“ Reina Sofía Airport (IATA: TFS, ICAO: GCTS) is an international airport operated by Spanish firm Aena, located on the island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. „
just back from Tenerife on the way home we arrived at Tenerife South Aiport Renia Sofa i am disgusted with the staff there ! we went to check in our luggage at the specified time there was quite a lot of people already in the Que waiting to check their luggage in also. we had a late flight about midnight, so then this coloured woman walks by us and turns the lights off at our check in desks. then about 20mins later the 4 woman came to open up the desks for check in, then they start to all have a converation with each other in Spainish this went on for a good 5 - 10 mins the passengers in the que couldnt beleive it we were all looking at each other, then they finally shout us over to check us in, as my partner puts his suitcae on to the belt the coloured woman starts laughing and pointing to my partners suitcase (he had an old suitcase) i was disgusted and was about to have an arugement with the woman my partner stopped me from doing so ! I am very disgusted with the check in staff we were checking in on friday the 17th August 2012 about 10.30pm heading for glasgow flight I will never return to Tenerife due to this happening as it has upset me dearly I will never return to Tenerife !!
I have flown through this airport several times and have always found it to be efficient and that all the relevant facilities are appropriately modernised. Having travelled both to the north and the south of the island from the airport I think its location is ideal. My only major complaint is the food facilities once you have gone through security, our flight left at 6am so we were in the departure lounge from 5am. There was only one café open serving food, which understandably was very busy and full of hungry English people wanting breakfast. I am a vegetarian but this café only served foods containing meat so I had to go without breakfast before a 4 and a half hour flight. Furthermore the security system was incredibly lax, I passed through with a bottle of water over 100ml in my hand luggage- this is a much more serious concern.
The airport on one of the most popular Spanish islands, Tenerife is in the Canary Islands, it's the largest of 7 islands and holidaymakers flock there every single month of the year with its all year round sunshine and is most popular as a Winter sun destination.
The island has two airports, Tenerife Norté (translates to Tenerife North as it's in the northern part of the island) this airport tends to just get mainly domestic flights to other Spanish islands, the main airport is in the south of the island, where most holidaymakers fly into. Its called Tenerife South Airport and was formally known as Tenerife South-Reina Sofia Airport, with airport code TFS.
The airport is very well located for the major southern holiday resorts and the island as a whole and many UK airlines fly there throughout the year including Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Easyjet, Monarch, Jet2 & Ryanair, along with other European flights from airlines including TUIFly, Spanair, Air Berlin, Niki, Jetair, Germanwings & Air Europa. It's very easy to get to by road, with the main road leading right into the airport and it's well sign posted along the motorway, local buses also connect the airport with the rest of the island with one buses connecting both airports on the island too so connecting onto Tenerife Norté flights is easy too. Alternatively many of the UK's biggest transfer providers are available at TFS including Resort Hoppa, Holiday Taxis & A2B. There is a big enough car park directly opposite, just a short walk from, the terminal.
The entrance to the terminal is easy, when you walk in your met with a huge line of checkin desks, but the airport is quite small, screens which are very easy & clear to read will tell you your flight number & checkin desk info. The screens are large and can't be missed but they are only good when they work. Opposite checkin desks you'll see information desks for airlines & their handling agents if you need any help. The Checkin area connects to the Arrivals area, its the same building and you literally walk between the two within minutes, the taxi rank is right at the end of the Arrivals part of the terminal with buses outside too. Inbetween Arrivals and Departures you have an amazing sweet shop, when I worked at the airport we would always go and get a big bag of sweets to munch on between flights, although as it is an airport its not the best priced but you select as much or as little as you like and pay by the weight, huge selection to choose. There is also a Burger King (where isnt there?) staff there were a bit useless & rude but nevermind. Arrivals hall is small, especially during busy arrival periods when you get all the tour operator reps & taxi drivers, plus families waiting to greet their arrivals. In the departure lounge you have a nice duty free store and not really much more its rather small but suits its purpose.
I've recently returned from a fab holiday to Tenerife and of course this meant I had to travel through the airport (unless I decided to swim which I really didn't fancy!)
Tenerife South airport (TFS) is not a huge airport, I would say perfectly adequate for the tourist market but it's no Schipol or Heathrow! This does have it's advantages. The time from landing to being out the airport is relatively quick and you're unlikely to get lost in it!
