Jump to content
GBNorman

Who's Flown Icelandic?

Recommended Posts

OK; I've noted around here that United is my "go to airline"; they go non-stop from ORD anywhere I want to go, I know my way around their Terminal 1 as well as several destinations.  While they've taken "a lot of raps" with their customer service of late, "they're just fine" for me.

Now I am thinking about another Salzburg junket this year.  I've done it five years in a row, and come Summer, I need a "fix" for some classical music performed indoors (don't get me going on outdoor concerts).

But it seems like United is "getting greedy" (so is code sharing "partner" Lufthansa) with wanting $4355 during August Business Class ORD-MUC-ORD.  Last year $3203 booked through the same window. That fare hike is simply unacceptable.  OK, I'll let 'em have something; costs a bit more to "gas up", and I'm sure Officers and Attendants have gotten raises (concede; well deserved), but 36%? come on.

Now I've learned that Icelandic offers one stop ORD-KEF-MUC-KEF-ORD, Business Class for $2925; that fare of course is quite acceptable, and I guess I can "put up with" the added stress of connections. But what else am I missing?  They don't seem to have "crash of the month" so I assume they hold a Certificate of Airworthiness (so too do those Defense Department "what's that Airline?" varietals).  I'd guess their In-Flight service is down there with those European flagged discounters.

So, has anyone around here flown 'em; enquiring mind wants to know.

 

Edited by GBNorman
Redundant IATA airport code

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flown Icelandair twice and they offer an excellent product! Both were roundtrips YHZ-KEF-LHR. Could have gone YHZ-LHR non-stop but the flight via KEF was cheaper and besides….we couldn’t resist the stopover in Iceland! Didn't do Business Class ....but Coach was just fine for the two short legs to/fr KEF.

 

Icelandair has been in Halifax for about 20 years now….and has a real niche following here.   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll assume you mean "Icelandair" they've been around a long time. Mostly 757 to the US. The Iceland stopover enabled them to offer pricing better than most others. Check them out on "seatguru.com"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We flew with Icelandair about two years ago from Toronto to Birmingham. I thought it was very nice. We enjoyed flying with them.

Edited by Lakeshore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, GBNorman said:

But what else am I missing?

Saga class is not nearly as nice as Polaris.  It is essentially equivalent to domestic first class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In short, no "lie flat".

A'ha; that's the kick, VTTrain.

Could have figured.

United's Polaris, especially in their new 777-300's and the 772's and 763's they've retrofitted, is a superb product. Flew it for my '17 journey; you really have space that is "myspace", and for people like myself who don't wish to be in anything that could be called a "moshing pit", that privacy is "priceless".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always salute the folk at the front of the plane who pay $3,000+ to fly... It enables my in my mosh pit to get on the same plane for $300.

Thanks folks!

Ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caravan, I don't think "the spread" is that wide - more like 4x, but your point is made.

But for "us", who would never think of overnight Coach on Amtrak, to be spared a "moshing pit" experience, it's priceless. Analogous  to the point is, "no dough, no go". In my case, if I find the "UA/LH Cartel" fare unacceptable, I just don't go.

But, as I noted elsewhere at the Forum, being involuntarily rebooked this past Tuesday into Coach from First "wasn't the end of the world", because a really nice lady was willing to share her time with me. However, anyone who flies knows that cannot be counted upon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, caravanman said:

I always salute the folk at the front of the plane who pay $3,000+ to fly... It enables my in my mosh pit to get on the same plane for $300. Thanks folks! Ed.

I've looked into this before, and so far as I can tell the claim that first/business class routinely subsidizes coach passengers is probably a myth.  For one thing, many first/business class passengers are flying on points bookings and upgrades that bring in even less direct revenue than a coach ticket.  This happens in coach as well but at a lower overall percentage.  From what I've read the weight of a single intercontinental business class recliner is greater than an entire row of coach seats. Which seems to be corroborated with many airlines removing first/business seats and replacing them with more coach rows.

