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Manchester Airport early flight

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Hi, thanks for looking. I have a 6 am flight from Manchester next month, I am travelling with the family from Darlington, so its approx 2 hours away. I was thinking hotel and parking combined - but then, we will have to get up really early to get the flight, so I am not sure whether to just drive through the night. Does anyone know of any hotels close to Manchester airport that does an overnight stay and parking for the duration of your holiday? Or any suggestions on what to do? In the past we would have got the last train or the first train to manchester airport, but no way you can trust the trains these days!

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  • youth_leader
    youth_leader Posts: 2,514 Forumite
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    I am sorry I can't help with hotels at Manchester airport, but I was very surprised recently at how busy Newcastle airport was.

    I had a 7 am domestic flight Newcastle to Southampton in early May. 

    As it was only a domestic flight and I was hand luggage only,  I worked on being at the airport two hours before take off.  I booked my taxi for 4.15 am, it's £80 single fare from where I live. 

    We had a clear run and arrived at 4.40 am. 

    The airport was absolutely HEAVING, cars were circling the cark park, I was so glad I'd taken a cab. 

    It took me 45 minutes to get through security and I was getting quite concerned. 

    When I got through to the lounge there were many excited little children, and I could see four TUI planes on the runway.

    I would recommend having a taxi booked for the early hours, work the time out backwards from your actual boarding time with time to spare.  
    £216 saved 24 October 2014
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,684 Forumite
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    Having had similar flight times (but only one hour drive) we have tried two ways.

    1 - Early to bed at home, up at 1am, drive, park and straight to check in.
    2 - Drive to a local hotel after lunch, bed by tea time, up at 2am.

    I've always used the on terminal multi storey parking and if staying have used Premierinn.

    I find it preferable to now avoid Manchester, it was manic last time we were there about 4 years ago.  We also learnt last autumn when coming home from an event at Old Trafford that they do like to do major roadworks overnight on the M62 leading to lane closures and the usual queues.
  • Doshwaster
    Doshwaster Posts: 6,159 Forumite
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    Hi, thanks for looking. I have a 6 am flight from Manchester next month, I am travelling with the family from Darlington, so its approx 2 hours away. I was thinking hotel and parking combined - but then, we will have to get up really early to get the flight, so I am not sure whether to just drive through the night. Does anyone know of any hotels close to Manchester airport that does an overnight stay and parking for the duration of your holiday? Or any suggestions on what to do? In the past we would have got the last train or the first train to manchester airport, but no way you can trust the trains these days!

    Probably depends a lot on the ages of your children. Driving through the night might be easier than getting them to bed in a hotel and getting them up again a few hours later. Either that or go down to Manchester early on the day before the flight and have a day out in the city do your holiday starts early and avoids driving from Darlo in the evening.

    For hotels  and parking then I usually start at Holiday Extras: https://www.holidayextras.com/

    And maybe next time consider flights at a more civilised time of day even if they are a little more expensive.


  • Sarahspangles
    Sarahspangles Posts: 1,559 Forumite
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    edited 13 June 2023 at 7:15AM
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    Hi, thanks for looking. I have a 6 am flight from Manchester next month, I am travelling with the family from Darlington, so it’s approx 2 hours away. I was thinking hotel and parking combined - but then, we will have to get up really early to get the flight, so I am not sure whether to just drive through the night. Does anyone know of any hotels close to Manchester airport that does an overnight stay and parking for the duration of your holiday? Or any suggestions on what to do? In the past we would have got the last train or the first train to manchester airport, but no way you can trust the trains these days!
    We’ve flown from Manchester twice since the pandemic. There were awful queues, starting with the transfers from the car park, all through check-in and then at security. We only just got on the first flight - the airline pulled us out of the check-in queue to give us a chance, but some elderly passengers who couldn’t run to security and then the boarding gate gave up. For the second trip we opted to pay more to park in the terminal and allowed three hours to get from joining the check-in queue to the flight departure, and we still only just made it.

