Palletized freight is loaded aboard an Icelandair Cargo 757-200F at Keflavik International Airport
Air freight has always held a particular fascination for me; the mechanical logistics are fascinating, and, despite the fact that freight operations happen concurrentlyÂ with passenger flights, many travelers donâ€™t even notice that freightÂ ops are happening all around them during their journey.
Icelandair’s SkjaldbreiÃ°ur at SEA, being loaded for KEF – Photo: Francis Zera | AirlineReporter
Let’s just start by saying that, yes, I saw the aurora on the flight, and, yes, it was awesome.
Saga Class is Icelandairâ€™s top-tier cabin service, and is roughly equivalent to business class on other airlines. Check-in and boarding were a breeze. When boarding the aircraft, the 22 Saga-class passengers turn left toward the front of the plane, making it very easy to forget that you donâ€™t have the whole plane to yourself. The accompanying checked-baggage allowance seemed quite generous: two 70-lb. bags per person.
Icelandair shares a lounge with several other smaller airlines in Seattle-Tacoma International Airportâ€™s international terminal (SEA). The lounge is comfortable and clean, if a bitÂ uninspired, but a fine place to wait for your flight. The hot-food options were welcome, and on the day I was there most of the dishes were Asian themed, which are a personal favorite.
The aircraft for the flight to Reykjavik was TF-LLX, aka SkjaldbreiÃ°ur, a 757-200 whichÂ hadnâ€™t yet been through Icelandairâ€™s cabin refresh program. The interior was a tiny bit worn around the edges and had old-style IFE screens, but it was still all very comfortable and clean.Â Icelandair names its aircraft after Icelandic volcanoes, and, withÂ about 130 of the things in the country, it doesn’t appear that they’llÂ run out of names anytime soon.
My trip to Iceland in 2012 – Photo: Katka LapelosovÃ¡
Three years ago, I traveled to Iceland for the first time. It was sort of a spontaneous tripÂ that a friend and I had planned last minute, but it ended up being one ofÂ the bestÂ internationalÂ experiences ever.Â 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 theyâ€™ll have to eat while theyâ€™re there.
BONUS:Â Traveling to Keflavik on an Icelandair Boeing 757
Iceland is a foodieâ€™s dream. Itâ€™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).
The summerâ€™s ever-persistent sun over the Perlan (the Perl), a hot water storage facility turned museum and mall
This is a continued story about AirlineReporter.com visiting Iceland, via Icelandair. Be sure you first check out: Review: Traveling from Seattle to KeflavÃk on an Icelandair Boeing 757Â &Â Why Iceland is Not Just a Stopover, But a Destination â€“ PART 1.
We spent the next day touring the Golden Circle, which took us about 185mi up into central Iceland and back.Â Â The first stop was Gullfoss (the Golden Fall).Â Walking down the path through misty spray reveals the breathtaking two-stage falls.Â Unlike falls in the US, thereâ€™s nothing but a little rope keeping onlookers from wandering too close to the edge. It felt a little dangerous and I liked it!