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Icelandair FI680 SEA-KEF February 2012  
User currently offlinecharlib52 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 164 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 14667 times:

We have been planning this trip since, well, forever it seems. The time finally came and we were off to Iceland on Icelandair FI680 SEA-KEF.

Booking and online check-in were all easy and flawless. Dropping bags at the counter was easy and there seemed to be a good amount of agents available. We were early, so we were first (and only) people in line and we were bag-dropped and through TSA security within 10 minutes. Excellent!

We departed from gate S15, which is an absolutely absurd gate - it hides the airplane! You cannot see it no matter where you go in the terminal. But I did manage to find out we flew on "Surtsey" - A Boeing 757-208, TF-FIJ according to the A.net database.


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Boarding commenced 40 minutes before departure time of 15:30 local. We were soon seated in row 31. I chose the way back of the airplane because the flight didn't look that full and we wanted to see if we could get the whole row to ourselves. It worked, and we enjoyed the extra space. We departed the gate 3 minutes early, so kudos for that. I'm horrible at estimating load factor. There were a couple rows behind us completely empty and for five rows ahead of us the center seat was open, but the rest of the plane was full, so I'd say that's a pretty decent load for a Tuesday departure in late February.

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/Iceland-Day-0/IMAG0105.jpg

Leg room was actually pretty good - I was pleased. What was hard were the seats. After an hour or so my butt was not happy. The bottom "cushions" are basically non existent, and the bar between the bottom and back of the seat was quite intimate with my posterior portions for a good 6 hours.

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/Iceland-Day-0/IMAG0111.jpg

IFE was pretty good. The moving map display was great, and you could have it on all the time, or cycle through the different displays. We only watched one documentary on the IFE as we brought our netbook and our own movies with us. But the selection looked to be pretty decent - enough to find *something* to watch. The interface was sluggish at times and the touchscreen was....touchy. You had to hit things just right. But all together I'd say the Icelandair IFE system is one of the better ones I've seen.

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/Iceland-Day-0/IMAG0107.jpg

Soon the food and drink carts were rolled-down the aisle. Icelandair is all BOB, so they passed-out menus. Not a lot of selection, but decent enough.

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/Iceland-Day-0/IMAG0114.jpg

I got the turkey sandwich and a Bloody Mary - my traditional in-flight beverage. No ginger ale on board (!!) So I gave Applesin Orange a try. The turkey sandwich was edible. Applesin is yummy! Icelandair has the smallest plastic cups known to man, however. I only had the one drink, but I was so dehydrated that we ended up with a stack of 10 or so of these little cups by the end of the flight. I felt a little bad to keep asking for more water, but the crew were really nice and always said "yes, of course" The crew came back once for a general drink run after the main service but that was it. So I had to get up and ask for more all the time.

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/Iceland-Day-0/IMAG0116.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/Iceland-Day-0/IMAG0120.jpg

Finally we were descending into KEF, and we arrived on a snowy runway with a thump. As we were taxing to the terminal for some reason the airplane shuddered to a stop very quickly several times. Almost like it was a brake test or something. I can only assume it was indeed that - to test the braking action to report to other aircraft. It was interesting.

KEF airport is really easy, if slightly complex in the steps you have to take. Off the plane and into the terminal you either head up to the transfer area (that's actually where more than half the passengers went I think) or go straight ahead if Iceland is your final destination. There are only two customs booths, but I swear it was: Look at me, look at passport, *STAMP* ..next.. It probably took me longer to type this sentence. That's my kind of customs. Then we had to go outside and get on a bus. We waited for a while and then the bus drove us about a whopping 3 plane-lengths to another door and then we got back into the terminal. Seemed a little silly. I think it might have to do with Schengen area rules or something like that. Anyways, by that time our bags were already on the belt. We grabbed them and went out to catch the FlyBus into Reykjavik (Why, oh why dear KEF are you so far from the city?!) I know why...just, the FlyBus seems like another eternity after a long flight. And it's cramped. And noisy people. But I digress...

