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This summer Manchester Airport will open a new stand-alone VIP Terminal, which is not really news in itself, however - according to the publicity, the way it operates will be, a dedicated baggage desk, free food and drink, open to all passengers irrespective of airline or class of travel, with the reported cost starting at £50, with obvious caveats. However, what makes it very different is dedicated security clearance, and a car transfer to your aircraft. So, is this the future of airport lounges ?  We shall need to wait and see, but the demands of passengers requiring more exclusive elements to their journey is what has convinced the airport to deliver a new experience. Since they own Stansted as well, they might consider the new concept for that airport as well, should it be a success.

The airport experience is fundamental to a traveller’s wellbeing, and in Scotland, Edinburgh knows only too well about the challenges there. So, as airports expand they must continually improve the experience for everyone, not just FOR those who can afford it. All airports have fundamental and practical difficulties in expansion plans, but rarely do they - and governments - plan far enough ahead to anticipate the continued growth of air travel.

Innovative ideas are always welcome, and offering the opportunity for a traveller to bypass the congestion (albeit for a price), and in relative comfort, almost seems too good to be true.

Ken McLeod
President - SPAA