Airline: Icelandair, FI
Equipment: Boeing 757-208
Aircraft: TF-FIK “Sóldis”
Flight: FI 307
Departure airport: ARN
Arriving airport: KEF
This was my second flight to Iceland. First time was back in 1998 on my way to the US, but this time I wouldn’t transfer at KEF, but stay for four days in Iceland.
I got out to ARN and checked in at one of SAS’ check in terminals in the new check in area in terminal 5. This area is located between the old terminal 5 and the new pier F, which makes the walk to pier F shorter. “Sóldis” was, however, parked at gate 16, which is located in the old terminal.
At the security check the metal detector went off and I was taken aside. I assumed it was my belt, and after a re-check I was cleared to go. A quick scan in the waiting area showed little of interest, mostly SAS aircrafts waiting for departure to continental Europe.
When it was time to board I went to the gate and there was no queue at all. Boarding therefore went very well and I took my seat, which was 13B. Perhaps not the best seat, but my sister was in 13A (window) and my dad in 13C (aisle) so the middle seat was no problem for me on this flight.
Last time I flew with Icelandair was, as mentioned, in 1998. Therefore their livery was “new” to me and I really liked that the seats had gone from light blue to dark blue. Perhaps there should have been something yellow inside too to reflect the engines.
We pulled out of the gate EXACTLY on time and since the traffic at ARN at the time was very light we could taxi to 19R and depart without any delay. Once airborne the cabin crew started to serve drinks and some minutes later the in-flight meal, which was chicken with ham and cheese on a risotto and a chocolate bar for desert. The food tasted really good, but it was strange to me that a meal (not just a snack) was served in a small box rather than on a tray. That made it difficult to organize everything on the tray table.
The famous “Icelandair service” was excellent and I have nothing to complain about. I’ve only flown the 757 with Icelandair and I really like the plane on medium haul routes, which is what Icelandair operates. I saw that they are going to serve SFO during the summer, which is a 8-hour flight from KEF. I think that that is perhaps a little to long for a 757, especially with the in-flight entertainment that Icelandair has. The IFE is CRTs in the ceiling and when you are in a window seat you only see half of the screen. But since this was only a 3-hour flight, it didn’t bother me at all. The movie shown was “Out of Towner’s”, which was nice for a flight when there’s limited things to do, but I’m not going to see it again . One thing that was new to me was that a commercial brake interrupted the in-flight movie. Both commercials for Iceland and for other things (BMW, Audi, VW, watches etc.) were shown.
I don’t know the seat pitch or with of the seating arrangement, but I can’t complain (I’m 175 cm.) One thing that wasn’t bad, but a little disturbing was that the middle seats up to row 14 consists of two halves put together. It didn’t do anything to the seat comfort, but he tray table was also divided into two parts, which sometimes was a bit annoying.
Before landing the cabin crew came round the cabin and served juice.
We had a very smooth landing and the captain let Sóldis use almost the whole runway and didn’t use any reverse. The traffic at KEF was very light and the only aircraft I could see was some B737 Cargo aircrafts from Blue Berry, and a B737 from Iceland Express. After us was a B757 from Icelandair arriving and at the gate was a B757 from Loftleidir (which looked exactly like an Icelandair aircraft but the word Loftleidir was painted on the fuselage instead of Icelandair). The new part of the terminal was really nice and looked like the other Scandinavian airports with the blue and yellow signs.
Photo © Stefan Sjögren
Airline: Icelandair [FI]
Equipment: Boeing 757-208
Aircraft: TF-FIK “Sóldis”
Flight: FI 306
Departure airport: KEF
Arriving airport: ARN
After four days it was time for me to leave this wonderful country and head back to Sweden and I can assure you that the Icelandic hospitality does not stop when you get off the Icelandair plane.
Now it was a little more rush at the airport with all the flights coming in from North America and all the flight leaving for continental Europe and Scandinavia.
The plane left at 07:45 and was also EXACTLY on time. I was now seated in 17D but saw a the whole row 18 (A-C) empty so I switched seats and had the row for my self for the entire flight.
After takeoff we were served breakfast which was ham, potatoes and an omelette with coffee or tea. The food was not good, not bad. When breakfast was finished I went to the bathroom between row 25 and 26 and saw that almost the whole plane behind row 26 was empty, but since I had the whole row for my self I didn’t bother to change seats.
The IFE this time was first a documentary about what food does to your body and then an episode of “Judging Amy”. None of this interested me and since I now was in 18A (see above) I tuned in channel 8 on the radio and slept for a while. When I woke up the “Laughs for gags-show” (candid camera) was on and I looked at it for a while.
After a smooth flight we landed at ARN on runway 26. I thought I’d hear “Sóldis’” RR engines reverse this time, but I was wrong. When we were taxiing to the gate I saw the “newcomers” at ARN. Both the Malaysian 777 and Ethiopian 767 were parked at terminal 5. Malaysian was arriving from New York and was parked at Pier F, but since the Ethiopian was arriving from Rome (Shengen) I guess there was no need in putting in that far away.
When I was in the bus on my way to the long-term parking I also saw the Thai 744 parked.
To sum up; a wonderful vacation framed by the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere of Icelandair!
Photo © Wim Callaert - Brussels Aviation Photography