This was my first international journey using Icelandair and I wasn’t terribly impressed. Had you asked me this afternoon I would have said “worst experience ever” but that was definitely exhaustion talking.
They did a fine job of getting us all loaded up and ready for departure. When it came time to close the doors there was an issue with the sensor. Not something you want to hear when youre already concerned about a tight connection but within about 30 the issue was resolved and we were on our way.
I’d had an early lunch so I was pretty excited when the food trolleys rolled out. What I did not realize is you have to pay for a meal. I can’t recall a time when I’ve paid for a meal on an international flight. The prices were a bit shocking considering what was being offered. When my turn came, my meal of choice was unavailable. Annoying but not the end of the world. Besides, I had a bag full of snacks if I got desperate.
I could whine about the entertainment options but it doesn’t matter much to me. I usually plug in some tunes and hope to sleep the duration.
We arrived as expected to Reykjavik, Iceland. They politely asked the locals to let passengers with connecting flight to disembark first. With just 15 minutes before my flight to London was due to depart I rushed to the gate to find it empty. Surely they did not let that plane leave without me?!
I walked back to the terminal and asked the nearest airport personnel what was happening. Turns out I missed the part of the screen that showed the flight was delayed 45 minutes. Again, better than the alternative.
The time came for us to board our plane. We all lined up to get our boarding passed checked then gathered in a room. Once the room was full we were shown to a bus that hauled us out to the tarmac where the plane awaited. The driver pulls around the wrong side of the plan, brakes abruptly, then puts it in reverse tossing people and bags around a bit. We pull around to the proper side of the plane where he leaves us in the bus to converse with a flight attendant for quite some time. I look around and see I’m not the only one annoyed by this and feel ok about my level of impatience. We are finally released from the bus and directed to our seats. We wait for the other half of the passengers to be bused in and seated. An announcement was made we would be delayed waiting for connecting passengers from a delayed flight. We wait, they arrive and take their seats. Another annoucement, they can’t get the door at the front of the cabin closed and have to call maintenance. Great, another plane with a door issue. The mechanic shows up and pretty quickly fixes the issue. Yay! It has been over 2 hours at this point. Captain announces we’ll be on our way shortly. Some time passes, another announcement. “Due to a short staff in air traffic control we will be delayed a bit longer.” What can you do? There is a strike and some poor individual (or several) doing the best they can to keep things moving along. Another half hour passes and the announcement comes (yes, I’m starting to wince when I hear the PA), we are on our way!
There was a little traffic once we got to Gatwick that delayed us some more. All told 13 hour on a plane and I was over it! I was just so thankful to be off that plane.