Most premium-only airlines have struggled and eventually failed.  Meanwhile there are more coach-only airlines than you can shake a marshaling wand at.  That's not to say cross-cabin subsidizing doesn't ever occur, and in certain situations it's possible premium revenue does sometimes subsidize coach tickets, but most of the time any subsidizing is probably in the form of freight traffic covering shortfalls in passenger revenue.  Conventional freight shipments can be packed much more efficiently, they don't care about connections, don't require food/drink/restrooms, never complain about the service, and don't expect free tickets or upgrades from a frequent flier club.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Icelandair is one of the airlines that has used convertible seating so unsold 2 x 2 rows can be converted easily to 3 x 3.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

I've looked into this before, and so far as I can tell the claim that first/business class routinely subsidizes coach passengers is probably a myth.  For one thing, many first/business class passengers are flying on points bookings and upgrades that bring in even less direct revenue than a coach ticket.  This happens in coach as well but at a lower overall percentage.  From what I've read the weight of a single intercontinental business class recliner is greater than an entire row of coach seats. Which seems to be corroborated with many airlines removing first/business seats and replacing them with more coach rows.

Most premium-only airlines have struggled and eventually failed.  Meanwhile there are more coach-only airlines than you can shake a marshaling wand at.  That's not to say cross-cabin subsidizing doesn't ever occur, and in certain situations it's possible premium revenue does sometimes subsidize coach tickets, but most of the time any subsidizing is probably in the form of freight traffic covering shortfalls in passenger revenue.  Conventional freight shipments can be packed much more efficiently, they don't care about connections, don't require food/drink/restrooms, never complain about the service, and don't expect free tickets or upgrades from a frequent flier club.

It’s not a myth.  Airlines profit more from business and first class passengers.  The gap has shrunk thanks largely to ancillary fees for coach passengers, but there is still a gap.  

WOW airlines would love to be able to have true business class.  So would Norwegian.  But not many people departing from Newburgh or Providence want a lie-flat business class seat.  Just as most business people don’t want to stop in Iceland.  These airlines recognize that there is only so much demand to go around, and that demand doesn’t fit well with their overall model.  A better example is JetBlue.  Where there is demand, they have fully embraced their Mint product.  This is after having coach-only on those routes.  JetBlue didn’t add Mint so they could make less money.  British Airways could fly all-coach from JFK to London. There is a reason why they don’t.  Meanwhile, WOW is essentially bankrupt and Norwegian is not far behind.

All-business class airlines, such as Eos, have struggled for other reasons.  It’s much harder to fill a plane with all business class seats than a plane with only some seats designated as business class.  It’s also much harder to sell seats on point to point airlines than on an airline that can bring in connecting passengers.  Add to this lousy frequent flier programs, inferior airport lounges, and infrequent schedules and you have a real challenge on your hands.  They also can’t adapt with the state of the economy.  United can add or remove Polaris seats depending on economic conditions.  An all-business class airline can’t.

Which seat is the MOST profitable?  Many people think that it’s this one, which has been embraced by numerous budget airlines: https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-between-class-lifts-carriers-1393968964

Edited by VTTrain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.fodors.com/news/deals/how-to-fly-business-class-to-europe-for-the-cost-of-an-economy-ticket

It appears that there are other options beyond Icelandair for "Biz on the Cheap".

Even if they're still in business come this August, too many "unk-unks" with an outfit like Norwegian.

It appears the French carrier they note that only flies EWR-ORY, has a high level of in-flight service, as well does a friend who has flown 'em. But with only two A-330's to their name, what backup have they got?

All told, I'll just keep checking "the cartel"; maybe they'll get "charitable". But I've gone to the Salzburg Festival five consecutive years, so it's not like missing out on "the trip of a lifetime".

Now there appears to be one little "perk" with United if they operate their ORD-MUC flight with a "Q configured" 772 (traditional non-Polaris) and that is they no longer offer First Class. On their seat map, they show the former First seats open for sale. Whether or not they are actually open, and not saved for "elite" level passengers (I missed Premier for this year by some 450 miles) I know not.

