Manchester Airport issues advice for passport control, bags and more ahead of half term

Manchester Airport has issued helpful guidance for arrivals
-Credit: (Image: Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News)

With May half term upon us, thousands of passengers will be departing from, and arriving to, Manchester Airport over the coming days. But the rush won’t stop there, as many holidaymakers will be jetting off over the next few months with the summer season underway.

Air travel can be stressful with all the things you have to remember from important documents to cabin bag rules. For many of us passing through an airport is not a regular occurrence and you may have forgotten how certain processes work if it’s been a while since you last flew.

One aspect of flying which you want to go smoothly is arriving at the airport following your journey. If you’ve landed at Manchester Airport as a local and want to get home as soon as possible, or you’re a visitor and want to get your holiday started immediately, either way you want to get going with the next step of your journey without any delay or disruption.

READ MORE: Hand luggage warning to holidaymakers ahead of May half term

With that in mind Manchester Airport has issued guidance for passengers arriving at the northern travel hub. It covers everything you need to know, from collecting your bags to public transport connections.

Passport Control

UK Border and baggage sign at Manchester Airport
All arrivals must go through passport control -Credit:PA

Passport Control at Manchester Airport is controlled by UK Border Force, which is a branch of the Home Office, a UK Government department. The airport is not involved in administering this process, but at peak times will allocate staff to support UK Border Force colleagues by directing passengers through this part of their journeys.

When you arrive at the border, you will find signage pointing you in one of three directions, each with designated passport lanes;

  • British passport holders

  • EU, EEA or Swiss nationals

  • Non-EU nationals.

Wait times can vary depending on how many passengers are arriving at the same time as you, but are typically under 15 minutes. is available from just £5 per person, which allows you to use a dedicated express lane. Please have your passport open at the photo page ready for scanning, and do not use mobile phones in this area.

Flight transfers

If you’re catching a connecting flight from a different terminal, and are travelling with hand luggage only, you can now transfer directly between Manchester Airport’s three terminals via a transfer bus service, which operates between the Terminal 2 Flight Transfer Centre, Terminal 1 Gate 20C and Terminal 3 Gates 150A / 150D. Ask a member of the Customer Experience team for more information.

Collecting your bags

Details of the relevant baggage carousel will be displayed on the information screens when you arrive in the baggage reclaim hall.

On a busy flight, there will be hundreds of pieces of luggage to process, many of which may be of a similar size, shape and colour to your own. To help you quickly identify your bag, you could attach a distinguishing luggage tag or sticker.

Staying over at the airport

If you have a connecting flight the next day, you might want to stay close by – and there are a multitude of convenient options on the airport site for a one-night stay, to suit all budgets, including;

  • Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport

  • Holiday Inn Manchester Airport

  • ibis budget Manchester Airport

  • Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport, an IHG Hotel

  • Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Airport

The Radisson Blu is directly accessible via the Skylink glass bridge between the Airport Station and Terminal Two, while the Holiday Inn and ibis budget are also directly opposite Terminal Two. The Clayton Hotel, Crowne Plaza and DoubleTree by Hilton are all walking distance from Terminals One and Three.

Places to eat and drink

Each of the airport’s terminals offers a mix of cafes and restaurants in the arrivals area, once you have collected your bags. Terminal 1’s popular Hangar restaurant offers an ever-changing menu and local beer on draft, while the likes of Greggs and Pret-a-Manger are also available for a grab-and-go snack.

In Terminal 2, options include Starbucks and M&S Food. Terminal 3’s arriving passengers can avail themselves of a coffee at Caffe Nero or a sandwich in WHSmith, and the terminal also has a branch of Hangar.

Public transport

The Airport Station is a centralised hub for public transport links, comprising of a train station, tram station and bus / coach station. Fast and direct train services into the middle of Manchester run up to every 15 minutes throughout the day, with direct links also available to places like North Wales, the Lake District, the North East and Crewe. Bus and tram services provide a network of local links across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and west Derbyshire, while coach services offer longer-distance connections to other major UK cities.

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