13 May 2019

Tegel's Lost Love

Once upon a time, I used to love Tegel Airport. It was the little airport that could. You know, it's the airport that could take you from the jetbridge to the taxicab in just a few metres. Given its hexagonal design, walking distances are quite short, so there's no need to install long walkalators that you typically find in other airports around the world. However, this airport is getting too small for the current demand. And so now whenever I am in Tegel Airport, most of the time I just find myself feeling cramped.

Two months ago I was flying to Luxembourg. And it turns out that my flight got cancelled, due to a technical issue. So I had to be rebooked to a different flight itinerary. I actually already cleared security, and I also had a bag that I had checked in. So I needed to get out of the secure area, but by doing so, I also couldn't get to where they would deliver the bags back. So I had to go around and enter the Arrivals Area by showing my boarding pass and luggage tag. And then I needed to queue up to get my tickets rebooked. Thankfully the airline already made the initiative and automatically rebooked me to an itinerary that only delayed me by an hour.

Nevertheless, with all the chaos, the airport was just too cramped for comfort. There was no way to just sit down in peace to regroup so to speak. I wanted to make a phone call, and there was just no place to do it within the terminal without getting bumped by other passengers. There is no sufficient waiting area, and it really just feels like a bus station now rather than a proper airport.

All of these complaints perhaps just got amplified when I arrived in Munich Airport, with all the space it offers. I was transiting Munich from Berlin on my way to Luxembourg, and man that airport was just leagues away from Tegel Airport. Berlin definitely needs the new airport to open soon.

I used to like Tegel Airport, also because it is relatively close to where I live. However, given the passenger demand, I think it definitely is time for a new airport.


  1. Now you got me wondering if I have a favourite airport... None come to mind. I do hate CDG, though. It was so new and modern... in 1970!

    1. Zhu,

      Yeah, the last time I used CDG it was last year, and we used Terminal 1. It did remind me of the 1970s jet-setting feel, especially the doughnut shaped terminal building with all the escalator tubes it had going from one floor to another.