Every time I fly back from Berlin Tegel I wonder whether it’ll be the last time I visit the airport, with its replacement seemingly having been nearly ready for nearly ten years. Tegel has long since been unable to comfortably cope with the volume of passengers and it feels crowded and uncomfortable.
The boarding process is unusual as the BA lounge is landside, so then there’s a long queue for the security and border checks. Above is a photo of the queue for the flight at the next gate, it’s one of the few airports I can think of where the queues to board are within a five second walk of the terminal entrance.
The British Airways check-in desks. It took over 40 minutes of queueing to board the aircraft, with no seating for those who needed it. Interestingly, or at least I was interested, my battery pack was examined by the security personnel for compliance, which has never happened before. It is a large battery pack at 20000mAh and I was quite impressed that it was checked, since it is only just under the allowable level.
The aircraft was G-EUPE, an Airbus A319 that British Airways have operated since it came into service in 2000. I had a window exit row seat, which was sufficiently spacious and clean. It was also a busy flight and was at near capacity, although fortunately there didn’t seem as much pressure on the overhead lockers as usual. Then flight left around ten minutes late, but the captain gave updates and it seemed to be because there was a slight delay with getting everyone through the security process.
The crew were professional and the buy-on-board (BOB) seemed to be popular, with a new menu having come out at the beginning of October. I still don’t think it’s a very innovative on-board menu, although my views on this are a bit irrelevant since I never buy anything on board British Airways flights anyway.
The DHL truck had appropriate branding for where I had just flown from.
The flight arrived into London Heathrow T5 at the expected time and the disembarkation process was efficient and timely. It took around twelve minutes from the airport doors opening to my leaving the terminal, allowing me to leave Heathrow in good time.