I flew Icelandair premium class for 10 hours & found it's not as deluxe as other long-haul carriers.
I opted to upgrade for more spacious seats, complimentary meals, and included Wi-Fi.
For me, Saga Premium was worth it for my comfort and other perks.
I gave Icelandair's Saga Premium class a try in hopes of finding a good place between business class and basic economy.
On recent long flights to French Polynesia and Thailand, I flew in United Polaris business class with lie-flat seats and loved the decadent, luxurious experience. But it was hard to swallow paying $3,000 or more for such lie-down seats on United or another long-haul carrier when I only had to hop from Denver to Dublin earlier this year.
So, I opted for a less expensive, but still upgraded, seat in Icelandair's Saga Premium class. I didn't have lie-flat seats but still enjoyed plenty of benefits.
Here's what it was like to fly from Denver to Dublin with a stopover in Reykjavik for a total of about 10 hours in the air.
Icelandair's Saga Premium passengers have their own check-in counter at Denver International Airport.
I bypassed a long line of economy passengers to check in quickly for my flights from Denver to Reykjavik (7 1/2 hours) and Reykjavik to Dublin (2 1/2 hours).
The gate agent didn't mention access to a business lounge prior to my flight. I knew was included with my Saga Premium fare so I asked for entry.
This airport doesn't have a dedicated Icelandair lounge, so Saga Premium passengers can kick back with free drinks and a complimentary buffet in the United Club.
I was among the first to board the plane – ahead of economy, where the seat configuration for the plane I took was 3-3. Economy seats had 32 inches of legroom.
Saga Premium seats are 2-2 with 40 inches of legroom. Upon arriving at my aisle seat, I found bottled water, a pillow, a cotton blanket, and an amenity kit.
I was surprised my overstuffed tote bag didn't fit easily under the Saga Premium seats in front of me — perhaps because of the metal footrests in the way.
No worries, though. I slid my bag into the overhead bin and enjoyed a complimentary glass of prosecco before takeoff.
After takeoff, I could enjoy the in-flight entertainment – including movies, TV shows, and music – on the seatback screen, which also had a USB charger.
Noise-canceling headsets that plug into the seatback screen are complimentary for Saga Premium flyers.
An outlet was also available under my seat for larger electronics.
As a Saga Premium passenger, I had free Wi-Fi on my phone and laptop throughout the flight.
My flight attendant presented a dinner menu and took my order soon after takeoff.
The complimentary drink menu included wines, beers, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. I could also choose from an entire gin library or get free snacks and candy.
I opted for a glass of a red blend from Spain that arrived with the yummiest peppery cheese snacks.
I thought the beef was tough, so I didn't eat much of it, but I devoured the sweet-potato puree and the ancient-grains salad.
The first leg of my flight was scheduled for 7 1/2 hours, but it seemed to go quicker than that. I watched a movie and slept until the crew started gearing up for morning service.
I opted for a ham-and-cheese croissant served with a side of fruit. The croissant was fine – nothing to write home about.
I was among the first off the plane to board a shuttle bus to the airport terminal in chilly, rainy Reykjavik.
My most-appreciated amenity at Keflavik Airport were the private bathroom stalls with their own sinks. There, I regrouped and freshened up after my overnight flight.
Though I had priority boarding for my connecting flight to Dublin, I ended up at the back of the bus, so I was among the last to board the plane.
Saga Premium seats on the short 2-1/2-hour flight to Dublin were outfitted with bottled water, pillows, and cotton blankets.
Like with my first international flight, my Saga Premium seat had plenty of legroom and a metal footrest. My tote bag still didn't fit under the seat.
My complimentary breakfast was a highlight, I especially liked the tomato frittata and the oatmeal with seeds and fruit.
Before I knew it, it was time to land. Though I made it through immigration quickly in Dublin, it took 45 minutes for my checked luggage to arrive in the baggage claim.
That snafu aside, I enjoyed my upgraded service in Icelandair's Saga Premium class. I'm not disappointed I shelled out $1,800 for the one-way flights.
One benefit for Icelandair passengers is the carrier's stopover program where you can stay in Iceland for up to seven days for no additional airfare. I plan to take advantage of this on the way home.
I think my Saga Premium return ticket and an upscale hotel stay in Iceland for a day is the ideal splurge to cap off my month-long travels in Ireland and the UK.
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