Small airport with checking desks that allow lines that are too short with people needing to push past to get to their own desks. When we went through security there were toilets there but that was all. Not even enough seats for a small airbus worth of passengers. I would stay out in the main airport at least there is the red Barron cafeteria to get a coffee. To be honest I sat in the BA lounge which was great.
I honestly have never had an experience in an airport like I have in this one. First of all the members of staff that work in security are so rude I actually thought we were on a prank show of some kind. They don't even acknowledge you, just point or sign actions that you need to do. Once through security you are stopped at passport control that seems to be left unattended for periods of time so you are trapped between security and passport control with nothing but a handful of chairs and toilets.. we arrived for our flight 2 hours and 30 minutes beforehand and had to wait here for at least 40 minutes. Once they decide to open it, your passport is checked and then thrown back at you so you can make your way to the smallest duty free. For some bizarre reason you can only buy a certain brands and products if you're flying within the EU, staff can't explain why either. When you're waiting for your flight to board you have 2 extremely over priced shops, €4 for a small bottle of diet coke!!! Honestly, I have never had such a strong opinion on an airport before.. you would not believe you're in a country such as Germany, I have visited airports in third world countries that are better than this. Seriously something needs to be done to improve this airport, I will definitely be avoiding this airport at all costs.…
My first visit to Berlin, the arrival experience was ok as I had no luggage to collect passport control was swift. The bus station is easy to find so a cheap bus ticket to the city was a good experience. The departure experience was very disappointing, there was no self check in terminals which means you have to queue up to check in. I tried to use my BA app to check in on line but the airport WiFi was so poor I could not connect, the 4G was too weak also. The departure area was cramped and had limited food and drink options. It was like stepping back in time or being in a regional airport of a small country. Quite surprisingly disappointing for such a major city. I will remember to check in 24 hours in advance next time.
Be prepared to wait outside the security area while awaiting your flight. There is nothing beyond security but many coffee shops available. Some shops for kids and chocolate are at the airport. Lots of ATM options once you get through entry. Check your bank or credit union before you leave because the limits for your bank will prevent you from withdrawing what you want. For example my bank has a $400 daily limit so I could only withdraw €300. With the exchange rate it costs me $389. Berlin is a nice city to visit. Once you get downtown the train system is efficient. Enjoy!
Very close to the airport--i.e. planes flying overhead--they do stop at night. I think the hotel is really nice, it is very simple and the rooms are big enough. The Metro station is a 5 min walk away from the hotel, and the hotel is surrounded by many restaurants. Excellent breakfast--lots of the usual breads, meats, cheeses, etc. I would definitely recommend this hotel.