Premiair Private Terminal Manchester Airport Review

Premiair Private Terminal Manchester Airport Review

Premiair, Manchester airport’s new private terminal bills itself as “the ultimate travel experience” but does it measure up? I tested it out.


The building is custom built and is located next to Manchester airport’s visitor park on the opposite side of the airfield to the main terminal. As you turn into the terminal you first approach a security barrier which gives an added sense of exclusivity with access only gained by our taxi driver after my name was checked against bookings. The road flows round until you get a glimpse of the Premiair building with a staff member waiting kerbside to welcome you and help with baggage.


Four staff were on hand to greet me with no other customers in the building at that time. There was one staff on reception, the lady who helped with bags from the car and another member of staff who helped with all the procedures and later would be my driver and also a member of security staff who assisted with the baggage. All staff presumably have different roles and some are obviously cross trained but what is nice is that all are smartly dressed in grey suits.


I was very interested how the baggage and check in process worked before visiting. Here’s some more details if you’re wondering the same thing! At the reception desk my passport was taken and I was asked if I had checked in online (a requirement). The baggage was then taken by the security guy just to the side of reception to be weighed. This is the last time you will see your bags until the baggage carousel at the end of your journey. When I booked Premiair I initially had visions that the baggage was simply transferred to the main terminal for processing but the system is way better than that. They have the ability to print baggage tags in the Premiair terminal itself and they also have their own hold baggage scanner. So once the baggage has been tagged and security checked they come into the lounge to show you the baggage tags attached to your luggage on photos on an ipad then ask you to sign a paper confirming the tag numbers. The bags are then loaded onto a Range Rover at the back of the building and are taken directly across to the aircraft all tagged and security checked! VIP service for your bags!

The Lounge

The lounge itself is modern and airy, they’ve put a lot of thought into design and it looks high quality. The best part though is that you’re practically sitting on top of the taxiway from the main runway so you’ll get VERY up close and personal with jets landing and taking off, it’s probably the best lounge in the world for plane spotters. As we sat there we are sure some of the passengers were looking enviously from the window of the taxiing planes!

There’s an a la carte menu with a variety of options including breakfast that can be ordered all day. I was there quite a bit early for my flight in the end so started slow with some yoghurt and then when lunch came around had the delicious turkey Christmas dinner. Reassuringly, everything was fresh and it took just the right amount of time for the kitchen to prepare my order rather than being microwaved and appearing 2 minutes later like in some lounges.

The same two ladies who had greeted me at reception and kerbside were in the lounge to server and answer my questions. Apart from the a la carte menu there were some pastries as it was breakfast/brunch time to help yourself and also a stocked bar. Interestingly they had some local Manchester gin which was excellent.


The star of the show is probably going to be the departure for most people. They try and time departure to coincide with the later stages of boarding so you aren’t stuck waiting in the main terminal but this is easier to do if you are flying long haul compared to short with faster turnarounds. The ladies gave me a ten minute warning before we were going to go through security and depart. When she had checked that security were ready for me, she escorted me from the lounge door to the room next door where there was a full security set up. It’s initially a bit “wow”. There were six staff all suited and booted waiting just for me, all smartly dressed in grey suits as the door swung open.

As in the regular terminal there was a lady and computer to scan the boarding pass then an X ray machine with the same level of security and also a new style full body scanner. I was so flustered by having everyone there just for me, I initially forgot about my usual routine of removing belt, wallet etc and did also manage to make the rookie mistake of leaving some coffee in my flask. As my bag was shuffled off to secondary search, I remembered and one of the staff kindly went and threw the coffee away and rinsed my tumbler and brought it back. All felt very relaxed, professional and friendly, don’t think I can ever go back to normal security!

After security was done, we went out through the back door after being offered still or sparkling water to the waiting BMW 7 series.

The Drive

The drive across to the terminal and gate was the best part of the experience. Two staff were in the car, the same security guy and one of the ladies who initially greeted me in the lounge. She gave a mini commentary as we drove across going past the fire station, the engine test bay and around the airfield letting me know to ask any questions was we went as they listened to ground ATC. We drove past some sadly grounded Thomas Cook aircraft and across the middle of the airfield to gate 204 where my Qatar aircraft was waiting. They found a parking spot at the next gate and after entering the gate from the apron escorted me up through the security doors and to gate 204 where they introduced me to the ground staff at the desk and waited until they did their checks before shaking my hand and I boarded.



Everyone needs a little VIP in their life if possible and this certainly ticked all the boxes. They’ve hit a very high standard and I hope it’s kept up as the service gets more popular. Cost was 100 GBP for the full departure service and I’d say this is about right per person. Everything was premium and it’s worth at least 50 pounds to bypass Manchester’s terrible (regular) security. The staff were excellent and seemed to be enjoying providing the new service. The only issue I had which was more of a suggestion I raised at the time was to arrange a better transfer method from the car rental village, though this would also apply from the station or terminal as right now it requires a taxi to reach there. If they can find a way to provide a BMW transfer from different parts of the airport then it will be truly seamless.

Premiair Website


Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal Four

Plaza Premium Lounge Heathrow Terminal Four

Plaza Premium lounge is located above the Qatar lounge at Heathrow terminal four close to gate 1 and covers 8500 square feet!

It’s nice to see an independent option available more and more at Heathrow; the relatively new Plaza Premium lounge give this option now in terminal four. It’s my favorite refuge at Heathrow as Qatar sees fit to ignore oneworld status passengers and not let them use it’s lounge below!

