Review: Icelandair Saga Class B757, Reykjavík (Keflavik) – Madrid
Icelandair offers connecting service from North America to Western Europe through it’s hub in Keflavik Reykjavik Iceland. It also offers a proper business class recliner seat to and from Iceland, where many other European carriers offer an economy class seat with a blocked middle. How does Icelandair fare up on an intra-Europe business class segment?
This post is one chapter on our trip to Iceland, the United Kingdom and Morocco. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Iceland, Spain and Morocco via Iceland Air Saga Class & British Airways First Class
- Plaza Premium Lounge: Transborder Vancouver
- Alaska Airlines: Vancouver – Seattle
- American Express Centurion Lounge, Seattle Tacoma, USA
- Icelandair Saga Class: Seattle – Keflavik
- Hotel 101, A Member of Design Hotels, Reykjavik, Iceland
- City Visit: Reykjavik, Iceland – Part I
- City Visit: Reykjavik, Iceland – Part II
- The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
- The Golden Circle, Iceland
- Ion Adventure Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Nesjavillir, Iceland
- Nesjavillir to Dyrhólaey, Iceland
- Nesjavillir, Iceland
- Icelandair Saga Business Lounge, Keflavik, Iceland
- Icelandair Saga Class: Keflavik – Madrid
- The Westin Madrid, Madrid, Spain
- Renfe AVE: Madrid Puerta Atocha – Sevilla Santa Justa
- The Hotel Alphonso XIII, A Luxury Collection Resort, Seville, Spain
- City Visit: Seville, Spain – Part I
- City Visit: Seville, Spain – Part II
- Renfe AVE: Sevilla Santa Justa – Madrid Puerta Atocha
- AC Carlton by Marriott, Madrid, Spain
- Iberia Velazquez Premium Business Lounge, Madrid Barajas Terminal 4S, Madrid, Spain
- Iberia Business Class: Madrid – Marrakech
- The Pearl Lounge, Arrivals Hall, Marrakech Airport, Morocco
- Anayela (Riad), a Member of Design Hotels, Marrakech, Morocco
- City Visit: Marrakech, Morocco – Part I
- City Visit: Marrakech, Morocco – Part II
- Activity: Lunch at Aman Yella, Marrakech, Morrocco
- Activity: Overland Travel from Marrakech to Mhamid, Morocco
- Erg Chigaga Luxury Tented Camp, Mhamid, Morocco – Part I
- Erg Chigaga Luxury Tented Camp, Mhamid, Morocco – Part II
- Activity: Overland Travel from Mhamid to Marrakech, Morocco
- Le Meridien N’Fis, Marrakech, Morocco
- The Pearl Lounge, Departures Hall, Marrakech Airport, Morocco
- British Airways Club Europe: Marrakech – London Gatwick
- Le Meridien Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
- City Visit: London, United Kingdom
- Qantas Business Lounge, London Heathrow T3, United Kingdom
- Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge, London Heathrow T3, United Kingdom
- British Airways First Class: London – Vancouver
Review: Icelandair Saga Class Boeing 757, Reykjavík (Keflavik) – Madrid
While we were in the lounge, efficient Icelandair posted a 15 minute flight delay that came to us via SMS and email. At about T-35, we left the Icelandair Saga Lounge Keflavik and headed down to the gate A14. When we arrived, it seemed that our plane “Hekla Aurora” was still fuelling. The airport doesn’t allow for great photographs from the gate where we were at. As a result, I got the partial photograph blocked by the jet bridge.
FI 594 – Saga Business Class (O)
KEF – MAD (Keflavik Airport – Madrid Barajas)
Sept 6, 2018
3:00 PM – 9:05 PM
Booked: Boeing 757-200
Flown: Boeing 757-200
On Board Icelandair Saga Class:
Priority boarding was called and we boarded via Door 2L. We turned left into the now familiar and usual IcelandAir Saga Class Boeing 757-200 business class configuration of 2-2. The seats offer recliner styled seating, which is not so exciting but miles and leagues better than the usual European Business Class economy seating with a blocked middle.
“Icelandair’s retro Saga Class business class seats pale in comparison to overseas international carriers, but are miles ahead of the narrow body economy seats that pass for business class around Europe”
IcelandAir doesn’t seem to sell much business class. Similar to our overseas flight over, the load in business was light. On today’s flight, only 9 out of 22 seats were occupied.
Pre – Departure Services:
Onboard waiting at the seat, there was a bottle of Icelandic Water on the console and a pillow available on the seat.
There was no pre-departure beverage today. I got the impression that it was not offered for the shorter / medium haul flights.
We pushed back fairly quickly and we headed out to runway 10 at Keflavik International Airport.
We had a take off over Keflavik where I took some photos of the town as we passed over. The terrain around the airport is stark barren compared to the majestic mountains we saw in other parts of the country.
Food and Beverage:
As we got airborne and to cruising altitude, menus were dropped off in addition to a wine list. The food choices are remarkably simple and a bit narrow in selection since only two options were offered. IcelandAir offered its’ similar Gin Library on the flights, including 7 kinds of Gin available. I was a happy camper.
They also featured the international Gin standby’s for those that don’t like the local craft.
The Meal: A Lunch
We were offered a pre-meal beverage service along with some low rent pretzels that were upbranded in a Vikur cardboard box that looked like an Ikea food product. I started with my usual Gin and Tonic, along with Bertha’s Revenge Milk Gin from Ireland and a Franklin and Sons light low calorie tonic.
The main course was served all at once. Today’s offer was Artic Char with creamed wild mushrooms, salt baked root vegetables and Icelandic pearl barley, along with cheesecake with berry sauce. I don’t usually like fish on a plane but it was all fairly tasty.
The wifi internet was working on today’s flight unlike the last one. A quick sign in with our seat number and confirmation booking code and we were on line for most of the flight. The download speeds were okay. Sadly, the upload speeds weren’t very good. I wasn’t able to upload 6 pictures to facebook; “taking a while to post”. I gave up after about 20 minutes. Still I was able to enjoy some pleasant sunsets.
Throughout the flight, I had some rather socially loud Icelandic male chatterboxes behind me in Seats 3A / 3C. It was only noticeable as they had moved there from across aisle from Seats 2D/F. I can only describe the situation similar to being in a pot of boiling water. The longer it went on, the louder and worse it got. I eventually self re-located over to 2F across the aisle to get away from the “Yaaa!”s and the excited conversation noise that went with it.
As the flight drew to an end, we had a slow and circular approach into Madrid. We pulled up to another remote stand near Terminal 1. Two buses were available to meet us, and the stairs were rolled up promptly. The bags were out without issue.
We would arrive and transfer over to a beautiful suite at the Westin Madrid for our short stay.
Icelandair was a comfortable way to get to and from Iceland. The large comfortable seats were much better than the euro-business class offered with other European carriers. The lounge chairs were a much more pleasant way to get towards Europe, and much better than the comparable euro-business class seats we would have had flying One World or Star Alliance. Aside from my Icelandic drinking flight mates seated behind me, it was a near perfect flight.