Aweful Ground Agents at TXL

Old Aug 8, 06, 4:17 am
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Unhappy Aweful Ground Agents at TXL

I wasn't a happy bunny yesterday afternoon. I was flying back from Berlin on the BA985 and it was delayed by an hour. TXL is an unusal airport in that check-in, passport control, security all takes place at the gate as there is no general departures level. So in effect you can turn up with 5 minutes to go and you'll get through no problem. I was there an hour before the flight and sipping a G&T in the Terraces lounge. 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time I wander down to the gate and five minutes later I'm in and waiting to board.

The aeroplane hadn't even landed. The gate was crowded and I had no choice but to sit next to a woman in a nasty cardigan with cheap luggage. The flight was to be delayed an hour. Why couldn't they tell us that in the lounge so I could have had another drink in comfort?

So I walk up to the ramp and take a newspaper, only to have this woman with a touch of Eva Braun about her, from Globe Star ground handling, shout at me telling me to put it back. They are only available when you board! Er hello - what difference does it make? Here I am stuck in the gate for over an hour when I could have been in the lounge and you won't let me read a newspaper. It just doesn't make sense but hey, that's the rule and Eva was sticking to it. Seriously she was so frightening as to make even the lounge dragons look tame.

The flight was actually very nice and the crew did a really good job, but a little bit of flexibility in the circumstances of a delay by the ground agents wouldn't have been out of place.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by VC10 Boy
............The gate was crowded and I had no choice but to sit next to a woman in a nasty cardigan with cheap luggage.
Fantastic
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Old Aug 8, 06, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by VC10 Boy
So I walk up to the ramp and take a newspaper, only to have this woman with a touch of Eva Braun about her, from Globe Star ground handling, shout at me telling me to put it back. They are only available when you board! Er hello - what difference does it make? Here I am stuck in the gate for over an hour when I could have been in the lounge and you won't let me read a newspaper. It just doesn't make sense but hey, that's the rule and Eva was sticking to it. Seriously she was so frightening as to make even the lounge dragons look tame.
You vill obey ze rules or you vill be shot! Every time I have flown into/out of a German airport in recent years (OK it's only been four times, all at FRA) I have encountered obnoxious ground staff, to the extent that I now give the place a wide berth. They certainly appear to have more than their fair share of control freaks. The strange thing is, I have met some absolutely wonderful German people in everyday life.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 5:28 am
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Originally Posted by Phil the Flyer
Every time I have flown into/out of a German airport in recent years (OK it's only been four times, all at FRA) I have encountered obnoxious ground staff, to the extent that I now give the place a wide berth. They certainly appear to have more than their fair share of control freaks.
In defense of the BA FRA & DUS team, I have found then to be very helpful.

Recently in DUS on a v.cheap EuroChav ticket, my meeting finished early, got to the airport and the flight before mine was still boarding, agent said I couldn't change, but when I explained I was going to ORD the next day and the earlier flight would give me an hour or two extra at home, all was sorted. I have also had some kindness and flexibility out of the FRA team as well.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by Phil the Flyer
You vill obey ze rules or you vill be shot! Every time I have flown into/out of a German airport in recent years (OK it's only been four times, all at FRA) I have encountered obnoxious ground staff, to the extent that I now give the place a wide berth. They certainly appear to have more than their fair share of control freaks. The strange thing is, I have met some absolutely wonderful German people in everyday life.
I agree.

A few months ago, I was coming out of Berlin back to the UK. My seminar was over early (was on an I ticket) so I thought, well I'll see if they will slot me on an earlier flight.

Asked, was told no. Fair enough. Sit in the lounge for 4 hours (could have got very drunk on BA but was driving when I got back to LHR ).

Got on the original flight. Sorry sir, we don't have you listed on here, our records show you got the earlier flight and we don't have a meal for you

However - someone else declined food and I was able to eat.

Looks like someone moved me to an earlier flight, but someone else said no It was all very rude and abrupt, and left me feeling not very pleased with the whole experience.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by BOH
Fantastic
Yeah, I loved that too
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Old Aug 8, 06, 8:04 am
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Just came back this weekend from LHR to TXL.

Had the same kind of bad experience, but with the BAA staff in London. They were very unpolite and didn't even think to let the waiting line (at Gates 20-32) of pax into the gate area, even elderliy people that needed a seat had to insist before were given the seat.

So I think you will find everywhere people who are able and willing to provide service and to communicate in a good manner and other people who are thinking why are all the passengers disrupting me.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 9:35 am
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TXL is a disgrace - especially boarding. I'm making damn well sure that they'll have to be calling my name before I leave the lounge in future. No toilets, no food, drink or anything, no priority boarding and worst of all, nowhere to bloody smoke. It's like being in an cupboard with about 130 people when you get airside.

But the lounge is lovely and the security staff are always quite jolly*.

*that's jolly in the normal sense, not the BA sense
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Old Aug 8, 06, 12:03 pm
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Having gone through security and discovered the flight was late, would it not have been possible to simply exit the gate area (via security) and go back to the safety/sanity/comfort of the lounge? Or would this have been against the rules?

HAJ has the same type of check in/boarding and, as noted, you can arrive at the last minute and still make your flight. I'm surprised, as this is the first time I've ever heard of two German airport being remotely similar (CGN being the worst oddity I've come accross and NUE being a fine example of sanity). Of course, HAJ does have the unique property that you get shouted at by several people as soon as you enter the terminal.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Internaut
Having gone through security and discovered the flight was late, would it not have been possible to simply exit the gate area (via security) and go back to the safety/sanity/comfort of the lounge? Or would this have been against the rules?
I don't think this is possible, that's the trouble; the jetway exit / entrance merge into one just beyond the gate entrance, and they cordon off whichever isn't in use.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 12:44 pm
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I find this incredible! GroundStar seem to be taking over our ground operations at the outstations - no wonder they're so bloody unfriendly to us at Gatwick! Perhaps they've been told they will be bidding for our jobs?
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Old Aug 8, 06, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by VC10 Boy
15 minutes before the scheduled departure time I wander down to the gate and five minutes later I'm in and waiting to board.
Had your flight been called? The desk at the lounge has one of those airport operations monitors which shows you all inbound and outbound movements and lots of technical detail - including the aircraft registration. So you can see whether and when your inbound aircraft has arrived. I've been there a couple of times in the last year or so and the lounge dragon has always been very good about watching that monitor, giving updates on request about when she thinks the aircraft will board, and not calling the flight until it is truly ready for boarding.
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Old Aug 9, 06, 4:51 am
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Originally Posted by bealine
I find this incredible! GroundStar seem to be taking over our ground operations at the outstations - no wonder they're so bloody unfriendly to us at Gatwick! Perhaps they've been told they will be bidding for our jobs?
I don't, I find all ground staff at TXL to be routinely like this or worse. Some of the LH ones have more attitude than you would think is possible.

Oddly enough, I find the ground staff at DUS/CGN/FRA to be fine, although I must admit FRA security can be a bit "Befehl ist Befehl" at times.

I wonder how many TXL staff are ex-Interflug?
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Old Aug 9, 06, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by iainbhx
I wonder how many TXL staff are ex-Interflug?
Depends if they came across from Schoenefeld or not, but I certainly wouldn't put it past them. Or HAM or DUS for that matter
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