One Mile at a Time writes that AA will start flying seasonally between Dallas (DFW) and Keflavik (KEF) in summer 2018. I’m excited for 3 reasons:
- It’s a fully flat bed in business class.
- You can redeem AA miles for it.
- It’s a long flight.
Before I start my explanation, I need to point out that WOW Air offers some cheap fares to Iceland, in addition to lots of general transatlantic sales these days (mostly in coach). However, if you want to fly comfortably and/or are sitting on a stash of AA miles, read on.
Now, let me explain, in reverse order.
#3 – Long flight
DFW-KEF is 3,743 miles, according to gcmap. That’s longer than east coast to London, and much longer than east coast to Iceland. As someone who lives in the middle of the country, I like it! I like my overnight long hauls to be at least 7 hours for a half-decent sleep so I can hit the ground running on arrival. This comes close, with a good 8:20pm departure and 9:15am arrival into Iceland.
#2 – Use miles
2 years ago, I was lamenting about the lack of award options for a comfy flight to Iceland. At the time, only Delta offered redemption, and it was way overpriced (~75k, I believe) for a short flight from JFK. Recently, more options opened up:
- You can redeem 50,000 – 55,000 Alaska Airlines each way for Icelandair business (Saga) class.
- You can redeem 60,000 – 70,000 United miles each way for United business class. Nonstop service starts summer 2018, but should work for flights that connect in Mainland Europe too.
However, the Alaska option isn’t fully flat, while the United option costs more miles and the direct flight is shorter. AA charges 57,500 miles to fly to Iceland, same as Mainland Europe. I think this is the best award option if you only want to go to Iceland, assuming you can position to Dallas on the same ticket. If you are visiting other countries, it’s worth comparing to United’s Excursionist Perk – see this example from Live and Let’s Fly; on a one-way ticket, he got a stopover and a free one-way in another region.
Here’s an example of AA/oneworld availability for today, from Indianapolis to KEF.
Will there be award availability for the new direct flight? AA was super stingy with their own availability for a few years but seems to have improved recently (my personal experience), which matches their recent rhetoric. If they don’t change course, my guess is there will be very limited availability.
57,500 miles + ~$50 in fees for a 6-7 hour flat bed isn’t bad for going to Europe.
#1 – Flat bed
It’s reportedly being operated by a 757. I haven’t flown AA’s version, but I have flown United’s 757 business class to Europe and enjoyed it enough. Personally, I find AA to have the worst service among the 3 US legacies, while others aren’t bothered. But more options is a good thing.
in a nutshell
This is a good way to use 57,500 AA miles for 6-7 hours in flat bed to Iceland. You will be more rested than most other available options. Keep in mind Iceland has experienced deliberate explosive growth in tourism, so do your research for realistic expectations.
Will this be your preferred way of getting to Iceland?
Featured image by By Andreas Tille – Own work: http://fam-tille.de/sparetime.html