The City of Berlin is served by two nearby airports, Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Berlin Schönefeld (SXF). Both airports are friendly to the disabled and persons in wheelchairs. Information on wheelchair accessible airport assistance and service accommodations is provided below. Although there are no adapted taxis in Berlin, both airports offer multiple public transportation options that are accessible.
Berlin Tegel International Airport (TXL)
TXL airport is the most heavily trafficked of Berlin’s airports and is the primary point of entry for direct flights from the United States. Tegel Airport is wheelchair accessible, with airport staff trained in assisting those using both manual and powered chairs. All wheelchairs can be taken to the gate and aircraft door. If your gate agent says this is not possible, be firm in your insistence that it is. I have arrived/departed TXL more than 10 times combined with my power wheelchair, and have always taken it to (or received it at) the gate. Loaner wheelchairs are also available if you would like to check your wheelchair during the check-in process.
A special security line is available for wheelchair passengers. Passengers who are taking their powered wheelchair to the aircraft door will not use the jetway, but will be lifted to the aircraft’s right side door in a wheelchair transport truck, also known as an ambulift. Aisle chairs are available for all who require use of one. For more information on services and accessibility at TXL, visit berlin-airport.de.
Train and subway service is not available from TXL airport. Two city bus routes, both of which are wheelchair accessible, provide service between the airport and the city. A list of those routes and the accessible train stations they connect to is below:
- TXL Bus to S Beusselstr., U Turmstr., S+U Brandenburger Tor, S+U Alexanderplatz
- X9 Bus to S+U Jungfernheide, S+U Zoologischer Garten
Berlin Schönefeld International Airport (SXF)
SXF airport is the smaller of Berlin’s two area airports. It primarily serves low cost carriers including easyJet and WOW Air. International carriers including Aer Lingus and Aeroflot, among others, also operate from Berlin Schönefeld.
The airport is wheelchair accessible and provides the standard range of assistance services to the disabled and wheelchair users. Loaner wheelchairs are available at the airport, but passengers may also take their personal manual or powered wheelchair to the gate and aircraft door. Aisle chairs are available for passengers requiring assistance boarding the aircraft. For more information on services and accessibility at SXF, visit berlin-airport.de.
S-Bahn, DB Bahn regional rail and city bus service is available from SXF airport. The S-Bahn and DB Bahn regional rail trains depart from the Flughafen Schönefeld station. The station is a 5-minute walk via covered walkway from the airport terminal. A list of available services and routes is available below.
- S-Bahn routes: S9 (every 20 minutes) and S45 (every 20 minutes).
- DB Bahn regional rail routes: RE7 (hourly), RB14 (hourly), RB19 (hourly) and RB22 (hourly).
- City Bus routes: SXF, X7, 163, 164, 171, 734, 735, 736, 741 and 742.
At both airports, all passengers, especially disabled travelers, should arrive two hours prior to the departure of their flight.
If you will require a loaner wheelchair to traverse the airport and terminal or need another type of disability assistance, contact your airline directly. For more information, or to read frequently asked questions about air travel with a mobility disability, consult my Wheelchair Users’ Guide to Air Travel.