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Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI)

Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI)

Old Apr 10, 04, 10:36 am
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Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI)

Index to my trip reports

If you like this report, you may be interested in some of my other trip reports.
  1. AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report
  2. Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different
  3. Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back
  4. 7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight
  5. Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing
  6. a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe
  7. Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights
  8. Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights
  9. Mini Tour of NZ - over 100 domestic flights in New Zealand covering all domestic routes (ongoing)
  10. Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe
  11. Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island
  12. Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - criss-crossing the globe, but this time mainly on One World
  13. A Warm Embrace of the Tropics - short trips to the tropical South Pacific
  14. Singapore (SQ) new first and business class, plus a medley of 12 F & C SQ flights - name says it all really
  15. Across the Globe in 4 Continents - around the world on star alliance, including some unusual flights
  16. Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Sampler - a sampling of Qantas flights, domestic and international, in economy and business (ongoing)
  17. Around the World in Under 60 Hours - around the world in a weekend
  18. The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours - what a contrast, Asia and Qantas' new first class lounges
  19. Fast on the ground and in the air - it must be Shanghai – a flying visit to Shanghai + Maglev
  20. It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure & Pain: 4 wacky weeks 2 RTW C, inaugural longhaul Y – mostly One World
  21. Back and forth across the Pacific on a variety of airlines in a selection of classes - 16 crossings of the Pacific plus some other related flights
  22. It isn't every day that you witness a hijacking attempt + NZ's forgotten 4th island - a visit to Chatham Islands coincides with New Zealand's first hijacking attempt
  23. There and back - first day Air NZ flies to Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
  24. A Run Around (part of) The Axis of Evil: A Perfect *A RTW in C? - Axis of Evil 0 US Immigration 1
  25. Wellington to Auckland by train - self-explanatory title
  26. A mad couple of days flying, including domestic international flights - a double longhaul inaugural, domestic international shuttle and domestic leg of an international flight
  27. Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline - featuring new QF First on A380 special flight, "you have to get off now", and 105th different current route with NZ
  28. One World Revolutions - Around Mostly the Southern Hemisphere - mostly Southern Hemisphere and mostly on One World on a mix of products
  29. Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y – starting with EK First on A380 and ending with Qantas economy, with a lot of travel mostly on *A in between
  30. An FTer flies to a Do (or Why take the nonstop when you can fly 10 flights instead?) - combining an FT Do with an aerial tour of northern Queensland
  31. The Ultimate Qantas Flight - short report on the ultimate flight
  32. Premium Flying Across the Ditch (Between New Zealand and Australia) - experiencing the forward cabins on Trans-Tasman flights (ongoing)
  33. 5 Boeings Straight to the Airbus Do - FTer feasts in first, business & economy - my journey to & from the *A / Airbus Mega Do
  34. NZ route oddities & One World turns by night (redeye special) - an odd collection of flight routes & schedules around the world
  35. From my first low cost redeye to a first class trifecta - an insane fortnight - some firsts of all types
  36. G'day, kia orana - it's another inaugural flight in Air New Zealand business class - a day & night tripping around the South Pacific on Air NZ
  37. A Feast of First Class Flying on British Airways, Qantas and Emirates - long distance in style
  38. A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business - a quick longhaul trip featuring some old and new products
  39. Star Alliance tres primo, and tres biz - a trio of first and business on Star Alliance
  40. A few flights to end 2011 - a quick trip around the world + more
  41. Five Continents in 3 Days and Some Other Mad Trips in 2012 - a selection of my 2012 travels
  42. Sky Team madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business – mostly Sky Team
  43. Off to Star megado on Oneworld - mostly business incl brand new AA 787
  44. A Glutton for Punishment: red eye, new world's longest flight & more, in comfort?

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:13 pm Reason: update index of my TRs
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Old Apr 10, 04, 10:49 am
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There doesnt seem to be any recent trip reports on FI so here goes. Hope it is of interest and Im not typing all this for nothing.

The keyboard is very bad with most letters worn away and also on a different language setting so apologies in advance if any of ths comes out as gibberish. It is really putting my typing to the test.

While over in Europe I had the chance to visit Iceland. I'd heard all sorts of good things so thought why not. Its far too far to just come here by itself, but since I am in the neighbourhood (so to speak) the extra couple of hours is no problem. Actually to be honest I may have considered coming all the way just to visit Iceland if I could get the miles! No *A operated flights - oh well at least I get a ton of miles from the rest of the trip.

I had booked business due to it being cheaper(!) than economy for the dates I wanted. Any excuse is a good one. My intinerary was

OSL-KEF on FI321 a/c 757-200 dep 1445 arr 1525 duration 2h40m
KEF-CPH on FI212 a/c 757-200 dep 1315 arr 1815 duration 3h00m

Arriving at Oslo airport in good time, I search the board for check-in area. I go across and it is the SAS international check-in area. Absolutely no reference to Icelandair anywhere, not even a ticketing office that I could see. I ask at one of the SAS counters - yes check in here.

