Review: Icelandair Saga Business Class B767-300ER, Seattle – Reykjavík (Keflavik)
Quirky Icelandair is one of the few major airlines left in the world that does not form part of any major international airline alliance. It operates on a model that offers connection to many European destinations through their hub in Keflavik Reykjavik Iceland. It is also known for offering the Iceland Stopover program that allows for a free seven day stopover in Iceland at no extra charge. Today’s journey was courtesy of a deeply discounted business class fare that would allow us to get over to Europe from the United States. How would our paid travels fare with one of the lessor travelled European airlines?
This post is one chapter on our trip to Jordan, Israel and France during the end of the pandemic. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. 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.
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✈️ Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Driving 1,265 kilometres in Jordan, Israel and France via Icelandair, Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian Business Class
- My Favourite Long Layover Restaurant at SeaTac Airport: 13 Coins
- The Club at SEA Business Lounge, “S” Concourse, Seattle Tacoma, USA
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Seattle – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavik – Paris Charles de Gaulle
- The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport, France
- Salon Paul Maxence Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Paris – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge: Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Amman
- What to Expect Driving through the Kingdom of Jordan
- Dead Sea Marriott Resort and Spa, Jordan
- Top Five Tips for a Day of Canyoning – Hiking the Wadi Mujib Trial, Jordan
- Petra Marriott Hotel, Jordan
- How to Tackle the Ruins of Petra, Jordan
- Is it Worth Seeing Petra by Night?
- Al Manara, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba, Jordan
- Going Local: Al Mohandes Cafeteria, Aqaba, Jordan
- Memories Aicha Luxury Tented Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan
- Getting Sandy in Wadi Rum, Jordan
- The St Regis Amman, Jordan
- Views from the Citadel in Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- The Petra Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Business Class: Amman – Tel Aviv
- The Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel
- The Intersection of the World’s Religions, Visiting Jerusalem, Israel
- Visiting Tel Aviv’s Beaches, a Day at Gordon’s Beach, Israel
- The Dan Lounge, Ben Gurion International Airport – Terminal 3, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Tel Aviv – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Sleep Pod, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Paris
- The Westin Paris Vendôme, Paris, France
- Returning to the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
- What’s Left of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur and Montmartre, Paris, France
- Bateau Mouches Seine Cruises, Paris, France
- Le Cafe de la Paix, Paris, France
- Bouillion Pigalle, Paris, France
- Le Café du Trocadéro, Paris, France
- Extime Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2B, France
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Paris – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavík – Seattle
Review: Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class, Boeing 767-300ER, Seattle Tacoma International Airport – Reykjavík (Keflavik International Airport)
This would be the second time I would fly this exact route and my third Icelandair flight overall. For our past experience on the Icelandair Boeing 757-200 aircraft, please see our past review of Icelandair Saga Business Class B757-2 Seattle – Reyjkavik.
I had stumbled upon a great discounted business class fare from North America to Paris for travel in the off season. With a ticket price of $1,145 USD round trip, there was nothing not to like. It was even worth positioning in from Vancouver for this fare, so we arrived to the Seattle Tacoma International Airport on a separate Alaska Airlines flight. To read more about how we came across this fare, please see our trip introduction for more details.
We would end up crediting this paid flight to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, earning 125% Elite Qualifying Miles. Icelandair allows for frequent flyer accumulation in a limited number of programs that include Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Jet Blue Airways True Blue and it’s own program Icelandair Saga Points.
After a long layover visit to 13 Coins Sea – Tac, we located the check in for Icelandair. The check in hours were limited to opening two hours and forty five minutes prior to travel. The counter was completely deserted when we stopped by at 4 hours prior to travel. Icelandair offered a dedicated line for Saga Business Class travellers, and there was only one other party ahead of us at the counter.
We had our carry on luggage tagged with bright looking Saga Premium Luggage tags; something air carriers love. todo but I frankly find a bit of a pain since they usually get torn apart and destroyed after a few flights.
Icelandair offers a baggage allowance of two checked bags at 70 lbs with any Saga Class ticket. After dropping our checked baggage, we passed through the TSA Pre-Check Lane and headed to the secure side of the airport near the “A” Concourse.
Since we had access through the American Express Platinum Card, we headed for the comfortable American Express Centurion Lounge Seattle where we gained access after about a fifteen minute wait.
The Lounge: The Club at SEA “S” Concourse
We later made our way out to the “S” Concourse to visit the recently moved The Club at SEA “S” Concourse. The Club at SEA took over the space previously occupied by the Delta SkyClub “S” Concourse.
Icelandair Saga Class passengers get complimentary access to The Club at SEA “S” Concourse included with their tickets. I reviewed this space in detail under a separate post, so I won’t go into too much detail, other than it was nice to have a space to relax near your gate prior to your flight. It was also conveniently close to the departure gate, something the American Express Centurion Lounge Seattle can’t compete with.
After a short visit to The Club at SEA Lounge, I headed down to the departure gate. Today’s flight had us departing from Gate S8. Our boarding time was scheduled for 3 PM, in advance of a 3:50 PM departure.
