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IcelandAir

Does anyone have any experience traveling via IcelandAir? They look to have attractive fares. Business class fares look to be approximately half of AirFrance. There is a stop in Iceland, but just adds 2 hours to a non-stop. Traveling to Paris from Seattle.

Thanks

Posted by
6868 posts

I flew them twice, the first time with an Iceland layover. No problems (except food at the time was terrible - now I don't believe they offer any).

Posted by
4249 posts

I've used them a few times. Very comfortable, great staff. No included food or snacks. Reykjavik airport is over crowded, but fine. In my experience the planes tend to leave a bit late, thus arrive late, but not by a large amount of time and I've never missed a connecting.

Posted by
901 posts

I just learned something amazing about Iceland air. Did you notice they have a choice after round-trip and one way called Iceland air stop over? Basically you can pick as long of a layover in Iceland as you want to or from your destination and it does not cost any extra! So for example if you wanted to stay in Iceland three days on your way to Paris, it’s no different in price then if you just stay there for two hours. Of course you need to get a hotel.

Posted by
3803 posts

Icelandair business class isn't real business class, it is more like a slight upgrade on US domestic first class or Airfrance's premium economy. Still worth a shot if the fare is good!

Posted by
4249 posts

They do have an Iceland layover and I've done it. It was a fun perk. I believe, it is for a maximum of 7 days.

Posted by
5617 posts

We’ve flown them several times, always connecting thru Reykjavik if we’re headed someplace else, but also used them for a vacation in Iceland 3 years ago.

For getting from Denver to other places in Europe, they’re really giving British Airways, Lufthansa, and United a run for their money. So is Norwegian Air, with stricter carryon luggage policies, and extra fees if you go over their tight weight limit.

But Icelandair does offer food on board, but at least in coach class, you pay for any of it you order. We’ve taken salads in a plastic domed takeaway container on board (just don’t have more than 3 oz. of dressing to make it thru security at the airport) and our own bottle of water, which they will top up onboard. Icelandair is efficient and, as you noted, relatively cheap.

Posted by
3654 posts

Air France business class is likely lie flat sleepers. Icelandair Saga class offers nothing like that, more like premium economy seats (but nicer) and with free food and alcohol.

Careful with the Iceland stopovers, they may cost more than flying straight through since the fares are usually different day to day. Also Icelandair has fully rolled out basic economy fares so careful what you buy.

I suspect with the WOW bankruptcy that the crowding is somewhat reduced at the Reykjavik airport.

If you are willing to check fares daily, my experience is that better fares, with free food and booze, will pop up occasionally on the legacy carriers. Buying those is what I have been doing lately and forgoing the drizzly gale of Keflavik.

Posted by
10 posts

Keflavik is still pretty crowded, especially going from Iceland to North America. We flew them for our July/August trip. It was very nice. Customs is very fast, and you don't need to go through again at your final destination. Food and drinks are available for purchase, so if you plan ahead and bring food there's no problem. Our children got free food and goodie bag on each flight (4 in total). Bring headphones.

We checked bags on the way back from Europe. We had a one day layover coming back. Since it was technically under 24 hours, our bags were sent on to final destination without having to pick them up in between, which was really nice. If you do a longer than 24 hour layover, you need to pick up your bags and re-check them for next flight.

I would fly with them again.

Posted by
8390 posts

Since you are asking about business class, not economy, Tom from Min and balso gave accurate information. It’s really a three-across seat with the center seat blocked off so only two sit in the row. No seats are lie-flat. Food, drinks, checked bags and priority are included.

Everyone goes through European passport control to enter the Schengen zone when changing planes in Iceland. The flight arriving on the Continent from Iceland is considered a domestic flight. People just grab their bags at the destination, if within the Schengen, and walk out.

