Review of Icelandair flight Reykjavík Vancouver in Business

Airline Icelandair
Flight FI697
Class Business
Seat 5F
Aircraft Boeing 757-200
Flight time 07:45
Take-off 03 Jun 22, 17:15
Arrival at 03 Jun 22, 18:00
FI   #30 out of 78 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 71 reviews
bldavid
By GOLD 1572
Published on 6th June 2022

We decided to go on holiday to California. There are no direct flights between Iceland and California since the end of Wow Air so we decided to fly to Vancouver, one of the furthest direct destinations from Keflavík, and connect from there.

Our itinerary:
Keflavík to Vancouver, Icelandair, business class
Vancouver to San Francisco, United, first class
San Francisco to San Diego, United, first class
Los Angeles to Vancouver, Air Canada, economy class
Vancouver to Keflavík, Icelandair, business class

The cost of a return direct flight in business class from Iceland to Vancouver was about 1,100 €. As a comparison the price of a direct flight from London to Vancouver (or San Francisco or Los Angeles) in business class was about 9,000 € for the same dates.

I've already reviewed Icelandair several times but this is my first review of a flight to the west coast of North America.

An advertisement in the check-in area at Keflavík Airport shows an Icelandair plane in its new livery.


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Many Icelandair flights leave in the afternoon more or less at the same time so there can be long lines for check-in. There are several check-in desks for business class passengers. Waiting time for us was about ten minutes.


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The agent checked our vaccination certificates, our eTA (Electronic Travel Authorizatuon) for Canada and our ArriveCAN app.

There's a separate line at security for business class passengers with almost zero waiting time.

Icelandair's business lounge at Keflavík Airport is spacious and was not crowded despite the many flights leaving in the afternoon.



You can see large and small airplanes from/at the lounge.


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The afternoon choice of food includes salads, snacks, cheese and delicious Icelandic hangikjöt (cold lamb slices with flat bread).



The only hot meal was tomato soup.


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This looks like pizza but is actually good quality Italian ham with cheese.


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Drinks include soft drinks, beer, wine and a few types of liquor.


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The departure board shows no less than 13 Icelandair flights between 16.45 and 17.15.


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Passport control was fast. EU and Icelandic passengers over the age of 18 can use the automatic gates.

Boarding was by bus.

Our plane was one of Icelandair's B757-200s, the backbone of the airline's fleet, registration number TF-FIK, built 22 years ago.

As most of you probably know Icelandair has a US Domestic First Class type business class in a 2-2 configuration. There are five rows from row 2 to row 6 - there's no row 1 on this aircraft. These seats are not as comfortable as the ones in use on other airlines' widebody aircrafts on transatlantic routes but considerably more comfortable than premium economy. Load was 100% on this flight in business class.


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Legroom is sufficient.


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An antibacterial towel was offered upon boarding.


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A pillow, blanket and nice amenity kit were waiting on the seat.


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Noise cancelling headphones were handed out a short time later.


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An expected flight time of 7 hours and 20 minutes was announced.

Sparkling wine was offered as a welcome drink.

Push-back was on time at 17.15. We took off at 17.30.

Some views of the village of Sandgerði near the airport.


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Let's have a look at the menus!



An appetizer were offered with a drink shortly after take-off. I had some Kientz Riesling white wine from Alsace.


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We had some nice views as we were approaching the east coast of Greenland.


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Dinner was served on a tray less than one hour after take-off.


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Balsamic-glazed creamy burratta with Parma ham, cherry tomatoes and balsamic oil. It was OK.


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Lamb crown roast with parmesan potatoes, oven-baked vegetables and red wine sauce. The lamb was delicious.


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The other option for the main course was cold Duck salad with Icelandic Feykir cheese, truffle mayonnaise and pomegranate.


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The friendly cabin crew was very attentive and went through the cabin many times to check if any of the passengers needed anything.

All seats have quite good sized built-in screens (bulkhead seats have smaller fold-out screens).

Let's have a look at the choice of movies and TV shows. The best news of the day: the choice has finally been considerably updated with many interesting new films and series. Enough to watch for many hours!



Another form of in-flight entertainment: gorgeous views near the west coast of Greenland.


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There was more and more ice on the sea as we were approaching Nunavut.


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Early June is still winter in Northern Canada.


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Some good quality chocolate was offered around this time.


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The front of the business class cabin during the flight.


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A small cheese platter was offered about one hour before landing as a second meal.


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Approaching Vancouver.


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We landed at 17.52 for a scheduled arrival time of 18.00.

The view of our plane after landing.


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Immigration was very well organized and passport control was mostly automated in Vancouver. We were landside after a short time.

Thank you for reading my flight report and please feel free to comment.

See more

Verdict

Icelandair

8.0/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.0

Saga Lounge - Principal/Main

8.5/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services8.0

Reykjavík - KEF

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access6.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Vancouver - YVR

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

This is one of the longest narrow-body flights in the world but it was a very, very comfortable flight. The seat was comfortable enough for a daytime flight, the cabin crew was attentive, the food was tasty, there were some beautiful views over Greenland and Canada, the flight was on time and the renewed in-flight entertainment made me want to stay longer on the plane. Most importantly the price I had paid for this flight was very good value.

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6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 604723 by
    Guillbcn BRONZE 68 Comments

    Looks like Icelandair's bet for North American routes is going quite good nowadays. Despite the weather, looks like KEF could develop as an international hub between Europe and North America, just like Helsinki is (or was until COVID and Ukranian conflict) for Asian routes. Maybe they should upgrade it's economy class product, as I think there's a BOB service on this route for Y class?
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 604737 by
    bldavid GOLD AUTHOR 257 Comments

    Hi and thank you for your comment. KEF is already a hub between Europe and North America. Most of Icelandair's passengers are Americans travelling to Europe as Icelandair is much cheaper than the direct flights and allows a stopover in Iceland.

  • Comment 604829 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6051 Comments

    Hi David, great report as always. For days flights once again, FI's Business class is great and as you mention it's definitely better than a Premium Economy product...it's somewhere between a W and a J product...Business Lite of sorts. These West Coast flights do push the limits of the current fleet and as the 757 and 767 fleets will have to be retired sooner than later, I wonder what equipment FI will use to replace them, especially since the longer West Coast flights won't be possible with a 737 MAX. I also really hope they come back to California in the future.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 605015 by
    lysflyer GOLD 1273 Comments

    Thank you for this report. FI offers a fairly nice product! Wonderful views of the Great North!
    LYSflyer

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