Iceland is a country sprinkled with diverse landscape, breathtaking natural phenomena and a rich, lively culture. Despite its name, Iceland is not all ice. It's actually green and offers a wide range of outdoor activities in such varied settings. Lava fields, fjords, geysers, hot springs, and waterfalls make up its varied topography and all are within easy reach of Reykjavik. The city also values their cultural heritage, the fifth city to be included in the Creative Cities Network by UNESCO.
Art and culture is internationally known. Its cultural legacy rooted on traditions – traditional crafts, music, art and literature. If the above isn't enough to convince you, just last month it's been revealed to hold the #1 position of most welcoming to foreigners.
With its peak travel months approaching and the Iceland Air/Alaska Airlines partnership coming to an end, a brief overview of Reykjavik will be lightly examined.
How to get there:
Iceland Air services Europe and the US year round.
These can be booked with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles. Note Alaska Airlines will no longer be an Iceland Air partner from June 1, 2013 so all award travel must be booked by May 31, 2013 for travel until February 28, 2014. To book call the Alaska Airlines Reservations line at 1-800-252-7522 (TTY/TDD: 1-800-682-2221) 5:00 a.m. – Midnight (PT), Daily. More info available here
Iceland Air takes off from these major US cities:
New York – JFK
Roundtrip in business using Alaska Mileage Plan Miles requires 75,000 miles
Delta is the only US carrier that provides direct service to Iceland, specifically from JFK but this is seasonal, from March to June.
JFK is Delta's gateway to Reykjavik. You can take off from any city in the US that Delta or its partner, Alaska Airlines, serve and must connect through to JFK. Delta has 8 domestic hubs (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, and Salt Lake City) that services smaller cities while Alaska covers much of the west coast.
Roundtrip in business costs 100,000 Skymiles.
United Airlines Mileage Plus
Star Alliance partners Lufthansa and SAS provide service from Europe (specifically Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo) to KEF. SAS is the only one that services year round however.
To get from the US to Reykjavik requires a connection through mainland Europe. Since Star Alliance is the biggest alliance, you have the option of not only flying with United but through one of its many partners to a variety of destinations in Europe (includes Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedoni, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom). More info about United and its partners can be found here
Roundtrip business from the US to Reykjavik via Europe is 100,000 miles.
Conclusion: Delta had decent business class availability for next month at the saver level. United availability was great too though it's a 20 hour ride since there are no direct flights to KEF from the US. This is an option to look into if you're already planning to be in Europe and/or are looking to maximize your award ticket.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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