The lounge has several sections with a large dining area to the right of reception with plenty of seating and good views of the runway as well as some booths to work or relax in. To the left of reception are the showers and toilets which were both clean and spacious, perfect for a shower before a long haul flights. Also to the left is the bar area which is suitably dark and relaxing. There’s also some darkened relaxation chairs to put your feet up before the flight. There are also three private resting suites if you prefer something a bit more private.


I’ve visited the lounge both at breakfast and also in the evening and found the range of food to be between good and excellent. There’s a good selection of fruit, cold cuts and yoghurts in the chiller in the morning then salads in the evening. There’s always a range of hot items, with English breakfast available and cooked to order eggs as well as a variety of hot cuisine available at other times. What I particularly like is that there’s always a meal available, unlike some airline lounges which ration food to a meal time; looking at you BA. It’s a particularly good choice if you fancy a cooked English breakfast before departure, though when we visited we did have to prompt the chef to replace the bacon and sausages.

Power & Wifi

There’s plenty of power sockets in the lounge as well as it’s own Wifi network independent of the airport. No excuse not to download a movie for the flight or get some work done!


The lounge is included in many credit card programs and priority pass. If you aren’t entitled to a free visit then a 2 hours visit will cost you $49.


In summary this is a smart, clean nice to have lounge option in terminal 4. The only criticism I would have after a few visits is that the staff are not particularly friendly or welcoming. A minor criticism which won’t spoil your visit.

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Heathrow T4

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Heathrow T4

First off, respect to Malaysia Airlines for having their own lounge at Heathrow T4 which is open to Oneworld status cardholders unlike Qatar which limits access to only those in business  & first class. That being said, how does it stack up?


The lounge is located on the third floor with the entrance just before Pret A Manger, if you walk past Pret you’ve gone too far (like I did)

First impressions

The first impression is good with a large Malaysian themed reception area, with toilets off to the left, a baggage storage area next to the elevators and a door to first class to the right. After entering the buffet is right in front of you, then you walk through to the lounge with the bar to your right and views across the apron.


The lounge is a decent size, though it does get busy before departures with plenty of natural light. However unlike my recent review of the Asiana lounge at Incheon I felt here they haven’t put any effort into zoning the lounge. Seating is arranged pretty much in rows with no thought to create some quieter corners or rest areas. This is probably partly due to lack of space and trying to fit in the maximum number of seats. However, there’s also a serious lack of power, I couldn’t spot any at any table seeing several people walk around looking lost trying to find power before they took up the work space PCs and charged their devices there.

Also it’s one of the strangest set ups for a first class area I’ve seen, with the bar literally cut in two to share half of it with the first class lounge which is separate by a glass wall. I don’t know how long this has been like this but bearing in mind the lack of quieter sections I’m surprised Malaysian hasn’t taken the decision like other airlines to merge the lounges and create one superior space. It felt like this isn’t a good or prestige solution for either first or business class passengers. I say ditch the fish bowl and merge the lounges!


I was looking forward to a hot English breakfast before travelling and have to admit after taking one look at the buffet went straight over to Plaza Premium (review here). The best word to describe the buffet is “rationed”. It just didn’t look particularly inviting.

First, one of the hot warmers in the photo below had four small dishes of egg, croquette potatoes, tomato and baked beans with both the egg and beans having been left for a while and having a slight crust on top. In fairness the Malaysian options looked better, but what would be better is maybe having English options to order if the demand isn’t there. There was fruit, cheese and sandwiches and wraps also available but only one of each had been displayed. It just gave a feeling that limited food had been put out.

The rest

There’s a good children’s play area to the left of the reception desk in its own room; so perfect if you want to enjoy a drink while the children play and the rest of the lounge guests will no doubt thank you as well!

I’ve already mentioned the total lack of power options. There’s wifi as you’d expect which was fine with no problems.


In summary a decent lounge with a weird set up and shape. MH should really consider merging the two lounges which wouldn’t be hard; there’s just a glass wall separating them and creating one better space for everyone. I’d say food options were OK, but it’s going to depend what you want, I do think the presentation could be much better. However, if you do need to get work done and need power this isn’t the lounge for you. It’s totally lacking in power outlets or even anywhere private/secluded to get some work done. If you need to work then consider visiting the Plaza Premium lounge if you have access which has plenty of power and corners to work in.

Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge Terminal 4 Heathrow

Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge Terminal 4 Heathrow

The Plaza Premium arrivals lounge is situated on the mezzanine level between arrivals and departures landside at terminal 4 Heathrow. It’s a good choice for Malaysia or other airlines with no arrivals lounge at T4.

The entrance and lounge is similar in feeling and design to other Plaza lounges worldwide with natural woods and fabric choices. Right balance of dark and light. It’s nailed the design and it is a relaxing place to hang out after a long flight and grab a shower or breakfast.

The showers were big and clean with a toilet inside the shower room with plenty of space to open a suitcase and a bench to place it on. Very well designed with a rainfall shower.

Breakfast choices of cooked and vegetarian. Cooked unusual in that it’s obviously targeted people who don’t eat pork. Fine as a preference but why no pork based traditional British breakfast? In the end I chose the vegetarian option which was actually really good. It does slightly irritate me that the meat option has obviously been made “universal” rather than having both a traditional British pork option and also a non-pork eaters friendly one. Service was to your table and the only criticism of the service was that it was a little slow. There were only four people in there including me and I would say it took around 15 minutes for the food to come out. It was obviously cooked to order which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but don’t count on it as a lounge you can run in and grab something then go back out.

WiFi was free and fast, no problems.