I had a sixth sense moment. After I was successful in using the ‘Class UP’ system to get upgraded on my first part of my trip to Iceland (from London Heathrow to Reykjavik – see that report here), I thought it might work out that I’d get a similar upgrade on the way back. To be clear, you bid for these upgrades and I had popped in a bid for the lowest possible amount, about £150. I couldn’t imagine too many people were flying at the moment and perhaps it would be easier than usual. My instincts were (for once) spot on!
Normally, I’d only blog or vlog about a trip in one direction. Who wants to see the same thing in both directions? Well, unless there were points of difference. And when I looked up this flight, I could see I’d have the chance to experience business class on Icelandair on a different aircraft (and a more familiar one to many more regular Icelandair passengers), the Boeing 767, with a 2-1-2 configuration. So I took the chance to film this different configuration and that’s why you’re seeing this new report, plus a new video at the end of this page!
The day started extremely early. I had to be up by 5 am to get ready for a 5:30 am taxi, but luckily I was staying close to the airport, so it was only a 10 minute drive (check the blog soon for a review of that Keflavik hotel). Just before I went to sleep, all passengers received a text from Icelandair, telling us that the airport was exceptionally busy and advising everybody to be at check-in for 4:30 am. As I would’ve had to change my taxi pickup time, which are been organised by the hotel, I thought it was going to be a problem to make any changes, and I thought I’d take the risk.
I also knew that with Saga Premium, there would be a shorter check-in queue and fast-track through security, so that would make things faster. The text from Icelandair was completely right… when I arrived at the airport it was absolutely crammed. But I felt very lucky that there were only three or four people ahead of me in the Saga queue and a similar amount in the fast track security line, so I took advantage of that also. It was straight to the lounge for me, as all I really wanted was a nice cup of coffee and a light breakfast. As this is Icelandair’s base, you’d expect the lounge to be high quality and it is (reassuringly). I will do a full separate review of the Saga Lounge at Keflavík airport in another post.
All of the flights appeared to be on time on the departures board with the majority of flights heading east towards Europe taking off around the same time, of 7.40am. And before long it was time to make our way to our gate D34 for our Boeing 767 flight over to London Heathrow. It’s not a long trip, around 2.5 hours. All the same, I was looking forward to having a restful trip on the way. There was a really big queue to get on board the flight and people were jostling for position as if this were a Ryanair flight. The Icelandair staff were very calm and called people who needed extra time to board first. As we waited, I was trying to work out why there was such a delay in processing people going through. But then I heard from the lady ahead of me that some people were transferring from a flight from the United States, and they hadn’t yet completed their passenger locator form for the UK. The gate agents had to check that everybody had completed this task before they were allowed onto the aeroplane.
I was excited to get on board the plane, but was starting to feel the tiredness. I was glad to have enough time to try and get in a snooze. Although at the same time I wanted to make sure that I filmed everything about the seat and facilities for my trip report before I got to sleep.
I found myself beside a very friendly co-passenger, called Emma. We had a great laugh as I attempted to film the seat, amenities, and facilities on the plane. It can often look a little bit strange that you’re doing that while everyone else is simply settling in to their seat. But I love doing it.
It wasn’t long until some coffee was served alongside a lunch for breakfast. Well, a sort of mixed breakfast/lunch tray! There was whipped skyr (the Icelandic yoghurt) with an apple gelée or compote, a roast beef open sandwich with horseradish cream and a small piece of chocolate marquise. It was all faultless.
It wasn’t long before I finished up most of my filming. Last thing on the rota, usually after the food trays are cleared away is the toilet report. It’s one of my favourite things to do. Seriously, for some reason, everyone wants to know what the toilet is like on an aircraft. This one was quite spacious as they go, and was dedicated to business class, with other toilets provided toward the rear for economy. To be fair, I don’t think there’s any difference between the two of them.
Perhaps the only disappointing thing, if you could call it a disappointment, is the quality of the amenity kit on Icelandair. On the way over they provided a reasonable quality of fabric pouch, but this time it was a really less well-made nylon amenity bag that had a whiff of the Pound Shop about it. I know it’s weird as an adult human to moan about an amenity kit in business class. I’m totally aware of that. Having said that, I still will! I’d prefer a smaller bag with fewer amenities if it were to be of higher quality. One complaint I did hear (thought not my own) was from a lady who had taken her first flight from the US to Iceland the previous day, who said that the price of a simple meal for her and her son ran to $45USD, which she found outrageous. It makes the upgrade cost seem very reasonable.
Still, this is a pretty rock solid flight product on offer from Icelandair. You feel like you’re in the hands of professionals. Now if we could convince Heathrow to allow them to park a little closer to the terminal, it would be perfect!
Hopefully you’re seeing a link below this paragraph. If you are, have a little click and enjoy my video trip report of this journey. As usual, I’m grateful for subscribers on YouTube – it’s free to you and helps me out. But enjoy it however you find it!
All the best,