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Berlin Tegel (TXL): My favourite airport

Berlin Tegel (TXL): My favourite airport

Old Nov 9, 20, 4:14 pm
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Berlin Tegel (TXL): My favourite airport

Berlin Tegel (TXL): My favourite airport



In November 2014, a couple of my aviation friends wanted a quick weekend getaway. Much texting and searching ensued and we settled on Berlin, Germany. Little did I know that I would fall in love that weekend. Not with a person, but with an airport.

You can read and watch everything there is to know about Berlin Tegel Otto Lilienthal (TXL) airport but nothing can explain the feeling of arriving or departing this airport. Nearly everything was easy and efficient. From kerbside to departing gate is approximately thirty metres. The very definition of efficiency; very German if you ask me.

My first visit was nothing exceptional. I met my friends at London Heathrow (LHR) terminal five for a champagne-filled breakfast in the Concorde lounge before taking an early morning flight onboard BA992. Arriving in Berlin Tegel airport, I did not appreciate the speed and ease that it affords. My recent experiences make me appreciate this even more. On certain times and days of the week, it can be as little as thirty minutes from the front of the plane at gate A13 to the hotel in Charlottenburg.

Countless petitions, rumours and a non-binding referendum failed to keep this airport open indefinitely. It lived on borrowed time even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Various sources cried that Berlin Brandenburg International (BER) airport did not have the capacity that the city needed which gave credence to operating a similar model of Londons City Airport (LCY) and London Heathrow (LHR). Berlin, one of my favourite cities, is sometimes naive and hard-headed and it was evidenced in their decision making for TXL and BER for various reasons.

Perfection is impossible to achieve and TXL is no exception. It has its fair share of flaws and shortfalls especially operating in the twenty-first century. Gates are crowded when you have an Airbus A321 operating your flight. Queues are the norm for passport control and most visitors do not know that there is a secondary passport control desk open on the other side of the check-in counters. TXL was also starved of investment, a plan to build a mirror terminal A was never started and an extension on the rail network was never implemented.

As for its style, its functional design and its method, the pictures will do some justice. They are some of the pictures from my recent birthday trip and my last round trip to TXL on October 31st with British Airways. I wanted to impart some of its charm, textures, patterns, segments and warmth for posterity.

When TXL is replaced by new residential properties, outdoor spaces and a new technology hub, I will always remember the concrete shell and the contrasting red and bronze hues.

I hope you enjoy them.

#DankeTXL

EDIT: Photos have gone funny so will add them shortly.

















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Last edited by angeloedades; Nov 9, 20 at 7:04 pm
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Old Nov 9, 20, 4:49 pm
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You can see the higher quality pictures on this page that I have made while I sort the img links out: https://aedad.es/danketxl/
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Old Nov 9, 20, 5:32 pm
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Some interesting photos I wanted to point out:

COVID-19 testing centre signage crossed out as it closed a few weeks before the closure of Berlin TXL airport itself. Berlin at this time was just about to go into local lockdown starting 2 NOV 2020.


In 99.99% of my trips since April 2019 to Berlin TXL airport, I have always arrived and departed from gate A13.


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Old Nov 9, 20, 5:39 pm
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Some of the airline's check-in desk displaying the hashtag for the event #DankeTXL


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Old Nov 10, 20, 2:26 am
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Splendid photos, you really have a knack for capturing some design details, the interplay between different geometric features and colour palettes.

I've never been to Berlin; I had a trip planned to see TXL and BER last weekend but, needless to say, Covid put paid to that. Based on my extremely limited knowledge of Germany, and of your photos, TXL evokes images of 1980s and 1990s. That photo of the reddish footbridge with the translucid top: I don't know why but I added to it a Merc 190 with the green POLIZEI symbols on the doors and an officer with a mullet and leather jacket inside.

