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TXL4ever
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:24 am

quite entertaining to read through this chat - a competition of who can not only bash BER, but Berlin in general the most/best/ugliest...

On topic: Used BER on two roundtrips so far - I can agree to some of the criticism on space in the check-in-area (this was my first thought when I participated in the initial test-passenger-events back in 2012) that there is not much space for queuing as well as the limited creature comforts like lack of escalator capacity and tiny space allocated for toilets.

Apart from that - I love the elegant building, its clear lines, architecture in general. Nothing too fancy. After all the additional work they HAD to put into this building I was positively surprised by its general look inside.

The chaos that evolved last weekend with the first true holiday peak travel post covid travel restrictions reminded me of Heathrow Terminal 5 teething problems - long forgotten now.

Yes- I do miss TXL (as you can tell from my profile name) but I am convinced that after these initial hick-ups the airport will provide a nice travel experience with only limited frustration. Not as perfect as SIN, not as glossy as DOH, but also not a pure shopping mall as many other terminals I find so terribly boring and cramped.

Safe travels everyone!
 
TokyoImperialPa
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Fri Oct 15, 2021 10:57 am

Could the check-in problems be resolved through the use of pre-arrival online check-in?

The one issue that I cannot forgive is designing the escalators so that there are up way, with stairs for the down way. Japan does this at normal train stations only and also Japan is heavy use of cheap baggage forwarding services so no-one ever carries baggage for a long distance.
 
Airdolomiti
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:29 am

TokyoImperialPa wrote:
Could the check-in problems be resolved through the use of pre-arrival online check-in?


Apparently, this is a bit more of an issue with destinations (mostly non-Schengen) where airlines cannot currently offer online check-in due to COVID checks.

TokyoImperialPa wrote:
The one issue that I cannot forgive is designing the escalators so that there are up way, with stairs for the down way. Japan does this at normal train stations only and also Japan is heavy use of cheap baggage forwarding services so no-one ever carries baggage for a long distance.


Agreed - it never ceases to amaze me how stingy Germans are when it comes to escalators and lifts. I understand the rationale of trying to cut down costs, but it comes at the expense of efficiency and ultimately results in additional expenses anyway when you have to remodel facilities.

In fairness, every train platform at BER has at least two staircases with one escalator each. They could reverse the direction of one to provide an alternative to the insufficient amount of lifts (which are sometimes out of service). It'd be a bit annoying to have to look for the right escalator every time, but it would be something at least.
 
max999
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:01 am

TXL4ever wrote:
On topic: Used BER on two roundtrips so far - I can agree to some of the criticism on space in the check-in-area (this was my first thought when I participated in the initial test-passenger-events back in 2012) that there is not much space for queuing as well as the limited creature comforts like lack of escalator capacity and tiny space allocated for toilets.


I disagree that adequate escalators and toilets are creature comforts. That's the thinking in the 1960's or 70's, but there are different expectations and requirements for mobility and accessibility for large public buildings in the 2020's. Many older people have trouble using stairs, especially if they are carrying luggage. Or a wheelchair user cannot move inside a toilet that is too small.

While BER may look modern because it is a new building, but functionally, BER is like the 1970's instead of an international airport opened in 2020.
 
TUGMASTER
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:30 am

Which is why, back when all the troubles began..? 2012..? They should have just bulldozed the structure, and started afresh.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:54 am

Why don't they demolish Schöenefeld and build a state of the art facility there, retaining the new BER terminal as a loco operation ?
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:58 am

The military government VIP squadron will develop the Schönefeld site with new hangars, their base and some future government terminal.

There is no need to tear down BER now. But the airport should be equipped and perfected to modern standards. Many comfort features need improvement many escalators are already broken because there are no spare parts anymore. So moving long distances inside the terminal can be a pain for the elderly or parents with young children. BER needs money and ideas and not this all too common "we are at the top level" attitude for no reason or fighting critics and denying need to improve.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sun Oct 17, 2021 1:58 pm

Please keep the thread on topic. This thread is about BER airport.

✈️ atcsundevil
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:09 pm

The old Schönefeld airport terminal was renamed BER terminal 5. It is belonging to BER now and located on the same airport site just it's north end. So no thread drift.
 
oldJoe
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:17 pm

JannEejit wrote :
....retaining the new BER terminal as a loco operation ?

