(SXF) Schonefeld Airport User Ratings
||Diabolical. In 45 years' flying, I have not seen its like, outside Africa, or the old Soviet Union.
1: Links to Berlin: it's half a kilometre to the S-Bahn - which runs infrequently. Otherwise it's a Euro 36 taxi ride.
2: Space: it's too small. When we went - in late September, the whole check-in area was a seething mass of passengers, in a confusing criss-crossing of queues for check-in, bag drop, security, passport control etc.
3: Police State: it was infested with vast numbers of police, strutting around and fondling their guns, making no attempt to sort out the mess, or help confused or lost passengers - even when someone asked them. Even the German people around us were ashamed at this.
4: Staff: the few staff were even worse: clearly jobs-for-life bureaucrats, who gave not a fig for helping passengers. One of them openly said that his only care was to complete his shift and go home.
5: No facilities. The air-condiioning [if it exists] was not functioning. In late September, everyone was sweating, and passengers were fanning themselves, in an effort to cool down.
6: No facilities: once through the chaos of check-in/security, flight departure information was largely unavailable. Small, hard-to-find, hard-to-read screens, that were not being updated properly. We only heard about our own flight departure at the last moment, and by chance.
7: No facilities: post-security, there was almost nowhere to sit [passengers were sitting on the floor or against the walls]. Toilets were hard-to-find, and had queues, when you did find them. There was only on food outlet, selling almost inedible snacks.
8: Dirty: the floors and walls wer covered with the detritus of myriad passengers. No-one was making any effort to clean up.
9: Overall: now that they re closing Tegel, Tempelhof and Gatow, the little hell-hole of Schoenefeld wille Berlin's only airport. I recently went through Bishkek airport in Kyrgyzstan; I recall – by contrast with Schoenefeld – how clean, welcoming and efficient it was. Schoenefeld used to be a Soviet Air Force Base; from the way the staff there behave, it seems like it still is. For the capital of a nominally civilised country, this airport is a disgrace. Or - perhaps - a symbol of Germany's slide towards barbarism?
||Pretty bad layout for international departures, clearly a regional airport upgraded to handle international flights. Baggage security check is required before check-in, which means you have to line up again if you want to go back to the restaurant area. There's nothing after the passport check in the waiting area, not even toilets. Go there as late as you can.
||Smells like GDR