Maybe the were flying a detour around the winds which makes the flight still longer, but still shorter than flying totally against the wind. We call it MTT (minimum time track). I guess that was the reason then... Flying pretty far in the north just to get away from the wind.
Had that about 2 weeks as well. Flew from EMA
and we flew all the way north initally and then over Iceland and center Greenland and then pretty much south again to ILN
. Was a detour of nearly 400NM, and 8hrs20mins flight time. But this was still less than flying the great circle track against the wind. There would've been a headwind up to 150knots. That would've taken a lot longer. So we flew the MTT and not the GC