Review: Iceland Saga Class 757-200 Gothenburg To Reykjavik

Review: Iceland Saga Class 757-200 Gothenburg To Reykjavik
What To Do During A Stopover In Iceland
Review: Icelandair Saga Class 757-200 Reykjavik to Gothenburg


Icelandair has always intrigued me. They’re based in one of the most remote countries in the world, with only 320,000 inhabitants. Yet, in June 2016 over 440,000 passengers flew with the airline. When I found a cheap roundtrip fare from Gothenburg, where I live (but not for much longer), I couldn’t resist my urge to visit to Iceland.

Iceland Flight 385
Gothenburg (GOT) to Reykjavik (KEF)
23 May 2016
Depart: 6:35AM
Arrive: 07:30AM
Duration: 2hr55min
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Seat: 4K (Saga Class)

Booking

I booked my tickets through Orbitz, where I found the offer. It’s always good to keep an eye out with Icelandair though, as I’ve sometimes stumbled across flights from Scandinavia from $120 roundtrip. In fact, my friends and I found a $300 economy roundtrip ticket from GOT to JFK in August, with two pieces of luggage included. Guess who’s going to New York soon? 😉

Airport & Boarding

We booked these flights insanely early… six months early. It helped us have something to look forward to after our final exams, but little did we know that our school would schedule our senior prom at 7:00pm the night before we left for Iceland (go figure).

I woke up at 4am after leaving prom at around 1am. Luckily, Sweden in May is light 21 hours a day, so we woke up to daylight and before I knew it I was in the SAS lounge.

Cool view from the lounge!

Cool view from the lounge!

Everything spiraled downhill from there, because I realized I’d forgotten quite a few things at home (don’t go on vacation the morning after prom, kids).

Rushing to the gate whilst recording!

Rushing to the gate whilst recording!

Rather hectically we made it to the gate, and I was among the last to board.

My aircraft for today - an Icelandair 757-200.

My aircraft for today – an Icelandair 757-200.

icelandair757atGOT2

Onboard

Icelandair’s Saga Class cabin extends up to six rows, but today it was only four. If you’re lucky, this means you can buy a premium economy ticket, but snag a Saga Class seat.

We settled down in the last row of Saga Class, with only one other person in our cabin. She was seated in row 2. The 2-2 configuration is similar to what you’ll find in US domestic first class. Given that the average Icelandair flight is probably 3-4 hours, that’s not a problem.

Saga Class!

Saga Class!


The seats look a lot like US domestic first class seats.

I actually found the seat to be very comfortable, and it felt much wider than your typical recliner. The legroom and armrests were great. Note that Icelandair only provide amenity kits on flights to the US, not on flights from the rest of Europe to Iceland.

The entertainment system had a large, HD touchscreen with plenty of viewing options.

There was a small, extendable area for our “morning shots”, which we were served by the purser. I’m a big juicer, so I loved the concept (and the flavor of the apple and ginger based juice).

Drink table with "morning shots".

Drink table with “morning shots”.

Pushback began at 6:30am, at which point the safety video began to play. A short taxi later, we spooled up the engines and blasted off runway 21.

'Twas a beautiful morning to fly!

‘Twas a beautiful morning to fly!

The seatbelt sign was turned off ten minutes later. At this point, the service began, starting with hot towels before our pre-ordered meals were brought out. The menu card was really cute, though not too useful in our case.

I loved the presentation of the food, and everything looked really thought through. I tried the duck, since I exempt myself from vegetarianism when I’m flying. That ended up being the only food I left, since I wasn’t keen on it. The rest was delicious – probably the best airplane breakfast I’ve had. The Icelandic inspiration behind the food was clear.

An Icelandair "cold" breakfast.

An Icelandair “cold” breakfast.

There was a tiny shrimp cocktail of sorts, yoghurt and musli, warm and fresh pastries, smoked salmon, brie and duck.

Once the trays were cleared, I decided to try out the recline. It felt similar to your typical recliner at home and was comfortable enough. My post-prom sleep deprivation was starting to get to me at this point, so perhaps that added to my sensation of Saga Class seat induced drowsiness.

Throughout the flight the service was hospitable and charming. The purser did an especially good job, and she wore an authentic smile as she went about her work.

I loved the crew!

The crew was great!

