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Flying has generally become so standardized nowadays that you’ll understand what we mean when we assert that many flights are just boring.
Let’s face it, there’s not a world of difference between the morning shuttle from Boston to New York and a routine flight from Frankfurt to London. The lines for security, the pantomime at the boarding gate, and the on-board theatre are much the same whether they are staged in America or Europe.
Exploring Arctic Norway
Yet more adventurous travelers to Europe can seek out remote areas where flying is still interesting and fun. Some of our favorite European flights are those operated by Norwegian carrier Widerøe in northern Norway where many flights make multiple intermediate stops at tiny airstrips serving isolated communities along the coast.
But, if you cannot afford the time for the voyage, then Widerøe flight WF930 is a credible alternative. It is a gem for a summer morning, leaving Tromsø at 6:00 a.m. and touching down at Kirkenes at 10:22 a.m. after five stops along the way. The service is operated with a high-wing Dash 8 aircraft that affords excellent views.
Beach Landings on Barra
Widerøe’s wonderful multi-sector hops across Arctic Norway often have as many as two dozen passengers aboard. Shift to Scotland and devotees of oddball flights can have fun exploring island communities on even smaller aircraft.
The Twin Otter planes that link Glasgow and Benbecula with the island of Barra are just 19-seaters. The flight is worth taking just for the landing at Barra, where the Twin Otter touches down on the beach–a super introduction to one of the most engaging islands in the Hebrides.
Flights to Barra are operated by Scottish carrier Loganair which has been serving some of Scotland’s remotest airports for almost half a century. The Barra services carry FlyBe flight numbers so they can be booked online via the FlyBe website.
Island hopping to come
In Part II of this feature next week, we’ll report on more island flights, including some where you may find that the pilot is your only companion on board. On one such flight, a short hop within Scotland’s Shetland Islands, you can buy a fully flexible (and refundable) one-way ticket for just £11 (about $18).