Photoblog: No Binter way to travel the Canaries

February 4th, 2010 in Flying by Sarah Lee 0
All aboard

Had a fun, even if slightly exhausting day today, travelling from Tenerife to Gran Canaria to interview timeshare developers. It’s said travel is less about the destination but how you get there and today was proof that there’s some truth in that.  Yesterday staff at my Tenerife hotel teased me when I said I was flying Binter Canarias to Gran Canaria, and given that I’m not the best flyer (bit of an occupational hazzard for a travel journo) and Binter fly twin-turbos (always imagine the propellers will stop turning) I was a little perturbed. However my friend @myTenerifeinfo had prepped me about Binter’s cool little service so I knew not to panic… too much…

What follows is an ode to Binter Canarias – the perfect way to island hop the Canaries for those for whom time is too tight for the ferry.

Forget all this boarding  40 minutes before take off nonsense. In fact forget the 20 minutes shown on the boarding cards – we boarded in five minutes and  still arrived in time.  And yes, there are no seat  numbers specified. That’s  because this 78-seater  hasn’t got seat numbers. But, with around 30 passengers  on each of my flights there was no low-cost-style bun-fight for seats. Makes you wonder why we fight for seats in the first place. It’s not like there’s not going to be enough – even Ryanair still allows for that!

Soon the propellers were whirring and we were taxing to the runway.

Onboard the bright, modern cabin of the ATR-72 is better than a few charter airlines I’ve flown with, complete with leather seating. The crew would have a challenge on full flights. They only serve a chocoletta (something akin to a Blue Ribband wafer for UK readers), a glass of water and boiled sweet to help you equalise your ears on landing. But Gran Canaria is a very short hop from Tenerife – about 15 minutes flying time so even these hospitable efforts are impressive given the time.

Within the bite of a chocoletta Gran Canaria’s mountains are visible from benethe light puffs of cloud.

Granted, Binter Canarias is so tiny you do find yourself shoved way out at a distant gate, but there are benefits to it being such a small operation. As it’s largely domestic you cut out passport control (didn’t show my passport beyond check-in) and any luggage hits the carousels quickly.

Gran Canaria was lovely but having spent just six-and-a-half-hours on the island I can’t really regale many of it’s highlights. Soon it was time to take my return flight to Tenerife.

The cabin on the return trip seemed even more comfortable, modern and fresh.

More of Gran Canaria’s mountains poke through the cloud. But they can’t compete with Tenerife’s Mount Teide – now snow-capped, the highest mountain in Spain.

Still as Binter proves, you don’t have to be big to be beautiful.

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