Edited by GBNorman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once read a book about the great wave of immigration at the turn of the 20th century, and the author stated that the steamship companies made their money on steerage passengers.  It makes sense, when you consider that in steerage they crammed, say 12 people in the same space as a first class stateroom, meal service that made the LSL/Cap fresh contemporary look like the finest gourmet cuisine,  no showers, no cleaning up after people who got seasick, and all this for half the price of First Class.  I'm surprised no one thought to run steerage only ocean liners back then.  So much more profitable, and you wouldn't have the hassle of having to pamper and suck up to all those demanding Gilded Age aristocrats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/3/2019 at 7:51 AM, VTTrain said:

It’s not a myth.  Airlines profit more from business and first class passengers.  The gap has shrunk thanks largely to ancillary fees for coach passengers, but there is still a gap...These airlines recognize that there is only so much demand to go around, and that demand doesn’t fit well with their overall model.  A better example is JetBlue.  Where there is demand, they have fully embraced their Mint product.  This is after having coach-only on those routes.  JetBlue didn’t add Mint so they could make less money.  British Airways could fly all-coach from JFK to London. There is a reason why they don’t.  Meanwhile, WOW is essentially bankrupt and Norwegian is not far behind.

I do not doubt that airlines earn more on a premium fare revenue ticket than on a coach fare revenue ticket, but as I already mentioned a significant number of first/business passengers are on points redemption tickets, points redemption upgrades, status upgrades, operational upgrades, and staff upgrades.  First/business class cabins have also been shrinking and some aircraft have few as three or four rows of first class seating.  Meanwhile coach/economy cabins have been growing steadily.  These two issues are correlated and it's quite probable that lack of premium revenue and growing points/status usage is leading to such reductions.  It's entirely possible that first/business fares subsidize coach fares on certain routes that enjoy large numbers of full fare premium revenue purchases and/or guaranteed contract revenue (NYC-LON, SFO-PVG, etc), but the claim that this is a routine situation across most/all flights and routes doesn't hold up to even mild scrutiny.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone is different, and what suits one person is wrong for the next, however, I find the spread of fares to be astonishing...

Looking at American Airlines, London to Chicago March 8th, the lowest fare is £213... On the same plane, the Business class is priced at £5,267... That is just one way! 

Business
5 left at
£5267
  • /cms/global/assets/images/site/icon/ffsbeta/2_Seat.svg
    A spacious seat that converts into a fully flat bed
  • /cms/global/assets/images/site/icon/ffsbeta/4_Checked_baggage.svg
    2 x 32kg / 2 x 70lbs checked bags
  • /cms/global/assets/images/site/icon/ffsbeta/11_Lounge.svg
    Access to private lounges where available
 
   Ed.
 
Edited by caravanman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, caravanman said:

Everyone is different, and what suits one person is wrong for the next, however, I find the spread of fares to be astonishing...Looking at American Airlines, London to Chicago March 8th, the lowest fare is £213... On the same plane, the Business class is priced at £5,267... That is just one way!

My cheapest transpacific flight was a deep discount couch fare that ran $325 each way on AA while my most expensive flight was published at a price just shy of $15,000 each way on CX.  Although looking through the cabin I somewhat doubt anybody actually paid that much.  I know I certainly didn't.  In recent years I've found some first/business class fares around twice the price of premium economy, which I consider to be a reasonable spread.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, MARC Rider said:

I'm surprised no one thought to run steerage only ocean liners back then.  So much more profitable, and you wouldn't have the hassle of having to pamper and suck up to all those demanding Gilded Age aristocrats.

"Steerage only" did become an innovation "after The War" with several steamship companies. There was one outfit named American Banner that was offering passage for $50 in each direction (think $500 today).  Other than "boys slept with boys and girls with girls", the vessel was apparently a troop ship.

Holland America Line (back when they were the Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij, and not a Carnival brand) had the ss. Massdam and Ryndam. Both were maybe 12KGRT and had gender separate "dorms", cash bar (back then the Lines passed on the savings from untaxed alcohol to the passengers, and not the rip-off I understand is prevalent Today), and was pitched to the young.

Oh and finally for myself, the '60 "Family Trip" overseas was "Lizzie" over, "Constitution" back. Any others; guess (both Fore and Aft of "that piece of cloth").

Edited by GBNorman
Additional Content

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

My cheapest transpacific flight was a deep discount couch fare that ran $325 each way on AA while my most expensive flight was published at a price just shy of $15,000 each way on CX.  Although looking through the cabin I somewhat doubt anybody actually paid that much.  I know I certainly didn't.  In recent years I've found some first/business class fares around twice the price of premium economy, which I consider to be a reasonable spread.

