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BA, IB & Binter To Tenerife And Gran Canaria  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3243 posts, RR: 12
Posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10868 times:

British Airways, Iberia & Binter to Tenerife and Gran Canaria

In early December, a friend and I were thinking of places to go to escape the worst of the British winter. She really wanted to go to Egypt, and I wanted to go to either Tunisia or Jordan. As we all now know, all three of those locations would have been awful, so it’s lucky that in the end we both agreed on the Canary Islands.

After perusing what flights were available, I found that BA and Iberia (via Madrid) had return fare starting at £180, when the likes of easyJet, Ryanair and Monarch (all direct) were all over £450. Being BA Silver, the choice was easy. I selected LHR-MAD-LHR flight on BA (to avail ourselves of the free catering), whilst the MAD-TFN (Tenerife North)/LPA (Gran Canaria)-MAD sectors would be with IB. Linking the two would be with Binter, the “national” airline of the Canaries.

Our Route


Checking at the Club Europe desk was an unsmiling affair, much like my trip last summer to Cuba – I think the T3 staff are much less friendly than their T5 counterparts. My bag was tagged (no priority tags), and the first boarding pass printed. I enquired about getting the IB pass for the MAD-TFN leg and was told that the computer couldn’t print it. Not a great start. The IB desks are in the next section, so we went over there and a rather brusque guy on the Iberia Plus desk printed them for us.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5074.jpg

Security wasn’t too busy, and before long we were in the Cathay Pacific lounge. CX have recently overhauled their LHR lounge to be more in line with their trademark HKG offerings. This includes a made-to-order noodle bar. The lounge was completely deserted lest one guy sitting in the far corner. The selection at the noodle bar was a bit minimalist, however, with just three choices. Both my friend and I went for the pork dumpling noodles, which were pretty tasty.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5075.jpg
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After our noodles, we went over to the BA lounge, where my friend filled up on curry. I went for the sandwiches. We also had a couple of their freshly baked cookies (thumbs up to BA for those!). After filling ourselves in the lounge, we headed down to the gate, where boarding was already underway.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5084.jpg


BA boards all their shorthaul flights (MAD, BCN, AGP, GIB, LIS & VIE) at remote stands, so we joined the queue for the bus out to the plane.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5086.jpg
The first bus had already gone so we got on the second. Unfortunately my friend made it up the stairs first, so she got the window seat, and I was stuck in the aisle.

British Airways BA 460
London Heathrow (LHR) – Madrid Barjaras (MAD)
Scheduled: 1430-1750 (2h20m)
Actual: 1455-1744 (1h49m)
Airbus A320 G-EUUU


We pushed back a little late, and ended up taking off just under half an hour late. Being sat just behind the Club Europe cabin, we were the first to be served. Ever since my flight up to Glasogw in December, I’ve realised that BA crew don’t seem perturbed by requesting “a couple” of G&Ts (in the past I’d always just ordered one), so I got 2 gins, and my friend a vodka. For those of you that are interested, on this flight BA served 50% Smirnoff Blue (produced in the States), however on the flight home they served 37.5% Smirnoff Red (from the UK).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5088.jpg

I managed to swap seats towards the end of the flight, although there wasn’t much to see other than a lot of clouds.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5088.jpg
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The approach into Madrid was very misty, with the ground only appearing a few moments before touch down.
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Madrid was cold and wet.
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Madrid Bajaras Terminal 4S, home of IB longhual
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Being sat near the front, we managed to get to the head of the queue for passport control, and ended up getting a nearly probate train over to Terminal 4, where baggage claim and Iberia shorthaul flights leave from.

We made a beeline for the lounge, where we got a warm welcome for the lounge dragon.
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This lounge isn’t as nice as the one over in T4S (there are no tarmac views), but the snack selection was good with lots of salads, sandwiches, wraps, crisps, ice cream and fruit. They also had mini bottles of cava (I know the brand isn’t the best, but it’s a nice idea).

