I want to go to Iceland

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by serion, May 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. serion

    serion Silver Member

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    Is my best option to transfer points to Alaska and use them to book an Icelandair flight? I only have about 90k Membership reward points and I need two tickets. Any other programs that transfer into Alaska? Or anyone have a better idea?

    Thanks!
     
  2. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    Are you talking about AMEX Membership Rewards? I do not believe they transfer into AS (Alaska) miles. SPG points do transfer into AS miles, though...

    I believe that Alaska (AS) is the only North American partner of Icelandair (FI). However, DL flies seasonally via JFK, and you can get there via Europe (SAS flies via OSL if you have points in a *A program). There are also a few Low Cost Carriers (such as Iceland Express) that fly between London (like Stansted at Gatwick) and Iceland (KEF). So you could use to miles to fly to London then buy a cheap ticket onward to KEF.

    EDIT: While you're in Iceland, be sure to stop by the Blue Lagoon by the airport - it's a spa with a pretty awesome hot springs pool
     
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  3. MileMonster

    MileMonster Silver Member

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    If you can't seem to find any award tickets try flying Easyjet from London. They just added new service. We are going to try and do a week there next year along with 2 weeks in Ireland.
     
  4. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    Make sure you visit the Blue Lagoon!
     
  5. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    You may be able to book a ticket onward to somewhere else with a stopover of some length in Iceland, and thus get two vacations in one.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Last year, the DL KEF service wasn't considered to be very attractive. IIRC it used an old narrow-body aircraft. I think DL threw a lot of bonus miles to those who tried this new route, but ultimately it was cancelled early.
     
  7. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I believe the majority of FI's aircraft are 757s as well. I'm not sure if there's anything bigger flying to KEF. Unless SAS flies a widebody from OSL...

    If a widebody is considered desirable, then your best bet is to fly to London first. The LON-KEF flight will be on a narrowbody (possibly even a 737), and you will most likely have to transit from LHR to LGW or LTN.
     
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  8. progapanda

    progapanda Silver Member

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    Oneworld carrier Air Berlin flies to Keflavik from a number of German cities. You may redeem BA Avios on Air Berlin and until May 31, each Amex MR can be transferred to 1.5 Avios.

    Perhaps consider transferring enough points to Aeroplan for a YQ-free UA flight to Berlin, and use Avios on Air Berlin for the rest?

    You could even use Avios the whole way, but that will likely involve hefty YQ surcharges.
     
  9. cliburn
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    cliburn Gold Member

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    DL has some pretty reasonable fares to KEF.
    Iceland is a pretty cool place.
     
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  10. serion

    serion Silver Member

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    You're right, I don't know what I was thinking -- Amex membership reward points don't transfer to Alaska miles. I did check out Delta. But as one might expect, there wasn't any low availibility out of JFK to KEF for the months they service that route (Jun-Aug). Maybe I can burn some US Airways or American miles to get to London and fly from there as many have suggested.
     
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  11. serion

    serion Silver Member

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    DL is currently flying a 757 Jun-Aug five days a week. There are no low availability awards to be had and a paid coach ticket is around $900 from ATL.
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    When I looked into it a few months ago, I saw the same. I thought it might be a good way to offload my Delta miles that I have been holding on to for years...
     
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  13. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    DL tends to open low level awards very close to the travel date, so if you can go at the last minute, it could work very well.

    Does DL charge this as a TATL award ticket? If so, the distance and location makes it seem like a ripoff.
     
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  14. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    If you're set on Iceland, points or no points, I'd just go with Icelandair. You haven't said where you're leaving from, but I assume it's an East coast gateway city with Icelandair service.

    They fly 757s with decent IFE and the fares are often quite reasonable. You can also find packages that include hotel and sometimes tours through their website.

    I looked into the Delta flight when it was running and it suffered from the following problem. The local airline (Icelandair) flies from the US overnight and you get in early morning. The same planes then fly somewhere else in their network and at some point in the late afternoon, the flights to the US leave, arriving in the US in time to turn around and do the overnight run back to Iceland. So you get a full day on arrival and a pretty good day on the return too - enough time for a 1/2 day tour of the Reykjanes peninsula culminating with the Blue Lagoon.

    I don't remember exactly when Delta flew, but they timed it so that their plane (which had nowhere else to go) turned around less than 2 hours after it arrived. So whichever it was - you'd either arrive bright and early, but then have to leave in the morning too, or you'd first arrive late afternoon - either way, you lost one day of touring compared to Icelandair for the same number of hotel nights. And there are a number of hotels in Reykjavik that allow travelers from the US to check in at 8 AM the day of arrival.
     
  15. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    And the flights are short enough (<5 hrs from JFK, a bit longer on the return) that I wouldn't get too worked up about premium class vs. steerage...
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I don't recall what they charge. And I am looking forward to the day where I have the flexibility, work/vacation-wise, that I can take advantage of short-notice award availability.
     
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  17. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Given the distance, DL should treat this flight like Hawaii and allow upgrades from H Q K fares with miles or SWUs. I'd love to go, but not at an exorbitant fare for a 757.
     
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  18. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    Yes, the Blue Lagoon is a must see tourist location. But be sure to get out of Reykjavik. It took me two weeks to (fairly-quickly) curcuit the island. If you don't have a lot of time, still try to make the day-trip out to Heimaey Island, where the islanders saved their harbor from a volcano in the 1970s.
     
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  19. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    I'd argue Iceland is darn hot too!
     
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  20. MrAOK
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    MrAOK Silver Member

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  21. serion

    serion Silver Member

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  22. serion

    serion Silver Member

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    We plan to rent a car and drive around the island as well. When is the best time of the year to go? I want to see the aurora borealis, so I know summer is out. But I also don't want to be driving around in 6 feet of snow! lol
     
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  23. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    We went in early June and it was spectacular! Plenty warm. However, we camped most of the time (it was a group of geologists) so the persistent dusk through the night was annoying. Also, coming out of a Reykjavik bar in the middle of the night "mildly" intoxicated is very disorienting. I would avoid the darkest months but you should be OK from spring equinox to fall equinox.

    The ring road is essentially paved the entire way around; although we did find a few primitive sections with gravel. But certainly four-wheel drive is not required unless you cut through the interior.
     
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  24. MSPeconomist
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    I'm so jealous.
     
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  25. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    And it was when at the U so it was a bunch of Minnesotan geologists! ;)
     

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