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Iceland Air Compliments

Having just done a round trip from Frankfurt to Sacramento for about the 6th time with Iceland Air, I feel the need to give them a shout out. Having heard horror stories from others about missed connections and flights with various airlines, one is always a bit wary. With Iceland Air, you needn't be.

Getting ready to board the flight from Frankfurt to Iceland, they suddenly announced that they had to change the tire. This was going to take a minimum of 2 hours. Anyone with a connecting flight in Iceland that afternoon/evening was going to miss it. Therefore, we were all going to be put up in a hotel in Reykjavik. Anyone that needed to fly that night, they would make arrangements with other airlines. There were no angry people, we sat and waited the 2 hours, got on the flight and flew to Iceland. Coming off the plane, there were people directing us to the Service Desk. Here they made reservations for us for connecting flights the next day, gave us vouchers for the Hilton Hotel, vouchers for dinner, breakfast and lunch buffet and buses to and from the hotel. Off we went to the Hilton. Quick check-in to a comfortable room, decent dinner of Caesar salad, bacon cheeseburger, and fries. Free tap water with your meals!!!
Next morning, enjoyed the huge breakfast buffet and then walked 15 min. to the ocean to watch the sunrise. Met up with another passenger and we explored the downtown area including going up in the tower of their landmark church. The blue skies were stunning and I got lots of great photos. Walked back to the hotel, checked out, had a huge lunch buffet and bused back to the airport. Caught my flight to Seattle.
Now I want to make a longer visit to Iceland.
The friendliness of all the staff and the smoothness of a potential fiasco was impressive. So, kudos to Iceland Air.

Posted by
3491 posts

Two hours seems to be a very long time to just change a tire. But then it is an airplane and it probably takes most of the 2 hours just to fill out all the paperwork that goes along with the tire change.

Glad it all worked out without issue.

Posted by
2916 posts

Two hours seems to be a very long time to just change a tire.

Maybe for a car. And then again, it might take me that long to change my car tire. For an airplane, I'm not sure you can just haul a jack out of the hold and raise up the plane.

Posted by
1075 posts

Part of the success was bringing a great attitude! Thanks for the story.

Blue: very funny.

Posted by
4668 posts

It'd be interesting to know if they'd do all that if it wasn't a legal requirement.

I had a flight cancelled by BA and we enjoyed an extended break in Rome at their expense, hotel, transport costs, meals and even wine but what they wouldn't cover was the extra charges incurred by overstaying at Heathrow car park despite the reason being solely attributable to them. Their reason? The EU rules don't stipulate that they're liable for such a claim.

In my experience, airlines don't do something for their passengers out of the goodness of their own heart but rather because they have no choice.

Posted by
21076 posts

I think Icelandair is being quite generous to the stranded WOW passengers. I believe it's offering transatlantic flights at about $200 (though it may be plus tax).

Posted by
6487 posts

It'd be interesting to know if they'd do all that if it wasn't a legal requirement.

In my experience, airlines don't do something for their passengers out of the goodness of their own heart but rather because they have no choice.

Well that's not surprising and that's exactly why those legal requirements exist. When seeking recompense for some kind of situation where the airline (or rail company, or car rental company, etc) is at fault, it's important to read the appropriate legal requirements to know what is covered and what is not. That way you won't be surprised and/or upset.

Posted by
3661 posts

but what they wouldn't cover was the extra charges incurred by overstaying at Heathrow car park

Yes, but won't you get cash compensation also, in addition to the room and board? That will cover the parking.

Posted by
1940 posts

Thank you for sharing your good experience. Always good to hear when companies DO take care of customers.