I've been pretty shocked at how cheap transatlantic prices can be. I've seen $319 round-trips on a KLM 787 from JFK to Schiphol and back (and that includes meals, checked baggage, seat assignments, and so on). I've also seen similar fares on Air France to Paris and back. That's significantly cheaper than a lot of flights to Florida. :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the fare came down, so I'm going to the Salzburg Festival for the sixth consecutive year. That's about when I need a Summer "Fix" of the only music I've ever known in the 78 years I've been around these parts.

The fare came down from the $4355 I noted opening this topic, to $3653. The hotel seems "about the same".

I have 24hrs to welch, but then I wouldn't have booked if I didn't intend to go on Aug 14.

Edited by GBNorman
Additional Content

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caravan Ed, thanks for giving my immediate a Like.

I know I said my return from MIA "aft of the curtain" worked out thanks mostly,  if not completely, to a wonderful gal who said she was 55yo and was willing to share her time with me. I love her for her kindness.

But I pay what I must to avoid "moshing pits" in this life. If that's  an X-subsidy to those like yourself willing to "put up with it", I'm happy to do my part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently purchased four international business class flights totaling more than 15,000 miles for less than $2,500 all-in.  For that I would like to thank folks like @caravanman who are willing to contort themselves into tiny sardine seats for hours on end so that I can fly up front on a lower fare. ^_^

 

10 hours ago, cpotisch said:

I've been pretty shocked at how cheap transatlantic prices can be. I've seen $319 round-trips on a KLM 787 from JFK to Schiphol and back (and that includes meals, checked baggage, seat assignments, and so on). I've also seen similar fares on Air France to Paris and back. That's significantly cheaper than a lot of flights to Florida. :o

So just under $320 across 7,300 miles at less than $0.05 per mile.  That's very inexpensive but Europe is mainly a summer/shoulder destination from the US.  I wouldn't be surprised if those fares are nearer a thousand dollars or more in July.  Back in the early/mid 2000's Northwest had an off-season return APEX fare to Japan covering 12,800 miles for just shy of $500 at less than $0.04 per mile.  That's the cheapest cost-per-mile published fare I can remember.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

I recently purchased four international business class flights totaling more than 15,000 miles for less than $2,500 all-in.  For that I would like to thank folks like @caravanman who are willing to contort themselves into tiny sardine seats for hours on end so that I can fly up front on a lower fare. ^_^

 

So just under $320 across 7,300 miles at less than $0.05 per mile.  That's very inexpensive but Europe is mainly a summer/shoulder destination from the US.  I wouldn't be surprised if those fares are nearer a thousand dollars or more in July.  Back in the early/mid 2000's Northwest had an off-season return APEX fare to Japan covering 12,800 miles for just shy of $500 at less than $0.04 per mile.  That's the cheapest cost-per-mile published fare I can remember.

Now THAT is a good deal!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, GBNorman said:

I know I said my return from MIA "aft of the curtain" worked out thanks mostly,  if not completely, to a wonderful gal who said she was 55yo and was willing to share her time with me. I love her for her kindness.

Will wonders ever cease? United has now actually refunded me $168 for the class of service involuntary downgrade.

Yes, airlines actually do make refunds - first one I've had post-dereg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GBNorman said:

Will wonders ever cease? United has now actually refunded me $168 for the class of service involuntary downgrade.

Yes, airlines actually do make refunds - first one I've had post-dereg.

I've gotten an automatic refund from United for being downgraded from Economy Plus to regular economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

So just under $320 across 7,300 miles at less than $0.05 per mile.  That's very inexpensive but Europe is mainly a summer/shoulder destination from the US.  I wouldn't be surprised if those fares are nearer a thousand dollars or more in July.  Back in the early/mid 2000's Northwest had an off-season return APEX fare to Japan covering 12,800 miles for just shy of $500 at less than $0.04 per mile.  That's the cheapest cost-per-mile published fare I can remember.

Good fares are still around.  Just yesterday I booked Chicago to Sydney for $540 round trip (and checking just now, fares in that neighborhood are still available on all three alliances), under $0.03 per mile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×