Converting a multi billion-dollar building into a locomotive shed is when I translate the word loco from Spanish: crazy
Noshow wrote :
escalators are already broken because there are no spare parts anymore

Did they buy these escalators from a company wich already stood on a cliff ? If so, it's their own fault
BER needs money and ideas......

Money is the only thing they've always needed ! Planned construction costs 2 billion, in the end 7 billion, black numbers are only expected from 2034 when a partial debt can be obtained. Who's the stupid in the whole thing: Taxpayers from other regions ( State financial equalization makes it possible )
 
ikramerica
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:18 pm

FGITD wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
Not to nitpick... But cleaning the toilets probably might be achieved without razing the airport. Deploying janitors might help.

Other problems are indeed endemic. Building an airport without a master plan and a responsible lead contractor is mind-boggling. Who thinks up such nonsense??


Crazy talk! I once had a sink full of dirty dishes, so I bulldozed the house. Likewise for their toilets.

No great surprises about this airport. It looks like an architectural group project, where everyone worked alone to contribute to the overall design, but didn’t consult one another. Pieces added here and there.

It’ll take a decade to raze it, and I’m excited for the grand reopening circa 2080 or so given their track record

Without enough bathrooms, it’s a losing battle. Overused is overused. Clean more often means closing each bathroom more often, meaning more people dirtying up the other ones faster, meaning needing to close even more often, etc.

Does Germany not have minimum design standards when dealing with public facilities? I am sure they do, which means they are inadequate or the airport got waivers…
 
oldJoe
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:57 pm

ikramerica wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
Not to nitpick... But cleaning the toilets probably might be achieved without razing the airport. Deploying janitors might help.

Other problems are indeed endemic. Building an airport without a master plan and a responsible lead contractor is mind-boggling. Who thinks up such nonsense??


Crazy talk! I once had a sink full of dirty dishes, so I bulldozed the house. Likewise for their toilets.

No great surprises about this airport. It looks like an architectural group project, where everyone worked alone to contribute to the overall design, but didn’t consult one another. Pieces added here and there.

It’ll take a decade to raze it, and I’m excited for the grand reopening circa 2080 or so given their track record

Without enough bathrooms, it’s a losing battle. Overused is overused. Clean more often means closing each bathroom more often, meaning more people dirtying up the other ones faster, meaning needing to close even more often, etc.

Does Germany not have minimum design standards when dealing with public facilities? I am sure they do, which means they are inadequate or the airport got waivers…


Please note that Germany is a federal state and some things simply fall under the power of the federal states where Berlin as a citystate is not ranking high !
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:13 pm

BER is located inside the federal state of Brandenburg. BER is co owned by Berlin, Brandenburg and the Federal Government.
 
ACDC8
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:00 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
This was coming off a United 787 into the international terminal, to the standard mildly stifling German public building, versus hopping on a 320 for a quick long weekend to the Canaries.

LOL, literally 50% of my long haul flights coming in and leaving FRA have been using air stairs. Same with LHR, 8 out of 10 times, my flight from LHR to YVR (or arriving from YVR) would use air stairs.

YVR actually started to use remote stands and air stairs almost on a daily basis just before the pandemic hit.
 
AIRTRANSAT767
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:15 am

asked Chinese architects they know that airports!
 
ikramerica
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:11 am

oldJoe wrote:
ikramerica wrote:
FGITD wrote:

Crazy talk! I once had a sink full of dirty dishes, so I bulldozed the house. Likewise for their toilets.

No great surprises about this airport. It looks like an architectural group project, where everyone worked alone to contribute to the overall design, but didn’t consult one another. Pieces added here and there.

It’ll take a decade to raze it, and I’m excited for the grand reopening circa 2080 or so given their track record

Without enough bathrooms, it’s a losing battle. Overused is overused. Clean more often means closing each bathroom more often, meaning more people dirtying up the other ones faster, meaning needing to close even more often, etc.

Does Germany not have minimum design standards when dealing with public facilities? I am sure they do, which means they are inadequate or the airport got waivers…


Please note that Germany is a federal state and some things simply fall under the power of the federal states where Berlin as a citystate is not ranking high !

And each US state, county and city have their own codes as well. But standards are established as minimum, using the International Building Code and various agreed upon standards. Local jurisdictions can add to those minimums, but it takes waivers to take them away.

