I went on a two week holiday in June to: - visit Moldova, one of the few countries in Europe where I'd never been before, - visit Transnistria, a self-proclaimed independent country, - visit Odessa, a city where I'd been planning to go for a very long time, - visit a friend in Tel-Aviv, - fly to Geneva to meet my family taking the direct Icelandair flight from Keflavík, and then spend a week in France.
I booked this Icelandair flight on the cheapest economy class. I received an e-mail about an upgrade bid one week before my flight, and although my bid was almost the lowest possible amount (just above ISK 20,000) I got it. A great start to my series of flights!
I got to the airport a bit over two hours before my flight. As you possibly know most Icelandair and Wow flights leave to Europe in the early morning, get back in the early afternoon and the same aircrafts leave for North America in the late afternoon and get back to Iceland the next morning. So there were a lot of flights that afternoon to the US and Canada but less to Europe.
There were long lines to check-in for the Wow flights but they were less long for the Icelandair flights, and almost no line for Saga (business) class check-in. I was checked-in in a minute or so. Self check-in machines are also available.
A nice Icelandair advertisement.
You have to go up one floor after check-in. There is an automated boarding pass control; for priority security for business class passengers turn left here.
I was through security in about five minutes after which I walked through the large duty free shop.
The main part of the terminal.
Some of the shops.
Yes, Iceland is getting ready for the World Cup.
You have to go up one more floor to Icelandair's Saga (business class) lounge.
Here are the rules to access.
The lounge is really spacious with several different parts.
While the food and drink offer may not seem as big as some might expect there's enough choice and the quality is good.
I first had some salmon salad (which was perfect), hangakjöt (very tasty Icelandic lamb meat) and spring rolls (not so good).
Afterwards I had a cheese and fruit selection which was very good.
And two small desserts with some cognac at the end.
You can enjoy nice views of the apron from the lounge.
There are also shower facilities at the lounge (I didn't check them inside).
The screens showed "Go to gate" at 15.30, although passengers from the inbound flight were still getting off. Boarding started at 16.00 with priorities respected but there was a further short wait on the bridge.
Our aircraft today was a Boeing 757-200, registration number FT-FIN, named Eldborg, delivered to Icelandair in 1998 (photo taken after arrival to Copenhagen).
My seat was 2F. Icelandair's B757's have a 2+2 configuration in business class. Seats 2D and 2F are the first ones on the right side. The table and the screen are in the armrest but the seats are large enough so this is not really an issue. On the plus side there is some extra legroom. Seats 1A, 1C, 2D and 2F have smaller screens.
Icelandair 's recliner business seats are similar to US domestic first class seats. If you compare them to most intra-European businesses class services which only have standard economy seats with the central seat blocked, Icelandair seats are much more comfortable. If you fly between Europe and the US or Canada, it's considerably less comfortable (but also much cheaper) than AA, AF, AY, BA, DL, IB, LH, LX, TP, SK, OS or UA in business class. So while this is certainly not the latest design in aircraft interiors, nor the biggest legroom and of course there are no lie-flat or flat beds this is still a very comfortable way to fly.
Legroom was reasonably good for this three hour daytime flight.
Icelandair used to offer three classes, economy, premium economy and business but premium economy was discontinued. At the same time business class fares between Iceland and Europe and/or America became around 50% cheaper - a great deal for me. A return flight from Keflavik to London now only costs around 500 USD.
A pillow was waiting on the seat. Water, Icelandic newspapers and a headset were offered shortly after boarding.
The captain announced a flight time of two hours and 50 minutes. Although scheduled departure was at 16.10, boarding was only completed at 16.27 and push-back was at 16.40, 30 minutes behind schedule. Take-off was at 16.55 from runway 19.
Menus were distributed a few minutes after take-off.
No real welcome drink was offered but pretzels were distributed and I was asked what I wanted to drink - I ordered a glass of white wine from New Zealand. A cold towel was also offered a short time later.
I choose the cold platter called Luxury platter with some Nicolas Feuillatte champagne. The ox brisket was very good. The herring tartare was… well, cold herring. The salmon was quite good. Altogether I was happy with my meal.
The in-flight entertainment offers 50 movies, 189 TV shows and 440 music tracks.
We flew over the Faroe Islands.
And the Shetlands.
And the southernmost part of Norway.
Internet access was offered free of charge for business class passengers. Connecting was a bit complicated - I had to type in my reservation number and my last name. The Internet was quite weak but still usable for browsing. That allowed me to check Flight Radar on the way and to identify the other planes I saw air to air, such as the Atlantic Airways flight to the Faroe Islands (no photo).
We had beautiful sunset for landing.
Landing was at 21.35. We reached our parking position at 21.40, and I was out of the terminal building by 21.50. By 21.55 I had bought my train ticket and was at the station waiting for my train to Malmö where I spent one night.
Thank you for reading my flight report.
Saga Lounge - Principal/Main
Reykjavík - KEF
Copenhagen - CPH
Icelandair offers a business class product which is superior to the typical intra-European business class but inferior to most transatlantic business classes.
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