Great award availability to Iceland on Delta next summer!

This past summer Delta started seasonal service to Iceland, which was pretty exciting news for me. I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

However, last November I noted how beyond crappy Delta’s award availability was to Iceland. The route hadn’t even launched, though they were only releasing mid and high level business class award space, even though the cabins were wide open.

Well, based on what I’ve heard coach has been packed on these flights while business class has been wide open, resulting in operational upgrades. That seems to be reflected in their award availability for next summer. Take a look at how much low level (green) award availability they have in business class for next summer:

Availability is even great for two people on each flight in business class, so I’d say that’s quite good.

Iceland has always interested me, and after a trip report I recently read on FlyerTalk about Iceland (and in particular the Blue Lagoon), I’m absolutely sold on taking the trip next sumer.

Now admittedly New York to Iceland is only a 5-6 hour flight, so it’s no different than a flight from New York to the west coast. Many would say it’s not worth the premium to fly business class, especially since the cost is 100,000 miles, which is the same as business class to Europe.

Maybe it’s all in my head, but for whatever reason when a passport is required and I’m looking at taking a “big” trip, there’s just something nice about being in a premium cabin, even if it’s “only” a 5-6 hour flight.

And through Delta’s current transfer miles promotion, you can essentially buy 100,000 miles for $1,100, plus the roughly $50 in taxes and fees on the ticket. So given the total price of $1,150 I’ll gladly “pay” the premium for business class over coach.

All that being said, I’m actually leaning towards buying 100,000 US Airways miles for under $1,500 and booking a business class ticket to Iceland via Europe. SAS flies to Iceland out of Oslo, and I’ve never visited Denmark, Norway, or Sweden. Through them I could fly SAS to Sweden and spend some time there (which would be awesome with 19+ hours of sunlight per day) on a stopover, and then continue on SAS to Iceland via Oslo.

Anyway, just figured I’d throw those two options out there in case anyone else is tempted to go to Iceland.

Comments

  1. I LOVED Iceland. Loved. Would suggest late May or early June to avoid being overrun with tourists. Plus there’s a decent Hilton!

  2. @ Kate — Good to hear, thanks! Was thinking of doing June as well to avoid super-high season.

    @ bluto — I was leaning towards Stockholm where there seems to be a nice Sheraton that has plenty of cash and points availability and a club lounge (to help keep costs down).

    @ Ben — It is. By no means glamorous, though better than Icelandair from the looks of it…

  3. Given that you can usually find discount JFK-KEF coach fares for under $600 (and sometimes under $500), I’d have a hard time justifying spending the miles. I’ll tough it out in coach given the distance.

    Another option- I think Icelandair has a deal where you can stopover in Reykjavik for free on the way to/from Europe. I’ve never flown them, but fares are generally competitive. Only problem is they’re not in an alliance.

    The SAS option via Europe sounds cool!

  4. Scandinavia is expensive but it’s worth it – you will have unique experiences which can offset the cost. You may also want to consider a trip up to Svalbard (Longyearbyen airport) which is way further north but still part of Norway and thus reachable for domestic miles on SAS. Icelandair is pretty rough but yes, you can get the stopover. A quick summary (IMHO as a Brit living in Norway for 13 years and just back from these places: Oslo – not a great deal to see but a decent hub for day trips and flights on; Stockholm – stunningly beautiful, stylish place worthy of a long stay; Copenhagen – a bit more ‘edgy’ and cool, loads of great restaurants and bars.

  5. About 10 years ago, we took advantage of an introductory fare on IcelandAir from BWI – it was under $400 RT for BWI-REY-LHR-REY-BWI (in winter, mind you!). That said, IcelandAir was probably the crappiest international airline I’ve ever flown. But as you say, for a 5-6 hour flight, it wasn’t a big deal.

    Btw, the Blue Lagoon was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Definitely go! Just don’t eat the fermented shark if anyone offers it to you…

  6. the sheraton in stockholm is pretty good. it’s right on the water with some nice views. i got out there for business once in a while and usually stay there.

  7. I flew Icelandair in 1980 or so, as that was the cheapest way to get to Europe then and it offered a free stopover in Iceland.

    Stayed about 3 days, very cool place. Midnight sun was weird. Very expensive food and beer I remember clearly, but some gorgeous scenery.

    And I’m not just talking about the girls, perhaps the prettiest in the world. WOW!

    There is an Anthony Bourdain episode in Iceland to give you a taste:

    http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Anthony_Bourdain/Episodes_Travel_Guides/Episode_Iceland

  8. Love Iceland as well – went on an Icelandic horseback excursion through a Scandinavian Airlines promotion.

    Take a tour to the south coast, amazing landscapes

  9. “@ Ben — It is. By no means glamorous, though better than Icelandair from the looks of it…”

    Lucky, what do you mean by this? I can promise you that IcelandAir is several steps ahead of Delta in every possible way. I flew a Delta 757 to JFK and an IcelandAir 757 to KEF last summer … Delta’s was grungy and worn. IcelandAir’s looked like it just rolled out of the factory.

  10. Glad you liked my trip report to Iceland on flyer talk and sold you on going! I had been meaning to mention it to you. 😀

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