Iceland Air Saga (business) class IAD - KEF - AMS August 2012

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  1. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    (FI) Iceland Air Saga (business) class IAD - KEF - AMS August 2012

    Last November I booked this trip using Alaska Airlines miles to go to AMS in August 2012 with a three day stopover in KEF on the return. As it came close to departure I learned that there are nearly zero trip reports of Iceland Air Saga class, other than a few random comments on places like tripadvisor.com and airlines.net indicating that its a tad better than domestic two class business/first products. I knew that the seat was not lay flat, but could not determine if amenity kits were provided and the type of headphones offered.
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    Lounges
    The IAD route utilized the AirFrance departure lounge for both Saga and Economy Confort class which is a very decent smaller lounge with light snacks such as cheese, sandwiches and some smaller deserts. For detailed lounge locations see: http://www.Icelandair.us/information/at-the-airport/lounges/. Iceland Air departs from the gate next to the lounge.

    The KEF airport features Iceland Air's signature Saga Lounge, that was a decent lounge with the usual drinks plus two types of Icelandic beer and one european beer, plus in a cooler they had the Icelandic Brennivín. In the morning they had pastries, Skyr (national yogurt like product), some sort of headcheese like product on a toast and other snacks. FYI: drinks are expensive in Iceland and it appeared common for younger business travelers to load a few beers in their carryon... On our return for a 4 PM flight the lounge had some small sandwiches, trays of sushi from a store that was consistently restocked (quality was so-so but it was tasty...), soup (good), some sort of Skyr based desert tube, cheese and the headcheese like product on a toast. Overall I found this lounge very good, on par or better than the AirFrance lounge at IAD.
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    The AMS lounge is an unimpressive contract lounge "Servisair Executive lounge 20", hot food consisted of a watery soup, there are two beer taps that were marked out of order. Maybe because it was around noon? It still was a bit better than a domestic lounge, but nothing to get excited about.

    Water
    Everyone is offered a bottle of Icelandic water well boarding the plane, additionally all Saga class passagers had water at their seats. Additional water was readily available in Saga Class

    Seat/IEF
    The seats are large and spacious with a six plus inch armrest and drink try between seats. The seat spacing makes it difficult for couples to unitize each other's shoulders for sleeping, but would provide ample division between random passengers. Although the seats are not lay flat they do have a good bit of room, retractable foot rest in the seat in front, and are comfortable.
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    The IEF is a touch screen in the seat infront, it had maybe 5 fairly current blockbusters (This Means War, Hunger Games), about 25 or so older classics (Titanic, Rockanrolla (2008 - UK Gangsters)), a few Icelandic movies and shorts. It also had some TV shows, information on Iceland and a traditional detailed flight path tracking map.

    We were provided with generic noise canceling headphones on the IAD - KEF - IAD routes - however you must be careful they may pass out the non noise canceling version - ask for the better version. On the KEF AMS routes we were provided with basic non noise canceling headphones.

    Amenity Kit
    Flights from the US feature an amenity kit in a nice fairly large zippered bag. The bag will become my genearl purpose toiletry bag since its much larger than an old Northwest domestic bag, 2011 AirFrance business class and 2010 CX first class bags. The contents were a pair of socks, an eyeshade, ear plugs, full sized toothbrush and teeny toothpaste and three Soley Organics products.

    The Soley Organics products were a reviving moister mist, facial moisture, and organic healing cream, all with wild Icelandic herbs.

    I found these Soley Organics personal products to be quite nice, mostly due to the uniqueness of being from Iceland and being made from Icelandic herbs. They have a nice smell and were something I wanted to use on the plane. I don't use these products at home so I'll probably only continue to use the organic healing cream which seems to be usable as a lip balm.
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  2. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Food
    Flights from the US have three entree options - with one being a quick meal that was a bento box, the KEF to Europe flights offer two entrees. We did not try the quick meal. All meals were served on a try with entree still covered by foil with a roll. The KEF - AMS flights had two meal options which seemed to be of the same quality as the US flights.

    The wine list generally had two whites and two reads, plus a sparkling wine. The FA generally was not aware of the wine and had to poke around on the label to figure out which bottel was the one you requested.

    Regarding the food we were happy, it much more tasty than a domestic meal and we always were full after the lounge visit and the onboard meal. On our flights we tried breakfast pancake, lamb, beef and salmon, all were good. On one flight both of us ordered the beef, one was very well done and the other fairly rare. On the IAD - KEF - IAD flights a warm nuts mix was served.

    Of note on IAD - KEF a breakfast was served pre landing, on the return trip only orange juice as offered prior to landing at IAD (~8PM)

    Warm Nuts (IAD - KEF)
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    Wine Menu (IAD - KEF)
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    Food Menu (IAD - KEF)
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    Lamb (IAD - KEF)
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    Salmon (IAD - KEF)
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    Pancake (IAD - KEF)
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    Pre dinner stack (KEF - IAD)
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  3. LXJenkins
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    LXJenkins Silver Member

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    Would you choose to fly Icelandair again?
     
  4. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Yes.

    For cash, if the price was competitive, I'd try economy comfort since you may get the same seat, a tad less service, different food, but still get meals, non-hard alcohol drinks, and lounge access.

    I paid 100k miles for AirFrance business class last year and 80k for Saga class this year. AirFrance has better seats and a better route map, but unless miles are no option Saga class is still good.

    The option to do a KEF stop over great and something that you'll only get on Iceland Air.
     
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Saga, not Sega.
     
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  6. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    I was about to ask whether Sonic the Hedgehog serves your drinks in Sega Class.
     
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  7. SOLTATIO

    SOLTATIO Silver Member

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    Nice to see a trip report different than the usual SQ/TG/LH. Good pics too. I'd just love to redeem on Icelandair for flights to Nuuk, Greenland as I think it would be amazing. Wonder what the reward space is like for that?
     
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  8. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    You might need to buy a ticket from KEF (well not KEF but rather the domestic airport). Down town we constantly saw smaller turbo prop planes flying in to the city airport.

    I doubt that AS has Greenland built into their partner redemption table, unless you could get an agent to agree/think that it's a domestic Iceland destination?
     
  9. kywhiskey

    kywhiskey New Member

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    Hi there. was wondering if the bulk head seats in Saga Class in row 2 C & D were the best seats to get. I generally don't like bulk head seats because I am tall and usually can't stretch my legs out, but someone posted a review online stating these were the best seats so was wondering your thoughts and if you noticed these seats having a more than normal leg room for bulk head seats. Thanks!
     
  10. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    I did not, but seatguru does show it as best
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Icelandair/Icelandair_Boeing_757-200.php
     

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