One thing I love about Icelandair is that their entire cabins are filled with witty Icelandic phrases. It adds a personal and cultural touch that conveys an appreciated attention to detail.

icelandair pillow

I rarely use the IFE when I fly, as I prefer to work or listen to podcasts/audiobooks. I often get drowsy when I try to read on planes, so audiobooks work well. On this flight I started listening to Tony Robbins’s latest book after hearing him talk about it on the Tim Ferriss podcast – it made great entertainment, especially since the Icelandair headphones are almost Bose Quality, and had great noise cancelation.

There is also free wifi with an impressive connection speed!

The views as we flew in over the eastern coast of Iceland were among the best I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe I’d be landing on that island soon!

Iceland!

Iceland!

Around 30 minutes before landing I requested a coffee, which the purser gladly served. It came with some tasty Icelandic chocolates.

Pre-arrival coffee.

Pre-arrival coffee.

We soon started our decent toward Keflavik and landed right on schedule. The weather wasn’t great, but I still enjoyed the views on approach. Something about the low clouds made the landscape all the more dramatic.

After a short taxi, we pulled into a bus gate and got to take an awesome nature colored bus to the terminal. My trip to Iceland was off to a good start!

Parked at KEF.

Parked at KEF.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I had a brilliant flight with Icelandair. Almost every aspect exceeded my expectations.

The food was delicious and well presented. The seat was comfortable, and although nothing revolutionary, it’s by far the best business class product you can fly to Iceland. The service was warm and there was free wifi, which is a great perk. I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Icelandair again, and I look forward to trying their economy class soon.

For those interested, here’s my full video review of the flight.

Have you flown Icelandair before? If so, what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

About Daniel

Daniel, best known as Dantorp Aviation on YouTube has become well known for his aviation video content, which ranges from wing-views to reviews. In 2016, he took a flight, on average, every five days, covering 100,000 miles on 41 airlines.

More articles by Daniel »

Comments

  1. Not a lot of pictures and the review itself is lacking detail that Lucky and the others usually live up to. Maybe you should just stick to taking videos of your trips, the written word doesn’t seem to be your strength. My 2 cents

  2. @SQflyer – I know, sorry about the lack of pictures! I took all these flights before I knew I’d be writing for OMAAT. My next few reviews will also be a little lacking picture-wise since they’re from earlier flight, but in the future I promise to deliver a lot more!

  3. Just flyed Icelandair with my family ( we’re 4 ) from Edmonton, Canada to Brussel via KEF and booked on an economy class ticket we’ve all got saga seat on the first flight ! worth it for an Economy price !

  4. Does it kind of seem that lucky is just picking up bloggers that he bangs on his travels, or is that just me?

  5. I flew Saga Class from BOS to FRA with a stopover of a couple of days in Iceland. I loved the stopover and I found Saga Class a good compromise. You can usually get a ~$2000 fare from BOS to several stops in Europe in Saga. This year, was able to get a Delta One fare to FRA at about the same price without having to reposition to BOS, so I snagged it. I found the flights were fine and I liked the Saga Club in Keflavik. I would fly Icelandair again if the price was right.

  6. @SQflyer

    He’s 19 give him a break! I’ve seen Daniel’s video reports before and enjoyed them. Shifting to fit a different editorial style will take a while.

    Keep up the good work Daniel.

  7. Daniel! Nice report. Can you explain a bit more the process of buying a premium economy seat and getting Saga class? I don’t quite follow how you got the upgrade.

  8. The last time I flew Icelandair it was known as Icelandic Loftleidir and was aboard an ancient DC-8. I remember both the plane and the payload of a 100+ semi-drunk university students as being very loud.

    So, Daniel…did you actually leave the airport and return home to fetch your forgotten items? Yikes!

    I’m just too curious so I must ask: Are Swedish proms any different from those in the US? And I’m assuming this journey to Reykjavik was a graduation celebratory trip. I hope we get to read about it!

  9. Fine for a 3-hour flight but that seat would be miserable to the West Coast. Still I appreciated the report which basically confirms that FY business seats are tolerable but not close to industry leading.

  10. @sebastien: How did you manage to get the Saga class upgrade? You said you bought economy tickets. Did you ask for an ugrade, or they just upgraded you?

  11. @Daniel – nice review and looking forward to seeing more. While you may not be able to drink any wine (at least on flights to the US) it would be nice if you could include pictures of the wine list and menu.

  12. Looks good. I have a Saga class flight from HEL coming up. The return is in economy comfort, but I’ve been assigned a Saga class seat in row 4 also.