That done and quickly through security and on to the SAS lounge. It is quite nice although fairly basic. I can see that at peak times it would be crowded, but as my flight is early afternoon it is almost deserted.

No boarding calls here. At the appropriate time I head to the nearby gate. Boarding has just commenced and it seems to be a free for all. Not too many passengers today. Boarding is through the front door and I look back to see economy barely half full and business had just a few passengers. Wondered why economy ticket was so expensive given how empty the flight is.

The short flight time is similar to trans-tasman so I keep comparing to this.

Pre-flight drink is water or orange juice in a plastic cup. Eventually FA hangs my coat after I ask for it. The seat is comfortable enough for this flight, although I wouldnt want to continue on a longer flight to US on it. Limited recline, footrest is off the seat in front. On this flight I was 1A so no foot rest, although I liked there was an indent in the bulkhead to put a carry on, or in my case my legs! The seat seemed to me to be a poorer version of NZ's - quite old with foam padding, but less pitch, less width, limited adjustment of head rest.

Shortly after take off we get a menu. Economy passengers dont I think, and also have to pay for booze. Here is the business menu.

Cold Plates

A drink of choice and small packet of biscuit thingys.

Mains
Cajun chicken strips and mascarpone cheese with herbs on mixed salad with olives, bacon and vinaigrette dressing

Calamaris marinated in ginger soya, shrimps and salmon on oriental rice salad

Traditional Icelandic roast beef on rye bread with remoulade, fried onions and pickled cucumber

Assorted cheese

Rolls

Desserts
Chocolate mousse

Coffee and tea with cognac and liquers

BEVERAGES
I wont type these out unless anyone especially wants them. There is a selection of spirits, liquers, 2 beers (Egils and Tuborg), champagne (Piper-Heidsieck), wines (including Jacobs Creek sparkling and Shiraz/Cab Sav).

I had the seafood and regretted my choice. It was very bland, and the first tray they gave me was still frozen However the FAs did well to keep the drinks flowing.

No amenities, as you'd expect on such a short flight. IFE was limited to a couple of tv shows on a screen up front (ie not PTV). The flight magazine mentioned personal DVDs in business for the US flights.

Saw another FI (I assume - the sun angle was bad) flight below and just in front of us on the last half an hour or so. The Icelandair schedule is based on many europe flights arriving at once, with the us flights leaving an hour later (and vice versa). BTW I found out why they have the code FI - the fore-runner of Icelandair was Flugfelag Islands hence FI.

Cloud cleared nicely to see the glacier Vatnajokull and [insert name here] on the way in to Reykjavik's international airport at Keflavik. This is about as far as you can get from the city while still being in the same part of Iceland - right at the end of the peninsula. Anyway, we were all too soon landing. While taxiing I looked out for any military aircraft on the other side of the airport but couldnt see any. Our gate was the closest one to the runway so a short taxi. Exit was through the door at front of economy rather than the front door.

With a number of other flights arriving also the airport was busy and our bags took some time to arrive.

Part 2 coming soon!
Part 2

Still the same keyboard so please forgive any mistakes. I have to watch the time for my next flight so be warned if this ends abruptly.

All too soon it was time to return. Wish I could have stayed longer. Oh well, another trip some day.

Check in was fairly slow despite there only being one flight out. Eventually done and through security and off to the duty free. I forgot to mention in the previous post that there was in flight duty free.

That done and off to the lounge. Nice enough, although again not in the same league as some of the Australian or NZ lounges. After a relaxing wait it is time to head to the gate - the monitor says we are boarding. On arriving at the gate there is quite a queue and it is apparent we are not boarding. Sure enough there is soon an announcement that the flight is delayed 50 minutes due to late arrival of the aircraft. While I dont know if the aircraft was later in arriving or not, the passengers were long gone (no one coming the other way when I head out to the gate) and so it seems a long turn around. Anyway it doesnt matter since I dont have any onward connections to catch. Hmm - is there long enough to go back to the lounge? I ask but told no as we may leave early (compared to the delayed time announced that is).

Back to boarding - quite a queue and so the plane is full in economy and 3/4 full in business. Maybe that is why the economy ticket was going to be so much?

FA is better trained and takes my coat immediately. Well almost, offered water or juice first. With the flight being fuller there are more FAs this time, also younger and nicer looking as a bonus.

Pretty much the same as the flight over. I decided to have the beef - much better.

Arriving at CPH I had a scare. Seeing all the FI bags come and go, then another flight and another. No sign of mine. Got that sinking feeling. Decided to check out the oversize bags, even though I know mine isnt, just to put off the inevitable visit to baggage services. Lo & behold it is on one of the other carousels. Must have fallen off somehow - all ends well.

