Icelandair 757-200 Saga Class YVR-KEF

Icelandair 757-200 Saga Class YVR-KEF

Last fall I won a contest with Icelandair for two round trip tickets.  In reality, I received two $1,000 certificates for use on Icelandair.  These could be used for either two tickets under $1,000 each or one ticket under $2,000.  If the cost was more than the amount of the certificate you could pay the extra, but if it was less (as in my case), I would lose the remaining value.

Flights from Vancouver to Amsterdam (as well as Paris) were under $2,000 roundtrip in Saga Class (their version of Business Class) for the summer.  Traveling out of Seattle would be twice the cost of Vancouver, so it was an easy choice.  The certificates covered the $1,432 fare but I had to pay $314 in taxes/fees as the certificates didn’t cover any taxes.  The remaining $568 value of the certificates was forfeited.

In Vancouver, Saga passengers have access to the Premium Plaza Lounge.  It is also accessible if you have a Priority Pass.  It isn’t an impressive lounge, and I would suggest spending time at the SkyTeam Lounge (also accessible for those with Priority Pass).

The plane was a bit late arriving from KEF, so our departure was pushed back just about 20 minutes.  Saga Class boarded first.  The single jet bridge connected to the second door (a few rows into Economy), so upon entering the plane, Saga passengers turned left to their seats.

I was in seat 2A.  Saga Class on the 757 is a 2×2 configuration.  The seats are very similar to domestic First Class on most US carriers.  Essentially they are a Premium Economy Class seat that you would find on most international flights.

The seats recline a bit more than Alaska Airlines First Class seats — no where near lie flat.  They do have a foot rest that helps a bit to be able to adjust throughout the flight.

Attached to the seat ahead is a large in flight entertainment touch screen.  In row 1, this comes out of the armrest and is smaller.  Overall, it is best to avoid row 1.  In fact, on my flight row 1 remained empty until very close to departure when other passengers were upgraded.

The in flight entertainment is extremely limited.  I believe there were about 50 movies, none of which were brand new releases.  All could be rented via iTunes or found on Netflix at home.

Wifi is free for Saga Class passengers and is reasonably fast.  I got speeds of 780 Kbps.

On each seat was a water bottle, pillow, and blanket.  The blanket is thick and high quality.  The pillow is a small but has a real pillow case.

Each passenger also received an amenity kit.  Icelandair recently introduced their updated Saga kits inspired by Icelandic wildlife.  The current version is inspired by the puffin — black and white with a tag that looks like a puffin’s beak.

Inside are the standard amenities — toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs, eye mask, socks, lip balm, lotion, face mist.  Additionally there were stickers that you could place on your body to alert the flight attendants of your requests around service.

The products are advertised as ecologically friendly.  For example, the toothbrush package is made of paper rather than plastic.

The case itself is useful as it has a hanger built in so it could be reused as a toiletries kit.

The kit seems high quality and well made.  It is clear that they invested a bit more to make these standout.

A pre-departure beverage of prosecco was served.  The flight attendants also passed out menus.

Shortly after take off, a first beverage was served with some cheesy crackers.

I ordered the beef.  When departing Vancouver (and elsewhere in North America I imagine), the catering is done by contracted food services at the point of departure.  Therefore, it doesn’t seem that preordering is available and you are stuck with whatever two options they have for your city.

The meal was okay.  The best parts were the “corn salsa” and the dessert.  The broccoli was extremely overcooked and everything else was about what you would expect from mediocre airplane food.

After dinner and a movie, I tried to get some sleep.  No additional food was served on the 7+ hour flight, though there may have been snacks should one request them.  All of my interactions with the staff were very positive, I found everyone warm and friendly.

Upon arrival at KEF, we unloaded the plane via two sets of stairs and took a (crowded) bus to the terminal.

Icelandair is also an Alaska Airlines partner and Saga Class earns bonus miles.  I purchased Saga Premium Flex and it ticketed as C Class.  It is hard to figure out classes — you may need to call in to check.

Overall Icelandair Saga class should be compared to Premium Economy on other airlines.  Both the cost and product are similar.  If you go into it with that mindset, I think you will be happy.  You can also have a free stopover in Iceland if interested.

Have you flown Icelandair Saga Class on the 757?  What did you think?

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