Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Tempelhof (British Airways) lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

This is our review of the Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It is the lounge used by British Airways and, amongst others, Aer Lingus and Air France.

It is also a DragonPass lounge but does NOT work with Priority Pass. DragonPass means that applicable Barclays and NatWest customers can enter. Priority Pass cardholders can get €23 of free credit at the Moevenpick Cafe – this includes cards issued by American Express, for once.

It is also possible to pay cash although you wouldn’t catch me paying the asking price of €48.

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

This was my first visit to Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It is four years since I was last in the city for the ITB travel show, and when I was there last year I travelled by train from Hamburg whilst my family were with my in-laws. (A bad decision in retrospect …. it was a Bank Holiday weekend, literally everything in Berlin was shut for two days and it rained constantly!)

I miss the quick 15 minutes taxi rides to and from the city that the old Tegel airport offered. Brandenburg is a long way from the centre, not helped by a confusing mix of local and suburban rail options. There is only one mainline train per hour from Friedrichstrasse, for example. Whilst Potsdamer Platz (outside my hotel) has U-Bahn, S-Bahn and national rail services, none of them seemed to go directly to the airport. Signage at the airport itself is spectacularly unhelpful in guiding you to the best rail option for your needs.

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Finding the Tempelhof lounge

Berlin Brandenburg is U-shaped, with passengers entering into the departure area in the centre. Unfortunately, the Tempelhof lounge is at the far end of the top of the ‘U’ – you literally could not walk further.

The lounge is up a few flights of stairs, or you can take a lift.

The good news is that, as you leave the lounge, you can immediately go up a flight of stairs to the non-Schengen departure area. Boarding was relatively efficient from there although you are pretty low on facilities once you go through passport control.

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Inside the Tempelhof lounge

One benefit of the lounge being on the prong of the ‘U’ is that you get good views over the runway as you can see above.

It’s a slightly confusing layout inside. The upside is that there is a range of seating, from:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport


Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport


Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport


Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

…. and, for those who want to take it easy:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

It was fairly busy in the lounge so I couldn’t get better photographs. The irony is that the airport itself was deserted. I walked past many totally empty cafes on my way to the lounge, and if I’d known how far I had to walk – and if I hadn’t given myself ample dwell time before my flight – I would have sat in one of those instead.

Food and drink

I’m in two minds about the F&B offering. There was certainly food available, and it is a better selection than you find in most independent airport lounges, but it didn’t get me too excited.

The hot food options were:

  • meatballs in pepper sauce with rice
  • beetroot sweet potato pan
  • celery soup with walnuts and tangerine

It didn’t do it for me but your tastes may vary. There was always Plan B, the not-hugely-appealing salad bar:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

…. and Plan C, the pretzel wall:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

The alcohol selection was decent. As well as a fridge of beer and soft drinks, there was a decent range of spirits (self pour):

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

…. and wine, albeit no champagne:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport


For a brand new airport, Berlin Brandenburg is underwhelming when it comes to lounges.

I’m not sure what the Lufthansa facilities are like, but as Berlin is not a Lufthansa hub I would be surprised if they were anything special. The failure to set up any sort of Priority Pass lounge is very odd. There is no shortage of underused space in the airport so things may change in the future.

For now, I certainly wouldn’t rush to the airport purely to give the Tempelhof lounge a try.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (April 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (84)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Amy C says:

    I’ll be there mid April and this looks like a charmless, deeply uncomfortable, dive. Think I’d actually be more relaxed in the departure lounge. Won’t bother getting to the airport any earlier than necessary for sure.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      It is comfortable and certainly not a dive.

      Whilst not a lounge to rush to it is a nice place to spend an hour or so before your flight.

      One advantage is the much, much shorter passport control queue.

  • His Holyness says:

    I presume Rob didn’t ask for permission so am I alone thinking the two visible faces in the lounge might violate § 22 KunstUrhG or it constitutes a crowd?

    Just curious.

    Most German bloggers would blur faces to avoid being sued.

    • baec_newbie says:

      Unconvinced that this law has any extraterritorial effect.

      • Londonsteve says:

        Hmm, I’m not sure it would need to. If the original assessment of the law is correct (I’ve no idea if it is, I’m not a German lawyer, I qualified in the UK), the fact that the photos were taken in Germany and the site is available to German readers may be sufficient to conclude that they’ve been published in Germany and therefore their privacy laws apply.

        • His Holyness says:

          One of the German mods on FT was saying he “demands” photos to be deleted if he’s caught in a pic

    • Bagoly says:

      Are you trying to point out the ridiculousness of German law, or being like on of those German lawyers who writes cease-and-desist letters to websites about something where no damage is being done?

  • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

    “The good news is that, as you leave the lounge, you can immediately go up a flight of stairs to the non-Schengen departure area”

    Er no.

    When leaving the lounge by the back door (lounge staff have been pretty good in teling you this in my experience) you are on the same level as non schengen passport control and the non schengen gates.

    • dougzz99 says:

      Agree, they’ve always mentioned the direct door to me.

      • planeconcorde says:

        Same here. It’s a great feature of the lounge. In the fourth photo it’s the black glass door.

  • George K says:

    Was there for the same reason – I took the S-Bahn to BER from Friedrichstrasse too, but pretty sure it’s two trains an hour from there, with two lines serving the airport.

    I thought the lounge was very sterile, but it grew on me after spending a bit of time inside. What didn’t help in some ways was the total lack of information on the boards about the status of the flight back to LCY on a snow-ridden day like last Wednesday. For all intends and purposes, the flight appeared on time, but it was actually delayed quite a bit due to late arriving aircraft. Luckily I could see this being the case via FlightAware and didn’t go to the gate during the prescribed boarding time as I would have sat around doing nothing. Not sure if that’s a general BER problem.

    De-icing was done after taxiing at the end of the runway and took about 5 minutes once our turn came.

    Worth noting is the fact that there are complimentary showers in the lounge (but they charge 15 for a ‘shower kit’) and even more interesting is the fact that there are two meeting rooms inside the lounge, with proper AV for teleconferencing etc.

    The meatballs were great! But the private passport control lane is indeed the best perk.

  • dougzz99 says:

    I love Berlin, fabulous city. But this airport is awful. Agree with all the stuff about signage, and lack of clarity on train services. Even assuming there are no strikes the security is slow and grim. Not helped by BA seemingly for a time not paying for fast track on LCY flights (now seemingly resolved).
    Tegel was a great city airport.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      Well, it was a great city airport if you used the original terminal, rather than the ad hoc bits on the sides that had been added to increase its capacity to many times what it was designed for.

      It would have been great had they reduced it to just the original terminal and then kept it open (and maybe restricted it to flights shorter than a certain distance or aircraft smaller than a certain size) after BER opened – and Berlin’s voters actually voted for this – but it didn’t happen. BER is a shitty airport, although at least better than the hell that was Schoenfeld.

      • Londonsteve says:

        It’s a mystery to me why BER was even required when they already had TXL and Schoenefeld. The latter served as a functional low-cost airport akin to Luton or Stansted. The terminal building could have been rebuilt or extended to increase capacity for low-cost flights. Meanwhile, TXL could have remained open as a destination for flag carriers, its proximity to the city centre allowing them to charge a useful premium on tickets. Instead, everyone now has to fly to BER with its awkward transport links to the city centre. The location is unnatural to begin with because they took advantage of the existing site of Schoenefeld airfield, which in turn is only where it is because East Berlin (or Berlin Haupstadt der DDR….) needed an airport of its own.

        • Bagoly says:

          Both were bursting at the seams.

          • Londonsteve says:

            I agree, but an expanded SXF could have soaked up the budget demand and TXL would have sufficed for flag carriers, until the likes of Lufthansa and the ME3 are putting on so many flights that they’d exceed TXL’s capacity to cope. I can see that those the planners thought that a reinvigorated capital of Germany would soon have long haul connections to rival CDG which TXL couldn’t possibly have served, but those aspirations are proving very lofty. Bet they wish they didn’t do anything now. If Tempelhof were still open Berlin wouldn’t be coming close to exceeding its available capacity.

        • Max says:

          The best solution would have been new a airport in Sperenberg with Transrapid MAGLEV connection.
          But Lufthansa, Fraport and the German states where FRA and MUC airports are located did lobbied as much as possible to sabotage Air Berlin as an airline competitor and BER as a hub competitor.

  • Dev says:

    Berlin Brandenburg airport … one of life’s great mysteries! How can the much lauded German efficiency so spectacularly fall apart!

    • S says:

      As a British person who is a German resident I can assure you that the much-lauded German efficiency is a bit of a myth. See also Stuttgart 21 and various rail projects, and – especially – IT and technology. The beer, bread, and cakes are pretty good though.

      • HAM76 says:

        Indeed… Just recently the government announced that the plan to synchronize train connections across the country has been postponed from 2030 to 2070. That is because the missing infrastructure to actually operate trains on time cannot be finished earlier.

      • Rhys says:

        For real efficiency head to Switzerland!

        • dougzz99 says:

          I know you’re a bit German. German colleagues firstly say Berlin is not Germany, and secondly if you want it done properly get the Swiss to do it. I’m pretty sure they’re not talking about the Geneva half of Switzerland though.

