Aspire Lounge Manchester Terminal 1 Review

The Aspire Lounge is one of several lounges available to book in Terminal 1. It’s best to book in advance your access. Whilst you can pay on the door, it is nearly always fully booked. Here is an honest review of the Aspire Lounge at Manchester Terminal 1

I accessed the lounge on 19 Jan 2023 at 11:50.

Finding Aspire Lounge Manchester Terminal 1

The lounge was very easy to locate. Simply pass through security and then follow the clearly marked signs for “Premium Lounges”.

The Aspire lounge is the first one that you see after following the signs up the stairs.

Checking in to Aspire Lounge Manchester Terminal 1

I was a little concerned as the confirmation stated that you need to physically print your confirmation to be allowed access. Being the last minute guy that I am, I only booked it late the evening before I travelled, and had no access to a printer. I googled and found reviews that other travellers have had issues trying to enter the lounge just with the confirmation on their mobile screen (but they had eventually been allowed access).

The check-in staff member was very friendly and welcoming – there was no issue using my mobile screen confirmation to check-in to the lounge. I also arrived 20 minutes before my allocated time but was allowed to access the lounge immediately.

The only information needed to check-in to the lounge was my reference number and boarding pass – which was scanned.

Overall I was impressed with the ease of check-in and how quick it was. A brief intro was given on the features of the lounge and I was advised to keep my eyes on the screens for departures as there are no audio announcements.

The drinks at Aspire Lounge Terminal 1

The bar with free drinks as Aspire Lounge terminal 1

There is a large staffed bar in the centre of the lounge that is staffed. There is a self-service coffee machine. The coffee is strong and very good quality beans for a lounge. There is also a self-service soft drinks machine serving the usual Coke & Fanta etc.

The only draft beer appears to be Heineken, but with several other brands of bottles such as Kronenburg and Tiger available in bottles. Wine is available and served by the glass, plus a good selection of popular brand spirits.

During my stay in the lounge there was never a queue for the bar, and the bar staff were fast and efficient.

The Food at Aspire lounge Terminal 1

I have tried many lounges around the world and the food is usually one of the main reasons to book in. Unfortunately, the food at Aspire lounge Manchester Terminal 1 left a lot to be desired.

There was a tiny hot section, where the choice of food was rice, potatoes, tomato pasta and chickpea curry. Aside from that was a small salad bar with a few cheeses, a selection of pastries, and a tiny fruit bowl with apples and oranges. There was also a pancake machine, I got quite excited to use, but the pancake it spewed out was a flavourless sludgy thing.

Salad bar at Aspire Lounge Terminal 1

Do not book Aspire lounge terminal 1 if you want a decent meal before you fly. Obviously food choices will vary depending on the time of day you travel, but I don’t think the standard will ever be much better than the abysmal choice that I had.

The Facilities at Aspire lounge Manchester terminal 1.

I was just getting over the disappointment of the food when things went even further down hill.

I had specifically booked into the lounge to get some work done before my flight. I find the bars and cafes in the main terminal too noisy and busy to concentrate.

I asked a member of staff for the wifi password, and was advised that it is down, and has been down for some time. Surely a feature such as wifi should not be down for “some time” – in an airport lounge that people access to work on the go?

I then noticed my phone battery was low so I plugged it in to charge – no power. I asked staff if the plugs were also down, he laughed, and said “yes but there is one plug over there that works”. So one plug was available for a full lounge. Most of the seating doesn’t have a plug near it, and the ones that do don’t work.

Aside from no plugs and no wifi – the lounge does have a nice feel to it with comfortable seats and great views over the runway.

Overall impression of Aspire lounge Terminal 1 – is it worth the money?

Due to such limited food choices and the wifi and plug issues – I would struggle to recommend Aspire Lounge Terminal 1 to my travel agency customers.

If you wanted a few alcoholic drinks in a nice space but didn’t need wifi or to charge anything – it wouldn’t be a total disappointment. But if you were hoping to use it more for business purposes, you are much better off booking in one of the other available lounges at Manchester Terminal 1.

The Aspire Lounge Terminal 1 can cost around £30 – £40 dependent on the time of year you travel, and I just don’t feel it justifies this price tag (unless you drink a lot and risk being denied boarding for your flight!).

Post by Travel Agent Kevin @ Manchester Travel Shop