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Flying Iceland Air from Denver, Colorado, USA to Frankfurt Germany

18/07/2013
Looking for the lowest priced fare from Denver to Germany this summer, I decided to give Iceland Air a try. At less than $700 one-way, the price was half that of one-way tickets on the major airlines.

The Germany flight makes a stop-over in Reykjavik Iceland for a quick plane change. In addition to a low fare, flying them was a good excuse to land in a country where I had never been before.

As it turned out, both the flight itself and the airline were great. The flight between Denver and Reykjavik was just six hours (short by international standards). The second flight to Frankfurt DE was only 3.5 hours more. Stretching the legs for an hour in Reykjavik was actually a welcomed break. The seats are soft leather and the airline blankets are soft and fluffy.

The planes were very clean and comfortable. They even moved me into an emergency exit row seat on the first flight, then allowed me to move to that row on the second flight, after I asked. United and Lufthansa will not do that because passengers must pay for the privilege of sitting in these exit rows.

My only “complaint” was that they don’t mention on their website (or perhaps it was because I was not looking for it) that there are no free food or drinks (other than water, coke, tea, etc.) included in the price of the ticket. You must buy your meal and alcohol beverages on the plane or bring the food with you. Had I known that, I would have brought a sandwich from Colorado. Next time, I will know.

Even buying the food was reasonably priced, however, as I got a ham/cheese on baguette … with a small tube of “Pringles” for €7. Little wines were €5 each… so the entire “meal” cost me €17… That’s not bad… but I still would have preferred to bring my own food. I’ll do that next time.

They also charge for headphones. I thought I would use my own, but for some reason they didn’t work on the plane… The flight attendant ending up giving me a pair for free (another “plus” on the scorecard.)

The phones they gave me are comfortable “in ear” models and come in a little zipper case… So I’ll save them to use again. There was a wide range of movies, TV, documentaries, music, etc. from which to choose. (Once you have headphones, the entertainment is free.)

A guy sitting in my same row on the first flight was on his way to Paris for the wedding of a friend. He was spending 3 days in Reykjavik before flying on to Paris. According to him, the airline allows passengers to spend up to a week in Reykjavik before continuing their journeys, at no extra charge. He didn’t know for sure, however, if this is the airline’s normal policy or if it was a special promotion. That’s something worth checking out for the future. What better way to explore an interesting city at no extra charge (excluding food/lodging, of course)?

Iceland reminds me very much of Alaska with its heavy overcast skies and a very cool temperatures. I think it was only 7C or so outside when we walked across the tarmac to the plane.

Like Alaska, Reykjavik has long summer nights. In fact, the sun did not entirely set as we flew there. Instead, there was a long beautiful “red sunset/dawn” outside the aircraft windows as we approached Reykjavik. I’ve seen this type of sky many times in Alaska. It was pleasantly deja-vu-ish to see it again.

They do stamp your passport when you arrive in Iceland… so now I can officially say I have been to Iceland!

I would highly recommend this airline for anyone looking for a reasonable fare from certain US cities to Europe. The price is good, the service excellent, and the adventure factor is there too.

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The beautiful “red sunset/dawn” outside the aircraft windows as we approached Reykjavik.

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The heavy low-lying clouds and cool temperatures are very “Alaska-esk”.

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There is a good reason most people were wearing coats. Although it was 17 July, it was only about 7 C outside.

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The authorities in Reykjavik stamp your passport even if it just to switch planes, proving you have been to Iceland.

The authorities in Reykjavik stamp your passport even if you are just switching planes, proving you have been to Iceland.

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