Icelandair has it's faults, but overall I must admit that with the airfare we paid for this flight (Cheap, CHEAP!) I can't say it was a bad flight. In fact it was really pretty good. Everything was consistent. Spot on-time. Courteous, not overly-friendly crew. Good IFE. Good leg room. Small cups. Bad seats.

So we've been in Iceland a few days now and it's really a quite spectacular place. Reykjavik is a neat little capitol city with a total population just a hair larger than that of my neighborhood  

Here's some photos of our trip so far.


http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-1/imag0148.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-1/imag0131.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-1/imag0130.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-2/imag0199.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-2/imag0176.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-2/imag0173.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-2/imag0164.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-3/imag0219.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-3/imag0231.jpg

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-1/imag0129.jpg

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineswedenflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13925 times:

I had heard bad things about Icelandair (no free meals on the transatlantic flights), but this makes it seem a little better. Something to look into for the future. They now fly IAD-KEF seasonal.


FlyingFinn76, abrelosojos
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1167 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 13745 times:

Icelandic Express also fly to Newark and offer real cheap fares. Would be interested in a trip report on them. Skytrax reviews are bad.

User currently offlineicelander From Iceland, joined Dec 2011, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13680 times:

Lychemsa:
Iceland Express no longer fly to the US, so the only 2 options are Icelandair, and Delta (only June-Sept.)

Icelandair have changed a lot in the last 20 years, no more free food (the salmon and the halibut used to be sooo nice) and no more free wine  

They are, however, a lot cheaper than they used to be, so I suppose you get what you pay for.


User currently offlineicelander From Iceland, joined Dec 2011, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13537 times:

Forgor to say....

Charlib. I enjoyed your TR. Hope you have a nice time here in Iceland and a nice flight home!

Mark.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13153 times:

Looks like a decent flight with FI. Shame there is no longer any free catering. Photos from Iceland were nice!

Quoting charlib52 (Thread starter):
Soon the food and drink carts were rolled-down the aisle. Icelandair is all BOB, so they passed-out menus. Not a lot of selection, but decent enough.

Strange to think a flight from the WEst coast to Europe is BOB!

Quoting charlib52 (Thread starter):
I felt a little bad to keep asking for more water, but the crew were really nice and always said "yes, of course" The crew came back once for a general drink run after the main service but that was it. So I had to get up and ask for more all the time.

Was water free?

Quoting charlib52 (Thread starter):
There are only two customs booths, but I swear it was: Look at me, look at passport, *STAMP* ..next.. It probably took me longer to type this sentence. That's my kind of customs.

I guess there aren't many illegal immigrants going from the USA to Iceland!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineicelander From Iceland, joined Dec 2011, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 13029 times:

water, tea and coffee are free. orange juice and soft drinks are free with the meal service, even if you dont buy anything.

Mark.


User currently offlineeaa3 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12956 times:

Quoting icelander (Reply 6):
water, tea and coffee are free. orange juice and soft drinks are free with the meal service, even if you dont buy anything.

Soft drinks and orange juice are always free. They only charge for alcohol.


User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12719 times:

great report, I was always wondering how this route is doing?

well I understand BOB for shorter routes, but a SEA-KEF should have at least a main meal included in the ticket price!



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinecharlib52 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 164 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12499 times:

Quoting icelander (Reply 4):
Charlib. I enjoyed your TR. Hope you have a nice time here in Iceland and a nice flight home!

Thanks, we're greatly enjoying our time here. Did the Golden Circle and South Shore tours so far, plus a wild Friday night out (ouch!). Trying hard to get in a Snaefelsness tour before we leave, depending on weather and interest

Quoting Avianca (Reply 8):

well I understand BOB for shorter routes, but a SEA-KEF should have at least a main meal included in the ticket price!

