My trip to Iceland in 2012 – Photo: Katka Lapelosová
Three years ago, I traveled to Iceland for the first time. It was sort of a spontaneous trip that a friend and I had planned last minute, but it ended up being one of the best international experiences ever. And with flight time being less than five hours from NYC, the chilly country makes for the perfect “long weekend,” European getaway.
Most people travel to Iceland to explore glaciers (check), see the Northern Lights (check), play with Icelandic ponies (check), or hang out at the Blue Lagoon (major check). But one thing they underestimate is what they’ll have to eat while they’re there.
BONUS: Traveling to Keflavik on an Icelandair Boeing 757
Iceland is a foodie’s dream. It’s not really surprising, considering Icelandic dishes are typically locally sourced, and with such unique agricultural conditions, chefs and locals alike have gotten creative with their recipes. The food and drinks I had in Iceland were some of the highlights of my trip, from lobster stew and Skyr (Icelandic yogurt), to whale meat and puffin (ethically farmed, and better than it sounds, trust me).
Afternoon offerings include hot soup, artisinal bread along with Hummus, crackers and other more refined snack options – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter
Domestic airline lounges in the USA do not have the best reputation. A place to get a drink and sit out your flight delay in a dark, cigar lounge atmosphere? United does not like that thought, and they have decided to do something about it.
At first they started renovating their clubs, bringing them up to a new standard. Now they have come into the second phase, and are going to be updating the food and snacks on offer. For many frequent fliers, this should be a welcomed change.
The entry way to United Club in Terminal 2 at O’Hare – Photo: United
I have been through my fair share of United Clubs. I have been a Star Alliance Gold member for years, and like many of you, I am inherently familiar with Goldfish crackers, Tillamook cheese, and yogurt (or chocolate) covered pretzels/raisins. I have had my binge sessions while waiting out a delayed flight snacking on those things while powering my devices.
Considering that an annual club membership could run you as much as $500 a year, the meager snack offerings don’t seem all that great. Those days are now going to be history. United has decided to follow the feedback of their guests, and also a similar trend among their competitors, to offer something a little bit more substantial, even palatable.
I constantly hear people say, “flying just isn’t the way it used to be.” Sure it isn’t, less food, more fees, but there are also lower fares. One service that we have seen a big decline in is food service. We have gone from getting a free meal to feeling lucky to have some free peanuts. Brett Snyder, who writes the blog CrankyFlier, took a look at the cost per passengers airlines spent in 1990 versus today and he found some pretty interesting things.
United Airlines ends up spending the most (probably from First Class) and Southwest ends up spending the least (is that a shocker?). I am actually kind of surprised that average costs haven’t decreased more since the 1990’s.
Take a look at Snyder’s awesome chart and some interesting observations on his blog.