Sometimes they are inadequate due to loopholes. For example, Trader Joe’s in the USA skirts the rules by keeping their stores small enough to not be classified as a supermarket, and that allows them to have parking lots too small for their business leading to traffic jams. But most jurisdictions over mandate parking for supermarkets leading to lots that aren’t even full at Thanksgiving.

Something tells me Berlin Airport Planners convinced the authorities that they didn’t need all the bathrooms that were going to be required. And that major arteries would be just fine being reduced in width. Maybe in exchange for some other accommodations.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:49 am

oldJoe wrote:
....retaining the new BER terminal as a loco operation ?

Converting a multi billion-dollar building into a locomotive shed is when I translate the word loco from Spanish: crazy

This issue here is your misunderstanding of the term "loco"....
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:16 am

Sounds like Berlin and Denver are sister cities. Building brand airports that are poorly planned and maintained, as well as defunct on opening day.
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:11 am

Germany has a very complex legal system. You can fight like almost all decisions in court. And then move to the next higher court level again. This is why ALL big construction projects take like forever, become more costly and end up being sized too small or too large because the capacity finally needed had to be best guessed a long time before. Therefore what happened is no surprise at all.

The worst thing to happen, and this happened at BER, is to start with some smart expandable concept and then have politicians interfere with it, cutting strategic infrastructure and changing the entire building crippling it's functionality even at the staffing level. So you have a new "big" airport unable to cope with a recent peak of 25 percent nominal capacity use.
BER will still need more money to be repaired and modernized and to become a working nice capital airport that Berlin and Germany need. They are only halfway done.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:22 am

The big problem is that politicians never wanted a good airport, they wanted to use the funds for the local economy and for their own budgets. So instead of hiring one contractor to build a functioning airport, they hired one for the design, one for concrete works, one for the air conditioning, one for the fire protection, one for the bath rooms,... without having the capability to manage those different contractors.

Terminal 3 in Frankfurt shows that such projects can be done right, https://terminal3.frankfurt-airport.com/
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:38 pm

Disrespecting other users, including mocking a people will result in a ban. Do not take it upon yourself to correct other posters, flag the post.

This is becoming a moderation heavy thread in danger of being locked.
 
nws2002
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:03 pm

ikramerica wrote:
oldJoe wrote:
ikramerica wrote:
Without enough bathrooms, it’s a losing battle. Overused is overused. Clean more often means closing each bathroom more often, meaning more people dirtying up the other ones faster, meaning needing to close even more often, etc.

Does Germany not have minimum design standards when dealing with public facilities? I am sure they do, which means they are inadequate or the airport got waivers…


Please note that Germany is a federal state and some things simply fall under the power of the federal states where Berlin as a citystate is not ranking high !

And each US state, county and city have their own codes as well. But standards are established as minimum, using the International Building Code and various agreed upon standards. Local jurisdictions can add to those minimums, but it takes waivers to take them away.

Sometimes they are inadequate due to loopholes. For example, Trader Joe’s in the USA skirts the rules by keeping their stores small enough to not be classified as a supermarket, and that allows them to have parking lots too small for their business leading to traffic jams. But most jurisdictions over mandate parking for supermarkets leading to lots that aren’t even full at Thanksgiving.

Something tells me Berlin Airport Planners convinced the authorities that they didn’t need all the bathrooms that were going to be required. And that major arteries would be just fine being reduced in width. Maybe in exchange for some other accommodations.


I think it is more like US military bases. They are federal land and don't have to follow building codes of the city/county/state they are surrounded by because they exist outside it. MSP airport is similar in that it doesn't belong to any of the cities surrounding it and cannot by state law.
 
