It’s becoming more and more common for holidaymakers to take the train to Manchester Airport. Situated on the outskirts of Manchester, it takes 10-15 minutes to walk from Manchester Airport train station to the airport terminals. This gives quick and easy access to departures, without the need for a shuttle bus. The walk is indoors via the Skylink walkway.

A convenient train link makes it easier to get from cities in the north of England to this international airport. For example, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool are all within easy reach. The trains to Manchester Airport from Manchester City Centre run seven days a week at intervals of around every 10 minutes. They are operated by TransPennine Express and Northern Rail.

Read on to learn more about buying train tickets, timetables and possible connections.

Getting to Manchester Airport by train

ou can use Trainline to book cheap train tickets to Manchester Airport train station. This will save you time and money on taxis and airport parking, so you’ll have more cash for your holiday. For the lowest price fares, we recommend you book your tickets well in advance of your journey. For extra savings, you can use National Railcards. This will save you a further 1/3 on an adult’s journey and 60% on fares for your kids.

TransPennine Express and Northern Rail operate the trains, and the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes from 4 am to 1 am, seven days a week. All trains stop first at Manchester Piccadilly, so it’s easy to connect if you’re running from further afield. Direct trains also run direct to Manchester Airport from York, Sheffield, Doncaster and Leeds. Other major UK towns and cities, such as Liverpool, Leicester and London are easily accessible from Manchester Piccadilly station.

Manchester Airport train station is just next to Terminal 2. The airport has three terminals, connected by a ‘Skylink’ walkway. It takes between 10-15 minutes to walk from the train station to the terminals. Between the train station and Terminal 2, is a Radisson Blu hotel. This is also connected to the Skylink. So, if you have an early flight, then you can stay here overnight without having to leave the airport complex.

Useful travel tips

We want to make travel easier for you, which is why we’ve compiled a selection of useful travel tips to help you on your way.

Off-peak fares

Learn more about peak and off-peak fares, and how they can affect the cost of your journey.

Mobile App

Download our app for real-time information, tickets and live departure times.

Seat reservations

Need information about seating? Read our guide to find out more about what's available.


Planning to travel Europe by train soon? Read our handy guide on how to save with an Interrail Pass.

Things to do at Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom, servicing 1.7 million passengers a month. This means there’s plenty to entertain and help you relax before your flight. Each of the three terminals at the airport has many eateries and coffee shops. These include: Burger King, Starbucks (Terminal 1 only), Caffe Nero (Terminals 2 & 3), and many other restaurants, coffee shops and bars.

For shoppers, there’s also plenty of stores, such as WHSmith, Boots, Monsoon, Dixons Travel and many more. There’s also a duty-free store after security in all terminals, containing spirits, confectionery, souvenirs, and many other products.

To find the check-in gates, you will need to walk along the Skylink connection to your designated terminal. Note: Terminals 1 & 3 are located within the same building as each other. 

If you’re planning a holiday in Europe, then why not take the train for a memorable experience? You can use Trainline to book cheap fares to major European cities such as ParisAmsterdamMadridBrusselsBarcelona and Rome.