This was my first time flying Icelandair, and I was excited. I’ve heard excellent things about the airline, but I wanted to see for myself. Our check in at YEG (Edmonton International) was a breeze, and the staff friendly and welcoming.
Upon entering the aircraft, we were welcomed aboard by a smiling Icelandic stewardess who handed us a bottle of water for our flight. Another was handing out cozy blankets and cushiony pillows to make our five hour flight to Reykjavik more comfortable. Icelandic music played over the loud speaker, and a tourism video played on our individual entertainment systems. I was immediately impressed by the size of our seats and the overhead compartments in our plane, which I believe was a Boeing 757-200.
Settling into my seat, I started to browse through the in-flight entertainment. My personal favourite was the educational series on Iceland, specially made to enhance your experience there as a tourist. There’s even a cute video for those planning on renting a car and driving! With a few families on board, I got to see how great Icelandair’s family service is. They have little entertainment boxes for each child, and they seem to put families first. Another plus is that the airline offers two bags when flying overseas. Sometimes its tricky to fit all we need when traveling across the pond into just a bag! I loath when airlines charge fees for bags; everyone just tries to cram everything into carry-on space.
The one downside I found with Icelandair was food isn’t included. This honestly turned out to be an upside for me though, because I usually force myself to eat the in-flight food to get the most value out of my ticket and that stuff always makes me feel awful. When sitting for hours you don’t need to eat – bring a granola bar.
I originally purchased our ticket because Icelandair gave us the best value for an overseas flight: our ticket was cheaper than any other airline. While Air Canada was over $1000 and KLM had tickets for almost $1500, I purchased ours for just under $800.
What really won me over was the perfect location of Icelandair’s stopover. KEF is just five to six hours from Edmonton and only two to three hours to Amsterdam. Depending on which way you are going, it’s always longer to fly west! For someone who won’t or can’t go to Europe because of the long flight, this is the perfect flight. It can be five hours to Mexico or even six to Hawaii so now there’s no excuse for not traveling across the ocean! It was fantastic for me to get out and stretch my legs. We had an hour layover, which was a bit too short with KEF’s construction (we just made it to boarding), so maybe look into an hour and a half while they expand the airport.
All in all I had a great experience with Icelandair and I hope you’ll give it a try in the future! They’ve bridged the gap for those who haven’t been comfortable flying far in the past, and for that I’ll be forever loyal.