          • RussellH says:

            > Berlin is not Germany
            Depends where the speaker is from. A former colleague of mine in Bavaria was originally from Berlin and he always maintained that the reason he could not get a job in the education sector was local prejudice against Prussians.

            > they’re not talking about the Geneva half of Switzerland
            La Romandie / Welschland is much less than half of Switzerland. But again, there is certainly prejudice here too. When living in East Switzerland and needing to get car insurance, the firm I finally bought from was based in Lausanne. When I went back to the local office for the documents, I got a very demonstrative apology for the delay, ending “you do of course realise that in Welschland they just do not work properly, the way that we do”.

      • ExpatInBerlin says:

        This made me laugh! As a fellow Brit in Germany, I wholeheartedly agree that what everyone believes to be efficiency they are actually mistaking for endless bureaucracy. At least they’ve perfected the bäckerei, it’s one of the few things I’ll miss when I leave. I certainly won’t add the Tempelhof lounge to that list. Someone needs to teach that chef to either cooked scrambled egg properly or remove it from the breakfast menu, it’s practically the only option every time I’m there and truly awful!

        • RussellH says:

          Surely not as bad as HI Express scrambled egg?

          • ExpatInBerlin says:

            I haven’t had the pleasure so couldn’t comment, but for everyone’s sake I hope the Temphelof eggs are the low bar!

        • Bagoly says:

          As for the German reputation for safety, see the Eschede Train Disaster and the Lathen train collision.
          Nothing to do with cost-cutting, unlike the British equivalents.

      • Max says:

        Well, some of that is intentional. The German car industry (which employs over 1 million workers and is an important sector of the economy) massively lobbies against excellent rail services. Otherwise Germany easily could’ve built 550km/h MAGLEV 20 years ago.

        Same with BER, Lufthansa, Fraport (company behind Frankfurt airport), as well as the regional governments of the two German states where FRA and MUC are located, did everything they could to sabotage BER (+back then AirBerlin).

    • Michael Jennings says:

      The German economy does certain things will – precision machinery – by which I will include cars – pharmaceuticals and chemicals, etc. On average I think they are about as efficient as the British.

      • Londonsteve says:

        I was going to say that while the Germany of today isn’t the paragon of efficiency it was under Brandt and Kohl, it’s still an exemplary reliable country compared to the ramshackle place the UK has become. I agree that for true efficiency the Swiss have it licked these days (the Dutch are pretty impressive too), but I rather wish the UK could hold a candle to Germany in the aspects that really count – roads without holes, a healthcare system that functions, affordable, good quality housing and so on. Their trains may not run on time but they’re half the price of less than those in the UK, nor does the UK have a countrywise high speed network. Clearly Germany is not a country without difficulties but the UK more closely resembles the developing economies of CEE these days by so many yardsticks. If I spoke German I’d have left the UK a decade ago and looking back, it would have been a smart move.

        • Bagoly says:

          “efficiency” – certainly both Swiss and Dutch do trains well (and vastly better than Germany) – one can rely on a Dutch timetable which tells one to go 20 minutes in the “wrong” direction with a 3 minute connection late in the evening.
          Does it extend beyond trains?

          • Londonsteve says:

            I think so. The Swiss are as beaucratic as the Germans, perhaps even more so, although the end result in invaribly very slick. The Dutch are more pragmatic and less liable to get bound up in red tape, but both places are paragons of efficiency in Europe, not just in the field of trains. I wish the UK had GDP per capita and levels of productivity even approaching those of either country. I’d be happy if it was approaching the rather lower levels of Germany to be frank, but it’s not even close when adjusted for PPP. The oft derided French (in the UK) are more efficient and productive than the Brits these days.

  • Mark R says:

    I visited BER with too many friends to get into the lounge – instead, I used my Priority Pass and went to the Mövenpick Cafe at the bottom of the Tempelhof access stairs. €23 of food/drink per Priority Pass card visit, nice quiet space that’s off the main thoroughfare and good apron views – highly recommended!

  • Jeremy i says:

    Hi everyone. The priority pass app is showing you can get a 23 eur credit at the movenpick cafe at Brandenburg ? Is this one of the offers that people who get PP via Amex plat aren’t entitled to? Thanks rob and team as always ! Jeremy

    • M says:

      Yes it does. Used it in Feb via PP issued by Amex

      • AlexT says:

        That’s a new one, as it definitely wasn’t on offer as of last year. Must have added the Movenpick Cafe in the past couple of months. I wonder if it is accessible if one has to take a non-Schengen flight…

    • His Holyness says:

      That’s superb. I’ll pop in there to get something decent to eat and take it in the LH lounge.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.