It's no problem at all getting to Berlin's Schönefeld Airport, even during the wee hours of the morning thanks to Germany's great public transport system. I verified this up close and personal, as my flight was scheduled to depart at 7:25 AM, and I was planning to get to the airport at 6. I actually ended up arriving a lot earlier than expected - it turns out that Germany switches to Daylight Savings Time on a different schedule than everyone else, and this happened to be that night. Night or day, you can get to the airport by bus, train, or the special Airport-Express, which accepts the same regular public transit tickets you can use throughouto the city. I used the Airport-Express, which cost me 3 Euro.
From the train station, an underpass leads to a covered walkway directly to the airport, featuring conveniently-positioned screens showing flight arrival and departure times, and associated terminals. Interspersed with these are the ads of various airlines.
Berlin's Schönefeld Airport has 4 terminals: A - the largest; this one is used by Aeroflot for its flights to Moscow, and Rossiya Airlines for flights to St. Petersburg, B - used by easyJet, C - for cargo aircraft, and D - reserved for the Germanwings airline. The terminals aren't very large and are within easy reach of each other. At this early hour terminal A was quiet and deserted:
On the other hand, terminal B, which is connected to terminal A by a walkway, was rife with activity:
Interestingly, service and safety announcements were repeated in Russian as well as German and English. Even the garbage bins had Russian labels. It was rather surprising for me to see so much Russian in a German airport, but it makes sense as a large portion of the flights are headed to and from Russia and the CIS.
I purchased my tickets via easyJet's official website. The price of the flight was 30 Euro. This included one carry-on bag of specific size and weight. Anything over that incurred an extra fee. There were also extra fees associated with checking baggage, printing a boarding pass (which you can print at home after checking in online), checking in at the airport (free if done online), and priority boarding, dubbed "speedy boarding" by easyJet. Passengers who paid for priority boarding were allowed to board first and pick any seat they wanted, after which the remaining passengers were allowed in to choose among the remaining seats. There was no way to reserve a seat at this time, though in November, the airline was supposed to introduce seat reservations - for an extra fee, naturally.
After getting through security we were allowed into the waiting area. There were a couple of stores and a small café. The area was crowded and there weren't enough seats for everyone. However, since terminals A and B have a common waiting area, and there were few flights departing from terminal A, I made my way over in that direction and - thank goodness - found an empty seat. There were no PA announcements for boarding and arrivals, so passengers had to keep an eye on the time-table to see where and when boarding was going to begin.
We made our way to the plane on foot. Boarding passes were checked at the foot of the ramp.
The plane was an Airbus A-320 in pretty good shape (the EasyJet fleet consists exclusively of Airbus 319s and 320s), clean and not too shabby. There was no personal A/C vent, but they did have reading lights and a flight attendant button.
Naturally, the entire airplane is outfitted for economy class only.
The seats were comfortable, with grey upholstery featuring the company logo, and did not recline. The backs of the seats were being exploited to their full potential: they had ads on them.
For a person of average height, the leg room was adequate.
Entertainment consisted of safety instructions, a flight magazine, and a menu. All food had to be purchased. Options included sandwiches, chocolate, cookies, alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, canned soups and porridges, tea and coffee. Both cash and credit cards could be used for payment.
The airliner was tended by four flight attendants. Two men, one of whom was of a rather respectable age, and two women. The team was an international one. Each attendant had a different European flag pinned on their shirt; Norbert had a German one, Karen had a British one, the lady named Petra had a Slovakian one and two other ones; the eldest flight attendant had the most flags. They could all speak English. They were orderly, tireless, and sincerely cheerful.
The toilets were maintained in very respectable condition, which did credit to the company. During the flight, the flight attendants would periodically wipe the handles and spray air freshener.
Takeoff and landing went smoothly. We experienced no turbulence during the flight. Departure and arrival were on time. The flight lasted exactly 1 hour 40 minutes. We arrived at the Paris Orly Airport, South (Sud) terminal, which services budget, Caribbean, charter, and North American airlines, including the Russian airline Transaero. The North (Nord) terminal in Orly is connected to the South via train and shuttles, and is used by Air France and its partners in the Star Alliance. Disembarking was achieved by jet
bridge, this time for both the priority passengers and everyone else.
A glass corridor with a moving walkway led to the main terminal building.
We exited into the pre-flight security check area.
Aigle Azur, specializing in flights across North Africa and since recently offering flights to Russia: