The British Airways Terrace Lounge in Berlin is the epitome of how British Airways is no longer a world-class carrier, but instead is bloody awful or basic! The legacy flag carrier of Britain has been on a downward spiral and slowly transition to operate similarly to a low-cost carrier. With Alex Cruz at the reins, the former Vueling LCC CEO, BA is cutting costs and amenities to save money. The British Airways airport lounges, reserved for elite flyers and premium passengers have also seen service cuts and lack of refreshing since Mr. Cruz took over as CEO. Berlin’s Business class lounge is no exception. The lounge offers minimal facilities for travelers. Yet then again, Berlin Tegel (TXL) airport was suppose to close years ago, so refreshing a lounge at an airport due for closure would not make much sense.
Berlin’s Tegel terminal A was built when security screening was not mandatory for flights. The convenient decision for the 1970s creates headaches today. Each gate has individual passport and security. This means no lounge can be post security. Due to the decision, the British Airways Terrace lounge is airside in terminal A, overlooking the airport roadway. Ensure leaving the lounge at least 30 minutes prior to departure to clear security screening before flight. If a flight is delayed after entering the gate area returning to the lounge is not an option.
British Airways Terrace Lounge Amenities
Berlin’s British Airways Terrace Lounge offers basic comfort for passengers before departing to London. The short 1.5-2 hour jaunt between the two cities leaves the lounge to offer only the basic amenities. I visited the lounge around 11:30 in the morning before my business class flight to London. In the late morning, only cheese and meats were available for snacking. Maybe in the later hours when Royal Jordanian or Qatar depart for the Middle East better meal options are available. When I visited, the lounge was only catering to short-haul flyers flying within Europe. The British Airways Terrace Lounge caters to travelers on fellow OneWorld members: Finnair, Qatar, Iberia, and Royal Jordanian. AirBerlin contracts with Air France.
British Airways may lack in pre-flight food offering, but the airline makes sure there is plenty of alcohol to consume! Choose a red or white wine, some bubbly, beer, or something stronger from the self-serve bar.
British Airways’ Berlin lounge also offers a VIP area. The area is behind closed doors and can be made available upon request. I was flying first class and probably could have taken advantage of this area but really did not choose to nor want to.
British Airways Berlin lounge offers plenty of seating. There are tables along the window overlooking the airport roadway and sections around the bar. In addition, there is a small room to the left when entering the lounge which overlooks the airport terminal. This area also has a TV playing BBC news. In the main area of the club there are also work stations and seats at and around the bar.
Relax and Get Out!
The British Airways’ Berlin lounge is not a place to spend long periods of time. Do not arrive at Berlin Tegel expecting a nice lounge or a place to truly relax for a long period of time. As Berlin has very little connecting traffic, the BA lounge is meant to be a place to stop shortly before a flight, but not a place for long layovers. Visit the lounge for a quick drink or some cheese before flight, but don’t expect to spend hours here. Berlin Tegel airport is very close to Berlin. Instead of wasting time at the airport, visit a park, see the city, or go do something. DO, LIVE, and then FLY! The BA lounge is basic.