I have been to Tenerife many times, sometimes you will be attached to an airbridge, others you will park up (Do you park a plane?!) on the tarmac and be bussed to the terminal building. Each has it's own advantages, firstly when you're parked up on the tarmac you can get off the plane using both the front and rear doors, therefore getting off the plane quicker and those extra few minutes in the sun really do count! You also get that lovely feeling when the heat hits you stepping off the plane and you know you can't possibly be in England anymore! Also as you are bussed to the terminal you are taken to the doors just before passport control and are straight up into the baggage hall. Now, in most airports I would say I prefer being on the tarmac and feeling the heat as you get off the plane, however, for me Tenerife is different...
Now, you may call me sadistic but..... the way TFS is laid out the departure lounge overlooks the arrivals walkway, there's no glass, just a railing and there are often many people stood looking over it at the incoming passengers. Now, despite what could be a bit of a walk if you're at the gate at the far end of the terminal, I just love walking along there looking at the people going home and smiling (and chanting football style in my head 'You're going home, you're going home, we're not, we're not!') I did say it was a bit sadistic!!
There are a few passport control desks and unless loads of flights arrive at once you won't have to wait long, just have your passport open at the photo page and they just wave you through, they really don't seem bothered! It stillamazes me how many people get to passport control and don't have their passports out! It's like they're shocked that they have to show their passports to get into the country!! Be prepared or at least stand to the side while you get your passports out and let us that are prepared through!
So onto baggage reclaim...here is another chancve to taunt the departing passengers, there is a big glass divide between baggage reclaim and the departure lounge! The bags are usually though quite quickly and the luggage belt is a decent size for everyone to fit round, despite everyone standing where you can first see the cases...if you stand there it'll be at least another minute in the sun I reckon - sun time is important!! :)
In both passport control and the baggage reclaim area you will find people handing out free maps, it's worth picking one of these up especially if you've not been before, it has vouchers on it - usually Aqualand and Jungle Park and has an island map as well as a map of the resorts with hotels on it. You will also find toilets in the baggage reclaim area.
Then it's straight out through the doors and this is where you'll find all the reps etc. Recently we've taken to having a taxi as we got fed up of going round the resort on a bus, taxi's are readily available - even for bigger groups, just ask at the front of the queue and they'll call for a people carrier/minibus for you. We've never waited more than 5 minutes for a taxi and last time walked straight into one, with about 10 others waiting! You will find a taxi to the las americas area will be about 20-25euros.
So onto Departing...
There are loads of check in desks at TFS but despite this you will usually be faced with quite a large queue (except last time we were there - i've never seen both the airport and the resorts so quiet). There's nothing you can do to speed this up and no doubt you will end up in the wrong queue - why do you always pick the slowest queue?!
Just a word of warning, airports are now getting very strict on baggage weight so make sure you're not over or they will make you take things out/charge you! (I can't remember the price but it wasn't cheap!).
After checking in it's straight through security, as with most airports now, there is nothing before security, there are bins to get rid of your liquids and again you will most likely join a queue. Everything goes in a tray - remember belts, keys, coins and phones in pockets etc! And then it's onto the departure lounge and time to relax/shop!
Unlike British airports which seemed to have stopped calling flights and rely on people looking at screens, TFS does still call flights, I love listening to how they pronounce British towns and cities and the airline names - okay I'm sad!
There's a little cafe upstairs with a good view of the planes but everything else is downstairs. There are loads of duty free shops and places to get food, along with a good number of seats.
Up to this point you may be thinking why did I only give the airport 3 stars...well...TFS does not appear to be air conditioned, and boy does this hit you in the departure lounge, there are loads of people waiting for flights, shopping, eating, walking and sitting. Loads of people in a small space = heat! We normally brave the Burger King counter and try and get out of the food area as quick as possible. You will find at either end of the building it's slightly cooler as there aren't as many people cos all the shops are in the middle. So lack of air con knocks 1 star off.
The other star is knocked off for the prices. I know all airports are expensive but 3euros 15 for a 500ml bottle of coke is truly ridiculous! It was only £1.05 in Boots at Manchester airport on the way out (very reasonable for an airport). I think this is a bit off especially now as you cannot take liquids through so you are forced to pay it. A bottle of water ws slightly cheaper (can't remember the exact price). It was also 1euro90 for a Bounty chocolate bar, a bit excessive I thought! 2 meals at Burger King cost us about 15euros and if you want a sandwich at uppercrust (I didn't bother this time, i bought a baguette from netto before leaving resort for 25cents) it'll set you back about 6-7euros per sandwich!
Then it's a case of sitting out the way in the slightly cooler areas of the airport, or as I do, stand at the railings looking at the incoming passengers thinking lucky so and so's, while they're probably thinking the same as I did when I arrived!
