Schonefeld Airport station is pretty useless

December 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

Schonefeld Airport station is pretty useless. You walk 400 yards from the airport to get there, then find yourself in a long tunnel with a few ticket machines, and no signs or maps or electronic readouts to give you any clue what train or platform you need to get into any of the main Berlin stations, be it Alexanderplatz, Ostbahnhof, Hauptbahnhof, or Zoo. Just by standing for a while and seeing where most of the people were heading who looked like they were not lost (and knowing from some prior research that I did NOT want the S-Bahn)(?) did I get any idea where to go, and then arriving on the platform to find a big red train called an Airport Express. Getting on that, you find inside the train once again there are no maps or electronic messages giving you any clue where this train might be going. Eventually moments before it started moving, the lady’s voice on the tannoy gave the list of stations it would be calling at, in German only, and I was pretty sure I caught the words ‘Zoologischer Garten’. But really to plunge your international visitors into such confusion and vacuum of guidance as soon as they arrive is a bit poor. I know Schonefeld is just for the cheap airlines, and I know it is to be subsumed by the massive new Brandenburg airport just next door, but still, it is surprisingly poor. I felt like I found my way to Berlin Zoo more by luck than judgement. I actually think the station is SO bad it can only be DELIBERATE. For some reason, they deliberately want to maximise visitors’ confusion and bewilderment on arrival at Schonefeld. A COMPLETE lack of signage and information? Just leave people there in that tunnel without a clue where to go.
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