Manchester airport is the main gateway into Manchester and is the busiest airport outside of London. Manchester airport has 3 terminals. The service at the airport is fairly efficient and you can usually get through security and passport control fairly quickly.
Manchester airport can be reached by buses, train and taxis.
The parking at Manchester Airport is fairly reasonable if it is short stay but there are many independent car parking facilities around the area that offer a cheaper service and usually provide a shuttle bus to and from the airport.
If you can't find a flight directly to Manchester then Liverpool airport is probably the closest and you could get a train from there to Manchester.
From the airport you can take a coach or a train to Manchester centre. From the arrival hall it is well signed where to go to take them. I took the train as the trains are more frequent and it only takes 15 minutes from the airport to Piccadilly Station, and a few more minutes to Oxford Road Station, where I was going. I bought a ticket at the ticket booth and it was £3.80 (February 2012). From Oxford Road Station I walk to the hostel YHA and it took around 15 minutes.
If you take the coach to the city centre it will stop at the bus station near Piccadilly Gardens.
Manchester Airport is 16 km south west of Manchester's City Centre and has some good transport links, If you do not have anybody to pick you up from the Airport then the best option is the train, there is a Train station which serves all the terminals and it is clearly signposted as you come out of the terminal building, There are 5 or 6 trains an hour going to Manchester (Manchester Piccadily)and the fare will be around £3.60.
You can get the bus (no 43) which leaves the airport every 10 minutes during peak times changing to every 30mins off peak. It only runs between 05:00 and 23:00 though. It takes around 45 minutes and will cost about £3
You can of course get a Taxi and there are many Black Cabs at the taxi ranks outside the terminals but it will cost you around £20 to £25 to get to the city centre
Manchester airport is a relatively modern, substantial, local airport serving over 200 internal and international destinations. The airport is only about 8 miles out of the city centre and has train, bus and taxi connections pretty much 24 hours a day.
There are 3 terminals used by over 80 airlines, including charter, budget and longhhaul flights. The terminals are connected by skywalkways and navigating between them is simple and well signposted.
In the centre of the airport is the Manchester Airport train station which has regular trains into the city centre (Manchester Piccadilly) with a journey time of about 15 minutes.
I have now travelled twice to and from Manchester airport - firstly using BA and then BMI. The airport seems to be very professional and there were no undue or lengthy delays in landing or taking off.
The facilities are good, and it has seemed quite busy on both visits.
Manchester is blessed with a terrific airport that ranks among Europe's best. It is easily navigated and has wonderful transport links to Manchester and the Northwest.
A 2004 survey by Holiday Which? magazine named Manchester Airport the best in Britain!
Trains run from the airport to Manchester's mainline station at Piccadilly 24 hours a day and usually take 15 minutes. Just follow the signs for The Station at the airport, conveniently located midway between the two main terminals.
If your visit to the UK includes a trip to Ireland, Scotland or north Wales then Manchester should be your point of entry.
HLX flies daily from Manchester (MAN) to Koln/Bonn (CGN), Stuttgart (STR) and Hannover in Germany. Singles start at 13 GBP including taxes.
On arrival at CGN you can take advantage of other flights from what is becoming the German Stansted. You might be able to make a connection on the same day but other flights might require a night over in Koln or Bonn. Check timings carefully when you book on hlx.com. Select the Union Jack button for info in English.
OR you could fly from CGN aboard another no-frills carrier which uses it as a hub, Germanwings! Book on www.germanwings.com. HLX uses CGN Terminal 2, Germanwings operates out of Terminal 1. For info on Koln airport click over to www.airport-cgn.de
Stuttgart is a welcoming city situated amongst some lovely wooded hills and surrounded by interesting old towns and palaces. Munich is about 2 hours away by train. Hannover and surrounding Saxony had plenty to keep us busy there too!
Air Berlin (flying to Berlin, Hamburg and Paderborn with numerous onward connections possible) is another German carrier flying out of Manchester:- www.airberlin.com
And Manchester is a hub for Jet2 which has a great variety of flights around western Europe. We flew with them to Amsterdam for about £40 return and will be flying with them to Malaga.
Don't forget your carbon offsets before your flight though!
Manchester is the HUB for a low-cost airline, bmibaby! Most flights are to Spanish resorts (Alicante, Malaga, Murcia and Palma de Mallorca) but there are also flights to Cork, Belfast, Jersey, Barcelona, Prague and Geneva. Singles start at 12.50 GBP excluding tax.