Overall as a holiday airport TFS is fine, if they reduced their prices and added air con it'd be a 5star airport. It has sufficent facilities and good service, just a shame a couple of things let it down! Despite this, I look forward to returning again, I'll take the high prices and no aircon for a trip to Tenerife!
As mentioned in my previous review I spent the week in Tenerife recently. As with many people I flew to the southern airport.
Since this is a newer building designed to carry large numbers of international passengers whereas the airport in the North was desgined for fewer passengers, it should preform this function very well.
Your first view of the airport is likely to be as you come in to land, you will see a long low building which runs parrellel to the runway with carparks and the motorway beyond it.
As you land its worth noting that the landing is likely to be noisy and quite rough as the run way is quite short meaning your pilot needs to slam the brakes on as soon as you touch down.
Once landed you will either disembark the plane via the airbridges direct in to the terminal building or via steps and then bussed up to the terminal. Either way I have never been on the plane longer than 10 minutes after touching down. Once in the terminal you follow a clear 'channel' around to the Passport control point, but I tend to feel somewhat gawped at while walking this channel since it is set around 6ft lower than the departure lounge with only a glass barrier separating the two. But looking the other way you can see the airfield and then beyond it the coast.
At passport control again you will be fairly rapidly through the channels, usually at a British planes landing there are two Officers in the booths checking but when I flew from Amsterdam there was only one so getting through took proportionally longer.
The baggage reclaim area is large and there are plenty of trolleys avaliable, above each are screens telling you where your luggage is to be found. My experiences of baggage waits seems to differ depending on the carrier I flew in on generally Monarch and BA are the quickest with others taking much longer but since these are the more 'premium' carriers I wouldnt expect them to be too slow.
As far as the Customs channel goes theres a desk there, usually theres someone there but I've never come across anyone being stopped and it appears to be a meeting point for off duty staff. The area beyond tends to be overrun with holiday reps collecting their customers since I tend to fly in and meet friends I couldnt comment on how to find transfer coaches etc but I would imagine its a pretty standard process, as the coach park is right outside the door, and there is a large taxi rank which always seems to have plenty of taxi's avaliable.
On your return to the airport to leave again there are plenty of check in desks and they are clearly labelled for which airline all with in my experience at least friendly english or english speaking staff.
To get through to the departure lounge is not quite such a simple process since you have to go upstairs, to the security scanners, this is an area very well organised in comparison to the chaos at Manchester. You first come to a row of tables where you are told to put any belts, change or loose objects in to the trays provided before being directed to the shortest scanner que. Once through the scanners you need to take your belongings through a partition screen where there are another row of tables for you to put your stuff away again. Its my opinion that this three stage process is what makes it quicker than Manchester where you dont start to think about moving belts/stuff until you are stood at the scanner thus slowing more prepared people down.
At this point there is a large cafe/coffee shop and signs sending you back to the lower level where the gates and most of the shops are. In years passed I found that most of the shops were either closed when I was there even during the day or had nothing interesting in them, currently however the lounge is being redeveloped so there are large areas boarded up, but there are now two bars at either end of the lounge (beaware that the length of the building means its a fair walk if you happen to be drinking in one but your gate is at the other end) whos prices are similar but one is more a pub style while the other is brighter and sells sarnies and cakes. There is also a fairly new food court area which has a few shops open around it, but theyre the usual music shop, Durty Free and Sweetshop. Other shops are due to reopen before next summer.
If shopping isnt your thing there is loads of seating around the gates so you can just sit and relax - something I think Manchester could do with improving on since you are almost forced to shop until you know which gate to head for because of the layout of the place.
Once your flight is called again they are quick to get you through and on to the plane, the airbridges are quite short and only ever reach the front of the plane, although on occasion you get bussed out to the plane which obviously takes slightly longer.
So far as take off is concerned it happens generally fairly soon after the plane doors shut as they dont have the volume of traffic you see at some airports and have little holding space once you are away from your gate.
Since the layout of the airport is over several levels it is worth noting that if you have impaired mobility you need to tell the airline, but there are lifts and escalators all over the building so you shouldnt have any trouble getting about once you are there. Also once the redeveloped shopping area is opened it could easily rival most bigger airports for quality of shopping (possibly even surpassing them since it wont have the same quantity of rubbish filling the gaps).
At the same time as flying isnt the most pleasant part of the holiday this isnt the greatest airport but it serves its function perfectly well, with staff who manage to get your bags to you quickly and minus the waiting you can experience at so many points maybe due to less traffic or better organisation but it does make it a better experience than it has become in the UK.
This is just a short review about my recent travel through Tenerife Sur Airport and my experiences. I travelled from Belfast Int. to Tenerife Sur.