We flew with Icelandair (multiple journeys) on an Iceland/Greenland trip, and we were very pleased with the planes,staff, customer-oriented nature. I have no idea why I did this, other than probably travel exhaustion, but when we were departing Iceland to head back to the US, for some strange reason, I just dragged along both my carry-on bag and an extra bag that I had intended to check (expedition boots, extra jacket, etc.) I remember arriving at an incredibly stuffed gate counter with staff totally overwhelmed (can't recall if a plane had been delayed coming in or what), but the oh-so-kind agent took the time to check my bag for me right there, even though people kept approaching him with all sorts of questions about the other flight (due in at a different gate). He could have easily sent me back to bag check, afterwhich I would have had to go thru security again (and the airport was very crowded that day), but his kindness was so appreciated. I kept apologizing and totally explained that I had zoned out, just pretty much used to never checking bags. I still can't believe I did that :o

It's little things like that, and bigger things like what Ms. Jo experienced, that consumers appreciate.

And Ms. Jo, definitely go back to Iceland. While we only saw a small portion of Iceland, the Golden Circle sights were incredible and the Blue Lagoon so "worth it." Fascinating experience. Ditto for Greenland (we were on the western portion).

Posted by
5262 posts

We've had only good experiences with Icelandair, though never had to put them to a test like this one.

Iceland is a worthwhile stopover to or from the rest of Europe, and even worth a trip of its own. I understand that you pay the same transatlantic fare whether your layover at KEF is an hour or several days. And of course they have fare+car+hotel packages to help you stay awhile. (But Iceland itself is a very expensive country, be warned.)

Posted by
4668 posts

Yes, but won't you get cash compensation also, in addition to the room and board? That will cover the parking.

Yes we did but that's beside the point. They paid the compensation in accordance to EU regulations, if no such regulations existed I sincerely doubt we'd have seen such recompense. What they didn't do is offer to cover the parking charges, charges that were wholly attributable to their actions. Why should I be expected to pay such charges when the situation was completely out of my control?

Posted by
27743 posts

Thanks Jo

They spent a little money - by the way were these super buffets tasty? - and got a whole lot of goodwill out of it...

(maybe they just knew it was you??)

Watching Formula 1 where 2.5 seconds to change a full set of tyres is slow, 2 hours seems like an eternity.

Better safe than sorry.... they probably have all sorts of people involved including the guys who have to find the spare

Posted by
2477 posts

It is a large airplane. You don't just pick up the spare out of the trunk, insert a jack, turn the handle for maybe a minute, crack 4 or 5 lug nuts, lift the tire off and place the new one on, reverse.

Posted by
8117 posts

The pastry chef at this Hilton is fabulous. I asked if they baked on site and was told yes, they had their own baker. Simply melt in your mouth pastries, tiny, fluffy pancakes, yummy cream tortes. Great bread. Tried some interesting Iceland cheeses too.

Both buffets were decent, though the Breakfast one was better and I give it an 8.5. Have had better lunch buffets, but it was still pretty good. I give this one a 6-6.5.

Posted by
21 posts

Great story, I’m so glad your experience was positive.

I just returned from a trip to Paris, and our return flight was on Icelandair. The plane was comfortable, more legroom than expected (that being said, I am only 5’5” so don’t get your hopes up). The attendants were all very nice. There didn’t seem to be much pressure to get out on time; we boarded 30 minutes late after 5 gate changes. We flew Paris/Reykjavik/Seattle. The flight to Reykjavik wasn’t very long, didn’t really expect food, but not even the sub par pretzels one comes to expect. The flight to Seattle was over 7 hours, and had we not asked about in-flight meals, we would have been unpleasantly surprised. As it was, we ate before boarding in Paris and then did purchase a meal inflight (don’t get the pizza; the photo is very misleading). I know this is just the way it is nowadays, but flying isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be. But it was a nice, clean plane and the flight was smooth. Onboard entertainment was plentiful. I discovered that bifocals are a pain for watching the screen and will take my readers next time. Bon voyage!

Posted by
6487 posts

flying isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be.

Actually it is, you just have to be willing to pay big $$ for it.

Posted by
5187 posts

I flew Seattle to London this week on Iceland Air. It was all quite positive. I did pay a little extra for the extra legroom seats because that is Important to me.