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NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:27 am

A few months back I created post about going to NYC in October and was shocked at how expensive tickets were at the time (In Excess of £350!). I followed members advise and have held out, and you were all right and prices have dramatically dropped!  Big thumbs up

With me being a sort of Ebenezer Scrooge, I always want the best deal! Direct flights are still quite expensive at around £280+, but I have found in-direct flights on flights with Icelandic Air for £227 (inc Tax) - via Keflavik and on KLM's website flights with Northwest for £233 (inc Tax) - via Detroit.

I think Northwest are now operating the A330-300's on the LGW-DTW and if this is correct is making me swing more to them! As I am an A330 fan and heard good reports about the IFE on NWA! Will also give me the opportunity to possibly fly on a DC-9 from DTW-EWR (anyone know when they being replaced?!  Wink/being sarcastic)

I know very little about Icelandic Air - what are they like?

What choice would you guys go for? I am only use to US Airways transatlantic services and unsure how they compare.

If any one else can see any good deal, I am looking at travelling out between the 20-23 Oct for 4/5 days.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:49 am

You might want to check that aircraft for your flight on NW. I'm flying DTW-LGW on 10/8, returning 10/12, and it's still a Diesel-10 both ways. Unless the switch is between 10/13 and 10/22, you'll be on a DC10 as well.

Personally, I wouldn't back track that far and spend 5GBP extra. EWR does have a good chance of suffering ATC delays, and could delay your return to EWR.

I'm not one to make a big deal over inflight service. A meal's a meal, I'm not flying for food. US carriers seem pretty much the same these days, flying an international carrier would give you a view of something different. FYI, Int'l FA's on NW tend to be very senior, whereas the cabin crew on Icelandair (when I see them in MSP) tends to be much younger, and MUCH more attractive.

If you've got an extra day, I understand Icelandair allows a free stopover at KEF. I've always wanted to go and visit the Hard Rock Cafe there.

If I were in your shoes, I'd fly Icelandair.
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:49 am

Well, I think it's a bit out of the way to fly west to DTW when you plan to fly eastbound from NYC. If you're really dying to fly the NW 330's, then I guess you should fly to DTW. But, according to the prices you've stated above, you might as well take Icelandair.

 Big thumbs up
John F. Kennedy International Airport: Where America Greets The World.
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:52 am

NWA's A333 are all less then 1 year old. They all have AVOD (Audio Video on Demand) system.

DC9s are in a decent shape. Their interiors were refurbised a few years back. So, they all have B717-200 interiors.

Plus DTW is a great hub.

I never flew Icelandic Air. But I did 10+ TATL trips on NW on DC10, B744 and A333 in last 4 years. A333 are definitelly the best.
The Widget Air Line :)
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:55 am

The Iceland Air flight when you include time on the ground in Keflavik is no shorter than connecting via Detroit.
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:01 am

I personally had a decision quite like this over this past summer. I decided to avoid Icelandair basically because splitting a journey up in half is more of a pain than splitting it up 80 - 20, in my opinion. it's worse going east since you get less of a chance to sleep, but still. Thats my opinion though, and everyone is different.
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:12 am

My experience with NW is old, but I believe you may end up on a DC-10 with them. Icelandair flys the 752's (occasional 753, I think). I am not advocating one over the other, but I know Icelandair offers deals including stayovers in Reykjavik. I've heard great things about Iceland. Someone described it as like a spa on the moon. Seriously, flying is great, but travel is really about the people, cultures, and places to be. Once rotation and initial climb is complete, the view out one window is the same as any other. Barring comfort, your choice sounds like KEF vs. DTW. No offense, but...

"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:18 am

It depends on what days you are flying, for October, NW is having SOME, not all, but SOME flights to LGW with the A332. Also, Icelandair, if you are not icelandic your probably going to get a middle seats as the reserve the middle and windows for citizens of Iceland, I dont know why but they do. Icelandair has 1 753 which is rumored to be going to Continental here soon. KEF is not the nicest place in the world, but typically you have something like a 6 hr layover??? From what I have heard. I would rather go through DTW where you have many more options in case a flight is cancelled and what not.
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:47 am

I personally took advantage of one of those stopover deals on FI in February and it was well worth it. Iceland is an amazing place and definitely added to the whole trip. And the airfare was dirt cheap!

The experience on the airline was nothing to write home about, but when flying overseas to some fantastic place, is it ever? (err, wait, considering this is, it probably is...)

I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:52 am

Can't say much about Icelandic now adays, I flew JFK-KEF-LUX on a DC-8 back in the 80's.

What I will add, is that it was worth the stop over in KEF. Great place to visit. A wonderful country to see.

DTW is very cool, but just another big airport. See something new is my opinion.