Belgian no-frills carrier VLM flies direct from Manchester to London City airport. Business executives benefit from a frequent service connecting London's Square Mile with Manchester's Half Square Mile. Flights are aboard a 50-seat Fokker turboprop and there are up to six return journeys every day. You can take advantage of connecting flights from London City to Antwerp, Brussels, Jersey, Luxembourg and Rotterdam.
Fares on VLM are rarely as eye-popping as other airlines (you pay 25 pounds in taxes and fees alone on a Manchester-London return flight). Book for a weekend break when the business people stay home and you might nab a bargain.
Other, smaller airlines now flying out of Manchester include Air Baltic to Riga (www.airbaltic.com) and Maersk Air (www.maersk-air.com) to Copenhagen.
Manchester Airport is the main entry point for anyone visiting anywhere in the north west of England.
The airport is split in to 3 terminals and there is little to determine which airline fly from which terminal some even fly from two different terminals so check your ticket or the airport web site!
The airport is a short drive from the M56 airport and also has its own railway station with frequent trains to Manchester and beyond.
Near the train station is the bus station from where there are plenty of local buses and National Express coaches which cover most of England
Each terminal has shops and cafes etc although, as with most airports, expect to pay slightly over the odds for a cuppa.
To pretty much get anywhere from Manchester airport, you will need to get to "The Station." Follow the signs there from any terminal. The Station contains the train station, national bus station and taxis.
If, like us, you are heading east from the airport take the Ringway Road from the main roundabout outside the parking structure. Watch for the signs "Cheadle" painted on the roadway. Ringway Road takes you to Styal Road, where you can access the Handforth Bypass at Winslow or the A555 to take you toward Bramhall, Hazel Grove, and points east.
I've flown Dublin - Manchester with Ryanair. and Aer Lingus. AL is much nicer :)
Manchester airport is fairly small, so theres not much scope for duty free (go to Trafford instead! ;) ) However, you can get a train directly from Manchester airport to the city centre and other cities around the UK.
Manchester's world-class International Airport is the largest in the UK outside London and is only 10km away from G-Mex/MICC, with daily scheduled flights connecting Manchester to all other major British cities and most European capitals. Transatlantic flights link Manchester directly with several major North American cities, and further a-field, there are regular non-stop flights to Asia.
The airport has its own railway station with frequent services to Manchester's Piccadilly Station. The journey takes about 15 minutes by train or alternatively, it is a short taxi-ride.
Manchester has it's own airport but none of the UK budget airlines use it. The nearest budget locations are Liverpool (Easyjet) and East Midlands (BMI and Easyjet), otherwise you're looking at a substantial regional supplement with the major airlines. There are decent train links and parts of the Sheffield to Manchester line are particularly scenic as it takes you through the Peak District.
Manchester's airport is located about 10 miles south of the city centre. If you're on a budget, you may find flying direct to Manchester a little expensive. Until recently it was entirely overlooked by the budget airlines such as Easyjet. For them, it was far more cost effective to use Liverpool airport as a north-west base, since the costs there are lower than Manchester's. Bmibaby (http://www.bmibaby.com) have quite recently started flying between various European cities and Manchester. However, many major airlines fly to Manchester and if monetary concerns aren't paramount for you, it's probably one of the best options for getting here. There are regular and frequent air shuttles between London and Manchester - flight time is just under an hour. Check http://www.britishairways.com for details.
The airport is well linked with the city - you can get there by train, coach, bus, taxi, or car (if you rent one). Trains to Manchester Piccadilly, from where you can connect with trains to destinations all over Britain, are regular, with six every hour during the day from Monday to Saturday and four on Sunday, with less frequent services running through the night. The journey takes around 25-30 minutes.
If you choose to travel by taxi, expect to pay £12-£15 to the city centre. Expected tariffs are displayed at the taxi ranks.
There are coaches running direct from the Airport to cities all over Britain, as well as Manchester city centre; check www.nationalexpress.com for details.
Prices for buses, which all depart from outside Terminal 1, vary according to destination and company, but don't expect to pay more than a few pounds to get to the city centre. It takes around 50-60 minutes.
There are plans to extend the Metrolink to Manchester Aiport, but I wouldn't expect it to happen for a few years yet.