The airport is situated right on the coast as this is basically the only flat land on Tenerife! The plane once landed was directed to park on the tarmac quickly about 500m from the airport. We left the plane down a flight of steps onto the runway and were packed onto buses and taking a short 1 min ride to the airport. The buses were packed but I wasn't complaining after sitting on a plane for nearly 5 hrs!
The arrivals building appeared to be quite new and after flashing our passports at immigration we arrived at the baggage reclaim belts. The airport was very busy and extremely hot and sticky with no air conditioning and it took about half an hour to retrieve our 3 bags of luggage but we were swiftly out of the airport.
After this we walked across the front road of the airport to our rent-a-car collection point and within 5 mins we had joined the main motorway around Tenerife and heading for our destination. I reckon it took 1 hr from landing to joining the motorway.
4/5 : let down by wait for baggage and very sticky warm airport.
At arrival to the airport the car was parked just outside. Signs inside the airport pointed clearly to our check in which took about 15 mins to check in. Next came a quick but well equipped security check before entering the departure lounge which contained many shops and restaurants and a large viewing gallery on the top floor with plenty of seats.
Local Spanish food
Expect to pay quite a bit in the shops.
The upstairs of the departure area was well ventilated and cool but downstairs where all the shops etc where was extremely sticky with no air conditioning which really made you feel bad and dirty. Smoking was permitted just about anywhere in the airport which also put me off but fortunately after using the restrooms which were clean we boarded the buses again and soon took off.
3/5: let down by very sticky warm airport and smoking.
YAWN ... sorry that this one is going to be a bit on the short side, but I'm at the very end of a third day with virtually no sleep after a week's holiday on the island paradise of Tenerife, so I'll have to stick to the knitting... Me and Mrs D managed to get a cheapo holiday near Playa de las Americas recently via Internet booking, and were delighted to find that Spain's Air Europea were running flights from Blackpool airport which is only about 10 minutes up t'road from our Kirkham home ... what a glorious surprise! We were flying into (and then out of, obviously, a week later) the Renia Sofia Airport, which is about thirty minutes drive (or ten as yer average Jose navigates it) from our chosen destination the Hotel Esmeralda Playa, a decent four star bijou residence. It's a neat and tidy little place which is functional and effective, although a little short on the shopping front, particularly at 6.30 in the morning which is when we were due to fly back to Blackpool ... aah, well, never did like all that duty free garbage. Security is pretty standard with the begunned police chaps doing a frisk if you set off the bleep in their walk through box, but the welcome is very friendly and helpful. There are about 38 gates to navigate at this happy little airport and a stack of flights going to and from the UK, along with many cities throughout wester Europe. The airport is conveniently based close to the Motorway and has several car hire offices located onsite, and these were a lot, lot quicker to navigate than the problematic sort I experienced in Dinard, France just recently. The luggage conveyor belt had a tendency to switch off and on without much explanation, although I assumed it was because they only had the juice to work one belt at a time. No serious complaints, although nothing particularly wonderful to write home about either. See, told you it wo
uld be a bit terse ... Off to bed now, treasures...
It has recently come to my attention that there are two types of airports out there. There are nice, large international ones like, say, Manchester or LAX, which served numerous destinations worldwide and which have more shops and restaurants than some town centres. And then, there are the others which, well, don’t. These others are often in the type of resorts tourist go on package holidays, and since they are usually barely used by business travelers, they seem to forget their duty as airports (to keep me busy in the 2 hours between check in and take off) and see themselves solely as big fields where the odd aeroplane lands and takes off. Tenerife has two such airports – an old one in the north and a new one in the south, and we flew from the latter, aka Reina Sofia (official website www.aena.es/ae/tfs/english/hometfs.htm if you want the English version). Now I’ve only flown from here once, and that involved a 5am check in so I may be biased, but this is what I found. The airport has an interesting structure – you often have to go up an escalator, across a path and then down another escalator to get anywhere, but it’s well signposted (English and Spanish) and there are some nice views across the island as you go past any of the many huge windows, so you don’t mind the trek. Unless it’s the middle of the night. The check in hall is spacious and airy, with huge windows overlooking, well, the car park. There are vending machines selling drinks and snacks, and lots of luggage trolleys and seats for weary travelers. The check in desks are spread out enough so that normally not everyone checking in at once is crowded together. Unless it’s the middle of the night when the only 4 companies flying people out are all situated next to each other. On the ground level in the check in area, there’s a small food court and a shop (just the one) selling souvenirs and chocolate and ove
