Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1051 posts, RR: 16 Posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 17666 times:
Hello A.net trip reporters and readers.
Some great trip reports have recently been posted and whilst this one is not that unusual, it was special for me, as it was my first time to Iceland, and first time flying Icelandair.
A few reports have appeared recently from fellow A.netters who have made the journey to Iceland and Plymspotter posted a great report on his experience with Icelandair a couple of years back. The trip was well worth it and I had a great time there. I would highly recommend it.
Iceland has always been of interest to me - growing up in Australia, it seemed like another planet, being so far away and so different from my home. Someone told me many years ago that Iceland had no naturally growing trees, and whilst I thought this seemed a little far fetched, I guess I’d have to go there myself and see. Icelandair offer fairly good packages, including hotels and flights and transfers all though www.icelandair.co.uk and over the past couple of years, have heavily promoted short trips to Iceland, particularly on the London Underground. Given the recent crash of Iceland’s economy and currency, I figured now would be as good as any time to visit.
At the time I booked tickets, *that* volcano was yet to erupt and cause chaos in Europe and thankfully, by the time we were due to travel, the volcano had stopped spewing ash into the atmosphere.
2 June 2010
London - Reykjavik
TF-FIP named “Snaefell”
Icelandair use T1 at LHR, and when we arrived, there was no queue at all. The Icelandair website allows for OLCI which I had done the night before, securing seats just behind the wing. I was keen to have a good view of those sexy 757 winglets which have been installed on virtually all FI aircraft.
A friendly ground agent checked bags and wished us a good flight. Without further ado, we proceeded through security to the airside part of the terminal, which thankfully, was not overly packed. Having some time to kill, we used one of the lounges in T1 which is pretty average, but provides a semi-oasis from the crowds and noise downstairs.
A slow stroll to the gate revealed our aircraft for FI451. This was the best pic I could manage, as the aircraft was parked in an unfriendly position from a photographer’s perspective.
Icelandair, not surprisingly is the flag carrier of Iceland, based at Keflavik International Airport and traces its origins back to 1937, when Flugfélag Akureyrar, was founded at Akureyri on the north coast of Iceland. In 1943 the company moved its headquarters to the capital, Reykjavík, and changed its name to Flugfélag Íslands, which later assumed the international trade name Icelandair.
Today, the airline uses a fleet of mostly B757-200s providing service to most large European capitals, as well as connecting a number of key cities in the US and Canada.
Wondering what the loads would be like on today’s mid week, lunchtime departure, it soon became clear that it was going to be a busy flight ! By the time the first gate call was made, the holding area was pretty packed. Strangely, the young lady making the boarding call invited us to board our flight to Iceland, rather than Reykjavik or even Keflavik. First time this has happened to me….. Kinda like going to JFK and being asked to board your flight to the USA !
Onboard, the view from 28F and bingo - a great view of the winglet, complete with FI’s classy logo.
The cabin interior was in immaculate condition and seats were fairly comfy. Not sure how comfy they would be after a transatlantic flight but perfectly fine for the short hop up to KEF.
Our flight attendants today were a collection of mid aged ladies, all blonde and all very nicely dressed. A couple of ground announcements were made, welcoming us all on board. All seats in Y are equipped with personal IFE, which I was able to play around with throughout the flight. Of course, for much of the 2 hrs 30 mins, it was set to the map!
As expected, the flight was just about full, although very lucky for me (again) I had the middle seat empty.
Doors closed about 5 mins late, we were on our way and pushing back - heading for today’s departure runway, which was 09R.
US Airways 332 - love these colours and looks great on the A332
Emirates A380 at T3 attached to the terminal via lots of “bits” including the upper deck jetbridge
Virgin Atlantic A346 at T3
Route for today’s flight FI451
Passing the rows of BA heavies at T5 - no guesses who’s boss here!
I have always been a fan of the B757, although it was not until 1997 that I first flew on one - US Air from JAX to CLT on N610AU, the sole aircraft in the fleet that carried the titles “Ideas that Fly”. I never really knew at the time what this meant….!
