Manchester Airport offers advice ahead of busiest weekend ever

Manchester Airport is gearing itself up for one of its busiest weekends ever.

The UK’s third largest airport is expecting Friday 23 August to be the busiest day in its 81-year-old history with more than 115,000 passengers expected to arrive and depart from the Northern hub.

With around 430,000 passengers expected to travel during the busy bank holiday weekend, the airport the airport is advising customers how to make their journey through Manchester as smooth as possible.

Plan your journey

  • Leave plenty of time to arrive at the airport. Passengers are advised to check-in at least three hours in advance of long-haul flights and two hours for short-haul.
  • Highways England has the most up to date advice on the road network, whereas National Rail can advise on the latest with trains.
  • If driving, ensure you pre-book your parking as the airport’s car parks are very busy this summer

At the Airport

Passengers can be prepared by:

  • Having all their liquids, gels and pastes (no bigger than 100ml each) in a clear plastic bag
  • Coats and belts should be removed and large electricals out of their hand luggage ready for the security tray

If a tray requires further inspection, one of the security team will then search it. During the summer months on average around 12,000 bags a day get rejected and sent for additional searches. This is often because passengers have failed to comply and left liquids in their bags. On average it can add another five-ten minutes onto people’s journey time through security. Multiply this by 12,000 and the minutes and hours soon add up.

Passengers with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities

Any passengers with reduced mobility needing assistance are advised to book this in advance with their airline to avoid any delays to their journey through the airport. This can be for all levels of reduced mobility and for passengers with a range of issues. All the information and contacts can be found here:


Manchester Airport also offers help for passengers with hidden disabilities to ensure they have a smooth transition through the airport. Passengers can pick up a sunflower lanyard from the assistance desk in each terminal. Once worn staff are specially trained to give the right care and service to these passengers. The airport is also trialling a new quiet space in Terminal One for passengers with hidden disabilities to relax away from the busy departure lounge ahead of their flights. If people require access to the Sunflower Room, they can speak to the assistance desk who will provide the location.

After a variety of issues outside of its control with third party suppliers on site last summer, the airport has worked closely with all partners on site to make improvements this year.

ABM Aviation took over the contract for passengers with reduced mobility on 1 April and has been working closely with terminal teams in recent months to ensure a smooth and efficient handover from the previous supplier. The change in contract has seen an additional 68 special assistance staff join the team at the airport.

Work has also been progressing at a great rate on the airport’s £1bn transformation that will see Terminal Two grow by 150%. A new passenger pier and multi storey car park opened to passengers on 1 April. The pier is longer than the Beetham Tower is tall, has 11 gates and offers passengers modern, light and airy surroundings whilst they wait for their flight. With stunning views across the airfield, the pier is the first of three for the project. Work also continues at great pace on the terminal extension with that set to open next summer.

Passengers can now also use the free WiFi in the terminals for longer as the airport continues to make improvements to the passenger experience.

Brad Miller, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Airport, said: “We’re now in the middle of the summer holidays and handling more than 100,000 passengers a day. As we gear up for our busiest weekend ever on the Bank Holiday, we’re asking passengers to ensure they’re fully prepared when they arrive at the airport to ensure their journey through is as smooth as possible.

“In addition to passengers being prepared we have also prepped for the busy summer by investing heavily across the site, mainly through additional resource and the first phase of our £1bn transformation programme opening at Terminal 2 with a new passenger pier and multi storey car park.

“We hope everyone passing through Manchester Airport has a fantastic trip.”