I'd be very interested to see a photo reportage from you from BER. The little I've seen makes me itch to spend some time there (as well as in Berlin proper...)
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Old Nov 10, 20, 2:47 am
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Nice photos. Yes, TXL did have its charm. 12 minutes from my front door to the lounge!
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Old Nov 10, 20, 6:20 am
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Sadly I missed my last trip to TXL, I couldn't count the number of times I've been in and out of there since 1978. I had a really soft spot for the rough and ready efficiency of the place which was like no other.

I'm yet to see BER but somehow it could never have the same appeal of efficiency and as yet no happy memories of trips whether they were for work or leisure.

#DankeTXL it was always good while it lasted.
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Old Nov 10, 20, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
Splendid photos, you really have a knack for capturing some design details, the interplay between different geometric features and colour palettes.

I've never been to Berlin; I had a trip planned to see TXL and BER last weekend but, needless to say, Covid put paid to that. Based on my extremely limited knowledge of Germany, and of your photos, TXL evokes images of 1980s and 1990s. That photo of the reddish footbridge with the translucid top: I don't know why but I added to it a Merc 190 with the green POLIZEI symbols on the doors and an officer with a mullet and leather jacket inside.

I'd be very interested to see a photo reportage from you from BER. The little I've seen makes me itch to spend some time there (as well as in Berlin proper...)
Thank you! I definitely had some help with a professional on these photos, I knew what I wanted to capture but I am usually poor at executing the camera.

I was planning on going to TXL on Nov7/8 with another FlyerTalk friend but when I learned about the impending lockdown on Nov 2, I knew I had to do it the weekend before - thankfully bundespolizei were accommodating with my request as long as I complied with local health regulations for my short trip.

I like the image that you pictured, might be an idea for a photoshoot next time I am in Berlin

As for BER, I do have to go to Berlin a few times in the next few months and I will definitely be in contact with BER. I will post a follow up once I have a chance to spend some time to actually just go through BER during the day and night. From the pictures I have seen so far, its a functional airport in a box with some, apparently, nice finishes. Let's see if it has any personality.

Thanks for taking the time to read the report
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Old Nov 10, 20, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Nice photos. Yes, TXL did have its charm. 12 minutes from my front door to the lounge!
12 minutes! That is pretty amazing - I am not familiar with Berlin neighbourhoods but is that still within the same area as Tegel? I usually stay in hotels in Charlottenburg, Mitte or Kreuzberg and coming from London where everything near, is very far on any type of transport, its so refreshing!
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Old Nov 10, 20, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Dover2Golf View Post
Sadly I missed my last trip to TXL, I couldn't count the number of times I've been in and out of there since 1978. I had a really soft spot for the rough and ready efficiency of the place which was like no other.

I'm yet to see BER but somehow it could never have the same appeal of efficiency and as yet no happy memories of trips whether they were for work or leisure.

#DankeTXL it was always good while it lasted.
I agree about rough and ready. It wasn't the prettiest but you can find beauty within the structure if you looked close enough.

The only thing that makes me not like BER without travelling to it, is how far it is from the city centre. I know there are public transport options but I do not know if they work well or not. I think there is FEX, on the U7 oder S9?
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Old Nov 10, 20, 12:39 pm
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I cant bear to think about my commute to BER. Early mornings on the A100 is a nightmare.
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Old Nov 10, 20, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I cant bear to think about my commute to BER. Early mornings on the A100 is a nightmare.
S9
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Old Nov 11, 20, 5:12 am
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Wonderful photos, thank you so much for this. It brings back so many fond memories.

TXL is also my favourite airport. So efficient and compact, and represents the best of Berlin. Berlin itself holds a special place in my heart - it was the first holiday for my wife and I, it was our honeymoon destination, we usually go for the Christmas markets annually, and it was the place of my first marathon. It is such a shame that I've not been able to get there this year to experience Tegel one final time, but I am looking forward to going again, via BER, next year.

​​​​​​Danke angeloedades, und #dankeTXL
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Old Nov 11, 20, 5:19 am
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Nice one, AE
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Old Nov 11, 20, 5:20 am
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Fantastic photos - I flew to TXL about 5 times. Loved how quick it was to get to/from the city - I normally stayed near Zoologischer Garten so could just hop on a bus.
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