A short hold at the end of 09R before leaving terra firma. A great day for flying in London.
Good bye LHR, T4
Climbing out of London - passing Wembley Stadium
Our path today would track to the north west of London, heading up toward Manchester, then Blackpool and out over the Irish Sea, passing over the Isle of Man, before heading further north west over the Outer Hebrides and then pretty much in a straight line to KEF.
Passing over central England
Heading toward Blackpool
In-flight service consisted of BOB although they were not charging for non alcoholic drinks. I did not have anything as I was already full having eaten before boarding, and had a bottle of water. In fact, if I was not hallucinating, each seat had a small bottle of Icelandic natural water when we boarded.
Seatback contents incl emergency safety card
Cruising high above the North Atlantic
The flight passed uneventfully and it felt like only a short time had passed before the map showed us getting closer to KEF.
Iceland also came into view on our right hand side - and I was poised with the camera to capture some of the scenes.
Some first glimpses of Iceland on descent into KEF and not a tree in sight ! It also looked like we may have passed that volcano as well, so on behalf of all the travellers and airlines disrupted by it in April, I blew a raspberry in the general direction of Eyjafjallajokull.
Great weather down there today although a little bouncy by this stage as the captain had advised there were strong winds
Chasing our shadow as we get closer. Cabin was now secured for landing.
Not much down there but quite stunning landscapes!
Touchdown - welcome to Iceland after a smooth arrival on RW 02. A lovely day here too.
Compact terminal in the distance
End of the journey. Icelandair’s 757s are now named after Icelandic volcanoes (how apt!) and here, “Snaefell” rests at the gate after completing FI451 from LHR. Sorry for the poor quality photo - the reflection was terrible! Soon after we arrived, the airport seemed to burst into activity, with one FI aircraft arriving after another. It was clear that the hub and spoke operations at KEF were in full force!
The main airport here is at Keflavik, which is a good 45min + drive to Reykjavik. Whilst the airport is small, it is modern and well organised and in next to no time, we were out waiting for our transfer bus to take us into Reykjavik and our hotel.
Some interesting artwork outside the terminal at KEF
Icelandair, in summary, provided a good service. The flight was on time, crew were friendly and the aircraft was immaculate inside. Onboard service was sparse, but to be frank, I was not expecting that much. KEF is a nice hub, and I would not hesitate to fly FI again for something a bit different. Iceland has had some pretty rocky times of late, and I don’t believe Icelandair has been immune from this. They seem to continue however to be delivering a good product. It will be interesting to see what happens to FI’s flights to JFK once Delta start their flights to KEF.
Some action on the ramp at KEF (these were taken on the return journey back to LHR)
A relatively new addition (at the time) to Air Greenland’s fleet - Dash 8 arriving from Nuuk.
At its stand and about to shutdown the other prop
The “other” airline in Iceland - an Iceland Express 737-700 arriving. These guys were advertising their new route to New York in and around KEF.
Arriving at the gate
Flugfelag Islands Dash 8 - I wasn’t sure what this was doing at KEF, because these guys are ordinarily based at the domestic airport in Reykjavik. Could have been an international charter flight to neighbouring Greenland?
Reykjavik itself, was very interesting. It has the honour of being the most northern capital of a sovereign state and was believed to be founded around 870AD.
Like the others who have reported on recent trips here, there is quite a bit to keep you interested, even though it is only a mid sized town by UK standards. We were also very lucky with the weather on our visit. I highly recommend it.
A few pics taken in and around Reykjavik
Statue of Ingolfur Arnarson, Iceland’s founding “father” in front of the famous Hallgrimskirkja
Another view of the Hallgrimskirkja, taken at 630pm when the sun was still high in the sky!
From the top of Hallgrimskirkja
Buildings in and around Reykjavik
Some outdoor “bears”
A nice looking restaurant
Some lovely looking buildings
Lots of outdoor artwork - loved this one down by the water
And some scenes from outside Reykjavik taken during our day trip to Gullfoss waterfall
A bit further on down the road…
Thanks for reading and of course, any comments are welcome.
Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1051 posts, RR: 16 Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 17283 times:
ELAL772 - thanks for your comments. Hope you make it to Iceland soon. Yes, DL announced recently that they would be starting service to KEF, with the flight originating in MSP (surprise surprise, when you see FI's routemap)!
eaa3 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 956 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 17121 times:
Great report. Glad you enjoyed visiting Iceland. Did you get out of the city much. Although Reykjavik is nice the most interesting parts of Iceland are in the countryside, such as the glaciers, hotsprings, rivers, volcanoes and other interesting natural formations.
Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1051 posts, RR: 16 Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 16553 times:
eaa3 - yes, we did manage to do a couple of short trips out of Reykjavik (although we were only in Iceland for 3 full days). The parts outside of Reykjavik were stunning - I really want to go back and see more, particularly do a short internal flight up to the north of the country.
batonops - thank you for your comments, glad you enjoyed! From the pics, can you tell whether it has changed much since you were there?
Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1051 posts, RR: 16 Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 15983 times:
767747 - thanks for your comments. I do like FI's livery - it's classy and has stood the test of time quite well. I remember when they first started repainting into the now current livery, back in 1999. I think the service onboard has probably changed much, but it was still a nice experience all round. Cheers p/j
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 15765 times:
Great report and fantastic pictures of your flight and of Iceland. I also visited Iceland this summer (on Air Berlin, though) and I found it a really fascinating place.
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter): Soon after we arrived, the airport seemed to burst into activity, with one FI aircraft arriving after another. It was clear that the hub and spoke operations at KEF were in full force!
Yes, KEF is a really special airport in this regard. While it is relatively quiet most times of the day it gets busy in the early morning (when the Icelandair-fleet arrives from the USA and goes on to Europe) and in the late afternoon when it is the other way round.
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 2512 posts, RR: 13 Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 15585 times:
Beautiful pictures of arriving into KEF. I flew FI to KEF back in Feb 2000 (my first flight of the millenium!). Unfortunatley we were on the late night flight from LHR (and I had an aisle seat), so nothing to see on arrival. We did a day trip out to the Westerman Islands from REY, which was amazing, lots to see (including the star of Free Willy!)
hausauflennon From Barbados, joined Jul 2009, 86 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 15539 times:
Excellent report, I am planning on doing a trip there in summer 2011. So far, I've been a bit baffled by what to do there (much like yourself, i'm from the Caribbean and Iceland is like another planet to me).
What did you do in the three days that you were there? I would appreciate any pointers...you can PM if anything.
Other than my wanderlust being ignited, I absolutely enjoyed your report. Keep it up.
batonops From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 724 posts, RR: 4 Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15428 times:
Quoting Palmjet (Reply 5): batonops - thank you for your comments, glad you enjoyed! From the pics, can you tell whether it has changed much since you were there?
The airport seems to have changes a lot. I believe there is a new passenger terminal now. The one they had when I was stationed there had maybe 6 jetways. Back then Icelandair was flying 737's and 757's.
Again...thanks for the pictures and bringing back some memories. I might have to take a trip up there myself soon now that Icelandair is starting service to IAD.
eaa3 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 956 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15425 times:
Quoting hausauflennon (Reply 10): Excellent report, I am planning on doing a trip there in summer 2011. So far, I've been a bit baffled by what to do there (much like yourself, i'm from the Caribbean and Iceland is like another planet to me).
I would rent a car or travel by bus, just as long as you get out of the city. Driving around Iceland you can't go wrong as there are endless interesting places to see.
Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1051 posts, RR: 16 Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 15006 times:
Hi all - thanks for your thoughts and comments. I think Iceland needs all the visitors it can get right now and we found people to be very friendly so now's as good as time as any!
Quote: When did FI switch to BOB? I seem to remember them serving full meals on their LHR flights?
Not sure when, but there was certainly no full meal being served on either the outbound or inbound flights ex LHR when we travelled in June this year.
Quote: What did you do in the three days that you were there?
