Monday, October 12, 2009

Flying Icelandair Fall 2009

I traveled Icelandair from Oslo to Boston over Reykjavik, leaving Oslo September 17th, returning September 29th. Even though the airline still offers value for money, it offers less in 2009 than last year.

Check in: BBBB

Check in started 40 minutes prior to departure, and went very well. We were fully embarked with good margins to our departure.

Take off: BBBB

Take off on time from all airports on each flight.

Hospitality: BBBBB

The Icelandair staff was very kind, performing all their duties with a smile.

Service: BBBB

Serving from trolleys with soft drinks, wine, liquors, and food took place less than an hour after the vessel had reached maximum cruising altitude and fasten seat belt sign had been switched off.

Complementary goods: BB+

I was disappointed by the fact that only soft drinks was included in the price. Neither wine, spirits, nor food was free, even on the transatlantic flight from Reykjavik to Boston. I had expected not to have to pay for a meal from Europe to the US. I suppose it may be caused by the rotten financial times Iceland is going through this period.

The only comfort was that what was under offer was not expensive. €4 for a warm roast beef and onion sub was hardly a steep price to pay, and wine and spirits had the same price.

Leg room and comfort: BBBB

The worst flight I have had, lately, was the Spanair flight from Munich to Barcelona in June, as my knees went deep into the seat in front of me. Icelandair offered so muc hmore, when talking leg room and comfort. Over 80 cm, meant that, even with the pouch in front of me filled with paper, my knees did not touch the seat in front.

You had an entertainment system in the back of the seat in front of you, but you had to buy air phones (OUCH!) to enjoy the entertainment.

Flying time: BBBB

The total flying time excl. the change at Keflavik Airport was 8 hours and 30 minutes and even less on the way back. This means a much shorter flight than e.g. from Paris, Frankfurt, or even London. The only non-stop flight that may compete with Reykjavik is the Air Lingus service from Boston to Shannon, Dublin.

Duty free selection: BBBB

A good selection of duty free spirits, accessories, fragrances, and other articles available at reasonable prices.

Arrival: BBBBB

All arrivals were either on schedule or early. The flight time back from Boston to Reykjavik was merely 4 hours 30 minutes, making it one of the fastest transatlantic flights I have experienced.

Disembarking: BBBBB

Went smooth at all airports.

Price: BBBB

I paid NOK 5161 (611€ /$ 819) round trip including taxes. Not the cheapest ticket on the market, as other European carriers offered cheaper fares for the same period.

Rating the Icelandair experience: BBBB (4,13 points)

Some of the Icelandair glam is gone. No free food and wine/beer, a little pricey compared to other airlines, but still the most comfortable way to travel Oslo-Boston. Smooth boarding and disembarking and top punctuality

Other Icelandair stories

Comfortable transatlantic crossing

Bargain prices to North America on Icelandair

Icelandair losing out on Transatlantic flights?

Icelandair - a great choice to the United States

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