By today, Berlin was supposed to have one big airport. However, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport is not finished yet which means that many airlines (not only low-cost carriers) are still operating flights at the Berlin Schönefeld Airport, the second biggest airport in the capital of Germany. With more than seven million passengers a year, the Berlin Schönefeld Airport is the 8th biggest in Germany. It was supposed to close in 2011, but will stay open at least till 2017.
Even though the Berlin Schönefeld Airport is only the second biggest airport in Berlin, it is rather important. With more than seven million passengers a year, the airport is bigger than many other airports in Europe. However, the infrastructure is old and wasn’t heavily modernized in the last couple years. As the airport was supposed to merge with the Berlin Brandenburg Airport that is located just a few kilometers away, works on new facilities were postponed or canceled.
However, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport is still not finished which makes the Berlin Schönefeld a yet exisiting and very important hub for many low-cost-carriers including EasyJet and the German holiday carrier Condor. Ryanair is opening a base at the airport in October 2015. Some network carriers including TAP Portugal and Aeroflot are also operating daily flights to Berlin Schönefeld.
Most important carriers at Berlin Schönefeld Airport:
Due to the complicated layout with four terminals of which three are still in use, eating and shopping at Berlin Schönefeld Airport is very complicated. The limited space in the connected airside bridge (you can get from Terminal A to Terminal D in a few minutes) does limit the opportunities for shops and restaurants.
In total, there are ten restaurants and bistros, six landside and four airside. However, there is no real restaurant, but at least Burger King. When it comes to shopping, the Berlin Schönefeld Airport is definitely not the best place. There are only a few shops that sell duty free items and books as well as newspapers and magazines. If you are opting for airport shopping, you won’t be happy about the offer at Berlin Schönefeld Airport.
As the Berlin Schönefeld Airport is relatively old, there are no sleeping facilities in the airport. In the times of the German Democratic Republic, there were rarely any transfer passengers which made facilities like these hardly any important. So, if you booked a connection via Berlin Schönefeld, you’d better look for a hotel in the area. There is no hotel located right next to the airport, but several ones are nearby.
Hotel chains like Ibis, Meininger, Leonardo, Holiday Inn, B&B Hotels and InterCity Hotels are operating hotels in a range of five kilometers. Prices usually start at around 30 Euro (~ 35 US-Dollar) a night in budget hotels, rising up to 75 Euro (~ 85 US-Dollar) in four star hotels. If you won’t pay for a hotel, you may spend your time at the airport that is opened 24 hours a day. However, there are only few benches and seats available that may be used for sleeping.
With mainly operating low-cost flights, the Berlin Schönefeld Airport houses only a single lounge. The Hugo Junkers Lounge is located airside, just a few steps away from most boarding gates. It is opened from 8 am to 9 pm every day and offers services like complimentary internet, snacks and beverages.
You may access the lounge either by paying a fee, holding a membership with Priority Pass or another comparable program, being a frequent flyer of SkyTeam (when flying with Aeroflot) or Star Alliance (when flying with TAP Portugal) or flying Business Class with any carrier operating at Berlin Schönefeld Airport.
Even though the Berlin Schönefeld Airport has rather old facilities, it is very well connected with Berlin and other cities in the area. Two S-Bahn trains (S9 and S45) are operating at the airport, connecting Berlin Schönefeld with Berlin Südkreuz and Berlin Pankow via Ostkreuz.
Moreover, four different regional trains (RE7 to Dessau, RB14 to Nauen, RB19 to Senftenberg, RB22 to Potsdam) are connecting the airport with the central station and other important spots in Berlin. In addition, different buses are connecting the airport with spots throughout Berlin. Another possibility to get to or from the airport is by car. Taxis are waiting right in front of the airport, rental cars and parking lots are also available.
Note: The header image was taken from berlin-airport.de