Great Icelandair Business Class Transatlantic Fares

Filed Under: Flight Deals, Great Deals

As noted by Frequent Miler, Icelandair has some fantastic business class fares for travel between various points in the US and various points in Europe for this upcoming fall and winter. Obviously there’s a lot of uncertainty, but this is at least worth being aware of.

Icelandair’s great business class fares

Icealndair has roundtrip transatlantic business class fares in the range of $850 to $1,100 for travel later this year and early next year:

  • These fares are valid for travel between October 1, 2020, and February 18, 2021
  • There’s no minimum stay requirement
  • Availability is pretty wide open
  • These fares are available from a variety of US cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Washington
  • These fares are available to a variety of European cities, including Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Oslo, Paris, and Stockholm
  • There are similarly good fares originating in Europe for travel to North America

The amazing value of a free stopover

The real reason to consider these fares isn’t because they’re cheap as such, but rather because Icelandair allows a free stopover in Iceland on a roundtrip ticket. This is a way to experience Iceland for several days while enroute to a city in Europe.

For example, taking the same fare as above, you can choose to have a stopover in Keflavik between Boston and Helsinki on either the outbound or return, and all you have to pay is the additional airport fees.

This is the real reason that great Icelandair fares are so noteworthy.

Earning miles on Icelandair

If you’re looking to earn miles for your Icelandair flight, the best option is to credit to Alaska Mileage Plan. These fares book into the “A” fare class:

  • This earns 125% elite qualifying and redeemable miles
  • Mileage Plan elite members earn anywhere from a 50% to 125% mileage bonus
  • Through December 31, 2020, Alaska is offering a minimum of 10,000 miles per partner ticket, though most people should reach that threshold anyway

A warning about Icelandair business class

Even though Icelandair’s premium product (“Saga Class”) is called business class, expect it to be more like premium economy on other airlines. These aren’t fully flat beds, but rather are seats similar to what you might find in domestic first class.

As a result you’ll want to manage your expectations. Consider this deal either if you really want to earn Alaska miles, or if you want a stopover in Iceland.

Icelandair’s Saga Class seats on the 757

No one knows the border situation in the future

Lastly I think it’s worth noting the obvious caveat that no one knows how the current pandemic will evolve, and which borders will be open in the future. That’s why I’d generally shy away from this deal, unless you have specific plans to visit Iceland, and/or unless you have specific reasons to travel between a North American and European city.

The good news is that Icelandair has a flexible booking policy at the moment. If you book your ticket by September 30, 2020, with a departure date up to September 30, 2021, you’ll be able to change your dates of travel without paying a change fee (though a fare difference may still apply).

Bottom line

Icelandair has some great business class fares between the US and Europe at the moment, which allow a free stopover in Iceland. Unfortunately these fares are only valid for travel later this year, and unfortunately there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the future.

Nonetheless I think they’re good enough to at least pass on, and everyone can decide for themselves if these deals make sense…

Anyone plan to take advantage of these great Icelandair business class fares?

  1. Oh, look, they’re flying the 737MAX on the Iceland-Europe legs!

    Even if the 737MAX stays grounded through the remainder of the year, we don’t know when it will be certified as airworthy again, so no thank you.

  2. Not mentioning the risk of having 737MAX on the schedule.
    Safety conspiracy aside, you risk a schedule or airport change due to groundings and reduced fleet size. In other words, they might not be flying to whatever city you intend at all.

  3. Uhm, Icelandair will have plenty of slack in the 757 fleet this year. They have cut a number of cities, and winter they sub-lease out their fleet to others anyway (like Cabo Verde)

    So, the last thing I would worry about is MX or schedule swap.

    I’m booked on Saga Class R/T a PDX-KEF in July. Got a good price, but not this good.
    Flight has been cancelled, and they aren’t evening serving PDX this year, but, imagine I’ll route through SEA and call it a win.

    Hooray for EQMs on Alaska!

  4. Also a fair warning, I got one tix on this fare in January before everything started, and when I had to change my flights in March, I was slammed with fare difference 2 to 3 times of the original fare, since the sale was pulled a long time ago and they kept the fares sky high until EOS. My flight was still flying but the border was already closed, but FI told me it was my responsibility to make sure I could go at the point of booking. (Like I would know the world would come to a halt in January! What a joke!) It seems to be FI’s strategy now, run a sale and get a round of funds first, and then when it is time to change, you have to pay nearly the full fare or give them free money. So unless you are absolutely certain that you can go to the place at that particular date, be prepared to shell out approximately 1000USD one way or 2000USD roundtrip.

  5. Icelandair business class sucks, the seats suck, the food sucks, the cabin sucks. The only 2 positives: friendly flight attendants and the Saga lounge at KEF is very good. Tickets should always be between $1000 and $1200.

  6. Icelandair business class last year was truly the most uncomfortable overnight flight I have had in decades. Wish they’d change to daytime flights, where it would be barely tolerable.

  7. Unless they install reverse herringbone seat for overnight business class from Seattle to Reykjavik, no thanks. I’ll take BA to heathrow then backtrack to Reykjavik.

  8. Beyond me that they have managed to retain the same Saga Class seating since my list flight 10 years ago.

  9. We went to Iceland in January (really). The flight actually wasn’t bad, but we were delayed on the return due to weather. Go figure. They offered compensation in the form of paying for our hotel room. Unfortunately they have been dragging their feet on this, and we still haven’t received it, plus the amount they are willing to pay is something like half of what was promised. Meanwhile, Hyatt paid us for the room we missed on the connection, even though we didn’t know we would be delayed until well within the cancellation window.

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