Owing to money I earned from various gigs, I have booked a week-long summer holiday that involved Germany, Poland, and Sweden. I found a flight from Berlin to Stockholm worth about £50. Since the flight would depart from Tegel Airport, the airport closer to the city centre, it was a good deal.
I did my check-in online and got my mobile boarding card using the SAS mobile app. I was lucky to choose a seat close to the front. As my fare included hand-luggage only, that was pretty much it.
I maximised as much of my final day in Berlin and left for the airport from Hauptbahnhof at about 20.40. The TXL airport bus was the only way to travel between Berlin's Hauptbahnhof and the Tegel. Trains were not an option but the bus took less than 20 minutes and one does not have to buy a special/separate ticket to travel to/from the airport.
TIP: With an AB Day Ticket, you can travel to Tegel Airport. It costs €7/day, which is less than the cost of four one-way tickets. You can use the DB app to buy a local bus ticket if you don't have physical cash, which is a must in most Berlin establishments.
When I got to Tegel, most of the establishments were closed or closing. Nothing left for me to buy. Even the post office had shut up shop for the day. For a major city, the "main" terminal's design is very compact: the bag drop desks are right in front of the gates. Most airline lounges were on the landslide portion. Each gate or pair of gates had its own security checkpoint. I just waited at the upper deck and spent the time uploading stuff on social media. I boarded towards the end.
Overall, despite its out-datedness and limited transport options, I found Tegel to be efficient.
Admittedly, this was a fairly uneventful flight except for the fact that there was a slight delay in departure. The fact that IFE was limited meant there was not much to report. But this was one of SAS' new A320s, the A320neo in particular.
The seats were the slimline seats that are the "in" thing in European aviation. As for the IFE itself, there was wifi which was free for SAS Plus passengers. Regular SAS Go passengers had to pay the full price. But I was glad to see that each seat had a USB outlet for those wanting to charge their phones or smart watches. I gave my phone a much-needed charge there.
SAS Go passengers had free tea and coffee only. Everything else was for purchase. On this occasion, I purchased Sprite, pizza, and crisps. It set me back £9.
Despite wifi behind a paywall, I spent most of the flight playing around with my iPad. I watched some videos and wrote some stuff there.
Before I knew it, it was time for the flight to descend. We were on the ground shortly before midnight.
TIP: If you want to stay at a hotel near the airport and are arriving late at night, please check to see if the hotel offers shuttle service and when it operates.
I had no bags to claim and headed straight for the exit. As I did so, I had to ring my hotel to arrange for a transport shuttle. Since I arrived on a late-night flight, shuttle service was by request but it was still free. It was a relief they had such a service because taxis in Stockholm are notoriously expensive, even for shorter distances.
These are rated from 1 to 10 with ten being the best score. This covers aspects of the flight experience that SAS and its ground agents are responsible for with a focus on SAS Go (Economy class).
- Check-in (10/10): Straightforward, no hassle procedures.
- Boarding Process (9/10): Also straightforward. Since I boarded last, the issues were minimal.
- Food (8/10): The food was not so pricey: three items for less than £10. They were delicious too.
- Cabin Crew (8/10): No issues with them. Nothing special really.
- Seat (8/10): Reasonably comfortable even if it was slimline.
- Punctuality (8/10): We departed a little behind schedule but not by much.
- In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity (5/10): Good that there was Wifi but no IFE contents or screens to keep passengers occupied.