Tuesday, April 18, 2023

SEA-KEF (Seattle to Keflavík) on Icelandair

Icelandair is just about as we remember it from previous flights.

If anything, even in their Saga Class the 757 feels more squished than we recall.

When the passenger in front reclines the seat, there’s not much room.

One overhead compartment barely holds our two rollaboards plus a small bag. We have to store them sideways in these small bins.

We noticed just before boarding that our seats had been changed and we were seated in adjacent aisle seats.Kathy’s boarding pass had her seated in 1B, a non-existent seat.

We managed to get our seats reassigned at the gate, and another couple who had experienced the same weird seat shuffle managed to trade seats on board, a real nuisance. If we ever fly Icelandair again, we’ll be sure to check west assignments regularly, and we’ll board early to ensure we have space for our carryons.

We took off from SEA in steady rain.

The flight itself was fine. The friendly flight attendants served us decent meals.

Now seated in row 6, they only had chicken left, but the FA said she would look out for extras. She did find a steak for Kathy, for which we thanked her. Kathy wishes she hadn’t bothered.

Let’s face it. Steak is not usually a successful in-flight dish.

Some seven hours later at 6:15AM local time, we landed at Keflavík, Iceland’s major international airport after descending through the clouds to a rather bleak landscape.

Somewhat to our surprise, we parked at a remote gate, walked down the stairs, and took a bus to the terminal.

We zipped through immigration and customs, and found our way to the Aurora Hotel across from the terminal, only getting lost a couple of times before arriving around 7AM.

We further proved our presence  in Iceland by snapping a photo of an Icelandic license plate.

We challenge you to spot one on your local highways and byways.

The Aurora is just fine and we probably got about four hours sleep before traipsing back to the airport about 1:00PM.

It’s certainly quiet today at midday with no lines at passport control or security. It strikes us as a friendly and efficient operation.

The Saga Lounge is also quiet and a very pleasant spot.

We craftily found seats next to an excellent coffee machine.

There are various seating areas and good views from the windows.

There are some decent food and drink choices. While not a standout among European business lounges, it’s a definite cut above a domestic US airline lounge. After all, this is a budget airline and on that basis the Saga Lounge is a winner.

An impressive large rock serves as a sort of centerpiece near the entrance.

This being Iceland, it comes complete with its own elf legend.

In summary, the Saga Lounge is a comfortable place to while away a few hours.

Our three-hour KEF-LHR flight departs at 4:10PM and is due to land at Heathrow at 8:20PM, as the UK is one hour ahead of Iceland and eight hours ahead of our Pacific Daylight Saving time zone.

We’re returning to the LHR Hilton for the first in many years and hope to enjoy a good night’s sleep there tonight before taking the Tube to the London Hilton Southbank Wednesday.

So far, so good.


FriendlySkies said...

The J food looks good. I flew PDX-KEF-MCI in May, 2018 and enjoyed it...though not the lack of provided food in Y. Luckily the Priority Pass benefit at PDX provided me enough to have lunch and bring some food aboard.

Kathy and Brian said...

The food was the highlight. Service is good too. Hard product not so much, although our KEF-LHR hop on a 737 Max reminded us of AS F, and we agreed we’d actually prefer it for a longer flight over the 757.