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SimAirline.net - Message Boards • View topic - Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W

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 Post subject: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 15:09 
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Location: Warwick, England
Date: 12th February 2010
Airline: Icelandair
Flight No: FI451
Departure Airport: London Heathrow (Gate 140, Runway 09R)
Arrival Airport: Keflavik Airport (Gate 8, Runway 11)
Scheduled / Actual Departure Time: 1300 / 1339
Scheduled / Actual Arrival Time: 1600 / 1639
Flight Duration: 3 hours
Seat: 30F
Aircraft: 757-200W TF-FIV (Katla)

After waiting a good 8 months for this holiday, I was so looking forward to flying to Iceland with Icelandair. 29 of us got the coach down to Heathrow from school, and were expecting so many things to go wrong with such a large group of people. I had not flown out of Terminal 1 (if I had I could not remember doing so), so it was a different experience to the usual Terminal 3 / 4 experience.

Surprisingly, we made it through check-in pain free, and I was a good 5kg under the 20kg weight limit, which was useful as some people's bags were over the limit but were let off. As we were just about to pass through security, my friend realised that he had a geometry set in his carry-on bag (to this day I still don't understand why!) which contained a compass. He reluctantly threw it in the bin, and we passed through security with few worries, into duty-free.

We had scheduled extra time in case something went wrong, but the check-in process was on-the-whole uneventful, so we had a good 2 or so hours to burn in duty free. The time consisted of eating, watching some planes fly in and working out how many tickets needed to be sold in order for the 'win a supercar' competition to break-even. We worked out that we'd rather save the £20 and buy 10 EuroMillions tickets, hoping to win the £113 million jackpot as opposed to an £80,000 Aston Martin.

We saw an Icelandair 757 land and were waiting for it to get to a gate so we knew where to go. It was a good 30 minute wait before the gate opened, so we all headed over expecting to depart slightly later than scheduled. Another school group of about 20 students was flying the same flight, and I expect that a good percent of Icelandair's customers are school students going on a field trip. However, we worked out that they were going on a field trip to do work, whereas we were going purely for a holiday.

After waiting 5 or so minutes at the gate, we were told to head over to Gate 40, which was supposedly a 25 minute walk away. We raced the other school over to Gate 40, which was only a 10 minute trek away, and got to the front of the queue ready to board. We then had to sit through a 30 minute wait while the plane was cleared (which was a very hot wait as we were all wearing our Iceland gear), as it had arrived later than scheduled. We boarded the plane 20 minutes after the scheduled departure time, but were not too fussed with the wait.

We had all been allocated seats towards the rear of the 757-200, but were not necessarily seated next to our friends. One of the teachers said that it was the law to stay in the seats you were allocated until you are airborne, when you can then switch around, although I've been on planes where we've asked the stewardess to switch to better seats (usually bulkhead) even before we'd left the gate. Is this law true or not?

I was not expecting anything special from Icelandair, but was pleasantly surprised with the legroom and overall quality of service. The cabin was comparable to British Airways, and the first class (or Saga Class) looked very comfortable. Each seat had a personal touch screen TV, which had films, music, games, flight info and an in-flight store on it. The on-demand system was impressive and comparable to Virgin Atlantic's, although it was let down as headsets and games controllers had to be purchased separately. Even though they were cheap, I did not bother using the sound as the flight was only 3 hours long. Unlike most other airlines, the system was turned on before departure and I could look through the flight information which was very detailed and contained a large number of interactive maps and flight info. I would say it is the best flight info system I've used.

We pushed back 39 minutes behind schedule, and taxied to runway 09R. After a short wait the captain opened up the taps and we were soon in the air. Some of my friends had not flown before, so it was an interesting experience for them. The climb out was quick and the seatbelt signs were turned off fairly early in the climb. We then juggled around seats and I ended up in the window seat next to where I was sitting, by my friends. There were some very nice cloud formations out of the window, and we had a clear view over most of Britain. Interestingly, the flight path flew over the Isle of Man and close to Ireland, although I was expecting it to fly out over Scotland.

Although I didn't bring an iPod or anything, the flight went quickly and we were soon nearing Iceland's south coast. It was fairly cloudy so I could not see any land until about 10,000 feet. It is normal for the outside of the window to ice up, but I was a little alarmed when the inside of my window was icing up also. To touch the window was very cold and there was definitely a build up of ice on the inside. Is this normal?

