Trip Report: Air Seychelles Economy Class Mahe to Praslin

Trip Report: Air Seychelles Economy Class Mahe to Praslin
***This is part 9 of my “Camels, Bats, and Bloggers” trip report detailing a recent trip to Dubai and Seychelles, with a final stop in Las Vegas to attend the 2014 BAcon conference hosted by BoardingArea***

1. Introduction – Camels, Bats, and Bloggers
2. Emirates Lounge at SFO
3. Emirates First Class San Francisco to Dubai
4. Conrad Dubai
5. Old Dubai, Ski Dubai, and At the Top
6. Emirates Terminal B First Class Lounge at DXB
7. Emirates First Class Dubai to Mahe, Seychelles
8. Four Seasons Seychelles
9. Air Seychelles Economy Class Mahe to Praslin
10. Raffles Praslin Seychelles
11. Island Hopping – La Digue
12. Island Hopping – Praslin, Cousine, Curieuse, St. Pierre
13. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa
14. Emirates Business Class Mahe, Seychelles to Dubai
15. 7-Star Luxury at the Burj Al Arab
16. British Airways Lounge at DXB
17. Cathay Pacific Business Class Dubai to Los Angeles via Hong Kong
18. 2014 BAcon Conference in Las Vegas + Mandalay Bay Hotel
19. American Express Centurion Lounge at LAS
_______________________________

There are two primary ways to get from Mahe to Praslin: boat or plane. The price of the boat ride is a fixed 50 Euros each way, with around 3-5 departures depending on the day of week. Plane tickets vary in price depending on departure time and vary from about $75-175 each way.

Because the seas would be relatively rough during this time of year, we opted to take the plane operated by Air Seychelles. They offer over 10 flights per day, and it’s just a short 15-minute hop between the islands.

We were able to find tickets that worked for our schedule at the $75 price, and purchased them just a couple days prior to departure. Even then, there were plenty of seats left, so in general I would say that there is no need to plan too far in advance with the domestic Mahe to Praslin flight.

The international portion of the Mahe International Airport doesn’t feel like an island airport, with commercial, cargo, and even some military flights coming and going throughout the day. Tucked away, far behind the international section is the domestic terminal. Now this really felt like an island airport, with just one small counter for check-in, a lax security checkpoint, and a small waiting room that led directly out to the tarmac.

We arrived about 30 minutes prior to departure time, and were told that there may be a short delay due to the weather. Neither of our flights ended up being delayed, but short delays are quite common as the weather in Seychelles is extremely temperamental with passing rain showers that come and go throughout the day.

Waiting room at Mahe airport

When it was our turn, the 8 passengers queued up for boarding, and headed onto the tarmac toward our DHC-6 Twin Otter. Unfortunately, no seaplane here like you find in the Maldives.

It’s a really small plane that’s seats up to about 15 passengers, but with just a 50% load we were able to spread out a bit. Either way, even at full capacity like we had on the return, it’s not hard to endure for just 15 minutes.

Air Seychelles Twin Otter
Our colorful ride to Praslin

For this flight, we had a front row seat right into the cockpit and got to watch the pilots in action.

Getting ready for take-off
 
That was quick, approach into Praslin

As you can imagine, the views were spectacular both as we were leaving Mahe and on approach to Praslin. We almost thought of the plane ride as more of an aerial island tour, than simply a mode of transportation.

We touched down on Praslin, which is a true island airport in every sense of the word. There were just 2 people at the entire airport that I could see, who seemed to be jacks of all trades, handling everything from ticketing, to check-in, to security, and baggage. Being the only plane at the airport has its perks – we quickly disembarked, grabbed our bags, and headed outside to catch our ride to Raffles.

Enjoying the views on the way to Praslin

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