About twenty five minutes before schedule departure, we made our way towards the gate which ended up being up in the very furthest corner of the terminal.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5113.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5114.jpg

Iberia IB 968
Madrid Barjaras (MAD) – Tenerife North (TFN)
Scheduled: 1945-2130 (2h45m)
Actual: 2015-2145 (2h30m)
Airbus A320 EC-KOH


This flight was nearly fully booked. When we got to our seats in the sixth row, there was a lady sitting in the E seat (we had D and F). When she saw us, she jumped up and said “oh, I’ve got the A seat”, and moved across the aisle…weird. Luckily, despite the full load, we ended up with an empty seat between us. Iberia have slim line seats with the seat pocket behind the head rest. Combined with the extra legroom towards the front, we had loads of space, far more than on BA.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5120.jpg
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Tarmac views
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5115.jpg
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Portugalia
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Blankets and pillows were handed out. The turkey and cream cheese croissant was something I swiped from the lounge. IB don’t have ANYTHING free shorthual, not even water. The eyemask is from Air New Zealand.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5121.jpg

Being a night flight, mainly over ocean, there wasn’t much to see so I went to sleep. I awoke about fifteen minutes out of Tenerife. I was quite happy with this photo, which is of central Santa Cruz (the capital). http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5124.jpg
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TFN was basically deserted at this time on a Saturday night. Other than a couple of Binter ATRs, we were the only aircraft on the tarmac.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5134.jpg

The arrivals hall
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After collecting our bags, we made our way to the taxi rank, where it took about twenty minutes to get to our hotel.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where we stayed for 2 nights
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Some interesting mummies at the museum
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The market
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Lunch
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A dragon Tree


A beach north of the city
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From Santa Cruz we drove on the Anaga mountains on a rather circuitous route up to the National Park, home of Spains highest peak, El Tiede.
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El Tiede with TFN in the foreground
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The drive was amazing (albeit rather hazardous). My friend spent most of the journey screaming in terror. The views were great, and the weather was perfect.

We stayed in the only hotel in the National Park, the Parador. Unfortunately, the standards weren’t great, especially given the rather high price tag. We were, however, right in the centre of the park.

View from the hotel room
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The wonders of the National Park
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Our hotel, surrounded up hoardes of daytrippers
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The cable car up to the top of Tiede. In Santa Cruz we went to try and get one of the limited numbers of permits to go right to the summit, but we were told it was closed due to snow and ice, which was a shame.
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Gran Canaria
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5326.jpg

El Hierro


A desert bit of the park
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5352.jpg

Have any of you read “Tintin on the Moon”?
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After our two nights up at the foot of Mt.Tiede, it was time to head to the beaches of Gran Canaria. There was a choice of two airlines from Tenerife, Binter and Islas. Islas had slightly cheaper fares, but only three flights a day compared to Binters 15 or so. After a bit of searching, I found some cheap seats on the 10am Binter flight over to Gran Canria. Unfortunately, this meant an early start from the Parador meaning missing out on the buffet breakfast. The drive down the mountain at dawn was fantastic – it’s just a shame that we couldn’t really drive slowly and appreciate the views – I’ll have to go back again sometime – really, it’s out of this world. http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5368.jpg
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Despite taking slightly longer than planned, we arrived at Tenerife North Airport 90 minutes before departure, plenty of time to take back the hire car and check in. There are no pre-assigned seats on Binter, so check in was quick. I left my friend to sit in the departures area, whilst I took a tour of the terminal taking a few photos.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5392.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5394.jpg

The airport might not be band new, but is a nice place to wander around for a bit. Other than a host of inter-island flights, all the other flights were for the mainland Spain, and one each to Nuremburg and Helsinki.

The queue for security was short, and I was through in a few minutes.

Binter NT 120
Tenerife North (TFN) – Gran Canaria (LPA)
Scheduled: 1000-1030 (0h30m)
Actual: 1009-1031 (0h22m)
ATR 72 EC-JBI


Out of the host of interisland flights leaving around the same time as us, we happened to be the only flight that was bussed out to the plane. On the plus side, we got an airport tour, and I was one of the first off the bus, and onto the plane, letting me snag my preferred window seat ahead of the wings.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5401.jpg
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The terminal building
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Mint Airways – anyone been on this?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5405.jpg

Off we go
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This flight proved just what can be achieved, service-wise, in the air. Tarmac to tarmac was 22 minutes. Two cabin crew, roughly 65 pax, with a bit of light turbulence. We were offered a choice of papers, still or sparkling water, a chocolate bar, a boiled sweet and a refreshing wipe. This was all done in Spanish and English and with a smile. So, to all you cabin crew out there with flight times hovering around 30 minutes (or more) who say you can’t do a service, nonsense!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5417.jpg

Views from the plane
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Comfortable seats on Binter (when disembarking)
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Compared to TFN, LPA was very busy. Today seemed to be German day at the airport, with no less than six TUIfly B737s on the ground, including one masquerading as a giant Haribo. There were also a load of Air Berlins and D-reg Thomas Cooks.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5439.jpg
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Interisland flights are handled in a separate part of the building, away from all the holidays flights.
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Our hotel was overbooked, so we ended up spending one night in another hotel. As compensation, we got an upgrade to Half board, with drinks, a bottle of wine, and a fruit basket. Not bad, and worth the hassle. We had to really push to get it though, as other people that were moved got nothing.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5445.jpg


The Yumbo Centre
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A few views of Gran Canaria’s famous dunes
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After three days basking in the sun of Gran Canaria, it was time to head on to Madrid. IB fly around six flights a day between the two places, and we were booked on the second of the day.
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Today seemed to be Scandinavia day at the airport, with flights to basically every Scandinavian and Finnish airport I could think of, along with a few German, Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg flights. The UK was conspicuous by its absence, with just two FR flights listed for Bournemouth and Stansted. My friend spotted a FR flight heading to Santiago – I pointed out that thankfully it was Santiago de Compostela (Spain) rather than Santiago de Chile. Be both agreed that a FR flight to South America might be pushing the boundaries of comfort for most travellers. One interesting flight that I’d like to try one day is the SATA service on a DH1 from Gran Canaria to the Azores via Madeira (FNC). Sounds like an unlikely routing.


The check in area was pretty busy, and I was shocked to see an enormous queue for the IB check in.
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There was just one desk being used for economy, and with a full A321, unsurprisingly there was a bit of a back up.

Luckily or us, there was no one in the Business Class queue, so we were seen straight away. The friendly lady at the desk printed out our boarding passes, and gave us a lounge invite, together with instructions on how to find it. http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5513.jpg
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We headed through security, which had a very long queuing area, but a mercifully short queue, then went up to the higher level where there is an outdoor smoking area, a bar area, and the lounge. The two ladies on the door welcomed us in, and we took a seat. The lounge was quite large, and with plenty of sofas and tables, and views of the tarmac. Drinks options were pretty good, although the same cannot be said of the food selection, which consisted of small packets of peanuts and three bags of crisps. There were signs for free wifi, but even with the password, I couldn’t get my computer to connect.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5517.jpg

About ten minutes after I saw our plane land and taxi past, we left the lounge and headed the length of the terminal to the gate. Whilst the lounge wasn’t great, the terminal was even worse. Busy busy busy!


Iberia IB 807
Gran Canaria (LPA) – Madrid Barjaras (MAD)
Scheduled: 1110-1445 (2h35m)
Actual: 1119-1450 (2h31m)
Airbus A321 EC-JDR
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5524.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5525.jpg

Upon boarding, we found most of a Spanish basketball (?) team filling the Business Class cabin. Another team (Murcia) were to be found in economy. The flight was completely full. Again, we had gone for a window and an aisle, but this time we had someone sat in between us. We pushed back ontime, but ended up waiting for an Air Europa flight to leave.
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Leaving the lovely and warm Canaries.
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http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3243 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10851 times:

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5548.jpg

Mt Tiede in the distance
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5550.jpg

My friend in the aisle fell asleep almost straight away, as did our in-between neighbour. I turned my attention of my newly downloaded Kindle on my newly bought HTC (oh, how I miss my iPhone!), and ate the peanuts from the lounge.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5580.jpg

Time passed slowly, but was fairly peaceful. Just over two hours into the flight we passed the corner of Portugal (and Europe), and flew past Faro airport.
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Twenty minutes before landing we passed over Toledo. I was pretty happy with this pic, as I just randomly took it without realising where it was. If you are ever in the area, go and have a look round the town – very nice. And if you are there for a night, stay at the Parador, and get a room with a city view.
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Approach
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We touched down just a few minutes behind schedule, and spent a while taxiing past T123 to T4.
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However dodgy the on-board service, you simply cannot fault the wonderful paint scheme.
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Some spotters
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Before long we were back in the beautiful T4, and headed to baggage reclaim. Our “Priotorio” labelled bags came our No. 1 and 4 respectively, which was nice. Interestingly, the only mention that the flight was a codeshare with BA was on the luggage collection monitors. We then headed for the metro into the city.
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We were staying in the Mercure Santo Domingo, which was really nice, and a bargain for £58 a night in a superior room. Great decoration and very comfy beds. Do make sure you get a room in the new part of the hotel though. I tried to book my sister into this hotel for when she is in Madrid in May (en route via IB to Lima), but for a standard room, the rate was over £130. Both were Saturday night stays. Crazy!
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My friends brother met us (he speaks excellent Spanish), and took us to a brilliant tapas bar, then out for a paella. Yum! It was over dinner that my friend told me that just before push back in LPA, one of the crew (?) came and spoke to her in Spanish. She doesn’t speak any Spanish, so the FA moved onto a guy on the other side of the aisle….turns out she missed out on a free upgrade to Business as the guy she spoke to after took a seat at the front. I felt a bit bad for her, as she’d never been in C before. However, if she had got upgraded, and left me I Y, I would have been a bit jealous.
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After a late night of eating and drinking, followed by morning chocolate and churros, we headed back to Barajas on the metro. We found the BA check in desks very easily, but ended up waiting longer in the Club Europe (C) queue than if we had joined the Euro Traveller (Y) one.
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We took the train over to T4S where the BA flights leave from. A note to future travellers passing through MAD T4 – if there is a choice between the lift (elevator) and escalator, take the lift! 95% of the time in MAD it’ll be quicker. Just watch what the staff do!
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The IB lounge in T4S is one of my favourites. Plenty of space, rarely busy, decent food and drink, and tables with a good view. Having extolled the virtues of IBs preflight catering to my friend, we were quite disappointed to find that lunch only starts at 2pm (breakfast at 9am, dinner at 9pm) – slightly out of sync with non-Spanish meal times. However, there was still a reasonable selection of pasta salads, some bacon and sausages, salads, sandwich and hot tortilla. Once again, we decided to go for the cavas. There is something very civilised about sipping cava, watching planes in the sun!
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A few views from the lounge
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After an all too short stay in the lounge (I could sit there all day) it was time to head off to our flight back to London. When we got to the gate, boarding was already underway.
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British Airways BA 459
Madrid Barjaras (MAD) – London Heathrow (LHR)
Scheduled: 1410-1525 (2h15m)
Actual: 1428-1523 (1h55m)
Airbus A320 G-EUUK


Once again, we had the two seats directly behind business class, with the empty seat left free, which was great on this fully booked flight. http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5646.jpg
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We pushed back a little late, and after a very short taxi, took off into a pleasant Spanish winters afternoon. It took a full half an hour before the crew had loaded their trolley and pushed it up to the front. I asked for a couple of G&Ts – the FA only heard the T though, so had to asked again for those precious little yellow bottles! My friend only asked for one vodka coke, but was given two as well, together with a small bag of crisps.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5664.jpg

Is BA the only airline to offer “cocktail” tables? They are so useful, although I imagine quite a lot of people knock glasses off by accident. Maybe they should install the small fold down glass holders?


After the duty free run, I asked for another G&T, and we were both brought a couple more each – brilliant service! Approach into London was wet and windy
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5676.jpg

Sorry, the photo is a bit blurry. Why did BA put the Concorde at the back, instead of leaving her near the runway, or up on a pedestal like in CDG?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Canary%20Islands/CIMG5678.jpg
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Welcome to Dublin?
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We disembarked via the stairs again, and crowded into the coach for the short trip back to T3.
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After a shortish wait, our bags appeared. This time, however, the priority tags made absolutely no difference whatsoever. Shame!

Verdict:

BA were as good as usual. No real complaints, although their staff in T3 (do they mix and match with T5 staff?) are really not great. 100% of my visits to the Club Europe desks in T3 I’ve been met with either “Are you in Club?” or “Yes?”, or just a grunt. How about “Hello! How are you? Where are you flying today?”. Wishful thinking! Also, why do BA not do priority tags? They never seem to offer in LHR – I suppose they know the baggage handlers just ignore them anyway. This is one thing that IB can teach them hopefully.

IB were about as good as you can get, whilst still offering absolutely no complimentary onboard service. Staff were friendly, seats comfortable, and great seat pitch (towards the front anyway). The IB lounges are really good – light years ahead of the dowdy old LH lounges, and with much better food offerings than LX, SK or OS.

Binter …. oh why do you only fly inter-Canaries?! Service was great for such a short flight, and they have some great fares as well. On my next trip to the islands, I’ll definitely log a few more flights with them.

My next flights are now booked, flying with OU LHR-ZAG/PUY-ZAD-ZAG in a few weeks…hopefully the Croatian weather will be welcoming!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
User currently offlineGenius12 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 197 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10598 times:

Nice report, thanks for sharing! To answer a few of your questions;

Yes, BA staff are rotated across T3 and T5, so it must just be luck of the draw when you get the grumpy few in T3!

Priority tags aren't needed at LHR, as the priority instruction is in the barcode (although it doesn't usually work sadly on BA).

Did you use the BA Galleries Club in T3? I find that lounge to have better food options than the CX Business lounge, although the CX lounge is quieter.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6757 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9950 times:

Hi Gabriel,

nice report with great pictures. I have never been to Tenerife, but want to go there in the near future.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Comfortable seats on Binter (when disembarking)

Good idea to choose red seats.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Binter …. oh why do you only fly inter-Canaries?! Service was great for such a short flight, and they have some great fares as well. On my next trip to the islands, I’ll definitely log a few more flights with them.

Binter has also impressed me between Gran Canaria and Lanzarote (even though the flight was operated by Naysa). But you should also give Islas Airways a try.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 9743 times:

Hi Gab,

Nice to see this report up after getting a preview of mostly the non-flying parts at FB!   Great pictures from the Canaries and all around, looks like you had a very relaxing break! The weather looks perfect, apart from the UK and the first transfer at MAD, of course!

I like the IB T4 lounge, never been in the T4S one, though. When I was there some years ago there was hardly any food, though, but plenty of drinks to go round...

I did something similar last year, flew to TFS, spent the day in Santa Cruz and then took Binter to LPA in the evening, overnighted there and then flew up to MAD, although that was with Ryanair!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):

After perusing what flights were available, I found that BA and Iberia (via Madrid) had return fare starting at £180, when the likes of easyJet, Ryanair and Monarch (all direct) were all over £450.

Oh yes, I remember you mentioning this. Crazy indeed - I know your average leisure traveler doesn't like connecting, but paying a 300 quid premium for it, having to shell out even more cash for luggage AND yet more for any onboard service (well, it's the same with IB, though) is just insane!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
BA boards all their shorthaul flights (MAD, BCN, AGP, GIB, LIS & VIE) at remote stands, so we joined the queue for the bus out to the plane.

Hey, don't remember good 'ole HEL from the list!! That bus boarding area is very nice, but I've gotten too used to it!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Barjaras

Barajas, actually.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Ever since my flight up to Glasogw in December, I’ve realised that BA crew don’t seem perturbed by requesting “a couple” of G&Ts (in the past I’d always just ordered one), so I got 2 gins, and my friend a vodka.

Yep, I've learned this as well  . Only once have I been denied a second drink between LHR and HEL - the guy wasn't too friendly and said that he might bring me a second bottle of wine "if there's time" (it's a two and half hour flight for crying out loud - you'll have plenty of time!). Well, you can guess what happened - he never returned and I didn't bother chasing the matter...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
where we got a warm welcome for the lounge dragon.

Mentioning "dragon" and "warm" in the same sentence conjures up some nice mental images of fire being breathed upon you two!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
El Tiede.

Sorry again, it's El Teide actually  .

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
We were offered a choice of papers, still or sparkling water, a chocolate bar, a boiled sweet and a refreshing wipe. This was all done in Spanish and English and with a smile. So, to all you cabin crew out there with flight times hovering around 30 minutes (or more) who say you can’t do a service, nonsense!

Yep, it was the same with my flight. Very impressive - I didn't really expect to get any service whatsoever on such a short hop.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
One interesting flight that I’d like to try one day is the SATA service on a DH1 from Gran Canaria to the Azores via Madeira (FNC)

Yep, that's on my TOFLY list - I visited both LPA and FNC last year so this would be a nice way of connecting the dots. It's actually a Dash 8 -200 series I think. Maybe we should take that flight together?  
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Upon boarding, we found most of a Spanish basketball (?) team filling the Business Class cabin. Another team (Murcia) were to be found in economy.

The losing team is punished by having to fly IB in economy - the winner flies in business!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
She doesn’t speak any Spanish, so the FA moved onto a guy on the other side of the aisle….turns out she missed out on a free upgrade to Business as the guy she spoke to after took a seat at the front. I felt a bit bad for her, as she’d never been in C before. However, if she had got upgraded, and left me I Y, I would have been a bit jealous.

Errr, that's very bad. First of all why would they upgrade a pax if it wasn't for overbooking - it sounds like his seat was left empty or did somebody actually come and sat down on that seat? Secondly only speaking Spanish and not bothering to repeat the request in English is just stupid. I know many of the Spanish FAs have quite basic English (this applies to at least IB, JK and Spanish FR operations) but still, it is the lingua franca of aviation and travel and a basic requirement for that job! Just ridiculous! Sorry for your friend.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
but ended up waiting longer in the Club Europe (C) queue than if we had joined the Euro Traveller (Y) one.

Oh yes, you just can't give up the perks you deserve, can't you?  
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Is BA the only airline to offer “cocktail” tables? They are so useful, although I imagine quite a lot of people knock glasses off by accident. Maybe they should install the small fold down glass holders?

It might have something to do with the British drinking habits, don't you think?  . Seriously speaking that is a great idea and some airlines do offer it, at least Malev has is on their business class seats in the front of the plane (some of which are usually used for economy as well), LH and BT put a small table like thing on the blocked middle seat in business which has the same function etc.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Sorry, the photo is a bit blurry. Why did BA put the Concorde at the back, instead of leaving her near the runway, or up on a pedestal like in CDG?

Because it's Britain! Too many NIMBYs opposing it just because they can. Just like the third Heathrow runway, you know...  . Nice to see G-CPET there as well.

Keep up the good work, mate! Croatia sounds good to me!


User currently offlinerobso2 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2010, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9624 times:

Great TR! thanks for all the photos. Its nice to share TR's to the Canaries as for many non-european readers its rather an unusual destination.

Glad you had such good experience on IB. I think the T4S lounge is really great! Shame you couldn't catch a A346 either there or back as I flew to LPA about 4 years ago from MAD on one. Great experience  



733/4/5/6/7/8/9, 319/20/21, 752, 744, 772, 332/3, 343/6, E70/90, AT43, AR85/1, D38, D10, M82
User currently offlinesfflyer123 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9078 times:

Very nice TR! Looks like you guys had a great time with all that alcohol! You sure know how to live it up!

User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1195 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8978 times:

Am I correct it is too cold to swim in the Canaries in the winter?

Islas is another Canary airline with lower fares than BINTER.


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8769 times:

Nice TR, looks like you had a fun trip.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Checking at the Club Europe desk was an unsmiling affair, much like my trip last summer to Cuba – I think the T3 staff are much less friendly than their T5 counterparts.

They do mix the staff, but there are a core team that prefer working there (Im one of them) Its upsetting you got a staff member like that though. I for one would always greet with a smile and even chat when Im doing my work, though I don't get out on the proper check in desks in my job.

Anyway, once again fab TR, and loved the pics (Saw Mint Air at LGW on Friday.)


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3243 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8719 times:

Quoting Genius12 (Reply 2):

Yes, BA staff are rotated across T3 and T5, so it must just be luck of the draw when you get the grumpy few in T3!

Yeah, unlucky I guess!

Quoting Genius12 (Reply 2):
Priority tags aren't needed at LHR, as the priority instruction is in the barcode (although it doesn't usually work sadly on BA).

Is there a reason they don't work? BA don't pay for the service?

Quoting Genius12 (Reply 2):
Did you use the BA Galleries Club in T3? I find that lounge to have better food options than the CX Business lounge, although the CX lounge is quieter.

Yeah, the food is better in the BA lounge, but I wanted to try the noodle bar at CX. I've got it out of my system now, so next time I'll be back at BA!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
nice report with great pictures.

Thanks!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Binter has also impressed me between Gran Canaria and Lanzarote (even though the flight was operated by Naysa). But you should also give Islas Airways a try.

Yeah, NT are pretty impressive on their short sectors.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Nice to see this report up after getting a preview of mostly the non-flying parts at FB!

Thanks! I've had complaints in the past that my FB albums have far too many plane pics!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
The weather looks perfect

Yes, it was pretty good - could have done with an extra 5-10C though!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Hey, don't remember good 'ole HEL from the list!!

Sorry!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Barajas, actually.

Sorry again!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):

The losing team is punished by having to fly IB in economy - the winner flies in business!

Yes, we did think it might have been something like that!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Oh yes, you just can't give up the perks you deserve, can't you?

Well, I do normally end up leaving the 'fast track' queues in LHR as they normally take longer than the normal queues.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Keep up the good work, mate! Croatia sounds good to me!

Will do! Just looking for hotels in ZAG and PUY.

Quoting robso2 (Reply 5):
Great TR! thanks for all the photos.

Thanks!

Quoting robso2 (Reply 5):
I think the T4S lounge is really great!

Yes, it really is a nice lounge.

Quoting robso2 (Reply 5):
hame you couldn't catch a A346 either there or back as I flew to LPA about 4 years ago from MAD on one. Great experience

I caught an IB A346 last summer en route to HAV. If there had a been once at a good time, then I would have gone for it though.

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
Very nice TR!

Thanks!

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
Looks like you guys had a great time with all that alcohol! You sure know how to live it up!

Yeah, I think that 99% of Europeans heading to the Canary Islands in the winter come home with rather unhappy livers! And on BA, it'd be rude not to!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 7):
Am I correct it is too cold to swim in the Canaries in the winter?

Yes, yes it was. I went up to my ankles and decided to head to the pool. I believe it's notterribly warm in the summer either (warmer, but colder than the Med).

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 7):
Islas is another Canary airline with lower fares than BINTER.

ON the TFN-LPA Islas has 3 flights. The 3 NT flights at the same times all have prices matched, so we thought we go with the 'reassurance' or a larger carrier. Maybe should have gone with Islas, but there we go.

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 8):
They do mix the staff, but there are a core team that prefer working there (Im one of them) Its upsetting you got a staff member like that though. I for one would always greet with a smile and even chat when Im doing my work, though I don't get out on the proper check in desks in my job.

It's strange that I've only have good experiences in T5, and bad in T3. Maybe the lack of light makes the staff a bit more depressed? Having said that, I think that staff working on the Premium desks should greet everyone who comes up to the desk as a Club/Gold/Silver pax irrespective of what they look like (I'm young, travelling for leisure, and don't wear a suit). Do BA staff have complexes with youthful-looking Club/Gold/Silver pax?

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 8):
Anyway, once again fab TR, and loved the pics (Saw Mint Air at LGW on Friday.)

Thanks! Where does that MINT airline fly? Just charter?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8432 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
I think that staff working on the Premium desks should greet everyone who comes up to the desk as a Club/Gold/Silver pax irrespective of what they look like (I'm young, travelling for leisure, and don't wear a suit). Do BA staff have complexes with youthful-looking Club/Gold/Silver pax?

Cant agree with you more there. I don't like seeing it happen. Yes the question has to be asked to make sure they are in the correct check in area otherwise people can take the mick out of the system, but there has to be a better way to ask it then they sometimes do at the moment, as you experienced.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3243 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8033 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 10):
Cant agree with you more there. I don't like seeing it happen. Yes the question has to be asked to make sure they are in the correct check in area otherwise people can take the mick out of the system, but there has to be a better way to ask it then they sometimes do at the moment, as you experienced.

Well, when I went to check in, there was a guy asking if you had checked in online etc. The only way to access the Premium counters is by saying you are in Club or have a Gold/Silver card - that should be enough to smooth the way to a friendly dask agent?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
User currently offlineDavidCA From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 69 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7757 times:

Great TR Gabriel! Not having been to the Canary Islands, for whatever reason I had been under the impression that they were nothing but a nasty tourist trip. On the contrary, the islands look a very interesting place to visit if your TR is anything to go by. The Spanish food looked great, too.   Enjoy Croatia!

User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3243 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 7415 times:

Quoting DavidCA (Reply 12):
Great TR Gabriel!

Thanks!

Quoting DavidCA (Reply 12):
Not having been to the Canary Islands, for whatever reason I had been under the impression that they were nothing but a nasty tourist trip. On the contrary, the islands look a very interesting place to visit if your TR is anything to go by.

Well, I imagine that +95% of the foreigners going to the Canaries are booked on (cheap) sun & sand packages, and can either be found on the beach or in a bar. I have an inability to sit on a beach for more than 20 minutes, so I'm forced to do more interesting stuff, like hiking around volcanoes! There certainly are a lot of very nice and untouristy places on the islands.

Quoting DavidCA (Reply 12):
The Spanish food looked great, too.

Yes, especially in Madrid - tasty tapas and paella!

Quoting DavidCA (Reply 12):
Enjoy Croatia!

Thanks!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6976 times:

Hi Gabrielchew - good to see your report on the Canaries trip you did. Really enjoyed the read and your pics. I was also there in early Feb (again) and this time round, we flew two sectors with Islas to compare them with Binter (whom we had flown before), and they were also very nice.

However, our flight from LPA - ACE was delayed by 2 hours with no explanation. A long story, but the delay actually worked in our favour as we were coming in from TFN to connect with the LPA service. It's amazing what a crew can do in a 30 min flight - we found on all sectors: TFN-LPA-ACE-LPA-TFS, the crews were fantastic.

I echo you sentiments - oh why do Binter only fly short hops! They could teach IB a thing or two about service!!

Did you have any issues taking pics at LPA? I got told to put my camera away on the ramp when we arrived from TFN on Binter. The usual stupid "security issues" were quoted at me. lol. Thankfully I had all my pics by then.

Thanks again. P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3243 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6673 times:

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 14):
However, our flight from LPA - ACE was delayed by 2 hours with no explanation.

Thats why I decided to go with Binter - if there's a problem, there's much more int he way of backup, what with flights over 30 mins or so, rather than Islas' 3 daily.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 14):
I echo you sentiments - oh why do Binter only fly short hops! They could teach IB a thing or two about service!!

I'm sure they could make some money on the routes to the mainland.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 14):
Did you have any issues taking pics at LPA? I got told to put my camera away on the ramp when we arrived from TFN on Binter. The usual stupid "security issues" were quoted at me. lol. Thankfully I had all my pics by then.

I only took a few photos on the ramp, and alway make an effort to not be too obvious, so no, no issues there.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
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