  13. Your review is spot on – beside the comfortable Saga seats, but maybe its a age thing, and yes fell free to practice Icelandic out loud they love it , i still got a booklet about Icelandair but half of it is about the language and encouragement to just practice in the seat, with a lot of “Black Death” i sound like a Icelandic native 😉

    Flown Icelandair many times CPH – KEF – SEA and JFK, BOS and just KEF, I find the service great but hard product inferior, and the Saga club offers is to limited, so now i use oneworld.

    But one thing i miss is the stopover with 2-3 hr in the blue lagoon, Elemis Spa cant competed with that 🙂 the lounge in KEF i find good and nicely cozy, but its location is bad.

    If you are a smoker KEF has 2 outside smoking cabins and its airside, with some interesting view of the nature.

    Because of the bad seats in Saga class premium economy is better bang for the buck wise.

    Remember last time with “Loftleidir” think it was SEA – KEF – CPH on Thursday before Black Friday, one heavy set maybe 400 pounder man, took our seats 2 DF, he hat some medical issues beside the 400 pound jigly wigly, but he didn’t even ask if he could take our seat, but excused himself with his medical issues when approach him, the cabin crew did not know what to do – fear of the 400 pound meat bag or maybe because the medical issues, but we settled with 1 AC and less leg room so the fatty could stretch his jelly legs.

  14. @Matthew @Daniel B Economy comfort is behind the Saga class and its a curtain they just move, so if economy is full the curtain goes forward and c´voila know the economy cabin got bigger ;).

    If you are a kid flying alone they will put you in Saga if there is room – i have seen this many times.

    And forgot the amenity kit pouch is great, made with lambs wool at one time they hat a similar pouch as BA 1 class.

  15. Good review, but as for some constructive criticism, less links (especially to stuff that has nothing to do with the product you are reviewing, and one Youtube link is enough), and more pictures, please.

    Overall though, it looks like a nice, solid product. And from your picture, the crew did look warm and friendly. I hope that is the norm and not just your luck of the draw when it comes to crews.

  16. Good review, surprised to see so many negative comments – nice to get a different perspective (plus no credit card links!).

    Look forward to your future reviews. This plane looked excellent for a short trip although agree would not be keen on it the whole way across the Atlantic!

  17. Kudos to Lucky/Ben for having friends to pitch in when he has personal matters to attend to right now. Is this review at the same level? No. Was it interesting and a fun insight into a young man’s travel experience. Yes. It also gave the trolls something to write about while Lucky deals with his actual life and not leave the page unattended for days. Next time any of you haters have a serious issue at hand I bet you have nobody around to step up to help you the way he does.

  18. My first international flight and only my second flight at the time was on Icelandic Loftleidir in 1972. I was 18. My round trip ticket from NY to Luxemburg, good for one year, in economy, was $300. During the stopover in Reykjavik I left the plane and walked across the tarmac to the little terminal and it was the first time I’d seen snow/ice. I was from Florida. The airline back then was a low cost way to get to Europe and was kinda thought of as the hippie airline. I was also thin, tall and blond. I’m no longer thin or blonde. Thanks for the memories.

  19. My first international flight and only my second flight at the time was on Icelandic Loftleidir in 1972. I was 18. My round trip ticket from NY to Luxemburg, good for one year, in economy, was $300. During the stopover in Reykjavik I left the plane and walked across the tarmac to the little terminal and it was the first time I’d seen snow/ice. I was from Florida. The airline back then was a low cost way to get to Europe and was kinda thought of as the hippie airline. I was also thin, tall and blonde. I’m no longer thin or blonde. Thanks for the memories.

  20. @omgstfualready

    Sorry but no, not every comment here is negative due to trolls and haters. Not everyone has to agree or liek the same things, and are allowed to express a dissenting viewpoint. Besides, calling people trolls and haters is a sign not being able to come up with a decent counter argument. If anything, most of the people using thr phrases trolls and haters seem to be the think-skinned snowflakes who are the product of coddled, helicoptered “everyone is a winner!” parenting.

  21. It’s a blog – Lucky’s blog – it’s not the Wall Street Journal. Why are people getting so worked up about an article on a blog? I am assuming that 90% of us read the blog for entertainment rather than any actual travel advice. It’s a great source of entertainment over countless hours of travel in the air when all other forms of entertainment (magazines, newspapers, books, documentaries on the IFE) are depleted.

  22. @Daniel very good review! Well done! I enjoyed reading it! Keep it up! A lot of momery with Icelandic air flights!

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