On a recent return trip to Asia from Germany I had the chance to take my very first long haul flight from Berlins Tegel airport (TXL). I have been flying intra Germany and to some European destinations multiple times from TXL and, like for many others, it is by far not my favourite airport.
Tegel airport was supposed to be closed in favour of the upcoming infamous Berlin-Brandenburg airport (BER), that has not been finished to date despite being years behind it’s supposed opening date.
As I was around Berlin and needed to fly to Kuala Lumpur I had very few options, TXL is served by Qatar Airways as the only of the M3 as well as Air Berlin (now defunct) that allowed connecting in Abu Dhabi to Etihad. Since I do not really like transiting AUH (the airport is just a dump, sorry) and Qatar has definitely the better product compared to a combination of Air Berlin and Etihad I booked with Qatar Airways.
Being Qatar a member of oneworld alliance my ticket gave me access to the British Airways Terraces lounge in TXL, which is located in the main terminal opposite Starbucks on the upper level. Tegel airport is way past its primetime and the lounge selection and amenities are fairly limited, nevertheless for a lounge in Germany and in such an old airport I was rather positively surprised.
The British Airways Terraces lounge consists out of one big L shaped room that has some limited views on the airport gates and on the other side on the airport drive way. From the entrance of the lounge to the far end there is a second room that was closed off during my visit. Seating and size of the lounge was plenty for the few passengers on that evening, probably due to the late hour and the lounge closing soon after I arrived. On weekdays closing time is 10pm which is half an hour before the Qatar Airways flight departs, so the lounge is most likely just kept open for that very flight.
After the front desk to the right there are some dining tables with high top chairs and lounge seating as well as a buffet area that features some snacks, peanuts, packed sandwiches and a bar.
The bar has a big selection of water, soft drinks, beer and some liquors. While I liked the selection I am not a big fan of huge sharing bottles in lounges for water and soft drinks and prefer cans or small bottles, it is just more hygienic but of course bottles are cheaper.
Behind the big room with bar and dining tables to the left was a hallway of sorts that had more dining tables by the windows overlooking the airport driveway.
As well as a rack with a solid selection of local and international magazines and newspapers on the opposite wall.
Next to it was also a big coffee and tea machine that produced surprisingly good coffee. I was a bit sad that the staff started cleaning it half an hour before the lounge closed but the staff came to every table and informed guests about that, so if you were to want a coffee there was still a chance to get one. In general the staff was extremely friendly, in a very sincere way that you will not often see in Germany.
The lounge has its own WIFI which is important given the lack of public WIFI in TXL. While the WIFI was extremely fast, probably among the fastest networks I have ever had in any lounge, the key was only available at the front desk. WIFI keys should just be at every table, or at least in multiple places around the lounge, to make this more convenient for guests and not have the staff constantly bothered with questions for the code.
So while the stable and fast WIFI invited to sit down and do some work (with a cup of coffee) the lounge sadly has no power sockets, not a single one. If you count on charging up your devices here before a flight you will be disappointed.
What I found really annoying is that there is no restroom in the British Airways Terraces Lounge, the nearest toilet is half a floor down 100m walking through a door on the opposite side of the lounge. That is just too inconvenient, especially since there seems to be enough space for a restroom in the lounge.
In conclusion while I was disappointed by the lack of food and individual sized drinks and a restroom as well as the missing power sockets I found the British Airways Terraces Lounge in Berlin Tegel generally surprisingly good. The coffee was good, the staff sincerely friendly and the WIFI blazing fast. I would not go out of my way to spend more time in this airport and lounge but it definitely is a fine place to wait for your flight in TXL.