Seemingly the airport that has yet to die, Berlin’s Tegel Airport continues in operation past the dates at which it was supposedly going to close. It still remains decided that it will close its historic doors forever once Berlin Brandenburg opens up, but with that being continually pushed into the future without a given date, Tegel has actually begun receiving some upkeep and investment into its maintenance and structure.
Tegel is a historic airport which reflects much of the cold war era architecture and post war makeshift construction of its day. It is not that the facility is unsafe or compromised in any way, it is just a bit basic and sterile. Lots of concrete, steelwork and no nonsense décor. The recent delays are actually improving things as it now seems like Tegel and Schonfeld will shoulder the many flights inbound into ever popular Berlin for the next few years. Somewhere between thirty to fifty million Euros are expected to be invested in TXL at this time.
It seems putting things together piecemeal has been a constant theme at Berlin Tegel. The airport has four terminals A, B, C and D. A was the original Hall, B was a converted waiting area into a terminal and C was opened in only 2007 in order to stave off excess traffic until Brandenburg was supposed to open. Now some of the invested monies will go towards upgrading terminal C in areas like baggage claim. This terminal handles the flights of Air Berlin primarily. Even now an operating area East of Terminal C has been designated terminal D for some of the overflow.
The airport receives flights from major international carriers and a significant range of European carriers as well. Overall it is an efficient place to fly into and out of. Despite being in transition, the staff coordinate well, signs clearly mark the bus stops, ticketing gates and baggage carousels. The bus that departs just our front of departures is a great way to get to the S-bahn or U bahn just two stops away or to ride all the way into town as is explained here.
In terms of options for food, drink and supplies this won’t be the most lavish place to shop, but there is everything one needs. There are vending machines, some duty free shops and a couple of areas to sit. Some of the places one can grab a meal accept both U.S. dollars as well as Euros. On the plus side one shouldn’t need to stand around very long as security and immigration move along speedily. Flight coming in don’t have a dedicated gate, but going out they do, this makes boarding much more efficient.
Tegel may be a work in progress and maybe a place that is just hanging on, but it functions well, it is good to see that while temporary it does not have to be inefficient or uncared for. It is a functional and pleasant way to move in and out of Berlin.