Friday, November 04, 2011

The Icelandair experience 2011 - much better than last year



I decided, once again, to fly Icelandair from Oslo to Boston in 2011 as the years before. My main reason to choose this air carrier is is still (and primarely) the short flying time. It is so much more convenient to fly 2,5 hours to Reykjavik, spending one hour in transit, for then flying around 5 hours from the Icelandic capital to Boston. Neither price, nor on board comfort is better, but this years experience was better, in spite of bad service between Reykjavik and Boston on our way over.

Facts on flights:

Here are the facts of my flight.

October 5th 2011:
  • Departure Gardermoen International Airport - Oslo, 2.45 PM - arrival Keflavik International - Reykjavik, 3 PM (-2 hours)
  • Departure Keflavik International Airport - Reykjavik 4 PM - arrival Logan International Airport - Boston 5.35 PM (-4 hours)
October 12th 2011
  • Departure Logan International Airport - Boston, 9.45 PM - Arrival Keflavik International Airport - Reykjavik 6.30 AM (+4 hours + 1 day)
  • Departure Keflavik International Airport - Reykjavik 7.30 AM - Arrival Gardermoen International Airport - Oslo 11.30 AM (+2 hours)
Check in: BBBB
Check in on schedule at all airports.

Take-off: BBBB
Take-off time approximately on all flights time.

Hospitality: BBBBB
So much better than last year, when staff appeared cool and distant flight crew on board, partly unwilling to inform us on delays at Boston Airport and transfer. The hospitality on board was professional and we felt very much welcome by the staff.

Service: BB+
We were seated at seats from row 20 and up. We generally had to wait a unnecessarily long time to get served, and on our way over we were the last to be served and they had run out of all what we wanted. This is certainly one point to be improved by the air carrier.  

Complementary: BB+
Only soft drinks and water complementary. Wine, beer, hard liquor and a small selection of warm dishes for sale on board at reasonable prices. Even head sets were not offered travelers for free.

Comfort: BBBB
One of the few assets of an Icelandair flight. Generous room in front of knees on all flights. Seats comfortably wide. Good sized table.

Flying time to destination: BBBB+
Average flying time to destination from Oslo to Boston. Shorter flight time from Boston to Reykjavik.

Arrival: BBBB+
Arrival on time or slightly before schedule for all flights.

Check-out: BBBBB
Smooth process disembarking of planes, and waiting for luggage at baggage claim.

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

Rating Icelandair: BBBB (4,2 points)
The 2011 transatlantic crossing was much better compared to last years experience,  when bad information and delays counted for lower rating. Good leg room and short traveling time to my destination are still the air carriers asset. Airline service must be improved by offering more complementary goods and shorter waiting time to be served on these medium range flights 

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