I could have spent many more days there. There is a well functioning tourism industry there with plenty of options. You can spend a whole day or two wandering around Reykjavik which is compact. There are numerous day trips you can do as well out of Reykjavik. Finally you can do day or overnight trips to Greenland as well which I heard were interesting. eaa3 has also set ou some excellent options. Have fun!
gardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1518 posts, RR: 1 Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14977 times:
Great report and photos! Very jealous. Reminds me of my own trip to Iceland some 9 years ago now.
Back then in summer , FI used to do seasonal late night LHR-KEF flights which depart at around 11pm and get into Keflavik around 1am.
Strangely, the young lady making the boarding call invited us to board our flight to Iceland,
Ha...on one hand kind of quirky and on the other I find terribly unprofessional.
Flugfelag Islands Dash 8 - I wasn’t sure what this was doing at KEF, because these guys are ordinarily based at the domestic airport in Reykjavik. Could have been an international charter flight to neighbouring Greenland?
I'm certain all their flights to Greenland operate from REK. Well that was how it used to be when I was there.
batonops From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 724 posts, RR: 4 Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14929 times:
Quoting Palmjet (Reply 16): I could have spent many more days there. There is a well functioning tourism industry there with plenty of options. You can spend a whole day or two wandering around Reykjavik which is compact. There are numerous day trips you can do as well out of Reykjavik. Finally you can do day or overnight trips to Greenland as well which I heard were interesting. eaa3 has also set ou some excellent options. Have fun!
The Blue Lagoon near Keflavik is a must see and experience.
RTWflyer From American Samoa, joined Oct 2010, 47 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14409 times:
as all others, I love your report and pics of Iceland. It is really a mgical place to visit any time of the year.
I've been there 3 times in the past 3 years and am still finding new things every time...
Can't wait to go back soon..
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter): Flugfelag Islands Dash 8 - I wasn’t sure what this was doing at KEF, because these guys are ordinarily based at the domestic airport in Reykjavik. Could have been an international charter flight to neighbouring Greenland?
I think they do offer flights to Greenland in summer from KEF so that international connections are possible (more easily).
In the winter they do only operate from REK airport (downtown) for "local" traffic (Greenlanders visiting Iceland for shopping etc.).
They BOB has been in effect for at least the past 2-3 years.I guess it was a complete overhaul of their product, as they upgraded the seats and the AVOD at that time also.
BTW I found the seats to be comfortable enough on my 7 hrs. flight from the US.The legroom is good and on the US flights they offer complimentary pillows and blankets.
Longest light ever: TG 795 LAX-BKK A340-541 (HS-TLC "Phitsanulok", MSN 698) Nov. 2007, takeoff to landing 18hrs 25 min
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 14238 times:
A very good report about your trip to Iceland! Looks like you got very lucky with the weather, both in the UK and Iceland. Makes for some truly fabulous photos!
Icelandair has a soft spot in my heart despite me never flying with them - I was supposed to go to Iceland, flying FI of course, back in 2004 (or was it 2005? My memory isn't what it used to be) but a huge January snowstorm wrecked those plans. Despite having separate el cheapo tickets FI refunded me the whole unused ticket without questions, even though they had no (legal) obligation to do so. This earned massive goodwill from me.
I think I'll try to finally get around visiting Iceland next year, hopefully being able to combine both Icelandair and Iceland Express on one trip!
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter): Iceland also came into view on our right hand side - and I was poised with the camera to capture some of the scenes.
Great pictures - despite there having been quite a few reports about Iceland here over the last couple of years I think these are the best approach pictures hands down. Mostly down to the weather I guess, but of course your skills with the camera do no harm either .
Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1051 posts, RR: 16 Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 14137 times:
Hi all - thanks again for reading my report and for posting a comment.
Quote: There's probably more people than you think who couldn't name the capital of Iceland. I'm guessing that's why she did it.
I think you're completely right !!!
Yes, the weather was great and I was very lucky. We were told that it was the hottest it had been all year on the last day we were there - it that was at 19 degrees C !
