As soon as the opening date of the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport was announced, it was pretty clear soon, that we will have a meeting there on June 3rd.
As there were so many a.netters attending, I really wanted to join and started looking for flights.
As the weekend turned out to have quite high fares, so I settled down for a simple SCN-TXL-FRA combo with Air Berlin and Lufthansa.
Unfortunately there is only one flight to Berlin from Saarbrücken on saturdays, and that is at 6:30 in the morning, a horrible time, but what can one do?
For the return, the simple Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt was the easiest and also cheapest option.
Well some weeks before the meeting, it was announced, that there are quite a few problems with BER and the airport will stay closed for another year....really a shame, but on the otherside, i have never been to Berlin before, so it was still nice to see a new city.
With the above mentioned 6h30 departure, it meant that I had to leave home about 5h30, which was still acceptable, as the airport is only about 10min drive away from my home.
Arriving at the airport at about 5h45, I just took a quick terminal picture outside and then went airside.
The terminal in SCN
The AB counters
Duty Free shop
As the weather was nice, there was no bus and we could walk to the plan, which is always nice, as it is much easier to get good pictures.
Defunct Cirrus planes
THE FLIGHT: SCN - TXL
Air Berlin A319 D-ABGN
I was the first person to use the rear stairs, but after me, more and more people did it.
In the end the flight is completely full, and that also means, no free seat next to me, but on an hours flight, it wasnt really a problem.
Soon boarding was finished and doors were closed.
As the airport is so small, we only taxied for three minutes before rocketing into the sunny morning sky.
Just after take-off there was a beautiful view of Saarbrücken.
Flighttime was announced as a speedy one hour. Also nice was, that the capitain gived us a detailed information about the flight routing, which looked as follow: SCN-FRA-ERF-LEJ-TXL.
Shortly afterwards, the cabin crew sprang into action and the service began.
It wasnt much, but the Laugenstange and a drink was perfectly fine for the early hour.
Also interesting, that AB is now serving free booze again on domestic flights. Sure only to be on par with LH.
After some more enjoyable views of german landscape, it was already time for our descent into TXL, where we landed after a flight time of 01h06.
BERLIN 02.06.12 ;
As I was landing so early in the morning, I had plenty of time before the others would arrive, so I just had a proper look around the terminal and then went up to the viewing platform, which was luckily free, as the machines were out of order. ( Heard, that they have been fixed today, so we were quite lucky and the lost quite a few euros revenue over the weekend ).
And some random spotting pictures:
After some hours of spotting it was time to go back to the famous Essbahn, the most interesting Currywurstbude around.
Soon after I arrived there, the others also started coming in and we had a nice talk before going into town.
There is a direct bus service to Alexanderplatz, which we took, before going to our dedicated hotels. I booked the same hotel as Gab, the ETAP Potzdamerplatz, which was located quite conveniently and close to a bus and U bahn station. After checking in in the hotel, we went out for some sightseeing including Brandenburger Tor and Bundestag. After that we just had a walk along the Spree before going to the interesting DDR museum.
Before heading to the Brauhaus Mitte, were we arranged the meet all together, Gab and I went to an nice and not overpriced Italian restaurant, were we had some dinner and drinks. There joined us Marc aka MSS658, who just came in on AB from STR.
After another round of drinks, we went up to the Brauhaus, where already a group of other netters enjoyed some german food and beer.
The evening was just great: meeting 25 other a-netters, having some really good aviation talk and some nice beer.
Was really great to see you all finally in real life and we have to repeat that sooner than later.
After the meet, we joined Eric and Robert to the HolidayInn, where we had a final drink before heading back to our hotel.
My hotel room:
After a good nights sleep and a low budget breakfast, it was time again to head back to TXL airport, where we arrived at about 11h00.
First we had a good look around before meeting the others again at the Essbahn.
After some more nice talk, the group gave me a prize for my winning photo.
Thanks again for that great Zurich aiport branded goods, espacially to Hannah!!!
They will be having a good use here.
After some more spotting time on the Besucherterasse, it was unfortunately already time to head back to the terminal for my flight back to Frankfurt.
Petteri vs Jonas
After the horrible securtiy check, which was cause of this really small room I was airside, or better said in a tiny room with a full load of people.
Boarding was announced about 20min late, which also caused a 20min delay, well done Latehansa!!
THE FLIGHT: TXL - FRA ;
Lufthansa A321 D-AISG
This flight was again 100% full in Y and it took ages to finish boarding, but as I wasnt in a particular rush, I didnt really mind.
After doors were closed, we pushed back, and as I looked out of the window, I saw all the others of the a-netters winking, which made me feel like a star, thanks for that great gesture guys!
My blog about travelling in Moscow & Russia: