FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3889 times:
The trip: I was on a vacation week at Gran Canaria. One week without flying?
No, Binters fares = the best reason for a daytrip around the islands.
They opened they´re website for online booking in February this year.
I want to be early at the airport to view the (I hope!) interesting traffic.
Leave the hotel at 09.30 am and arrived at LPA at 10.00 am, parked the rental car at the multi storey car park, entered the old part of the terminal building, straight to the Binter counters.
5 to 6 desks staffed with Binter agents, only 2 or 3 customers there.
Binters only airline mileage partner is IB, I am a member of Iberia Plus, a good possibility to claim miles this way.
A friendly female in her 50´s checked me in for my first flight of this day to TFN.
The boarding pass was printed on a IB paper form.
Crossed security, the same procedure as always, turn left and checked the gate area in the far eastern part of the boarding area where all the inter island flights of Binter and Islas Airways boarded.
I found a good place in the new western part of the building to view the traffic: IB/Air Nostrum CRJ arrived from AGP, IB A321 arrived from MAD, 2 Futura B737´s, a B737-400 and a new 737-800 with winglets parked direct beneath, very interesting to see the difference.
Back to the C area at 11.30, boarding started at 11.40 and was interesting.
There are guided walkways from gates 1 and 2 down to the apron and along the airport road, the way directly to the plane was painted on the ground.
Leisure flight No.4 on the ATR 72-200 and, believe it or not, this was my second flight with Binter and also the second one on EC-HEZ.
Boarding by stairs at the back of the plane. Welcomed by a attractive young female FA, she guides all the first boarded pax, I was the second, to the front of the plane, another female FA in the front cabin. I take the window seat in the second row, left side.
Interior: New looking red leather seats, the cabin slightly dirty, IMO these seats are not the original seats. Boarding completed, doors closed, engines started.
No pushback, the ATRs drive backwards with their own engines and its like a roller coster, return, engines turned and without a stop forward to taxi to the active runway. No time to wait, at the entry to the runway no stop, power and after some seconds a steep take off, impressive how powerful these ATR planes are. A left turn to avoid flying over the city of Las Palmas, lost Gran Canaria and Teneriffa becomes visible.
Mostly spanish people of all ages on travel this time.
Service: A chocolate bar short after departure, water and some sweets before arrival. Good wheather at TFN, good views to the area during approach and touchdown late on runway 30. A long taxi on the runway to the outer part of the apron, our plane parked there IMO as a backup for the next 1 1/2
hours. Deboarding by bus. What to expect from TFN: A old building to handle the inter island travel, undersized when the big planes from the spanish mainland operate.
The reality: A new, spacious glas and wood building, well designed, I am really surprised. Crossed the baggage area to the public to check in for my next flight.
The check in counters for Binter located between the other desks and security control. 3 desks staffed, only 1 customer in front.
A female agent from IB in her 50`s checked my in. I presented my passport,
my IB Plus Card and my printed booking reference.
She: I dont need your paper, where do you want to go?
Me:Santa Cruz de la Palma.
She:OK, your not on the 2pm flight, when do you want to go?
She:OK,your sure you dont want to go on the 2 pm flight?
Me: Its possible to change?
She:If you want.
But in the case of the expected traffic I take the 3 pm flight.
She handed my out my boarding pass to SPC. Crossed security and I was more impressed. This building was ideally designed for the TFN needs. 2 finger gates from the upper floor on both sides of the terminal, a large space in the middle where the island flights parked on 4 positions, reachable from the groundfloor by feet, only a few meters to go.
One of the AirAtlanta, icelandic registered old 747-200s in IB colours parked on the apron, 2 Spanair MD80s in action and 2 IB A320s besides the ATRs from Binter and Islas.
EC-HEZ operates the 2pm service to SPC. EC-GRP arrived from LPA at 2.30 pm and was ready for boarding at 02.40 pm.
Leisure flight No.5 on the ATR 72-200 and the first on this plane.
A group of roundabout 10 people had a loud conversation at the gate, they weared T-shirts "Llucha Canaria Club XYZ", Llucha Canaria is the canarian style of wrestling. IMO these guys need to pay the double fare about their weight!.
We waited at the gate as the FO with his 2 female FAs arrived, the FAs greeting, the FO totally desinterested, IMO the type of pilote dreaming of crossing the pond in a 744, but in reality fly ATRs between the islands. Maybe another reason arrived 2 minutes later, the strict female captain, age: roundabout 50. Boarding started at 02.40 pm, by feet to the aircraft. Boarding at the back of the aircraft. Welcomed by the 2 friendly females, the Llucha Canaria guys taken all the seats with the best legroom, I´ll take the same seat again, left side, second row.
The pax: Spanish inter island travellers, by ferry for example from Las Palmas to Santa Cruz de La Palma = 14 hours, all the people gone by plane.
These plane shows its age: Worn fabric seats, dirty, scratched windows, it seems to be heavy used. Again the same procedure to taxi. Direct departure from runway 30, this time a long run and a slow takeoff, IMO we are flying very low directly from TFN which is located on a table-mountain over the sea to SPC. Service: The same chocolate bar, water and sweets.
SPC becomes visible. A sharp right turn and we touched down in a banana
No taxiway at SPC, all the planes turn around on the active runway and the taxi there to the apron. Deoarding by feet. Crossed the arrivals area with 2 belts only and looked for the desks to check in for my next flight.
IB and Binter check in was done at 3 desks staffed with IB employees. An IB flight departs to MAD at 05.00 pm, lots of people there, but one desk was only for pax without check in bags, only 2 customers there in front. An older female agent, friendly, take my passport, IB Card and printed form, asked if there was no bag to check and handed me my boarding pass to TFS.
I crossed security in no time and settled down in the totally empty departure hall. SPC is a rural style small building, only one floor, wodden windows, the only action was the arrival of the IB A320 from MAD. And its the first airport I ever know where arrivals was announced by the speakers!.
EC-IJO arrived from El Hierro. Leisure flight No.2 on the Beech1900D.The first on this plane. The plane parked, pax deboarded and seconds thereafter boarding for the flight to TFS started. The speakers forced all the pax to TFS to cross security first, the pax to MAD had to wait.
Guys thats real flying. The FO with his cool sunglasses stands beneath the engine and welcomed us pax. No FA on the flight. Only one seat empty. I took the left seat in the second row, no windows in the first row. No cockpit door.
Its like jumpseat flying.
The pax: Mostly spanish inter island travellers. The FO read the safety instructions from his papers, the door closed, engines started and we´re on the runway, turnaround and ... short before our runway entry landed an Islas ATR. The SPC runway had sucha hilltop, I cant see the plane but it was not parked, it will be on the runway, than it came up, leave the runway and we departed quickly. The whole action in the cockpit was visible during the flight, very interesting.
Interior: Dark grey leather seats, scratched windows, some pieces of the paint left and a really loud plane.
Join the restrooms before your flight, no toilet on the Beech1900D.
Again IMO a low flight level and approach to TFS runway 08 from the south.
Soft touchdown and welcome home I thinked, 3 Condor planes there, nothing else on the whole apron. Deboarding by bus. I crossed the bagagge area and searched for the check in.
TFS has only a small part of the inter island travel, conclusion: The announced desks for my next flight = not staffed. It seems I had to wait in the public area until check in opened without views to the traffic = bad, but it turns completely around in a good experience, more later.
What to do 3 hours at TFS without the possibility to join the gate area.
I walked down the impressive, huge and new building, at the far western end they announced a public footpath. One of the best things I´ve ever seen on an airport. They built a garden area with walkways and seats with direct view to the apron at the end of the terminal building. I bought someting to eat and drink at the airport Burger King sitting under a palmtree in the warm slightly windy evening and spot the (ok, low numbers) of traffic there.
The DE planes departed one after the other, Iberworld A320,Luxair B737-700 with winglets.
Check in at 07.00 pm, 2 desks with young female attractive agents staffed
(IB employees), crossed security for the last time this day and waited at the gate for my flight "home" to LPA. EC-JEH arrived at 07.40 pm, boarding started soon after. Leisure flight No.6 on the ATR 72-200 and the first on this bird. Bus boarding. Welcomed by an elder, friendly female FA.
Good looking plane, red leather seats, clear windows, clean.
Again the impressive taxi procedure, quick taxi, it seems the pilot wants to depart from the taxiway, no time to wait at the runway enrtry, a short takeoff run and a steep departure from runway 08.
The pax: Spanish people but also some tourists on a daytrip to Tenerife.
No water this time, only the usual chocolate bar and the sweets.
The leg was a real sightseeing flight, along the whole southern and eastern coastline of Gran Canaria, very good views without clouds, a low flight level, my hotel was clearly visible.
Approach to 03L, soft touchdown, deboarding by bus, crossed the baggage area and minutes later I was on the way to the south to join my family for dinner.
Conclusion: A great day of flying around, thanx to Binter.
Comments and critics always welcome,
Capital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 47 Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3731 times:
That was an excellent report to read!
I have always fancied the idea of island hopping with Binter on a trip to the Canaries. They seem to be doing well at attracting people onto their services given the load factors you mentioned. I was also impressed that they offer complementary refreshments, given that the fares are low and the flights so short.
FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3656 times:
thanx for your reply.
I dont know if they used it always on this route, but all the legs to and from Gomera (LPA and TFN) served by the B1900D.
thanx for your reply.
Since they opened for online booking its much easier and cheaper, i´ve done a flight LPA-ACE last year, fare 75.-- Euros, paper ticket.
All the legs I´ve booked except the Beech trip was called Mini-Fare.
I need roundabout 4 days for this routing with good fares booked early May.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4690 posts, RR: 45 Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3612 times:
What a great trip idea - and an inexpensive way to nail most of the Canary Island's aiports. I really enjoyed reading about the variety of standards, which can be found both on the airline's flights and at the various terminals. I
Is it possible to check-in via internet for the Binter flights? I have recently discovered that IB is now offering this options for their flights 36 hours before departure and was wondering if this is also valid on such partner flights (I don't know if they are codeshares)?
Does being a member of Iberia Plus really pay off for you? I have to admit that I am also a nominal member, although the program has no use for me, since Peasant Class flights only score very few bonus points.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3540 times:
thanx again for this reply.
I dont find a internet check in tool, but maybe I do not searched enough.
All the flights operate only with a Binter flight number, no IB sign to see.
Your right, Iberia Plus ist not my favourite FF programm, I´ve booked IB flights
(next a weekend trip, 3.October, to BCN with a LX connection in ZRH cheaper than LH and the nonstop Germanwings service) on my SwissTravelClub
account, but some past experiences said: We dont know whats going on there in the airline industrie and maybe it is helpful sometimes to be a registered
FF or have other benefits from it.
I remember a SQ trip to Australia years ago: Will I fly SQ the next time again?,
no, ok dont join the SQ FF programm and some months later they´re a member of Star Alliance .
Also best regards this time,
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3528 times:
great report about an obviously great day of flying - very enjoyable to raed! Binter seems to offer a great network with lots of flights (only one hour between your flight and the earlier flight to SPC) and that with quite attractive fares.
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Thread starter): Welcomed by a attractive young female FA, she guides all the first boarded pax, I was the second, to the front of the plane
Well done by this staff - I have some annoying experiences with free seating on low-cost carriers (HLX, 4U) with the first boarded passengers blocking the aisle because everybody wants to sit close to the exit door - boarding can take hours like that! (Well, maybe not on the ATR, but on a 737 or 320).
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Thread starter): Guys thats real flying. The FO with his cool sunglasses stands beneath the engine and welcomed us pax. No FA on the flight. Only one seat empty. I took the left seat in the second row, no windows in the first row. No cockpit door. Its like jumpseat flying.
This reminds me of my only Beech 1900 experience on Avanti Air, operated for Air Wales from Plymouth to DUB. Really a great flying experience and a real pleasure for every aviation enthusiast. However, for longer flights most passengers will miss the comfort that a bigger prop or jet would offer.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4690 posts, RR: 45 Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3502 times:
The Beech-1900D brings back a lot of great memories for me too. While I was being an intern at the Michigan Department of Transportation in Lansing, MI, a few years ago, I used to travel a lot on the weekends, and since I wanted to stock up on my Frequence Plus account, my usual routing was LAN-CLE and then on to whatever destination with CO. The flights to CLE were usually operated with the little Beech, and it was great fun to ride the aircraft between the clouds, being rocked around the sky due to the turbulent summer winds, which were generated by thunderstorms in the vicinity.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3448 times:
thanx for your reply.
About boarding, yes it seems they distribute their pax around the plane for a good load balance and it goes rather quick forward. Nothing more to say about the queueing pax at the front door on some LCC flights with nobody at the rear door.
Again your right, the faces of the boarding pax at SPC told me that not all of them were lucky like me about the B1900D .
also thanx for your reply.
That sounds like the good old days of flying around in the US.
FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3336 times:
Straight back from Sofia, the reason for this late reply (Report follows soon)
AeroWesty, thanx for your reply.
The B1900 flight was the regular fare, the others all special prices called Mini-Fare, booked roundabout 4 weeks in advance.
That sounds like its expensive to do this sort of island-hopping in the carribean.
Standard fares range between 60,00 and 80,00 Euros all intra-island routes.
Nick, also thanx to you.
Yes, that was a funny day.
KLU also, thats not so exculsive I mentioned .
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2897 posts, RR: 24 Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3288 times:
again a great report, with Binter being an airline that was hardly covered by reports so far, very interesting for me to read. Also nice that you got the Beech 1900, certainly a good fun to fly on this plane!
Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 4):
Is it possible to check-in via internet for the Binter flights? I have recently discovered that IB is now offering this options for their flights 36 hours before departure
Oh come on, save a check-in agent's job and go to the counter - old school is good school
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 11): Straight back from Sofia, the reason for this late reply (Report follows soon)
Now this is becoming scary now, once again we could have met again at STR, as I was arriving back at STR (from NRT via ZRH) yesterday evening, which is also the reason for my late reply. Report follows soon, too
FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3295 times:
thanx for your reply.
The chance to fly the B1900D was one of the reasons for this trip and it was
real good fun.
I arrived yesterday with LH 1370 from MUC at 08.15 pm and will depart, if nothing else happens, at Thursday with AY/Finncom at 10.10. am till Tuesday next week arriving with AY/Finncom at 06.45 pm..
We came closer and awaiting your report.