Review of Icelandair flight London Reykjavík in Business

Airline Icelandair
Flight FI455
Class Business
Seat 2C
Aircraft Boeing 757-200
Flight time 02:55
Take-off 10 Mar 19, 20:35
Arrival at 10 Mar 19, 23:30
FI   #71 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 52 reviews
bldavid
By SILVER 1259
Published on 31st March 2019
Most Icelandair flights are scheduled to offer quick connections for those who travel between Europe (Amsterdam, Bergen, Berlin, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Helsinki, London LHR and LGW, Manchester, Munich, Oslo, Paris ORY and CDG, Stockholm, Zurich) and America (Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York EWR and JFK, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington in the US, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada) or vica versa.

Flights leave Europe typically around 13.00 or 14.00 local time; arrive to Iceland three hours later, around 15.00 or 16.00; leave for the US and Canada at about 17.00 and get there around 19.00 depending on the distance and the local time zone. The same planes fly back to Iceland at about 21.00 local time, arrive to Iceland around 05.00 or 06.00 next morning and fly to Europe between 07.00 and 08.00.

So many of Icelandair's passengers are on connecting flights, and only a smaller part of them are tourists visiting Iceland (although many take advantage of the stopover program) or Icelanders travelling abroad. Those who live in Iceland and want to travel home from Europe have to leave their destinations in the early afternoon. There are only a couple of flights that allow to fly from Europe to Iceland in the evening every day of the week, such as from Copenhagen (departure at 22.30, arrival at 23.45) or London-Heathrow (departure at 20.50, arrival at 22.55). Times can of course change depending on winter/summer schedule.

I arrived to London from Japan at 13.15 so I had over seven hours before my flight to Iceland. This is a long time to wait so I booked a room for day use at a very good rate at the Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport from 14.00 to 18.00 It proved to be a good idea so I could sleep a bit after the very long flight and I was refreshed for the evening flight home.

Icelandair uses Terminal 2 at Heathrow.

photo 01-1

Check-in is in Zone B.

photo 02photo 03-1

I almost always have a very good experience here: check-in and security are reasonably quick and the crowd is not too big inside

photo 04-1

I find the terminal building itself very nice

photo 05-1photo 06-2

A lot of departures as every evening

photo 07-1


Icelandair does not have its own lounge at Heathrow; Saga (business) class passengers have access to the Aer Lingus lounge.

photo 08photo 09-1

There's a view from the Aer Lingus lounge on an… Aer Lingus plane

photo 10-1


The lounge is spacious and was not crowded when I was there.





As it is typical to many lounges in Europe the only available food were soup and small snacks.




Guinness and Bailey's are of course available

photo 18-1photo 19-1


You can of course have coffee, tea and soft drinks as well



Icelandair's evening flight usually departs from gate B41 which is a very long way from the main terminal area. Allow at least 10 to 15 minutes to get there.

photo 23-1

Singapore Airlines' A380 is usually right next door

photo 25-1

Boarding was on-time. Our aicraft today was TF-ISS, built in 1996 and called Dyngjufjöll.

While Icelandair used to offer a three-class configuration with economy, premium economy and business it now offers a two-class configuration with economy and business called Saga class. What are the differences between economy and business on Icelandair?

Business class check-in
Check-in luggage included
Priority security
Lounge access (the Aer Lingus lounge for Heathrow, the very nice Saga Lounge in Iceland)
Priority boarding
A 2+2 configuration with US Domestic First class type seats.
Larger screens
Good quality headphones
Welcome drink
A good quality hot meal (two-course between Iceland and Europe and three-course between Iceland and America)
All alcoholic and soft drinks
Free wi-fi
Priority deplaning

Icelandair business class seats. These seats are large and comfortable and certainly much better than the intra-European business class seats offered on short-haul Air France, British Airways or Lufthansa flights but are considerably less comfortable than the business class seats the same airlines offer on their long-haul Transatlantic flights. Icelandair has 7 rows of business class seats with the first row having seats only on the left side so there are a total of 26 seats.

photo 26


Note that legroom is slightly less good than one would expect but it's perfectly fine for a flight within Europe.

photo 27-1

The screen is larger than in economy class. Note that bulkhead seats 1A, 1C, 2D and 2F have fold-out screens that are the same size as in economy.

photo 28-1

Good quality headphone were distributed




Orange juice offered as a welcome drink - no alcohol.

I like Icelandair's safety video

photo 32-1


The flight map before departure



An expected flight time of two hours and 40 minutes was announced. Push-back which was at 20.55 and take off at 21.15 or a scheduled departure time of 20.35. There was a lot of traffic waiting to be cleared for take off from runway 27R.

The seatbelt signs were on for 30 minutes after take-off. Meal order was taken shortly later and a hot towel was offered

photo 38


Here's the dinner menu




The same in Icelandic

photo 42photo 43

The wine menu



Other drinks



This is how dinner was served

photo 52


Arctic char with creamed wild mushrooms, salt-baked root vegetables and Icelandic pearl barley. It was very good

photo 53


Cheesecake with berry sauce

photo 54


Icelandair's in-flight entertainment offers 55 different movies



The movie I was watching

photo 61-1


The audio selection has 497 different audio tracks

photo 62-1


We were near Vestmannaeyjar, a group of islands off the south coast of Iceland when I finished the movie

photo 63-1photo 64-1


Landing was at 23.57 for a scheduled arrival time of 23.35. The flight map after landing




Thank you for reading my flight report. Please feel free to comment.
See more

Verdict

Icelandair

8.0/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering8.0

Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge

6.5/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services6.0

London - LHR

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Reykjavík - KEF

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Icelandair's business class is a very good product to travel between Europe and Iceland. It offers proper business class seats and all the services you expect, all this at a reasonable price.

If you plan however to travel between America and Europe (or vica versa) note that this business class does not offer the same comfort as Air France, American, British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa or Swiss on their wide-body aircrafts, although prices are also usually considerably lower. It is however of course much better than premium economy offered by the above airlines. My suggestion is anyway that you take advantage of the stopover possibility and you break your journey in Iceland.

Information on the route London (LHR) Reykjavík (KEF)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Reykjavík (KEF).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Icelandair with 7.2/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 48 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 495646 by
    Thomas TEAM 413 Comments

    Hello Bldavid ! Thank you for this quality review. I note that the Aerlingus lounge are not the best of LHR... But on CDG-KEF the Icelandair lounge (Icare lounge at T1) are similar.

  • Comment 496327 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4904 Comments

    Hi David,

    A nice FR as usual! I'm a bit disappointed by the EI lounge in LHR. I would have expected a bit better food selection. Still the aesthetic of the lounge is nice and reminds me of their hub lounges in DUB.

    Icelandair offers one if the best Business class services on intra-European flights with these true recliner Business class seats as opposed to Economy seats with a blocked middle seat. The meal also looks quite good for a 2.5 hour flight. While FI J is great on intra-European flights, it's more of a premium economy on Transatlantic long-haul routes to North America. I would imagine that this is why they eliminated the premium economy product as it caused some brand confusion and the W and J products were too close (especially when W often got a J seat depending on where the J curtain was located based on J load factor). Nevertheless, I admire FI's creativity in offering a premium economy product based on intra-European business class.

    With WOW's demise FI fares will most certainly go up in Y, but I wonder what it will be for J being that WOW had a very LCC take on premium economy. Hopefully FI will maintain their good J TATL fares.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 496826 by
    bldavid SILVER AUTHOR 118 Comments

    Hi KévinDC and thank you for your detailed comment. I agree with you on all points regarding FI J service.

Login to post a comment.