While I was waiting at the gate, I was able to watch the stream of flight crew; exotic looking tall pale blondes and very Icelandic in appearance. One had a Ross “Dress for Less” plastic bag wrapped around her rolling crew suitcase, which took a little punch out of the flair I was envisioning in my mind. After a last minute panic by MrsWT73 thinking she left her purse in the lounge, we were able to be among the first to board.
FI 680 – Saga Business Class (A)
SEA-KEF (SeaTac International Airport – Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport)
October 9, 2022
3:50 PM – 6:15 AM + 1 (scheduled)
4:11 PM – 6:22 AM +1 (actual)
Booked: Boeing 767-300ER
Flown: Boeing 767-300ER
On board Icelandair Saga Business Class:
We boarded through door 1 L and had a right turn immediately into the Iceland Air Saga Business Class cabin.
Icelandair Saga Class is set up in a 2-1-2 configuration on their Boeing 767-300ER. Icelandair operates two of these aircraft, having been added to the fleet in the year 2016.
It’s a much more spacious feeling Icelandair cabin, than compared to on their Boeing 757. The primary difference between the two is the addition of a single centre row of seating.
While the Icelandair Saga Business Class seats aren’t a fully flat version, they are reasonably comfortable for a 5 – 6 hour flight and probably serve the bulk of what is needed for Icelandair’s current travels. They are a little better than what you’d expect on a Premium Economy seat on a mainline carrier and offer a little more shoulder room.
The Icelandair Boeing 767-300ER Cabin is made more spacious with smaller overhead bins in the centre row. Most of the larger overhead storage bins are on the outer seats.
We found our way to Icelandair Saga Class seats 3D and 3F. These seats were almost in the middle of a five row cabin, and provided a nice balance of not being too close to the front, and not being at the back in the galley beyond row five. The Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class cabin is limited to 25 recliner seats, so it’s a pretty intimate experience.
When seated in the seats themselves, the seats are fairly compact. You won’t get the same experience as a reverse herringbone business class seat that offers ample work space and space to relax. Storage is really limited to the seat back pocket in front of you, and there are no other compartments to charge phones or other devices.
Despite not having storage space, the seats do offer individual seat power. As there is no direct to USB charging mechanism, I would end up fishing out my iPhone North American Plug in order to charge my iPhone while we headed overseas.
The seats also offer the proprietary two pin headphone connectors which were located underneath the pull out table tray in the armrest.
The Icelandair Boeing 767-200’s are older aircraft. As a result, we didn’t have any individual air nozzles above us. This made for a bit of a hotter journey, and it’s a feature that I really miss when it’s not there.
On our seat when we arrived was a blanket, pillow and Iceland spring water. The Iceland Spring Water was actually chilled and cold when I arrived to the seat; something unusual for water left on the seat.
As we settled in, a pre-departure beverage of sparkling wine was made available from a tray in a plastic cup. Keen to get underway, MrsWT73 went to go get a refill on the pre-departure beverage and was turned down with the guidance that she’d get more “later”.
While we were waiting for the flight to get underway, we were also presented with Icelandair branded noise cancelling headphones. The headphones fit into the two pin holes located in the arm rest.
The Amenity Kits: Hanns Dottir Branded
We were also presented with an amenity kit. While Icelandair can get the reputation as being a bit of a low cost carrier, it’s nice that they still offer an amenity kit for a trans-continental flight of over seven hours in duration.
The amenity kits were Hanns Dottir branded, having dropped their partnership with Blue Lagoon from the last time we travelled with Icelandair. The kits contained Hanns Dottir lip balm, personal mist and hand lotion. A tooth brush / toothpaste, ear plugs and eye mask was also found inside the amenity kit bags.
Departing Seattle Tacoma International Airport:
We got underway departing Seattle Tacoma International Airport. We had a great view of the new arrivals facility at Seattle Tacoma. We passed by an Emirates Boeing 777-200 as we headed out for a take off on Runway 14.
Unusually, with no waits at Sea – Tac International Airport, we were underway and headed off to Iceland under sunny Seattle skies.
In Flight Entertainment:
As we got underway, I looked at the in flight entertainment options. The Icelandair in flight entertainment system consisted of a monitor in the seat back in front. The monitor was lightly adjustable in case of a seat recline.
The system had been upgraded from our last visit and contained about seventy movies and television shows; an upgrade from the previous version that consisted of only about thirty movies.
After we had gotten to near cruise altitude, there was only seven hours left into the flight.
While there were more movies on the system than in the previous generation, I’d find that a regular traveller on Iceland air might tire of the limited selection quite quickly. Most of the major international airline players have a substantially greater selection, so you’ll have to settle for what you’ve got while flying Icelandair.
In Flight Wifi Internet:
Icelandair also featured in flight wifi internet available. The service was available for 12€ for the flight, or on a complimentary basis for Saga Business Class Passengers.
Perhaps a bit irritatingly, the system required a different URL to connect, dependent on the version of aircraft that you were flying on. I would end up discovering a QR code located within the entertainment system. A scan of the QR code would end up linking you to the correct URL.
