausage and bacon? I found a site to pre-book access to this lounge for 28 quid, which would be a good deal if they have a good breakfast on offer.

5. How many minutes before scheduled departure does VS commence boarding?

Thank you for any help you can provide.
DL Plat gives you Fast Track and lounge access. It really is too bad VS doesn’t have a real Clubhouse there. They put most lounges to shame.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 3:56 pm
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I flew home MAN-ATL-DCA on 8 September on the VS 747 "Ruby Tuesday" over the Atlantic in the Premium section of the upper deck, and then on a Delta A321 in Comfort Plus.

I arrived at the Manchester Airport railway station about 1905 BST Saturday evening. I called the Marriott from the train and the wonderful van driver picked me up on the street outside the railway station and got me safely to the hotel. I had a nice sleep there and was ready to go when the shuttle arrived at 0730.

VS runs three big flights from MAN on Sunday mornings; in addition to ours, they had flights to MCO and LAS. So, the check-in lines were serving all three flights, and there were literally hundreds of people standing in line. I found the Premium line, and there were only 12 pax in front of me, so I got squared away in about 15 minutes. I didn't get Fast Track, and I didn't get any lounge access (I learned I could have paid 30 quid to get into the Escape Lounge, but only UC pax got into the Escape Plus lounge.).

When I went through security, one of the attendants noticed "Priority" on my boarding pass, pulled me out of the line I was in and moved me to another line behind 4 or 5 pax. Once past the automated gate there, there was basically no line for the carry-on xray machine, and I was allowed to go through the magnetometer with my shoes on. So security turned out to be a breeze.

I took the advice above and ate breakfast at Frankie & Benny's which was good, and the waiter I had was great. I then found a quiet place to sit and space out for an hour or so, and then I went for a pint of draft Staropramen at the Spinning Jenny pub near gate 208. My total outlay for food and drink was 21 quid, less than what I would have spent in the Escape Lounge.

Boarding started around 1005, and after the 339 passengers and 2 infants, 14 cabin crew and 4 pilots were loaded, we left early and got back to ATL about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. The only hiccup was that the crack ground staff at ATL offloaded the priority bags last, so I lost out on valuable beer drinking time in one of the Delta SkyClubs.

Thanks everyone for the advice. Looking forward to my next European adventure.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
Unless it's really p*ssing down with rain, walk from St Pancras to Euston. No point taking the Tube.
I took your advice and walked from St. Pancras to Euston. When I stepped off the Eurostar it was 1539 in London; when it got to a sign for Euston station the church bell in the vicinity was chiming for 1600. I easily made the 1620 departure for Manchester Piccadilly, stopping only at Milton Keynes, Stoke-on-Trent and Stockport. I was the only person in one of the three first class coaches on the train.
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