I got some terrific views of the Icelandic coast as we circled to land, and managed to get a video of the landing at Keflavik. The speed brakes were used quite a lot to slow down the plane, and I think the co-pilot landed the bird, as I remember the captain mentioning it before we set off. The landing was fairly smooth to say it was the first officer at the helm. The taxi was relatively short and we pulled up next to a load of Icelandair 757s. It was surprising how few airlines operate there, regarding the size of the airport. It was also surprising how many Icelandair 757s were taxiing and landing at any one time.

The airport was vey nice inside. A lot of wood and metal. Our bags were waiting to be collected when we arrived, and we left the airport soon after. I was impressed with the airport; even though it was very small it was very clean and run well. The coolest coach you have ever seen was waiting to take us into Reykjavik. It had oversized snow tyres with metal spikes, raised suspension and an almost Soviet look to it.

Overall I liked the 757-200 and the flight was a lot shorter than I was used to. The delay was not too bad, and to be expected when flying to and from Keflavik. I would definitely fly Icelandair again, and I would very much like to pass through Keflavik airport in the future.

Landing Video

Somewhere over England
Winglet Close-up
English Coast
Cool circular rainbow somewhere over the Atlantic
Approach into Keflavik


_______________________________________________________________

Date: 16th February 2010
Airline: Icelandair
Flight No: FI454
Departure Airport: Keflavik Airport (Gate 9, Runway 11)
Arrival Airport: London Heathrow (Gate 101, Runway 27R)
Scheduled / Actual Departure Time: 1700 / 1716
Scheduled / Actual Arrival Time: 2000 / 2012
Flight Duration: 2 hours 56 minutes
Seat: 30A
Aircraft: 757-200W TF-FIZ (Keilir)

Five days passed and we took the coach back to Keflavik airport, ready to fly back to England after a great few days in the North Atlantic. With only a small number of airlines operating out of Keflavik, it was weird to see the terminal dominated by a single airline. There were plenty of check-in desks which meant that the queue died down quickly. For some odd reason my bag had gained 4kg over the course of five days, even though I didn't buy much at all. I reckon the 4kg was made up water form the Blue Lagoon in my towel, which we had just visited before coming to the airport. Nevertheless, we passed through check-in and then passport control soon after.

The duty free area was small but well maintained. We got some food and looked around the gift shop for some last minute souvenirs. We also managed to exchange our Icelandic Kronur for Sterling, as the airport had a very good exchange rate. Iceland is a very expensive country, but I managed to come back with some spare money.

The flight was supposed to be delayed by 15 minutes, but the gate opened on time and we boarded the plane, sitting in the exact same seats that we flew out on. The other school which flew out with us was also flying back on the same flight, and I am guessing that we were allocated the same seats due to the fact that we had booked the tickets so far in advanced.

Pushback was slightly delayed, but we rolled onto the runway without stopping and the takeoff roll on runway 11 was short and we were soon looking back down across Reykjavik. As with the flight over, the seat belt signs were turned off early in the cruise so we rearranged ourselves to sit next to our friends. I managed to get the other window seat on the same row, so I had another good look over Iceland as we flew past. The sunset was on the other side of the plane, but I could see some vivid reds and purples reflected in the clouds. I didn't manage to see the Northern Lights as they appear in FS when you are up to cruise, but I did manage to see them on one of the nights when we were staying out in the middle of the country, some 40 miles away from any civilisation.

I rarely get any sleep on planes, but managed to get an hour or so of some good shut-eye. The scheduled flight time was 2 hours and 35 minutes, and we were on course until later on in the flight. The flight path took a more southerly arc that flew further over Ireland and then over England. The sky was eerily clear and we got good views over Liverpool and Birmingham.

We were approaching London when the plane went into a holding pattern, circling just north of London. We could not work out whether this was due to traffic or if the pilot was circling to lose altitude. As with the flight out, the speed brakes were used quite a bit. After we were back on course we circled over central London and flew into Heathrow's 27R. It was very foggy over London and we only managed to see the ground some 1,000 feet before touchdown. The landing was a little hard, but the conditions were poor so the reversers threw up lots of water as we slowed down and taxied to Terminal 1, Gate 1.

The walk to passport control was fairly long, and the people at immigration were far from the happiest people on Earth. When we did pass through, I immediately spotted my bag and we had no problems retrieving everyone's luggage. What was supposed to be a short, easy walk to the coach park turned into a nightmare. We managed to walk all the way to the central bus terminal; not the coach park which we were after. Having to wait a good five minutes every time we encountered a lift, waiting for all 29 of us to pass through, we were walking round Heathrow for a good 30 minutes or so. Even the people at Heathrow didn't know where we were supposed to be. We managed to trace our steps back to the international arrivals hall, and we didn't understand how we managed to miss the exit completely. Our coach was waiting for us and then we had a further two hour journey ahead of us, back to school to complete the 5 day trip.

