While I don’t usually share much on my economy flights experience since there isn’t much to share about and how different could it be among airlines. Furthermore this is an intra europe flight as well. However I though it might be nice given that it is my first experience on Swiss Air as well as sharing on the “uniqueness” of Berlin Tegel Airport. But hey, any flight after an experience in Ryanair feels like first class! Berlin Tegel Airport. My ticket cost around 142 SGD and this include a check in bag as well. I think it was quite a good deal and not much more in comparison to trains or buses. I am quite exciting to be trying a new airline! Tegel airport is pretty nicely connected to city where I took the direct airport bus which was easy enough and there was even wifi. The ride cost me 2.80 Euro and takes about 40 mins.
I arrived in the airport much earlier since I need to get my VAT done as well. The configuration of the airport is rather weird and in fact the first I have ever seen. Terminals are rather designed in a hexagon shape and just nice my check in counter is located all over in the middle, opposite of where the bus let me off. You got to walk one big round to get there. Another very weird design is that the entrance towards security and gates are not centralised but rather besides each check in counter! Hello! Sounds like a 1900 airport! Design flaw! Are they expecting everyone to clear security immediately after dropping off their bags and then wait in the empty sterile boarding area? While the website states that the check in counter open 2 hours before flight. It did not! In fact it only open up way closer to departure time and definitely very late in my opinion. At first I was kinda worried although after realising that it is the “way of life” over in this airport it makes sense. However that still does not reflect the timing aspect of the airline or the ground staff. These shitty operations ground staff only show up at 0920, 1.5 hrs ahead of flight. By then there is a snaking line form up and everyone was also complex why the counter did not open. I had a nice chat with an American ahead of me in the line and we were both talking about our travels. Come on! I expect punctuality to the mins from the Swiss. World famous clock and watch producer? You could do better Swiss Air! I am hoping that the onboard experience would be better later on after all Swiss Air is considered the premium one in the Lufthansa group. Security was smooth although the boarding process is equally a mess and this is more on the fault of the airport. The gate area is small and crowded. It felt cramp given that a couple of flights were using the same area. Thankfully I managed to use the premium queue since I was connecting to SQ First and get to board early. Given this I am glad to see that the plane at air nozzle installed, which is especially important after that crowded gate area.
Crew are pretty polite and welcoming when I boarded. I am also glad that I managed to get some good photos of Swiss Air since this is the first time I’m flying with them. Seats are the usual slimline kind onboard the whole aircraft as you will usually seen on planes flying intra europe. The padding is thin to increase the number of seats. The only kind of planes where there is no differential between Economy and Business with the exception of the curtain and the middle seat left empty. Not too bad for a 1.5 hr flight!
Legroom is alright and acceptable. Swiss Air seats doesn’t look too welcoming and looks tattered in the brown shade.Thankfully cabin was made cooler and there are air nozzle as well which is appreciated especially in this warm weather. I luck out with a empty middle seat so it’s something like business:)
Chocolates were given out on the ground which is very Swiss and a nice touch! We ended up departing about 20 mins late with the pilot blaming it on insufficient ground staff over here in Tegel. The crew is definitely not the worst I have seen in the EU despite them saying the Swiss are cold. It is also nice that they do a service on a flight this short and some airlines do not even provide refreshments. Here you get a bread and a drink offered.
Overall it is not a bad flight but nothing memorable as well! Most of my negative experience came from Berlin Tegel Airport instead and perhaps the ground staff aspect. Check in counter opening time is a big flaw!!! I will never fly out of this airport again if given a choice. On the other hand, I need to do my VAT refund and to be fair the officer for custom here is the best I have ever encountered in Europe. We landed on time and again it is a disappointment that we got a far stand in Zurich! This is after all their home hub!