Unfortunately, the speeds were exceptionally slow. It was too slow to really upload any posts or photographs to social media, although it was perfectly fine for downloading the latest text news on CNN or other news media apps.
Food and Beverage:
Once we were airborne, the crew passed out the dinner menus. Icelandair still offers a printed menu, which adds to a nice touch for minimal effort.
The Icelandair dinner menu only offers two options; neither one is vegetarian. If you need a vegetarian meal, you’d have to order it in advance as a special meal.
The wine list was also presented. It offered an old world european centric wine list, along with a surprise red from Argentina. Overall, we had no complaints about the wine list.
One of the more unique features of Icelandair are their collection of Gin and Tonics. Icelandair offers a variety of no less than six Gin and Tonic’s, that are all served in individual portioned containers.
If the wine and Gin weren’t enough, there were also Icelandic Gull Beers available, along with Espresso Martini’s.
Rounding out the menu presentation, a series of salty and sweet snacks were also listed on the menu.
The Meal: A Full Dinner
As we climbed to cruise altitude, the supper service started with a beverage cocktail service. I enjoyed an Olafsson Icelandinc Gin with Franklin and Sons Natural Light Tonic water, accompanied with lemon and crisp crackers that appeared to be off menu.
The pre – supper cocktail was served and enjoyed along side views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains located north of Edmonton. I had the opportunity to do a little glacier spotting at sunset.
Dinner was served at about 90 minutes in to the flight. I was really happy that I had a large meal earlier at 13 Coins Sea Tac and snacked a little in The Club at SEA “S” Concourse Lounge.
My dinner selection was a prosciutto with melon starter, along with beef, mashed potatoes and asparagus and carrots. I paired this with the Cerro Anon Grand Reserva Temparillo Rioja red wine from Spain. The dessert items was a cheese cake presented all at once on a tray. I appreciated that everything was served all together since the flight itself was so short.
After I enjoyed supper, the crew brought around a small box of chocolates. This paired well with the left over Rioja Wine. I settled into the balance of Top Gun Maverick; still a great movie the second time around.
After everything was cleared away, I settled into relax mode into the seat. The Icelandair Saga Business Class seat itself is pretty compact; especially when it’s reclined in front of you. As I indicated earlier, it was more like a premium economy or a domestic first class product. For the price paid, I couldn’t complain. I did mange to get a little sleep in the light recline of the business class barca lounger seat.
The Second Service: A Light Breakfast
At about 80 minutes prior to landing, we had a second service. We received a small plate of Cut fruit (melon and cantaloupe) along with a small ham and cheese bunwich with European cheese.
The second service weent down quickly and was quite tasty.
Arriving into Reykjavík Keflavik Iceland:
We had no waits for landing at Keflavik International Airport. We landed about ten minutes behind schedule at a dark Keflavik International Airport at a Gate. With no bus gate, this was great news.
As Icelandair Saga Business Class travellers, we were among the first off the plane. Having been through Keflavik International Airport before, and been amazed at the immigration queues, we headed straight for immigration ahead of our 150 new travelling friends.
Unfortunately, the “first off” strategy did not work for us. We had a line of about 250 people ahead of us queuing for immigration to get into the EU. The line was primarily for all those international passports. Those travelling on EU passports could clear using automated kiosks.
After we had gotten through the immigration queue, our ninety minute connection had pretty much evaporated. There was no time for the Icelandair Saga Business Lounge Keflavik with only seven minutes to spare before boarding of our Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Reykjavík – Paris flight. I had time for a quick washroom break before heading off to Gate C28 for our next leg.
My frequent flier points for this Icelandair flight successfully credited to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan twelve days after the flight. While it wasn’t the fastest credit, it posted without any intervention.
The Bottom Line: Icelandair Saga Class
Icelandair offered a cost competitive way to get over to Europe in a reasonable amount of comfort. While the business class seats aren’t state of the art, we did have access to the usual amenity in business class; additional luggage allowance, access to a lounge at the departure airport and in Iceland, a full meal along with a complimentary beverage and bar service.
While you won’t ever confuse Icelandair business class seats for a fully flat business class product in a major international airline alliance, it’s a reasonable way to get over to Europe, assuming the price is right.
I’ve flown Iceland air Saga class many times.
I enjoy the more intimate setting,and with a smaller business class then other airlines the service is prompt and frequent.
For the most part I’ve found the food to be much better then US carriers.Flying out of Iceland it can be downright gourmet.
However the lack of fully flat seats is a turn off.
If I can get a great deal on Saga class I’ll usually book it.But if the fare is more in line with the other airlines I opt for a fully reclined seat.Yes even with United’s horrendous food and uneven service.
That’s a great point about the better food product on IcelandAir. It’s generally tastier, although less of it than on some other carriers.
Conversely, United “Polaris” has a fantastic seat, but the food is a long way from edible.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Thank you for the thorough review. We are headed to Iceland in April and a lot of your airport information is helpful. Good read!
Wishing you best of luck on your travels. I found that the departure out of Keflavik is a lot easier than the arrival and connections. Either way, it’s a great country to visit.
Thanks for reading Donna
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