The return journey was all going smoothly until we got back to Heathrow, although the problem was soon solved and we managed to fly 29 of us to and from Iceland without any major hiccups. I was very impressed with Icelandair on both flights, and although I didn't have any meals or need any service from the air stewardesses, I would like to have thought that they would have been a good airline for a longer flight to the US. All in all a great trip!

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 15:34 
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Nice writeup! I've always wanted to give Icelandair a try.

As for the law, I've maybe heard about it a time or two, but I have a feeling its a myth. I don't really have anything to give a definitive yes or now, but I've personally had FA's move me around before the flight.

I've seen ice like that before, wouldn't be alarmed too much. I guess its just a matter of how cold the pocket of air in between the windows really gets, and if it can effect the other side of the plastic.

I liked the video. Was surprised to see that Keflavik is also a military base, with the little hangars coming off the taxiway.

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:29 
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I SO want to go to Iceland. Definitely need to add it to my bucket list's places to go before I die. :mrgreen:
Maybe...just maybe, for my college graduation trip, I may talk my parents into going there for a vacation (assuming nothing goes wrong and we're healthy financially speaking)

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 20:34 
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Ahh, Iceland, great place to visit for sure! Nice write up for sure :)

As for the ice on the window, I'm pretty sure that it's not normal for the ice on the inside of the plane, could be wrong, but that definitely means that the window heat wasn't working to its full potential. The only way to know is if a bird hit the window. :rolling:

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 21:07 
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Thanks for the comments guys!

DMM200 wrote:
As for the ice on the window, I'm pretty sure that it's not normal for the ice on the inside of the plane, could be wrong, but that definitely means that the window heat wasn't working to its full potential. The only way to know is if a bird hit the window. :rolling:


Unfortunately my seat wasn't in the cockpit. :cry: :P I wasn't aware that there were any heating elements on the cabin windows. I think it was just that one window that was an anomoly, and as Josh said a particularly cold pocket of air in between the window and plastic.

Dennis wrote:
I SO want to go to Iceland. Definitely need to add it to my bucket list's places to go before I die. :mrgreen:
Maybe...just maybe, for my college graduation trip, I may talk my parents into going there for a vacation (assuming nothing goes wrong and we're healthy financially speaking)


Definitely go for it! I would highly recommend staying a couple of nights out in the country. We were about 120 miles form Reykjavik (the only town large enough to cause any light pollution), and had the clearest view of the night sky I've ever seen. Absolutely no light pollution and no clouds meant we could see shooting stars and the Northern Lights.

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 21:24 
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I think it is actually illegal to do it after your airbourne. The reason being they do w/b before you leave the gate all based on where you are sitting for takeoff and it is assumed that you are going to be there for landing aswell.

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 22:37 
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seahawks7757 wrote:
I think it is actually illegal to do it after your airbourne. The reason being they do w/b before you leave the gate all based on where you are sitting for takeoff and it is assumed that you are going to be there for landing aswell.

Yeah that's actually a good point. Waiting till after takeoff is completely counterintuitive.

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2010, 23:00 
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I thought it was to do with takeoff and incase there was an emergency / crash, then they'd be able to work out the names of people if they were sitting in the correct seat. Once you are airborne people move about anyway, so you may as well move seats.

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2010, 12:15 
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Well when you change seats the F/A's don't give updates to the gate agent. All they do is a confirm count to make sure there are the right number of souls onboard the aircraft. So really it has nothing to do with emergency/crash. Like if we have a flight with only 15 people, the Q400 is so nose heavy the F/A will tell people to just sit in rows 10 or higher and the gate agent like stated above just clears with a count.


Also Alex I got a good chuckle because the plane you flew to get there TF-FIV actually came into SEA today and is sitting out on the ramp right now. :smokin:

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2010, 18:16 
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seahawks7757 wrote:
Also Alex I got a good chuckle because the plane you flew to get there TF-FIV actually came into SEA today and is sitting out on the ramp right now. :smokin:


Hahaha, nice! Take good care of her. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 16 Mar 2010, 17:53 
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Great write up Alex!! Glad to see (or read) that ya'll had a good trip! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Icelandair - LHR-KEF - 757-200W
PostPosted: 16 Mar 2010, 18:16 
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Thanks Alex!

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