Previous parts of this trip:
- Introduction: USA, September 2019
- Trip Report: TAP Portugal | Airbus A330 | London Heathrow – Lisbon
- Trip Report: TAP Portugal | Airbus A320 | Lisbon – Geneva
- Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza, Geneva Airport
- Trip Report: Iberia | Airbus A320 | Geneva – Madrid
- Trip Report: Iberia | Airbus A350 | Madrid – New York JFK
- Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza, HY36 Midtown Manhattan
- In Pictures: New York
- Trip Report: American Airlines First Class | B737 | New York – Miami
- Hotel Review: Holiday Inn, Port of Miami Downtown
- In Pictures: Miami
- Trip Report: American Airlines First Class | Airbus A321 | Miami-Dallas
- Hotel Review: Hotel Indigo, Dallas Downtown
- In Pictures: Dallas
- Trip Report: American Airlines First Class | Airbus A321 | Dallas – Chicago
- Hotel Review: Kimpton Gray Hotel, Chicago
- In Pictures: Chicago
- Trip Report: Delta Airlines First Class | Boeing 717 | Chicago – Detroit
- Trip Report: Delta Airlines Airbus A220 | First Class | Detroit – Newark
- Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza, Times Square
- In Pictures: New York 2
- Trip Report: Finnair | Airbus A330 | New York – Helsinki
- In Pictures: Helsinki
- Trip Report: Finnair | Embraer E190 | Helsinki – Geneva
- Hotel Review: Hotel PAX, Geneva
- In Pictures: Geneva
- Trip Report: Swiss | CS300 | GVA-ZRH
- Trip Report: Austrian | Airbus A320 | ZRH-VIE
- Hotel Review: Ruby Sofie Hotel, Vienna
In Pictures: Vienna
- Trip Report: Austrian | Airbus A320 | VIE-FRA
- Trip Report: Lufthansa | Airbus A321 | FRA-TXL
- Hotel Review: Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz
- In Pictures: Berlin
- Trip Report: KLM | Boeing 737 | TXL-AMS
KLM is an airline I haven’t flown for a good couple of years. Mainly due to the fact my SkyTeam Elite Plus status lapsed. Although I generally didn’t fly SkyTeam all that much anyway. As I knew I would be flying Delta on this trip, I made a point of applying for their status match. This was granted for three months. Therefore, I was free to fly SkyTeam once more!
Getting to the airport involved a taxi – it appeared the TXL express bus no longer ran anywhere near where I was staying, so a taxi was the most convenient option. Although at over €30, certainly wasn’t the cheapest.
Due to the unique layout of Tegel, the lounges are before security, so that was my first stop after arrival.
Air France Lounge, Tegel
I wasn’t expecting too much from this lounge, but it wasn’t too bad in reality. Sure, it wasn’t the height of luxury, but it did me for an hour or so. A plus point is that it wasn’t too busy.
Berlin Tegel – AWFUL airport!
Knowing that security is done at the gate in Tegel, and that it’s far from the most efficient security out there, I made a point of getting to the gate far earlier than needed. Although this still wasn’t early enough! Despite the queue not being ridiculously long when I turned up, it still took me a ridiculous 35 minutes to get through!
This was due to the fact there was just the one x-ray machine and the staff were generally slow. Add inexperienced flyers into the mix and it’s bound to slow everything down.
By the time I did make it through, group 5 boarding was well under way. Although this wasn’t really an issue as the priority line was empty and most people were still at security.
I’ve flown with British Airways from Tegel many times before and it was a similar story with them. So it’s not an airline issue at all. The blame lies solely with the airport. On one British Airways flight, they even had to delay departure due to three quarters of the plane still being stuck at security!
Despite the hold up, I was still one of the first on board. SkyTeam Elite Plus card holders are able to book economy comfort seats with KLM at no charge from booking. These are seats at the front of the plane with extra legroom due to the flexible nature of European business class. As such, I had more than enough room.
With the problems at security, this flight was delayed. Flight time was given as 1h10mins. Pushback from the gate came around 15 minutes behind schedule. As the airfield itself wasn’t too busy, takeoff came a few moments later.
The service started shortly after take-off. This consisted of the familiar KLM box with a small snack and a cup of water.
The snack on this flight was a pear cake.
This was followed with a drinks round. Unlike on Lufthansa previously, the snacks and drinks were dished out together and the service was far more efficient.
My time onboard consisted of catching up with making YouTube videos.
Descent started around thirty minutes prior to our scheduled arrival.
Touchdown was made on the Polderbaan, meaning a good twenty minute or so journey over to the terminal.
Even by Polderbaan standards, it was a long journey over to the terminal. Despite landing more than 10 minutes ahead of schedule, we arrived on to stand more than ten minutes late.
KLM was just as I remembered them! A good service on the hours flight and the Economy comfort seats had a good deal of legroom.
As you could probably tell from my earlier rant, the biggest issue I had was with the airport. It’s completely unfit for purpose. Yes, I know Brandenburg was due to open years ago, but in the mean time the authorities could have at least added an extra x-ray machine to the security channels. That’s now two flights that I’ve been on from there that have ended up being delayed due to people being held up at security. And I’m willing to bet it’s the airlines that are paying the price.