During the three-hour bomb disposal operation no planes were permitted to land at Tegel airport, the capital’s main international airport.
Passengers were instead redirected to BER, where they had to wait for several hours because they weren’t allowed to disembark, according to local media reports.
Subway and bus lines were also interrupted.
Two dozen airplanes were redirected from Tegel to Schönefeld Airport, a spokesman said on Wednesday morning. Schönefeld is smaller than Tegel but it is Berlin's secondary international airport. There passengers had to endure long waiting times too. BER is located next to Schönefeld Airport.
“We had to accept 24 aircraft in Schönefeld in a short time frame because of the Tegel closure, and all of the aircraft arrived around the same time. Therefore, there were problems with providing the stairs. But all passengers were able to leave the aircraft,” said airport spokesperson Daniel Tolksdorf.
But those passengers who landed at BER had no such luck.
On Twitter passengers complained about not being allowed to get off because there were no buses to pick them up and no mobile stairs were brought to their planes.
Keine Treppe, keinen Bus, und 30 volle Flugzeuge. Flughafen tweet “Bald können auch die letzten Passagiere das Flugzeug verlassen.” Quatsch!
— Jan Middendorp (@JanMiddendorp) August 29, 2017
One user lamented about being one of the many passengers who’d planned on landing at Tegel but was instead brought to the empty BER, “where nothing is and where nothing’s going on.”
BER was supposed to open in 2010 but has been hit by a series of problems related to its fire safety systems. It still has no official opening date.
Around 11pm the police reported that the bomb had been defused, according to die Welt. Planes then took off from BER for a very short flight to Tegel, where passengers were finally able to disembark.