Berlin Brandenburg Airport lounges: Lufthansa, maybe Oneworld too?

Airlines will being moving into Berlin's Brandenburg Airport from October 31, so what's in store for the loungescape?

By David Flynn, October 30 2020
Berlin Brandenburg Airport lounges: Lufthansa, maybe Oneworld too?

Berlin's long-delayed Brandenburg Airport finally opens this weekend, with many airlines shifting across from Berlin Tegel to the newly-minted BER airport.

The rolling impact of the coronavirus pandemic will mean a subdued start for Berlin Brandenburg, which began construction 14 years ago and was first due to open in June 2012, but it'll be a start which includes new lounges from Lufthansa and potentially, although nothing's been confirmed, a Oneworld-branded lounge.

Berlin Brandenburg's two Lufthansa lounges

Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines will all begin flying from Berlin Brandenburg Terminal 1 in the week commencing October 31, having previously planned a staged move from Tegel through to November 8.

“Going forward, BER should not have the significant bottlenecks at security checks that were recently the case at Tegel," Lufthansa Group exec Harry Hohmeister has suggested.

"A centrally organised security checkpoint, more modern technologies at the control lanes and more spacious terminals should make the processes more efficient."

Business and first class flyers, Miles & More members holding top-tier status along with their Star Alliance Gold siblings will enjoy access to a sprawling Lufthansa lounge at Terminal 1's Main Pier North.

The 1,600 square metre footprint will be divided into seperate Business Lounge and Senator Lounge spaces, both with panoramic windows affording sweeping views across the airfield and the Berlin skyline beyond.

Other Star Alliance airlines, including LOT, SAS and United, are expected to join Lufthansa and co at Brandenburg Terminal 1, while Lufthansa's low-cost arm Eurowings is headed to Terminal 2.

Berlin Brandenburg's two Priority Pass lounges

There'll also be two paid entry lounges, which many airlines are expected to will use as their nominated lounge.

Lounge Tegel sits on the first floor of the main north pier, in the Schengen departures area near gates B17/B18.

Lounge Tempelhof sits on the first floor of the south pier, in the Schengen departures area, near gate A20, although it also has an exit into the non-Schengen area.

Will Berlin Brandenburg have a Oneworld lounge?

Several members of the Oneworld alliance will also make Berlin Brandenburg their new home at the German capital: among them British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, S7 and Qatar Airways.

British Airways currently has a lounge at Tegel, but a spokesman for the airline was unable to confirm there'd be a BA lounge at Brandenburg, telling Executive Traveller only that "we will definitely have a lounge proposition for customers."

Oneworld is intent on building out its network of own-branded lounges – the first of which was slated for Moscow's Domodedovo Airport – and Brandenburg certainly fits the criteria which Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney laid out to Executive Traveller when the program was first announced.

"The idea is that we develop these where no single airline has a massive presence, but we have multiple airlines flying into the same airport, maybe with daily flights."

"So while collectivity we (as Oneworld) have a lot of flights, no single airline could justify the cost of the lounge."

(Ironically, Brandenburg was originally set to be the home hub of Oneworld member AirBerlin before the challenger airline collapsed in October 2017.)

Gurney also called out new or redeveloped terminals and airports as offering a suitable launchpad for Oneworld lounges, at the time suggesting there were "around 15 to 30 opportunities globally."

Approached for comment by Executive Traveller, a Oneworld spokeswoman would say only that the alliance "continues in discussions with several partners for potential Oneworld branded lounges, and will communicate further details once we are in a position to do so."

Also read: Oneworld CEO says other lounges may open before Moscow


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 88

Oops, David, a typo - *separate

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 36

Look forward to flying in here one day. Tegel and Schönefeld were pretty embarrassing airports considering Berlin is capital city of the largest economy in Europe. Hopefully not as sterile as Frankfurt...

Wonder what Asian carriers will fly here in future (could SQ add Berlin to Munich and Frankfurt one day?). Or Thai might be another one...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 685

A little bit of background history, oliver_adl.

Bonn (near Koln / Cologne) was the provisional capital of West Germany between 1949 and 1991. It was 1991 when the German parliament was moved (back) to Berlin. so - apart from prior to WW2 - Berlin has only had that honour in terms of recent history, for 29 years.

Also, the re-unification of East and West Germany required a major project to redesign / re-unite and simplify much of the layout of Berlin. Most of this project saw completion around 2016-7 but there are still pockets of redevelopment in progress, in what is undoubtedly now .. the pre-eminent European city. Tegel (TXL) was not envisaged in this redesign. It was an airport designed for another time. Given it's proximity to the City and its functional design, it had/has many benefits, despite your label of 'embarrassing'. Wagga Wagga I regard as a bit embarrassing, but it is not designed as an Australian gateway airport. Neither is Tegel (TXL) regarded as a German gateway.

Also, Berlin's 3 airports have traditionally been primarily operational as O&D (origin & destination), VFR (visiting friends and relatives) and regional tourism-related. The major business, transit and international tourism market is served by Frankfurt (FRA) and increasingly Munich (MUC). Frankfurt is the financial capital of Western Europe. Both FRA and MUC are twin Lufthansa hubs.

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 36

@kimshep I'm German myself so well aware of the history. Thanks anyway I guess... Berlin couldn't even call the old airports 'poor but sexy' going with their general city theme; maybe poor and ugly would be better, where FRA is rich and sterile. :-)

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

07 Mar 2018

Total posts 17

As an interested observer, I only visited Berlin the once on business around 2014. Have to say it was a bit of a shocker but I could see in its day it would have been a revolutionary design but air traffic and traveller numbers have overcome the efficiency of the airport. It was a very tight fit for all the travelers on the day I departed. Thankfully I had access to the BA lounge. That said, the proximity to the city was great and a short local bus had me there in no time. Hopefully I might return to Berlin (A great city to visit by the way) and sample the new airport. I seem to recall also in the early publicity surrounding the Qantas PER LHR launch that Berlin and Frankfurt were to be considered in future plans for the Perth direct departures into Europe. I guess that will all be on hold now for a while. At least QF have the PER LHR direct service bedded down and established as a very popular and profitable route.

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