Icelandair Saga Business Class Flight 645 Reykjavik, Iceland-Washington Dulles – Review

By Ramsey Qubein on 6 June 2013
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Icelandair operates from ten gateways in the U.S. and an even greater number of European destinations IMG_1482making Reykjavik Airport (or, in Icelandic, Reykjavíkurflugvöllur) an efficient transit hub and a long-standing carrier of travelers between North America and Europe. All of the aircraft in its fleet of Boeing 757s are equipped with spacious business class cabins that resemble domestic U.S. first class cabins.

Services, however, are more akin to those of international carriers, and start at check-in with dedicated counters that speed the process along. Icelandair is also a pioneer in online and mobile check-in with kiosks at hotels in town and at the airport. Security lines at the airport are run most efficiently and don’t appear to significantly impact the passenger flow.

Icelandair has a history of facilitating tourism growth by having been for decades the sole means of access by tourists to this island nation. It offers free stopovers, something no other European airline offers at such a low price. Even its Saga Business Class is priced affordably making it a strong favorite of business travelers who have to cover their own travel expenses.


Prior to boarding, I stopped in the Icelandair Saga Class lounge, where I found a relaxed and quiet atmosphere and a wonderful array of food including cold cuts, cheese, and an assortment of fresh breads and rolls, as well as a wide choice of beverages.

Buffet, Saga Class lounge, Reykjavik Airport

Buffet, Saga Class lounge, Reykjavik Airport

Boarding for the Dulles flight (Icelandair 645) was quickly accomplished, but had a long line as did all flights departing to North America at that time. Within minutes, I was scanned through the boarding lane with my Internet-printed boarding pass and on board the aircraft.


There are no flat beds on Icelandair planes, but they are unnecessary on average flights lasting between four and six hours (its new Anchorage flight clocks in at around seven hours and Seattle is the longest at almost eight). Coming soon is wireless Internet access on all flights and it will be free in business class.

Business-class seats are in a 2-2 configuration with 40” of pitch.  Each seat has an electrical outlet and passengers receive noise-cancelling headphones.

All passengers are treated to a bottle of Icelandair’s own mineral water upon boarding. Still, waiting at my seat, was another bottle of local water as well as a thick duvets (wrapped in plastic) accompanied by an attractive pillow.

The leg room is compact, but not any less than domestic U.S. first class. One big extra is a leg rest, and the large, adjustable in-flight entertainment system that seems to have more TV programs and movies than any U.S. airline. Entertainment aficionados will find this to be a major draw.

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