    Unless someone has more recent good experiences to report I’d assume you need to build in extra time and then if you don’t need it, find somewhere in departures where children can nap.

    We said after those two stressful flights that if we flew from MAN again we’d factor in the extra costs for parking at the terminal and also pay for express check in. Note than MAN’s website say to allow two hours AFTER check-in to get through security. 
  • Ben1989
    Ben1989 Posts: 470 Forumite
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    I'm no snob but whenever I travel to Manchester Airport I use the Meet & Greet parking. I know it's more expensive but the convenience is huge, especially when handling a holiday with children. I've used M&G a total of about 5 times and every time it went very smoothly without a hiccup. They're also right next to the terminals.

    Hotels are close to Manchester Airport with new ones constantly popping up. I'd be surprised of a hotel offering parking for the duration of your holiday. That's unnecessary real estate they could use for more rooms.

    Depending on your kids' age I'd be inclined to drive through the night. Put fresh clothes in their carry on bags and pick them up and drop them in the car to continue their sleep. They're either getting up at 1am or 3am so either way they're going to be knackered. Might as well save ~£150-£200 on a room.

    I've used the airport three times in the past year and it's gone pretty well. Nothing to report on that's major. I do recommend the £5 priority security however!


  • Wonka_2
    Wonka_2 Posts: 710 Forumite
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    I'm a regular on 6am flights from there - and I travel from not a million miles away from you.

    As I'm on corporate hotel rates I can't use hotel + parking though as suggested earlier HolidayExtras is a good place to start.

    Hotel/parking recommendations depend on which terminal you're flying from but happy to give my insight/experiences

    And you're right to avoid the trains ;)
  • Bigphil1474
    Bigphil1474 Posts: 2,646 Forumite
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    When we flew from Manchester last year we used the meet and greet and it was smooth as well. Right next to the terminal, parked up, unloaded, put the keys in the lock box, and away. It's not that expensive for a weeks parking (I think we paid about £80 which is less than a hotel room), and you may be able to find some vouchers.
  • RavingMad
    RavingMad Posts: 517 Forumite
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    If it's a package holiday, don't they advise 4 hrs before the flight? Not sure if hotel is cost effective unless you're trying to get cheaper parking

    Whichever you decide, I would book separate parking now as it will only go up and you can cancel it if you decide to stay over
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,482 Forumite
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    edited 19 June 2023 at 6:39PM
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    Ben1989 said:
    I'm no snob but whenever I travel to Manchester Airport I use the Meet & Greet parking. I know it's more expensive but the convenience is huge, especially when handling a holiday with children. I've used M&G a total of about 5 times and every time it went very smoothly without a hiccup. They're also right next to the terminals.

    Hotels are close to Manchester Airport with new ones constantly popping up. I'd be surprised of a hotel offering parking for the duration of your holiday. That's unnecessary real estate they could use for more rooms.

    Depending on your kids' age I'd be inclined to drive through the night. Put fresh clothes in their carry on bags and pick them up and drop them in the car to continue their sleep. They're either getting up at 1am or 3am so either way they're going to be knackered. Might as well save ~£150-£200 on a room.

    I've used the airport three times in the past year and it's gone pretty well. Nothing to report on that's major. I do recommend the £5 priority security however!


    Some airlines allow you to check in hold bags the day before for early flights, this would save time in the morning, and if you get an on-airport hotel which you can walk to, plus fast track security, you might not need to get up so ridiculously early. Never used any of the on-airport hotels so not sure how much they cost or whether they do parking deals.
    If you drive through the night be sure to check for road closures, motorways and major A roads are often closed overnight for scheduled maintenance, you can check here: https://nationalhighways.co.uk/travel-updates/road-closure-report/

  • J_B
    J_B Posts: 6,497 Forumite
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    zagfles said:
    Be wary of M&G, loads of horror stories,


    We've *never* had an issue with MAN T1 M&G in the many years we have been using them.
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