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REDHL
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:17 am

BER is requesting a large capital injection to avoid insolvency.

https://www.aviationpros.com/airports/n ... ng-of-2022
 
max999
Topic Author
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:16 am

REDHL wrote:
BER is requesting a large capital injection to avoid insolvency.

https://www.aviationpros.com/airports/n ... ng-of-2022


BER is telling passengers not to drink from the taps because fecal material was found in the water. Maybe this is the airport management's way of raising funds by selling overpriced bottled water. :lol: :devil:

https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/news/fa ... -li.192429
 
Turkish350XWB
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:48 am

I consider BER a very "honest" place: it is a small version of Berlin itself and everything that goes wrong in there...
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:02 am

To me it looks like they need some chapter 11 style relaunch to be able to recover financially. It is neither fair nor manageable to generate those billions needed from daily operations. They will just kill any business left in the process. They need to finish BER, modernize the weak points aside from just having legally completed their 15 years old plan and create a working modern airport. They are almost there but not yet. And they finally need that "20 minute train ride" fast train to downtown as promised. Time to wake up. This includes politicians wanting to play hardball every single time when it comes to fund the finishing touches needed.
 
Airdolomiti
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:49 am

max999 wrote:
BER is telling passengers not to drink from the taps because fecal material was found in the water. Maybe this is the airport management's way of raising funds by selling overpriced bottled water. :lol: :devil:

https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/news/fa ... -li.192429


You couldn't make this up! To be fair, though, the airport company did point out that the price for 0.5-l water cartons (a staple of the Heinemann duty free shops past security) has been lowered from €1 to €0.50 effective immediately.

Noshow wrote:
[...] And they finally need that "20 minute train ride" fast train to downtown as promised. [...]


Just another 4 years until they finish the Dresdner Bahn rail track, and for once it's not even the airport's fault that they are late :lol: ... I personally can't wait, as I live close to Südkreuz and the new rail connection will cut down travel time from that station significantly: 16 minutes as opposed to 40+ by S-Bahn.

Mind you, 30-35 minutes to Alexanderplatz/Hbf isn't too bad at all, especially considering it's a comparatively cheap ride at €3.80, but I am no fan of the currently fragmented situation with two trunk routes (Airport Express via Gesundbrunnen and regional rail via Alexanderplatz) each served twice per hour. I find it much more convenient in terms of planning your journey to have a single express route to the airport with higher frequencies (every 15 minutes, as planned).
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:58 am

The entire west of the city requires way longer travel times to BER. Südkreuz straight south fast to BER is critical to get more people to the airport. But with 4 hours (!) check in time, only recently suggested during the "surprising" fall break peak, fast rail looks like being ranked low on their priority list.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:05 am

Is recommended checkin at BER still 4 hours or can pax now turn up just 2 hours in advance ?
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:10 am

Back to two now.
 
Airdolomiti
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:35 am

Noshow wrote:
The entire west of the city requires way longer travel times to BER. Südkreuz straight south fast to BER is critical to get more people to the airport. But with 4 hours (!) check in time, only recently suggested during the "surprising" fall break peak, fast rail looks like being ranked low on their priority list.


I agree that it needs to be higher on the priority list - not just the airport's (they can only do so much, after all), but of local administration, local transport authorities and Deutsche Bahn. I am also strongly in favour of extending the U7 underground line to the airport to provide an additional access route.

Having said that, even the future, consolidated connection from Hauptbahnhof via Potsdamer Platz and Südkreuz will not be able to fully solve this situation. You will still have to get to one of those stations in the first place, and that's not necessarily a short ride. The western part of the city was much closer to TXL back in the day, now it's the opposite. Berlin is a large city, so longer travel times from the districts farthest away from the airport are par for the course. It's worse than it used to be, but it's still far better than elsewhere in major cities (if we can agree that Berlin is or wants to be one).

Heck, I miss THF. Where I live now, I could have *walked* to the terminal :lol:
 
Noshow
Posts: 3279
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:51 am

The fast rail link had been promised as a prerequisite to move the airports out of the city. It's a broken promise. Even with the BER delay fast rail is still not ready. This is some major strategic problem for BER's future and acceptance. But BER is too busy just fighting for survival nobody cares to improve everyday operations or passenger life.
 
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GCT64
Posts: 1977
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:30 am

Access actually works pretty well for me, as our Berlin office is in Adlershof :D (so the old SXF terminal was super convenient, just a short bus journey).
I travelled through the new BER airport, for the first time, a couple of weeks ago and my review was "already feels a bit worn and tatty" and why are there (in typical Berlin style) so few escalators? e.g. none down to the S-bahn lines. Berlin, in general, loves to make you walk up and down stairs.
 
Noshow
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Re: Skytrax: the new BER airport is horrible

Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:35 am

They should charge for having made it a "fitness" airport.

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