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

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IMG_1480Newspapers were offered to passengers, but by the time I boarded, flight attendants had already made their run. Offered separately were water or champagne and noise-canceling headphones.

After takeoff, the legroom seemed much more spacious because my carryon bag could be moved to the side giving me full leg room. There was even a pull out tray for drinks and an electrical outlet to charge laptops or mobile phones.  On my flight headed to Iceland, attractive fabric kits were packed with L’Occitane toiletries and worthy of keeping.

IN-FLIGHT SERVICE

Takeoff was within five minutes of pushback, and once in the air, drinks were again offered. I opted for champagne, which was served in an individual split of generous proportion with a salty and sweet selection of nuts and granola. By the time I had lazily finished my drink a tray of pre-meal snacks, comprised of open-faced sandwiches, arrived. Refills of drinks were also offered.

IMG_1488It was strange that printed menus were distributed only after the cocktail service because passengers did not know what drinks were available, but perhaps it was a way of creating a leisurely service. I spent an extremely productive hour with my laptop while sipping my drink and dining on the pre-meal snacks, if you are a business traveler, this is a much better practice than dishing out meals in a two-hour service seconds from takeoff On daylight flights, this gives everyone a chance to work, relax, enjoy their experience, and still have time to nap.

Soon thereafter, menus were passed out describing the appetizer, three choices of main courses and dessert. I opted for the Icelandic shoulder of lamb, which was delicious, well cooked, and served with sweet potatoes. The Icelandic rye bread was amazing, but the chocolate mousse was the real highlight.

ARRIVAL

There is no pre-arrival meal on shorter flights from Iceland to the East Coast, but it was hard to be hungry since the meal service was well-timed with the dinner hour in Iceland (takeoff was around 5:15pm). Flight attendants walked through the cabin with regularity delivering (and replacing) large bottles of water and offering drinks.

BOTTOM LINE

Icelandair is a delightful niche airline carrying passengers from North America to Europe with value-based fares (often much less than other carriers) and connecting through Europe’s most efficient hub (walks between gates can be less than a minute!).

Since flights arrive and depart almost in what could be termed as waves, handling the passenger traffic is a well-practiced art that staffers seem to know well. Saga Business Class is a top-notch product delivering exceptional value for shorter transatlantic flights and in-flight service is better than the likes of many U.S. and European carriers. No clattering economy class-style carts in business class, and chef-crafted Icelandic meals individually served from the galley with wine flowing with abandon, make this a business class worth paying for whether on vacation or business.

 

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