First non-stop connecting Seattle to Manchester coming in '18

Leisure carrier Thomas Cook Airlines will begin new seasonal service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Manchester Airport (MAN) in the United Kingdom beginning May 27, 2018, marking the first non-stop flights connecting the two cities.

Manchester is one of the UK’s most-visited cities, behind London and Edinburgh, Scotland.

“With our new connection to Manchester and the Condor year-round service from Seattle, it’s never been easier and more affordable for Americans to explore Europe,” Christoph Debus, chief airlines officer, Thomas Cook Group, said. “With seventeen gateways in the U.S., four of which just launched this summer, we’re making excellent progress with our strategy to grow our long-haul network.”

Debus was referring to the Condor service linking SEA to Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich, Germany (MUC), as previously reported by TheTravelPro. Both Condor and Thomas Cook Airline are part of the Thomas Cook Group.

Local officials were equally effusive about the new service.

“As home to the MLS champion soccer team the Sounders, we are proud to now have a direct link to the legendary UK football city and we all know this is a major score for our travelers,” Stephanie Bowman, Port of Seattle Commissioner, said of the new service. “Manchester is more than just sport and this new flight will bring economic benefit to the Pacific Northwest and is another link to a rich area for both tourists and business fliers alike.”

Thomas Cook will operate non-stop flights twice weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays, using an Airbus A330 aircraft.

According to, the carrier has A330s in two configurations. One has 273 standard economy and 49 premium economy seats while the other has 321 economy seats. Economy seats in both configurations are 18.2 inches wide with 31 inches of pitch, while the premium economy seats at 19.7 inches wide with 35 inches of pitch.

While not among the most rapacious with the levying of so-called à la carte charges, because it is a leisure carrier passengers can anticipate a range of add-on charges, depending on the class of passage they purchase. Baggage limitations will also vary between economy and premium economy.

For example, Economy Class passengers can check one bag weighing up to 23 kilograms, or about 51 pounds, while Premium Class passengers can check a bag weighing up to 32 kgs., or about 71 lbs.

Limits on carry-on baggage, called “Cabin baggage” by the airline, vary as well. Economy passengers’ carry-on baggage is limited to 6 kgs,, or about 13.2 lbs, while Premium Class passengers are allowed 10 kgs. (22 lbs.).

Economy class passengers can also anticipate paying separately for certain beverages, in-flight entertainment, and for selecting certain seats. The airlines also assesses a credit card fee of two percent of the ticket price, to a maximum of £95 per transaction.

On a more positive note, Thomas Cook Airlines was named No. 6 of the World’s Best Leisure Airlines in the 2017 SKYTRAX World Airline Awards.

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