Iceland fascinates me. Not only does it contain immense natural beauty, it offers Northern Lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer. I’ve been before and had a great time — now I want to take the family. But getting there has always been a dilemma. With Air Canada offering summer service from both Toronto and Montreal, stopping there between North America and Continental Europe is easier than before.
My plan was to take WOW! Air from Los Angeles to Reykjavik. A non-stop flight is always preferable when traveling as a family and even with economy class seats, the carrier offers Wi-Fi onboard, power outlets, and hot meals for purchase. I can easily survive that. WOW! is even introducing premium economy this spring, which would be more than bearable for a 9hr flight.
But WOW! just cut complimentary carry-on bags. Like Spirit or United Basic Economy, you are now only permitted a personal items that fits under your seat. A full-size rollerboard will cost $51 each. That really rubs me the wrong way. It means you can no longer pack conservatively and save money — there is no way to avoid baggage fees if your trip is more than a few nights. So I am crossing WOW! off my list.
Air Canada Launches Iceland Summer Service from Toronto and Montreal
Good news, then, that Air Canada Rouge is launching flights to KEF.
Montreal – Reykjavik Keflavik / 23JUN17 – 09OCT17 / 3 weekly
AC1972 YUL2135 – 0650+1KEF / A319 / Tuesday/Friday/Sunday
AC1973 KEF0830 – 0945YUL / A319 / Monday/Wednesday/Saturday
Toronto – Reykjavik Keflavik / 21JUN17 – 08OCT17 / 4 weekly
AC1970 YYZ2100 – 0650+1KEF / A319 /Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday
AC1971 KEF0830 – 1020YYZ / A319 / Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Sunday
The flight will be operated by Rouge A319s:
A Stopover in Iceland on the Way to Europe Using Star Alliance Miles
The great thing about Air Canada launching service to Iceland is that we finally have a way to make a reasonable stop in Iceland between North American and Continental Europe.
Prior to Air Canada’s route announcement, the only reasonable way to fly to Iceland using Star Alliance miles from North America was via Oslo or Copenhagen on SAS or via Frankfurt or Munich (seasonally) on Lufthansa. That added hours of travel time and was not permitted by Aeroplan routing rules.
But with the new YYZ/YUL-KEF service, a stopover in KEF no longer requires backtracking.
My Plan for an Iceland Stopover Using Aeroplan
We are headed back to Germany and Switzerland this summer for a special family event. Although we will be traveling with little Augustine, I want to stop in Iceland on the way to Europe.
Aeroplan allows two stopovers on a round-trip award ticket in addition to the destination. Infant business class tickets are also only $100. Thus, my plan is to use Aeroplan points for the trip. Ideally, we can find space from Los Angeles to Toronto on the way out, a stopover for a few days, followed by Toronto to Reykjavik, with a stopover there for a few more days. Next, Reykjavik to Zurich via Oslo or Frankfurt. Finally, Zurich to Los Angeles non-stop on the return.
There are also sorts of combinations available that can get you a stop in Iceland on a way to or way back from Europe. The Aeroplan search tool is the most accurate for gauging Star Alliance award inventory, though the United tool is easier to use.
It is great to see air service to Iceland proliferate. I often wonder — having been to the rather compact Keflavík International Airport — how the airport can handle all the increased flights. Nevertheless, with Air Canada Rouge serving KEF this summer, you now can stop over in Europe easier than ever before using Star Alliance points.