Inside Berlin Brandenburg Airport – An Airside Tour

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A week and a half ago, Simple Flying got the opportunity to explore the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport at its opening. From arriving on the train to leaving on a plane, here’s what we found.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
Berlin Brandenburg Airport opened to the world just over a week ago. Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via BER

Arriving at the airport

While Berlin Brandenburg Airport has a large forecourt in front to allow passenger drop-offs, it places less emphasis on such travelers than its predecessor, Tegel. The airport is well connected to the city of Berlin by rail, with multiple trains each hour.

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Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
Upon entering the terminal, you are greeted by the impressive ‘Magic Carpet’ artwork. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Once passengers step off of the train, a trip up two escalators will take them to the airport’s arrivals level. One more escalator takes them to the airport’s departure level. Here, the airport has eight check-in zones spread across the large floor space. Further check-in zones are located in wings on either side of the main terminal building.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
There are eight check-in zones dotted around the main terminal building. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Heading up another escalator will take you to a mezzanine floor with office space, a Starbucks, a prayer room, and the airport’s observation deck.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
The observation deck is well worth a visit if you have time to spare. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Heading airside

The airport has five security check areas. One and five are located in the two wings added to either side of the terminal building. Each security check leads to the same place, the duty-free hall. The hall itself is relatively empty, with a food area on a platform to the north and a LEGO pilot standing guard in the center.

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Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
Don’t forget to say ‘hi’ to this LEGO pilot! Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Rather than having a separate area for Schengen and non-Schengen flights, every gate at Berlin Brandenburg Airport is equipped for both. The A and B gates are on the same level as the departure lounge. However, above these are the C and D gates. The gates share numbers. For instance, A17 and C17 lead to the same jetbridge, with one gate being above the other.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
The airport has a spacious departure lounge. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

To access the terminals’ non-Schengen section, passengers must pass through a passport control area up a staircase from the main departure lounge.

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Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
To access the non-Schengen zone, passengers must pass through passport control. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

At the gate

BER’s gates are located along three sides of the terminal building. Naturally, each gate has plenty of seating. However, rather than having plugs at the seats as is common across many airports, the airport instead has designated phone charging stands, complete with cables.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
BER has dedicated charging stations dotted around the gates. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

One noticeable thing about BER’s departure area was the lack of COVID-19 related signage at the gate. While Frankfurt Airport has physically blocked seats and stuck down queue markers, none of this was present when Simple Flying visited Berlin’s new airport. Every gate also has a digital bag sizer/scale.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
Each gate has a digital bag sizer/scale. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

At the non-Schengen gates, food and drink options seemed sparse, bar vending machines. However, the vending machines come at a cost. The drinks cost €3.50 each. However, if you return to Germany and recycle your bottle, you will get €0.25 back.

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What about arrivals?

When arriving at BER, non-Schengen passengers will clear passport control on the airport’s lower level. Meanwhile, Schengen arrivals will find themselves in the airport’s departure lounge.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
The airport has eight large baggage reclaim belts. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The baggage claim area is located at the front of the airport, on the lower level. The airport has eight baggage belts spread across two zones, A and B. After the baggage reclaim zone is naturally the customs channels, the passengers find themselves landside.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
Passengers leaving zone A will find themselves outside the car hire facilities. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Those leaving zone A will find themselves by the car hire facilities. Meanwhile, those leaving zone B will find themselves opposite the Centogene test center. Arrivals may spot money from around the world on the floor, but don’t try to pick it up! It is embedded into the floor tiles.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Airport Tour, Airside
You may spot money on the floor, but you won’t be able to pick it up. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Simple Flying made a video showing off the new terminal. You can see it here,

Have you had the opportunity to fly through Berlin’s new airport yet? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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