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Trouble booking on Icelandair this week

Hello!
I’ve been planning for an Iceland stopover en route to Zurich, and watching prices. This week I tried to finalize our plans, and got error messages from the website. It was odd…it listed tentative prices for a few days that week, and one day with nothing available. I got a can’t help now, try again later message. I tried several times over two days.

I suppose it is possible that all flights for my dates are full…which would be a bummer. But I was surprised to see the mixed message with some prices I couldn’t access, as well as some not available dates.

Any advice would be appreciated, please. We are still on the fence between a stopover visit or simply a different dedicated week in Iceland, and I’m eager to book our tickets for our fall trip to Switzerland and France.

Thanks!
Laurie

Posted by
2250 posts

Stopovers are normally very easy to book online. I would try a different browser.

Posted by
2250 posts

So you are looking for this fall? If so I would scrap that and plan a trip for later. The reason being you are very late for booking. Most places in Iceland book out 9-12 months in advance. I’ve been many times but we booked a trip on a whim. This was late March for September and I knew it would be tough to find lodging and it was. I had to rework the itinerary quite a bit, and I am very familiar with Iceland. So plan for a trip here in the future where it can be all that you want instead of settling.

Posted by
15702 posts

Most places in Iceland book out 9-12 months in advance

I'm going to respectively disagree. It depends on where you are going.

If you are going to a small town with limited accomodation, then you probably do have to book way in advance.

But if it's just a stopover in Reykjavik, probably not.

I've also been many times and I'm thinking of going back in August for a week. I did a quick search and most of the hotels I like or consider are available. They're not the cheapest rooms, but they have rooms.

Posted by
2250 posts

Frank--true, , Reykjavik usually has rooms, but the cost goes way up and personally, I would not want to stay in Reykjavik the entire time for a stopover. Now if it were a night or two fine, but you don't get to see much at all. That its why I suggested coming back later when they can allot more time and see the country.

Posted by
436 posts

Thank you very much for your insights! The website seems to be working again for me…and that prompted a few more questions.

I am seeing widely mixed reviews of recent trips on Icelandair on the Trip Advisor website. It gives me pause. :-)

We decided we would rather plan a longer and more relaxed trip to Iceland in the future. However, the least expensive flights to Zurich (RT), or to Zurich then home from Frankfurt, are less expensive with Icelandair than Delta/KLM or AirFrance. It seems odd to me to fly through Iceland and not stay a bit and visit - even if it is a sampler with a longer trip in the future. I did find lodging in Reykjavik, and thought we could likely book a Golden Circle tour or another tour for one day while we are there. I feel like even a two night stopover will be worthwhile, especially with the solar activity peaking this year. I’m perpetually hopeful to see the Northern Lights at a higher latitude! We wish to travel carryon only - I think we could still do this since there is crossover with Iceland gear vs. Swiss gear, in my opinion. :-)

So we are spinning our wheels with which airline and experience to choose for this fall trip. It’s a difference of several hundred dollars.

What has been your recent experience with Icelandair?

Thanks,
Laurie

Posted by
2250 posts

Laurie--We always fly Icelandair, and my last trip there was in February, so very recent. FWIW, we have never had any issues with them. I totally get what you are saying about even a short stopover. With what you just wrote, I think that sounds very doable. A longer trip later, but a taste of Iceland for now, what isn't to like about that? :) Depending on just when in the fall, if weather is good I would rent a car for a day trip. If you have more time, then a 2 day south coast tour would be really nice. Weather changes so fast in Iceland and the fall can quickly become winter.

Posted by
8645 posts

I have had positive experiences on Iceland Air. Just don’t expect that food offerings will be that great. I usually bring food with me.

Our experience was that we enjoyed stopovers much more on the way home than on the way to Europe.

Posted by
2519 posts

I feel like even a two night stopover will be worthwhile, especially
with the solar activity peaking this year. I’m perpetually hopeful to
see the Northern Lights at a higher latitude!

When specifically are you going? Depending on when in the "fall" you may not have enough darkness to see the lights (or will have to stay up until very wee hours). Also weather and cloud cover mean you might not see the lights even if it is dark. A longer trip would improve your chances, but just noting that even with solar activity you might not see them.

Also, consider that you will be jet lagged on the way, but not so much coming back. I would consider doing your stop over on your return flight to maximize enjoyment of a very short visit.

We wish to travel carryon only - I think we could still do this since
there is crossover with Iceland gear vs. Swiss gear, in my opinion.
:-)

It has been a minute since I flew Icelandair, but I do know their carry on bag sizes are smaller than other carriers. I used my smallest carry on bag and was fine, but my usual travel bag would not have worked. My home airport wasn't enforcing the carry on sizes, but yours might. Also the food is terrible on board, pack your own food or eat a large meal before departure.

And last thought, the "savings" you might get on airline tickets to your main destinations will likely be eaten up by a stopover, as Iceland is quite expensive. Of course up to you, but my cost/benefit analysis would lead me to save Iceland for its own dedicated trip.

Posted by
436 posts

Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences! So much to consider…and I appreciate your help as we figure this out. I think we’ve decided to plan a separate trip with more time to explore, and skip the stopover this fall. I think that sounds more relaxing for us at this point!

Laurie