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Trip Report: Icelandair Saga Premium from Copenhagen to Iceland

We flew in Saga Premium on a European hop from Copenhagen to Icelandair's hub at Reykjavik/Keflavik.

The Rolls Royce engines on the Boeing 757 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Icelandair serves many destinations in North America, and even more in Europe. The airline offers an extensive stopover program that allows people the chance to fly from Europe to North America (or vice versa) on board Icelandair with a stop in their home country.

These stopovers can last anywhere from a couple of hours or as much as a week at no extra cost. Given that I was in Europe and needed to get to Minneapolis, I decided to test out just how easy a short connection in their home country would be.

Day of the Trip

My flight was scheduled to leave Copenhagen, Denmark’s main airport just after 2 p.m., but given it was an international flight I decided to get to the airport three hours ahead of the scheduled departure time which proved to be way too much time.

The lobby of Copenhagen Kastrup (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

I made it through security in no time, with my ticket being in Icelandair’s forward cabin called ‘Saga Premium’, which came with lounge access. Given my short connection in Reykjavik/Keflavik, I was not able to stop at the lounge in Iceland which is too bad as I have seen pictures and it does look amazing. However, I was able to use the SAS Lounge in Copenhagen, which is the partner lounge at this airport for Icelandair passengers.

The SAS lounge in Copenhagen that Icelandair premium passengers get access to (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

I knew that there would be food on the plane, so I ate light and got some bread with cheese, along with some tomatoes. I spent about an hour in the lounge charging up my phone and relaxing before heading to the gate for my flight.

The food in the SAS lounge in Copenhagen (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

It wasn’t long before my aircraft pulled into the gate, a Boeing 757-200 that was delivered directly to Icelandair in 2001 and carried the registration of TF-FIV. The aircraft is named Katla, which is an active volcano located in southern Iceland.

My aircraft ‘Katla’ for the flight up to Iceland (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

My seat was 5A in the previously mentioned Saga Premium cabin, despite this plane being over 20 years old, the cabin looked new and recently updated and the seats and cabin are nearly identical to their newer Boeing 737 MAX. waiting at my seat was a pillow and Icelandic water, there were also headphones for us to borrow.

My seat 5A in ‘Saga Premium’ (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Once the jetbridge pulled back, it gave way to a beautiful view of the mighty Rolls Royce engines on this 757.

The wonderful engine view from my seat (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

It was a quick taxi out to the runway and we rocketed into the skies out of Copenhagen. Given this aircraft can make flights up to seven hours, this three-hour hop up to Iceland was no problem. The video of the takeoff can be found at the bottom of this article.

Taking off out of Copenhagen onboard Icelandair (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

The entire cabin screams Iceland, from the water bottles and even the sick bags which have cool facts about Iceland on the back of them. The seats have plugs in between them that can handle not only the European type C plug but also the North American plug among others.

They then passed out the menus for the meal, and we could choose from a hot or a cold meal option, along with the other pre-lunch snacks listed as well as the drink options.

The first thing to come out was just 30 minutes after takeoff, a small bowl of cheese bread along with a drink of choice which for me was sparkling apple cider.

The Cheese bread they served us before the main meal (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

The Boeing 757 has really good performance, especially on shorter flights like this, making the climb up to our 38,000 feet (11,582.40 meters) cruising altitude quick and painless.

About an hour after takeoff lunch was served, and I chose the cold meal option. The meal consisted of Morrocan chicken with pickles red onion and wasabi dressing, bread with whipped butter and Icelandic sea salt as a side, and basque-style San Sebastian cheesecake as dessert.

The lunch served on my Copenhagen to Iceland flight (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

I settled in to watch a quick movie, as by this point in the flight it wasn’t long enough for a full two-hour movie. The views going up to Iceland consisted mostly of water and clouds as it was only the ocean below us.

At our cruising altitude over the ocean (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

About 30 minutes after the food came out and I was deep into my movie, they brought out a small tray of chocolate, with each one having the name of an Icelandair aircraft and Icelandic landmark with its silhouette on the wrapper.

The tray of Chocolate they brought out with Icelandic landmarks on them (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Even though it was only open ocean, I still looked outside every 20 minutes or so, as that is the best part about being by the window… the views out the world below.

Roughly an hour before landing they came around with more, but a different, kind of chocolate. It was in a very cool-looking blue box, and it kinda was designed to look like waves and icecaps and was artisanal.

The Artisanal chocolate they brought around closer to landing (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Not long after that, we passed over Katla, the landmark this aircraft was named after. Due to clouds, we couldn’t see the peak of it, but we were able to see the base which was still pretty cool as it’s not often I fly over an aircraft namesake.

The base of Katla, the volcano this aircraft is named after (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

By this point in the flight we had already begun to descend into Reykjavik. The scenery going into Iceland was beautiful despite the clouds that surrounded the island and the mountains. We made a straight-in approach from the east and didn’t make any sharp turns going into Reykjavik/Keflavik.

On approach to Reykjavik/Keflavik (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

The landing was nice and smooth and the local time was just about 3:30 p.m., after just over three hours of flight time from Copenhagen. Given the way Icelandair’s arrival and departure banks are set up, they have a flight coming in from every European destination they serve at virtually the same time and then an hour and a half later they all leave again to North America.

Reykjavik/Keflavik’s international terminal is not big enough to park every single flight at a gate when they all arrive at nearly the same time, meaning there is a large number of remote parking spaces that have busses to come to the terminal.

Deplaning onto the ramp at Reykjavik/Keflavik Intl. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

With us deplaning onto the ramp, that gave passengers an up close and personal encounter with the Roll Royce engines which glimmer yellow under the sunlight.

It was a wonderful flight from Denmark and the crew was fantastic. The meal was also really good and very well put together, and I loved all of the chocolate they served along the way too.

From here I had just over an hour and a half before my flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul in the United States. Despite going from one country to another country, and transiting to a third country, my connection time was more than enough and almost too much. This main international airport in Iceland is set up so well for transiting customers, even when Icelandair has all of their European flights landing at virtually the same time, it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes or so to get to customs.

Taking off from Reykjavik/Keflavik bound for Minneapolis/St. Paul (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

My next Icelandair flight to Minneapolis will be in a different article and video that will be posted at a later date. A video of this flight from Copenhagen to Reykjavik/Keflavik can be found below.

 Editor’s Note: Icelandair provided AirlineGeeks with a seat on this flight, but this trip report is an objective portrayal of the events and is in no way swayed by that aspect.

Joey Gerardi
Latest posts by Joey Gerardi (see all)

Author

  • Joey Gerardi

    Joe has always been interested in planes, for as long as he can remember. He grew up in Central New York during the early 2000s when US Airways Express turboprops ruled the skies. Being from a non-aviation family made it harder for him to be around planes and would only spend about three hours a month at the airport. He was so excited when he could drive by himself and the first thing he did with the license was get ice cream and go plane spotting for the entire day. When he has the time (and money) he likes to take spotting trips to any location worth a visit. He’s currently enrolled at Western Michigan University earning a degree in Aviation Management and Operations.

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