Thule - don't tempt me - I'd have loved to fly on the Air Greenland Dash 8. Maybe next time.
FlyingFinn76 - glad you enjoyed the approach pics, and that you had a good experience with FI, despite not flying with them. Hope you make it to Iceland next year. I'd be interested to read about your experience on Iceland Express - I don't recall there being any Trip Reports on this carrier yet? In addition to their new JFK flights, I also believe they were operating (perhaps only seasonally) 737s to Canada too!
RTWflyer - thank you for the explanations - It certainly makes sense re seeing the Flugfelag Dash 8. By co-incidence, I saw the very same aircraft the day before arriving at the domestic airport in Reykjavik!
Air Florida - "Join the dots, we do it everyday"
25 LY777: Very nice and rare TR! I also dream to do to Iceland!!! Icelandair looks great...
26 eaa3: An interesting fact about that picture. The black crack that is visable on that picture is the North-Atlantic ridge. It makes landfall a couple miles
27 Palmjet: eaa3, thank you for these further explanations. We did actually visit the geothermal plant that you mention. It seems that much of Iceland's energy is
28 PlaneHunter: Hi Palmjet, great report with many stunning pictures. I also want to visit Iceland one day, the scenery alone seems to be worth it. PH
29 Palmjet: PH - thanks, the landscapes there are really amazing for photography. While we were lucky to have sunny weather, I imagine that in any weather, you wo
30 lhr380: Great Trip Report, the pictures are stunning. Darn tootin Thank you lol
31 ardian: Nice tripreport and beautiful pictures! Today I came back from having visited Reykjavik for a week (music festival Iceland Airwaves, in which Icelanda
32 Palmjet: Ardian - glad you had a great time there. I also remember reading a lot about Iceland's music scene, and for such a small country, they have an incred
33 MSS658: Nice trip report. I have flewn on TF-FIT in 2006 between AMS and KEF. I'm surprised how much things have changed since then!
34 globalflyer: Awesome report! Makes me what to book an FI flight today. I have always wanted to visit Iceland! Cheers!
35 Palmjet: MSS658 - thanks for your comments. What has changed since 2006? Would be interested to know how FI have changed in that time. Globalflyer - thank you!
36 TheCommodore: Great report. Thanks for sharing. Nice photos. Love the look of Raykjavic.
37 MSS658: You're welcome. Correction of the registration I was on TF-FIP on AMS-KEF (the same plane as you were from LHR to KEF). No PTV's, and no BOB, meal wa
38 Palmjet: TheCommodore - sorry not to respond - I've just seen that you posted a comment some time ago. Glad you enjoyed the report and pics. Are you doing any
39 VSMike: I dunno... Iceland is on my "list" after the Great Eruption of Edrtfghbjnm54678ui9ojkl.;hkull disrupting the world's entire avia-cycle this past summe
40 SRQKEF: Great report about my favourite (and most flown) airline! Flown over 100 flights in these 757s The situation here was bad but instead of getting smal
41 The777Man: Hi ! Thanks for a great report with great pictures ! I must have missed it when it was first posted....... Reminds me of my visit there in July 1987 w
42 akhmad: Hi Palmjet, What a great report with excellent pictures. I wonder why I did not see it earlier, thanks to Lars who brought this to my attention. I nev
43 palmjet: Hi The777man and Suryo Thanks so much for your comments - always nice to be reminded what a nice trip this was to KEF. I really enjoyed it and would g
44 alexsuprabieber: Great report!!!!!!!!!! A friend of mine also flew to KEF but went from MAN he also did a Trip Report similar to yours but all snow and no Sun! lol
45 HAWAIIAN932: I flew to iceland many years ago out of ARN via OSL to KEF on an Icelandair 727-200 with the old paintjob. Service was fantastic back then also and as
46 Parton87: Hello Palmjet! Thanks for the great story! Really good pictures. Reykjavik seem to be a interesting place to visit! Greetings Robert
47 sultanils: Hi PJ’s, For some reason I (and some other users as well clearly ) missed out on this one. Nice short report on this great B757 flight with Iceland