Review of Icelandair flight Frankfurt Reykjavík in Economy

Airline Icelandair
Flight FI521
Class Economy
Seat 6F
Aircraft Boeing 757-200
Flight time 03:55
Take-off 04 Jan 15, 13:40
Arrival at 04 Jan 15, 16:35
FI   #71 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 52 reviews
FRAflyer
By 4744
Published on 7th February 2015
Hi everyone:)
I wanted to share a report on here that not many people have covered before; the journey FRA-KEF using Icelander´s FI521 winter service to Keflavik, Iceland.
Our trip started at Frankfurt Airport, where snow and ice has lead to many cancellations and delays that day. We made it to the airport extra early at around 10a.m. I performed FI´s online check-in, which was easy to use. To my surprise I was granted a seat in 6F, a seat that has their business class (Saga Class) comfort and was only assigned as Y was overbooked. That made me super happy and they would also keep their promise of the C class seat.

Check-In at FRA´s Terminal 2. The check-in counters opened 2 hours before scheduled departure. Little late in my opinion. A long line formed as the check-in agent vigorously enforced the 23kg baggage law. The acciona check-in staff was not friendly at all, which is sad seen the hospitality of Icelandair.
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Boarding was called at gate E44, which is an A380 gate that can handle either the former or two narrow body a/c at once. The gate area itself was small and lacked seats, as these gates are only used for short Schengen flights. The flight came in an hour late (no information was given) and boarding was called in an all on board manner right at the scheduled departure time. This is the only pic I got, as the 3 boarding bridges limited the view towards our B757.
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A FI cabin crew greeted us at door 2L and told us to turn left (:D). We settled into our C class seats, which are older leather recliners like the ones you would find in an American domestic First class. The B752 definitely showed its 15 years of service, but was well kept and had new PTV´s installed (more later on).
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The captain came on the PA apologizing for the delay due to the aircraft come in late to KEF. He announced a flight time of 4:50h due to very strong headwinds (usually only 3:45h). Parked next to us a UL a332 bound for CMB.
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The seat belt signs were switched on after boarding was completed and the safety video was played. We are in the last row of saga class (business class). The blue sign on row 4 should show Premium Economy class and everything in front of the curtain is real Saga Class. This funky layout is apparently often used by FI if Y pax majorly exceed the premium pax.
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Obligatory legroom shot, which is however not really needed here. Pitch is about 37 with an extra large footrest, 1,5 times wider seat than in Y class, armrest and major recline.
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Pushback was around 25minutes after scheduled dep. time. Not that bad considering the a/c had a delay of one hour and a short turnaround. The old 752 started roaring and you could definitely hear that the engines were on :)
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Takeoff was one of the steepest using rwy 25C. Just seconds after lift off the 757 poked out of the clouds and rocketed towards cruising altitude of 36,000ft.
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The seat belt sign was turned off. While C class was treated to an immediate drink and snack service; Y pax had to first enjoy the view of the newly fitted winglet :)
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Time to have a look at the IFE. I have to say FI did a real good job installing very new screens into this old a/c. Resolution is perfect as seen here with this state of the art flight map. The IFE also featured movies, TV shows and very nice documentaries about FI. In my opinion I would prefer this as to the older B777 that EK advertises as the best IFE.
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The crew finally arrived at the Y section about an hour into the flight. Fi offers only soft drinks, tea and coffee free of charge on any of their flights. I opted for Appelsin (an Icelandic orange soda) and some tea that were delivered with a smile. Since I wasn´t that hungry, I did not take advantage of the BOB. However, they offer some very interesting snacks as their BOB. http://www.icelandair.de/information/on-board/meals/ (I encourage you to take a look).
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Passing the German city of Düsseldorf while cruising towards the British isle.
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The cabin lights were switched off and almost all passengers fell asleep. The crew came around REALLY regularly offering still water and answered any calls promptly.
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Things started to get a bit bumpy as we left the British isle for the Atlantic. The arctic sky treated to a beautiful view of our B752 and a full moon.
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Around 30minutes before landing the captain came on the PA. He informed us about a pretty turbulent approach to KEF as winds were gusty and peaking at around 90kmh. The crew made a mother with her child sit in business class for safety reasons and seat belts were controlled in a military fashion.
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Landing into KEF wasn´t that turbulent actually, but visibility was close to 0 and there are no photos of the approach that are worth sharing. Even though it was only half past 5 in the afternoon it was pitch dark in Iceland. The cabin crew informed everyone that connecting flights to the US will wait for passengers despite the one hour delay.
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Keflavik Airport is super small and there is nothing important to share. Baggage was delivered within 10minutes and we were of to Reykjavik city.
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Verdict

Icelandair

8.0/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering3.0

Frankfurt - FRA

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Reykjavík - KEF

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

The price of he trip was €300 return, which I think is reasonable given the exotic destination during winter. FI´s pilots and crew seem very experienced, which is maybe due to the interesting weather at KEF. It is definately worth flying to Iceland in winter, even though jacket is recommended :)

Related

5 Comments

  • Comment 128818 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4898 Comments

    Wow, already two reports! And this one with an airline that holds a special place in my heart since I worked for FI for 5 years. You got lucky with Y being oversold and the curtain in J being moved up so you could get a Saga seat. Usually when they move up the curtain, the remaining rows of Saga become Economy Comfort premium Economy, but I'm guessing there were no premium economy pax on this flight. Your assessment of the FI Saga seat being like US domestic First is accurate, which maybe a little more recline than domestic F. This seems to work fine for FI since they don't really do any very long hauls over 6 hours. Though on a DEN or SEA to KEF a lie-flat would probably be better. For the European route, though, it is more than sufficient and better than the competition. Good choice with the Applesín--I love it. Iceland is a great destination Summer or Winter and I'm glad that Iceland is becoming so popular for tourists. I hope you enjoyed your time there! p.s. I added the IATA code to the flight number of this report as well as your previous report for you. Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 128833 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this report.

    I love the distinctive yellow engines of FI, especially seen along with the logo on the winglet.

  • Comment 128885 by
    SKYTEAMCHC TEAM GOLD 7647 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with us.
    Icelandair seems to be in at the moment with many reports published , however FRA KEF is a new route on the site.
    Icelandair does the job and you were lucky to get a Saga seat that gives you more legroom and personal space. As Kevin said in his comment it's ok for a European flight but not sufficient if you connect through Reykjavik towards a US destinatioN.
    I have read that the BOB is quite good and correctly priced however I think they should at least give a pack of chips or pretzels with the drinks.

    • Comment 310126 by
      FRAflyer AUTHOR 2 Comments

      My opinion as well. The ticket prices are not necessarily down to no frill, so I don´t get why the management doesn´t allow for a simple snack that goes with the drinks. However I do think that that their BOB features new ideas that are worth trying.

  • Comment 128984 by
    KL651 TEAM 4442 Comments

    Thanks to this FR.

    For flights to Iceland, there are not many alternatives and 300€ is not that expensive, but their flights to the US usually are at the same price than majors for a much lower service as there is no free food.

    When you can get a business class seat, it however makes the fare much more acceptable ;-)

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