Leg 2 of the Northern European trip: TXL(Berlin Tegel)-DUS(Dusseldorf)-HEL(Helsinki) on LH (Lufthansa Airlines and Eurowings)
This was the second leg of a 3-country tour of Northern Europe. The other legs were:
Leg 3 of the Northern European trip: HEL-OSL-KEF on SK (Blue1/SAS Finland and Scandinavian Airlines)
Our morning flight leaving from Berlin Tegel airport to Dusseldorf was scheduled for 8:30am. The Tegel airport is a mess. It is very old and antiquated. It was built for a time when they wanted travel to be convenient and have very short distances from curbside to the gate. Because of that design the airport is really spread out in a hexagon design and you have to know where your gate is before you are even dropped off. There is a gigantic sign as you approach the airport that has gate assignments so you can read it from the car and know where to go. It's very difficult to describe and must be experienced to understand. They built a brand new Berlin airport but it has encountered lots of issues and is a controversial blemish for the city. So we were dropped off right at the correct Lufthansa gate. The check-in area is separate for each gate instead of each airline. Once you check in then you enter the gate area which has its own security and shops. It's such a strange design. The conveyor belt that takes the luggage down broke for a while and they just stopped all check-in operations for 10 minutes until they got it fixed. Once that happened we entered the gate area which felt sort of like a holding tank. There was a tiny bathroom, a coffee stand, and a tiny duty free shack. There weren't very many windows in the gate area and this was the only shot I could get of the A320 that would take us to DUS.
As we walked onto the plane a flight attendant passed out a snack bar called, Corny. I saved it until they served drinks so I could have it with some coffee. We were seated in an exit row and had tons of space. Luckily the flight was very short at just under an hour. Interestingly enough, the inflight service on this German domestic flight was comparable to a US domestic flight.
About an hour later, we arrived at DUS. The Lufthansa operation there was quite large but contained in a single terminal building. We only had a 35 minute layover to catch our plane to Helsinki. The gate for the next flight was right next to the arriving one and it was a bus gate. So we had to walk downstairs to a waiting lounge, then take a bus out to a remote gate. The flight was on Lufthansa regional partner, Eurowings.
This is the CRJ-900 that would take us to HEL.
Once again I was able to snag some exit row seats on the DUS to HEL leg. It was surprisingly easy to get these seats because Lufthansa doesn't do seat assignments ahead of time. So when I checked in online the seats were available to take. On the CRJ-900 there is a ton of legroom in these seats, which was good because the flight was 2.5 hours long. They served breakfast that consisted of yogurt and fruit. They did several beverage services and flight attendants were quite present the entire flight.
When we arrived in HEL. We parked at a remote gate once again and had to pile into a bus to the terminal. The arrival process was very quick. The Helsinki airport is quite efficient and the bags were there waiting for us when we got to baggage claim.