Gotta go now.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:13 pm
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Old Apr 11, 04, 6:26 pm
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how was iceland itself?
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Old Apr 11, 04, 8:28 pm
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Cool

THANK YOU THANK YOU! I've always wondered how FI was... so it's comparable to intra-european business class? No NOT how I'd want to do a US-Europe flight at all! How was iceland itself? I've always wanted to go.
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Old Apr 12, 04, 8:18 am
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Thanks for the information. I have always wondered what the service in business was from JFK as well...
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Old Apr 12, 04, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by RTW4
Thanks for the information. I have always wondered what the service in business was from JFK as well...
Here's your chance. This is a report I did a while ago on a LHR-KEF-JFK flight on FI in J class. The trip occurred in December 2000.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...eferrerid=6611
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Old Apr 12, 04, 1:26 pm
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Iceland was great. Its not yet tourist season so some things arent running. It was only a short trip so I'll have to come back for more.

I skipped some of the more obvious touristy things as we have geysirs, volcanoes etc at home. Spent a couple days in Reykjavik and also went up to one of the glaciers - Langjokull or something like that. Also visited an old lava cave - complete with ice this time of year (makes for a tricky descent/ascent) and some waterfalls.

The people were really friendly.
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Old Apr 12, 04, 2:24 pm
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Now I know why it's so cheap!

Thanks for the report. I understand why we have such good deals in Business Class on Icelandair to Europe. Sounds like a pretty standard intra-Europe C class product. So for that type of seating and service, it seems more comparable to a premium economy product. Now I'll read the report mentioned above to see how the long(ish) haul Iceland-USA service compares.

PS
Well done on the origins of their carrier code FI
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Old Apr 14, 04, 11:17 pm
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Nice report, KiwiFlyer. I still kick myself for not making it to Iceland as planned while I lived in the UK - in addition to all the natural wonders, Reykjavik is meant to have great nightlife!
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Old Apr 14, 04, 11:23 pm
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Thanks.

Yeah nightlife pretty good Although heading into summer it hardly seems like night until fairly late - I cant imagine it in midsummer with just an hour or so of darkness.
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Old Apr 15, 04, 9:13 pm
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I'm going to be stopping in KEF for a couple of days on my way to Europe at the end of May. (Flying FI, of course ) What do you recommend doing while over there?
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Old Apr 17, 04, 7:09 pm
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I recommend a half day golden circle bus tour, 6 hours or so (the full day tours at 11 hours would be too much time on the bus for me). Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir, Pingvellir Park and the countyside from the bus window is fantastic. You only need a day or 1.5 days to feel like you have seen Reykjavik. Food is all generally good especially the seafood, beware of some of the "american" menu items, nachos might mean Dorritos and melted cheeze. Bring a bottle of wine with you if you enjoy a glass or two in the evening, it is super expensive once in Iceland. If you get bored in Rekyjavik and are pondering a trip to one of the malls advertised on the plane, skip the long trip to Smariland and opt for the closer in Kringlan, although there isn't much you will be tempted to buy because most things are available in the US for less. I don't much care for FI anymore, enough to not bother with a third trip, I will post a separate report on my objections. Overall, the Icelandic people are some of the nicest and most tourist friendly people I have ever met. If you are interested in the late night party crowd, I think it is easier on the way from Europe to the US rather than the US to the Europe because of the jet lag and the beginning of your vacation, also the flights to Europe tend to leave early in the morning, ruling out late night fun the night before (unless you are hard core and stay up all night, which Icelanders will encourage you to do!) Enjoy! oh, highly recommend the Hotel Klopp, great location, helpful staff and a good value.
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Old Apr 17, 04, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by zurbec
If you are interested in the late night party crowd, I think it is easier on the way from Europe to the US rather than the US to the Europe because of the jet lag and the beginning of your vacation, also the flights to Europe tend to leave early in the morning, ruling out late night fun the night before (unless you are hard core and stay up all night, which Icelanders will encourage you to do!)

Not just Icelanders! Many times I have had early morning flight and out late/no sleep the night before. LOL.
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Old Apr 9, 06, 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
Thanks.

Yeah nightlife pretty good Although heading into summer it hardly seems like night until fairly late - I cant imagine it in midsummer with just an hour or so of darkness.
Actually, it does not get dark at all. Even on the solstice, the sun does set in Reykjavik but it remains light!

It's important for one's room to have good darkening drapes
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Old Dec 16, 07, 10:51 am
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I can't say how FI is now.. but I can say back in 2001.. my first jaunt internationally... I flew FI. albeit in Y ex. MSP-KEF-FRA-KEF-MSP.. I thought the service was great.. and so did my parents.. for the price we paid.. US$425RT in March of 2001 for 2 weeks... I'd like to try to fly on FI again sometime. I have read that they are upgrading their fleet to AVOD over the next year.. NICE AVOD on 757 in Y and C ^
Originally Posted by kanebear View Post
THANK YOU THANK YOU! I've always wondered how FI was... so it's comparable to intra-european business class? No NOT how I'd want to do a US-Europe flight at all! How was iceland itself? I've always wanted to go.
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