rpriced imported newspapers (serves you right if you’re the type of person who goes abroad and buys a British paper on your way home). On the lower ground level near the gates there’s an even larger food court with multi-national chains (think Pizza Hut and Burger King) plus some local specialty cafes. These served drinks and full meals and snacks for reasonable prices. Unless it’s the middle of the night. (Meaning that they’re then shut – not that they charge more then). There’s also a shopping arcade with T-shirt shops and chocolate shops and book shops and craft shops and souvenir shops, which have a wide selection of things for you to buy if you forgot to get a present for someone in resort or simply spent all your time asleep in the sun. These are open all the time. Unless it’s the middle of the night, when they’re all shut apart from, luckily, the chocolate one. Thank God for 300g bars of Milka. The whole airport is all shiny and polished, and was spotless when we arrived and left, apart from an unfortunate incident with some children’s crayons and a ladies’ toilet. The army of cleaners always manages to keep out of sight. Unless it’s the middle of the night, when they come out to play – sitting around talking and smoking – doing everything, in fact, except cleaning.. Reina Sofia serves numerous destinations – basically anywhere from which tourists want to come. You don’t usually get a choice of airline, but in the UK alone you can fly from there to Blackpool, Teeside, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and all the London places among others. They also serve most of mainland Europe and even a bit of America. There’re info desks for the airlines and the holiday companies, usually staffed by helpful, friendly English speakers (assuming it’s an English company / destination). Unless it’s the middle of the night, when they’re not
staffed. At all. The verdict? As small, package holiday based airports go, it’s not that bad, and probably a nice place to travel from. Unless it’s the middle of the night.... BTW, the "average"s below, are because if you add excellent during the day to poor at night, you end up with, well, average.
Why is it all Spanish airports all look and run the same? This place was no exception, a big concrete lovers paradise with plenty of cold tiled floors and walls with zero decoration. We departed our aircraft using an airbridge connected to the terminal and you enter the building and all the passengers waiting to get on thier return flight are above you overlooking a balcony. They usually do passport checks here as well, and if you wanted to smuggle somthing in iam sure you could just chuck it upto sombody leaning over the balcony who has passed passport checks! Oh, and they seem to take forever to check every single persons passport, because a charter flight full of a load of brits wearing bermuda shorts looks well dodgy doesn't it!!!?? honestly! You then enter the baggage hall. The baggage hall here could rival Earls Court for size, its huge! Now the experience of baggage reclaim seems to be made ridiculously silly because there are about 14 conveyers, yet if 3 planes have just landed, they put everyones luggage on just one!!! This will normally be the one right in the corner where about 500 people will be fighting to watch the belt! Battle to get a trolley and if its not broken you'll be lucky. Wait an age for your bags to appear (its hardly a busy airport) and then its off to the taxi rank for us. Outside there is a queue of people so long I couldn't see the end. 1 taxi arrived every 10 mins or so but it took ages for us to get one. If you banked on car hire, then make sure you have it prebooked because I have never seen the rental desks actually open! After a nice sunny holiday we arrived back at the airport. The check-in could be made easier if they had more desks open but thats probably not the airports fault. Now trying to find the departures gate is a nightmare. You expect a massive entrance with loads of signs above it but not here! You have to go upstairs and then theres a tiny door with departures written ab
ove it! We walked through and there was nobody even at the x-ray machine, so we waited a few minutes (we could of just walked straight past) and then this security member ran out and turned the machine on for us to use!! It seems the Spanish are very tight on what and who comes into the country but couldnt car less about what goes out! Oh, and dont expect to bring your trolley with you through departures. They are banned from every floor except the ground floor (they put metal post infront of the lifts) how mad is that!!? There are a few shops in the departure lounge that never seem to open so how they do business nobody knows. There is also a cafe, and if your delayed, which you usally are here, then you will usually end up here! Because its about the most exciting place We boarded the plane through an airbridge thank god, otherwise its a long walk over the tarmac, and if your very lucky - they might just bus you to the plane, but these occasions are very rare! Iberia, Airtours, Britannia, Monarch and Go all have permission to use the airbridges but Air Europa and Futura departures are all banished to the far side of the airfield! Renia Sofia airport is ok, but they still have lots of work to do!
I have visited Renia Sofia airport 3 times in total, the last visit being the worst, delay wise. I was delayed 9 hours which meant me (as I was alone) having to pass lots of time there. I had a look round a few shops which there are plenty of before having a look arounf half the duty-free store. Time flew actually, and I was made welcome by the airport staff and food and drink facilities were also very good. The only downside was that the so called "Newsagents" charges 4 times the normal price of a paper which was the deerest I have ever seen in airports. All in all, there is enough to do in Tenerife airport to pass 9 hours! I proved it!