Best Flight Experience 2012: Icelandair

Drumroll please. And the winner is….

Icelandair!

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Departing from Seattle on July 16, I expected my 7 hour flight to Iceland to be fairly painless, and indeed it was. Let’s start with the fact that they don’t charge a fee for checked luggage. What a way to win me over from the start. We’ll continue with how they board people in the back of the plane first so as to avoid traffic patterns in the aisle, and their boarding process itself was smoother than silk.

When I stepped on to the plane, I was greeted with free Icelandic Glacial water, fun Iceland facts on each of the seats, a blanket, and a pillow with a popular Icelandic lullaby. All the flight attendants had blonde hair and were well dressed. For a minute, I felt like I was on the TV show Pan Am. They were all extremely friendly and spoke both Icelandic and English.

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I was lucky enough to get the window seat, AND the middle seat was left open so I had a lot of leg room to stretch. It was long-flight heaven. Met a nice family from Seattle who were traveling to Amsterdam and Nice for vacation so I was in a good company the whole way.

The plane actually left the gate on time (unheard of these days, am I right?) and was in the air within 5-7 minutes. I quickly settled into my choices of in-flight entertainment including FRIENDS, Modern Family, and a selection of 20+ movies. Good grief, I’ve never been treated so well on an economy-class flight before.

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The only downsides were that I couldn’t sleep a wink, and I had to pay extra for an in-flight meal. Luckily, jet lag didn’t hit me too bad, and I was able to adjust within the first day. All in all, thank you Icelandair for the great service. If it’s like that from all major U.S. airports then our other domestic airlines have a few things to learn.

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