✅ Trip Verified
| As a pilot I travel a lot and get to see many different international airports and am familiar with their operation and efficiency. I have arrived and departed as a passenger from Berlin Tegel airport (the only international airport in Berlin to travel out of the European Union) three times this year and think I’m qualified to give a review of my experience. This airport is a disgrace. I’m ashamed as a German citizen to see international travelers arrive at the capital of my country and being welcomed by a stressful and very negative experience. Besides the ridiculous ways of trying to operate this massively dwarfed auxiliary airport which is built in and still is at a technical standard of the 80s, I felt multiple cringe moments watching staff doing their job. First off, all passengers disembarked the 777 from Doha in the middle of the apron and not like you expect after a long international flight straight into the terminal. Everyone had to climb down a stairway and queue and get on a long bus ride to the arrival gate (and not comfortably walk into an air conditioned ‘finger’). This seems to be standard ops since we did it every time. The arrival gate is by the way the only one in Tegel Airport and all 300 something pax had to be cramped into the too small constructed building. 30 or 40 people were queuing outside the building because of not enough room inside. There were only six immigration stations of which only 4 were being staffed. (Why not operate all 6?) It is not clear which of those stations are for EU citizen only because all signs are in German. So people queued in the wrong line and were sent away when it finally was their turn. There is no staff helping people finding their queue. There is 1 staff member walking around picking 20 people of the end of each line and guiding them to another, newly opened immigration station after 30 mins, annoying everyone else ahead of them off. This guy didn’t even speak English. As you can imagine this caused more problems and confusion. Passengers around me were angry to say the least and everyone was talking about the bad condition and organization. Waiting time was 40-50mins until passing immigration. Right behind immigration and I’m talking 2 meters here, was the belt (one) with arriving baggage (from 300 pax) from our flight which was packed and overloaded with luggage because of the long waiting time through immigration. The only trolleys available can be operated after inserting a Euro coin only, which no international arrival traveller carries. Imagine arriving and carrying your heavy bags by hand through the whole terminal. What a joke. To be able to get upstairs to catch a bus or taxi to the city center (no train connection), you’re forced to take the elevator. When I say the elevator I mean the only one elevator installed in the terminal. The queue took us another 20mins. Again, not enough clear signs with directions where to go. There are confused passengers everywhere, still in awe whether this is the German capital they’ve just landed in. While queuing in this cringy place observing people’s stressed out faces and listening to the comments and helplessness, I felt ashamed admitting I’m German and face the unbelieving questions and anger. Shame on you Berlin Tegel! This airport should be shut down immediately! Nein, Berlin, Nein Nein Nein!