Posted by
2889 posts

Are you flying from the US to France via Iceland Air? If so the business class seats for the portion of the trip from the US, specifically New York to Iceland on the wide-body jets are 5 seats to a row and on the narrow-body are 4 to a row. It is not two seats with an empty seat between them. That is the configuration of the seats for the leg of the trip between CDG and Keflavik. You can use SeatGuru to see the configuration that is usually used for the flight you are considering. The Iceland Air Saga class which is the business class from the US to Ireland (not sure if that is what it called for flights within Europe) is not a true business-class experience but I doubt that you are expecting that for half the price of AIr France business class, you will get an experience similar to AF business class. In Saga class. you will get a larger seat than in coach, a meh meal, and some recline in the seat but nowhere close to lie-flat. What you get is more like the seat that you get on a first-class flight from California to Chicago. Frankly, I would compare the product to premium economy on Air France and IMO that is the price that you should use for comparison purposes.

Posted by
3988 posts

Years ago we used to fly it since it had some nice connections to Europe and its prices were lower than some other airlines. Once it became a somewhat budget like carrier, and the connections and fares weren’t as good, we started flying other airlines. We last flew it in 2013 on a trip to Iceland where we got a good package deal on airfare and hotel.

Posted by
4249 posts

On the Iceland layover, the airfare can cost more OR less in comparison to a no layover scenario. It all depends on the days you pick. Iceland Air shows options by day and it is easy to see what are the cheaper days to fly. Its the same as picking days with any airline, for any trip with a layover or not, some days are more expensive to fly than others. I stayed over one time and by adding the 5 Iceland days I actually saved a big chunk of money on airfare over not doing the layover.

Posted by
5115 posts

Bets description is not accurate for any Iceland Air flights I have had. I flew Saga Class from Seattle to Zurich this summer. It is not a lie flat seat, but it is superior to domestic first class and definitely superior to premium economy. The seats were not like those in economy. I was pleased with the service. Saga Class does include meals.

What Bets described is actually what I have seen on British Airways Club Europe Flights.

Posted by
8390 posts

I stand corrected; this 2 seats for three places configuration must be outdated. It’s what I saw in the past, but I don’t remember how long ago.

Posted by
5250 posts

I've flown Icelandair several times between Seattle and Paris, also Amsterdam. As others have reported, it's a good value if you don't mind a short layover in Reykjavik. Stopping longer in Iceland can be a nice start or finish to a Europe trip, and Icelandair offers hotel and tour packages that look attractive (I haven't done this). Meals are sold or you can bring your own.

By luck we flew back on Saga last time and had a multi-hour layover that let us use the Saga Lounge upstairs at KEF -- very pleasant and comfortable, I could get used to that. I think the seating was 2-2 and the seats were wider, softer, and with more legroom than economy, but nothing like the lie-flats I envy on other airlines. They kept offering us food that looked good, but I wasn't feeling well, too bad.

My wife likes the layover because she can walk around the airport and stretch her legs, even though total travel time is more. You may find the same is true for you. No downside I can see to Icelandair as long as you know what you do now.

Posted by
3654 posts

I have definitely seen the configuration Bets refers to. It is (or was) a soft reconfiguration of coach so if this economy comfort class isn’t selling, it can be immediately converted row by row to economy and sold that way. So the empty middle row seats can be dynamically configured right before each flight.

Posted by
185 posts

Our experience has been that Saga is like domestic US first class. Reykjavik layovers can be tight but its a small airport and they move people right through. Probably a better place to enter Schengen than most. Saga club is nice if you have a longer layover. Iceland is an interesting (but expensive) place for a stopover.

Posted by
11805 posts

I've used IcelandAir for two roundtrips. They typically schedule flights so you land, walk through the airport, board and take off. There was one great advantage, you do your passport check in Iceland and it takes less than five minutes. When you arrive in Paris, it's like arriving on a domestic flight, so you go straight to ground transportation. One time we flew into (and out of) Orly rather than CDG, which is easier/faster/cheaper to get to from Paris.

I can't vouch for bags. I never pack more than I can carry on.

I missed a connection once, on WowAir, coming back from Paris, because the runway in Iceland was closed for a few hours. Had to stay overnight in Reykjavik.

Posted by
1760 posts

We have flown them twice back from Germany and will do a round trip next time. We always do the stopover for 2-3 days. No problems.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks to all for your information.
Sounds like clearing passport control in Iceland is a benefit versus Charles DeGaulle. Did not know that, so thank you.