You would think! But the fare was excellent - I think it was $575 or so after taxes, round trip. And you can purchase the Y+ ('Economy Comfort' I believe?) and you get free food, so I guess the option is there.

We went to the Perlan today and had a great view of Reykjavik Domestic airport, thought I'd share that...we all like airport pics too!   I have a video as well, but it's kinda bad and out of focus.

http://www.gmwnet.com/wp-content/gallery/iceland-day-5/imag0254.jpg


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1915 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 12350 times:
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Great photos from Iceland! Too bad Icelandair has really cut down on their service with no free meals in Economy ... I also don't understand why they can't charge things in dollars when flying to the USA and back as opposed to euros. 5 euro for a turkey sandwich? Crazy expensive!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinecanadiantree From France, joined Jun 2006, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 11727 times:

I think it is important to keep things into perspective here. Yes Icelandair doesn't serve free meals on board, but what do they have that others don't? For starters their prices really are dirt cheap. I flew SEA- KEF-CDG one way back in 2009 for $280 all taxes in. And I was able to select the emergency exit row FREE of charge, plus Icelandair allows you to check TWO bags of 50lbs each free of charge. That alone is a $50 value compared to the likes of Delta, United, Air France etc, so I can buy a meal on board for $10 and still be ahead by $40. Sure not everyone wants to check 2 bags but for such a long trip, I think the majority would. And not to mention the generous 32' seat pitch.

So let's not jump the gun and label Icelandair as a low cost carrier shall we? They aren't any worse than our common American and European flagship carriers.

Oh and great trip report charlib52. Look forward to the return journey.

[Edited 2012-03-05 05:31:13]

[Edited 2012-03-05 05:32:27]

User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2163 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 11237 times:

Great TR and fantastic photos!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 10):

Great photos from Iceland! Too bad Icelandair has really cut down on their service with no free meals in Economy ... I also don't understand why they can't charge things in dollars when flying to the USA and back as opposed to euros. 5 euro for a turkey sandwich? Crazy expensive!

I mean, to be truthful it's a very smart strategic move for FI. The value you get for a cheap fare plus the cost of BOB probably amounts to the same, if not less, than what you'd get on a full-service legacy carrier, so I don't really get what the big issue is. It's a matter of paying for your meal when you purchase the ticket, or later when you are on the plane!

Plus, I've heard FI works great for backpackers and budget travelers wanting to get from the US to Europe. Thanks again!



next flights: msp-phx-slc, msp-mdw, ord-sju, sju-dfw-ord, msp-dfw, dfw-phl, phl-msp, jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg
User currently offlinecharlib52 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 164 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 10971 times:

To be clear I thought the service was generally good - every airline and every flight for that matter has it's low points. Altogether it was a pretty decent flight. I would fly them again easily - but would bring a cushion  

User currently offlineeaa3 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 10921 times:

Quoting charlib52 (Reply 13):
To be clear I thought the service was generally good - every airline and every flight for that matter has it's low points. Altogether it was a pretty decent flight. I would fly them again easily - but would bring a cushion

I find their economy seats to be comfortable. I guess it´s just personal preference.


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10702 times:

Hi

Great report, was in Iceland back in 2006 and must say I enjoyed it! Great scenery..
FI.. on the other side, was more Average

Grts
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinecharlib52 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 164 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10112 times:

We just got home....here's our trip report of the return:

Icelandair FI681 KEF-SEA March 2012


User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4950 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9629 times:

Nice video! I didn't think it was too shaky considering it was a takeoff.
Nice trip report and beautiful photos. Thanks!



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 9378 times:

Nice TR Charlib52! You made me even more excited for my own Iceland trip.  


But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlinevirginvsbritish From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8063 times:

Good TR, makes me miss Icelandair. I flew them IAD-KEF-CDG/BRU-KEF-IAD last year and it makes me even more excited to fly them again this summer JFK-KEF-HAM/CPH-KEF-IAD. Glad you had a nice time in Iceland    


I want a 787 for Christmas, thank you.
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