Berlin Airport Blues

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

The last time I flew out of Berlin’s Tegel airport, I said “never again”, as its squalid facilities would put even the USA to shame.   But here I am, 10 years later, with another delayed flight (I blamed the EU's new rules).  Tegel is now, of course, even more inadequate.  The signage is appalling and it led us to what resembled a hanger – but it turned out to be the wrong hanger.  I expected the USAF to be dropping food parcels any minute (wrong airfield, I know!)

Tegel has no train or metro connections and so you have to go there by bus.  The X in the TXL bus from main Berlin railway station (Hbf) does not, it turns out, mean ‘express’.  It means ‘cross town stopping shopping service’ where buggies and babies jostle for a stop or two amidst cabin baggage and hold luggage.  It’s a nightmare (as is the signage at the Hbf).  I imagine Mrs M is ashamed of the whole thing, although I doubt she ever uses it.

We eventually got back to the well-organised, spacious, efficient, light and airy Heathrow Terminal 2.  What Germans think of this when they arrive is unrecorded.

Tegel is as much a joke airport as is Berlin’s much delayed and ridiculed replacement: the Willy Brandt Airport.  This gives the lie to Germany’s engineering and organisational super-prowess.  After 15 years of planning, construction began in 2006.  Due to be finished in 2013, and recently 'completed', WBA is still not in use and won't be until fundamental safety features are sorted out.

For the quite unbelievable details of this fiasco, Wikipedia is a good place to start – and you really should read this before you buy your next vacuum cleaner.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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