One of the most important factors when evaluating an airline that advertises business class seats is the culture of the country. For example, if you are flying Emirates Airlines business class, you can expect a very luxurious and very expensive seat, as most of the Arab world is full of money at the top of the pyramid. Icelandair falls on the bottom rungs of the Business Class ladder.
The simple act of arriving at the gate will tell you what to expect from an onboard experience. There is no neat boarding appearance, whether you are in business class or late for class. People crowd the boarding area and, at an unknown moment, the announcement is made for passengers to board. An American might think of it as trying to be one of the first in line for the Black Friday specials once the doors open. However, once you get on board and find your seat, things settle down.
Icelandair names its Business Class Saga Class, and it seems fitting given that anyone flying the airline for the first time will have at least one story to tell. When you get to your seat, you will likely find a pillow waiting for you, either to make you comfortable or something to cry on after the Boarding Challenge. But the seats are wide enough and very comfortable, a must to de-stress from your previous experience. In front of you is an IFE screen for your personal entertainment, although if you’re expecting top-notch movies or music, you might be disappointed.
Inflight entertainment packages have two stories: one where you get a decent variety of entertainment options, and the other where the selection is basic. Therein lies the problem, as without reliable consistency there is no way of knowing what you will get after paying for your ticket. It should also be noted that the Wi-Fi service has the same consistency issue, but it doesn’t matter which flight you are boarding on. It works for a while, then the signal strength drops and you are finally left with a dead connection.
But the experience is not entirely disappointing, as the selection of food and drinks is not only reasonable, but goes beyond the usual taste of airline food. Icelandair box packs, so instead of having to pay for each item, which is standard practice on many airlines, you can save yourself some money and get a food and wine combo for less than $ 20. They offer a wide selection of packages and you have the option of ordering items individually. When it comes to taste, you are not likely to be disappointed. Water, coffee, juices and soft drinks are free.
What often makes up for the lack of Business Class amenities and benefits is the quality of the flight attendants. Icelandair has some of the best as they are professional and friendly. Finding the right balance between ignoring passengers and rushing them is something that many hostesses have trouble discovering. This does not appear to be true on Icelandair.
In short, the main problem with the Saga Class advertised by Icelandair as a Business Class seat is that you are paying for a premium seat that is probably not much different than economy. You get a bit more legroom (maybe) because it depends on where your Saga seat is located. For business travelers who need to be constantly connected, poor Wi-Fi service can create major problems, especially on a 4-5 hour flight.
A direct flight from Keflavik Airport to New York City will cost you around $ 2,200 roundtrip in business class. By contrast, the same Economy flight will cost you about $ 867. The math says you should get at least $ 1200 more in services and amenities, but experience says otherwise.
At the beginning of this article it was said that a country’s business culture has a lot to do with the type of airline business class services that are available. But keep in mind that there are only a total of about 25 Business Class seats available on a flight, and based on the boarding chaos, most people are likely to choose Economy simply because of the price. If there is no distinction between Business and Economy Class when boarding, it follows that there is not much difference depending on where you sit or how much you pay.