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

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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.

  • acewoking says:

    Don’t be a numpty like me and miss the lounge because you followed instructions. An airport attendant directed us up the escalators in the main photo and before we knew it we’d cleared passport control. At the gate. 2 hours early. And there was literally no way back to the lounge.

    • Bagoly says:

      One good thing about BER is the screens showing which security lanes have queues how long.
      Usually the shortest is the ones right at the south end, underneath this lounge.
      I think they are called 5.
      The standard route then takes one back to the centre through the duty-free shops.
      But I did notice some lifts immediately behind the security.
      If one takes those, does one come up near the lounge?

  • DaveJ says:

    “ I certainly wouldn’t rush to the airport purely to give the Tempelhof lounge a try”

    I wouldn’t go to any airport purely to give a lounge a try

    • HAM76 says:

      I flew on a redemption ticket to LHR to visit all Plaza Premium Arrival lounges, back in pre-covid times. My OnBusiness points would have expired otherwise. It was a fun day walking around LHR without the need to go anywhere specific.

      • Rob says:

        When T5 opened, a big group from Flyertalk turned up on Day 1 on fully flex BA tickets to check out the lounges, then left the airport and got a refund 🙂

        • DaveJ says:

          Each to their own

        • BahrainLad says:

          Actually, they weren’t fully flex – I believe most of us intended to travel that day. But everything was cancelled hence we had to leave airside!

  • NorthernLass says:

    It was surprisingly difficult to find the train on arrival at BER! Not even the staff seemed to know, lol.
    My PP app said there’s a Movenpick cafe where you can get a certain amount of euros credit but we had a look and it only sold a very limited assortment of sandwiches and drinks so we didn’t bother.

  • Alex says:

    I want to add to some of the comments up thread. The lounge is BEFORE passport control. Once you’re through you’ll have to come up with a convincing excuse to get back Schengen-side (a European passport seemed to help).

    And this is a big plus, there is a dedicated passport control as you exit the lounge, and it’s usually very quiet. Ask the staff. But don’t go back to the main hall because that passport queue can get busy.

  • John says:

    So, there is a back door from the lounge that leads to a staircase bringing you to non Schengen passport control, is that correct?

    • planeconcorde says:

      The black glass door in the fourth photo leads directly to a separate passport control on the same level as the lounge. There is no stair case.

      • Rob says:

        This door is usually closed.

        • planeconcorde says:

          In all the times I have used this lounge the door has been in position shown in the photo. But unlocked so it can be used to access two passport control desks on the other side of the door.

        • Mark says:

          That’s odd, I’ve been through there several times and always exited straight through that door to the mini passport control just ahead of the non-Schengen gates. Perhaps there was no one available for that passport control when you visited.

        • dougzz99 says:

          3 for 3 in the door being open, well unlocked rather than open.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      There is NO staircase!

      Walk through that door and it’s a few feet to the passport control and it’s all level going to the non Schengen gates.

  • Matthias says:

    Having been there a couple of times recently, I concur that the lounge is somewhat sterile, though the food pretty decent. Dedicated passport control excellent but can sometimes be shut so make sure to double check.

    One additional tip regarding security, they have a free online pre booking system for 15 minute time slots called ‘BER Runway’, which I have twice used. If you turn up on time, you literally walk straight up to security screening and past the giant queues for both normal and ‘priority’ security. There’s a dedicated BER Runway entrance in the middle of security.

    Indeed BER overall is a mystery wrapped in an enigma..

  • Jim Sinclair says:

    I despise Brandenburg airport. I agree the signage is terrible, not for just transport but for everything. The BA check in is totally disorganised. The security is a joke, only 2 people can stand at the tray desks at a time. The trays are tiny, necessitating those loathsome people who travel with the kitchen sink etc in their ‘hand’ luggage needing to faff about with 5 or 6 trays (I’ve seen this) causing frustration, and once in me, anger. If it is busy it is interminable. After exiting passport control there are hardly any facilities to eat or drink, only the actual departure gates and their seats. One thing, it is spotless. This hole was 10 years late and billions over budget. I love Germany but all this ‘German efficiency’ nonsense is now a myth. Every time I go back, which is very often, another thing seems to have gotten worse/and things run late.

    • Dan says:

      Don’t get me started on FRA T3 security… Efficiency at its worst!!

      Visited the BER lounge couple days ago:
      Views are great
      It’s clean and minimal, quiet
      Drink selection is awful
      Food is dreadful
      Pretzels are the only saving grace as long as you don’t pick up a dried out one.

      The walkway from the lounge passport control to the gate was deserted, which I believe spans most of gates C and D.

      Bonus point, the Carsharing (think Zipcar) parking spot outside the terminal had plenty of vendors to choose from and 100+ cars available when I was there. From Fiat 500s all the way up to Audi A4s.

      Other than that, shoddy airport.

      • Dan says:

        T2 in Frankfurt.

        • Bluekjp says:

          Flew back from Frankfurt T2 yesterday. Two immigration officers to deal with about 100 people. It was pathetic. Then security made immigration look efficient. Tiny, tiny trays, hopelessly slow workers without a care in the world trying their best to work as slowly as possible. The BA flight had to be delayed about 20-30 minutes because of passengers stuck at security. This would have been the passengers in the Sakura lounge. I left 10 minutes ahead of the general lounge announcement that boarding had commenced (the lounge attendant had told me what time he was likely to announce boarding) and was jolly pleased that I had. I could only think to myself that Heathrow knocks spots off this lot and was I really in Germany?

  • Pgp says:

    We are a frequent visitors to Germany as our son lives there. Especially travelling to Berlin from gatwick. We have used the lounge each time and we have a priority pass through Nat west. And did not have any issues to access it.
    I agree with the HfP , food is hit and miss. As no options for vegan. But just to relax before flight home is and ideal place especially the pods at the far end of the lounge. If I have to pay for it then I would not bother with it..

    • Nick says:

      NatWest don’t issue priority pass though, do they? Only dragonpass? It’s important because only one of the two is accepted.

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