Compare New York Air, the Airline that works for your Business
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:14 am

Go NW. even if your not on an A330 (Most likely you will be) the DC-10 is a still a fun aircraft. think of it in a sentamental way, that it may bee you last flight on a DC-10. Just make sure you have a windo seat!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Why do I allways feel as if im the only avaition enthusast on this site? well for me traveling is mostly about the flying; though not a 100%, more like 60%-70%. If you call you selfs aviation enthusast and still opt for the quickest route when selecting a flight, well, thats just sad!  Angry  Crying

All flights have great IFE...get yourself a window seat, thats something no PTV can beat! flew 808 Pacific an Atlanic
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:32 am

I know I didn't say anything about the quickest route, but I do have an aversion to backtracking. 808, you make a good point about the last chance to fly on a DC10. Buuuutttt.... Flying a non-US carrier gives you a chance to experience a different style of service, and what the people of another country think is important when flying. I flew QF to Australia, I felt like my trip began when I stepped foot on the airplane and had my first VB beer. It wouldn't have been the same on UA. it's not just about flying, it's about the whole travel experience, of which the flight itself is a big part of.
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:40 am


The guy who asked the question, Gilesdavies, is from UK. I guess he knows something about flying non-US carriers Smile

So, for a change he may as well try flying on a US carrier Smile
The Widget Air Line :)
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RE: NWA Or Icelandair - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:42 am

Burnsie28 is seriously misguided in his comments about Icelandair.
Firstly, seats are NOT allocated based on nationality.
You can even choose your seat when you reserve your flight, and the check-in staff (at LHR) always ask if you're still happy with your original choice of seats.
The connection time between flights is typically somewhere between 1hrs-2hrs, quite convenient and gives you a chance to walk around the terminal to strech in the middle of the journey, although there aren't many shops (especially in the Non-Schengen part of the Terminal, although you can walk over to the Schengen part by going through Passport Control).
While I have never flown NWA, I just wanted to get the facts about Icelandair straight, as I've flown them more times than I care to remember. And as far as I know, the 753 isn't going anywhere soon.
The journey in Economy is allright, on European flights you will have to pay for any drinks ($1) apart from water, coffee and tea. The meals have improved, and the service on the American flights is quite good and relaxed.
The IFE is shown on those drop-down screens, normally consisting of a feature film, some documentary, comedy sitcoms and tourist stuff about Iceland.
And of course, the flight attendants are very charming, most of them are tri-lingual or even quadri-lingual.

You can get a free (up to 3 nights) stopover in Reykjavik, although you will of course need to pay for accommodation and transfers (Iceland is an EXPENSIVE country).
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:50 am

Hi Giles,

I've never flown Icelandair but I recently travelled with NW AMS-DTW-ORD on an A333 and DC9 and I would defiantely recommend them. First of all the NWWG terminal at DTW is fantastic and a great place to connect. Also the immigration there is super quick. The NW A333s are well fitted out and the AVOD system will keep you entertained (although they can be quite unreliable).

Not sure how often you travel or if you are a member of any FF programmes but your trip will net you some good mileage so I'd join a skyteam FFP (if you haven't already) and collect the miles. Icelandair don't have many airline partners so FF miles on them are pretty useless.

NW Pros: Aircraft - if its an A330 great - a new aircraft. If its a DC10 great - a classic! Easy Connection in DTW. Useful frequent flyer miles

FI Pros: Visit Iceland for a few hours (although KEF is a touch baron). Fly across the pond on a 757 and prove everyone on this board wrong by writing a trip report saying how great it was  Smile

Don't worry about going out of your way by travelling via DTW either, I'm travelling to ORD on Friday from MAN via CPH. Why? Because I love flying!!

Whichever you choose, enjoy your trip.

Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:15 am

Hi John

You lucky sod! - I wanted to fly SAS to NYC via CPH and what made them even more tempting is that they fly from BHX and would save me the 100mile commute to London.

I checked there prices and unfortunately they are coming out at £400 return and £100 of that is Tax! I have heard excellent reports about SAS and there inflight service and IFE. If I was to fly them I could also earn miles on my US Airways Dividend Miles FF Program as part of the Star Alliance.

With reference to the 757 thing across the Atlantic I have done that in July. I flew with SkyService from LGW-YYZ. Service and Legroom were very good but Im still undecided about the single aisle thing on such a long flight. I prefer the A330's!

LGW-YYZ Trip Report:

Thanks for your feed back.
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:39 am

If you get the chance to visit Iceland, take it!!! It's a fantastic country if a bit on the expensive side.

It's been a long time since I've flown NW (summer 1987 was the last time, BOS-LGW), so I can't really comment on them. But I did fly Icelandair in April of this year, and IMHO they're a very nice airline. OK, so I only flew LHR-KEF-LHR, but for a 2.5 hour flight the IFE was perfectly adequate, the food nice, the planes very clean (if not new) and the F/A's were charming. I got to choose my seat at the time I made the booking (although I did use Icelandair's website) and chose the same window seat on both flights (and I'm not even Icelandic!!). Even if you choose not to make a stopover in Iceland, KEF Airport is very nice and I would imagine a great place for a stopover of an hour or two. I understand that they time their European flights to arrive shortly before their flights to the US depart, so you shouldn't have too long to wait between flights.

Therefore, my opinion: Fly Icelandair and use the opportunity to spend some time in a great country!
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
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RE: NWA Or Icelandic Air - London-NYC?

Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:42 am

BAViscount is correct, to make the best use of their fleet, Icelandair's aircraft fly to Europe in the morning, return to Keflavik early afternoon and depart late afternoon to North America. The planes return to Kef early in the morning, and then leave again for Europe.
(That's made easier with a fleet based entirely of the Boeing 757.)
Average stop of each aircraft is about one hour.

Oh, and nationality has nothing to do with seating assignments!

If you decide to stopover in Iceland, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need advices about to staying here. Smile
Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."

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