I mentioned yesterday that Icelandair’s award chart is really expensive for flights on Icelandair itself, it also happens to be quite pricey for flights on partner Finnair. And yet it is strangely inexpensive for flights on Alaska Airlines. (Roundtrip transatlantic business class on Finnair is 300,000 miles!)
I thought, gee, I’ve kinda always wanted to visit Iceland. I shared the $61 Baltimore – Reykjavik fare about 8 years back but didn’t book it myself. It’s tough to get to with miles, Delta has a flight and up until recently there were no U.S. partners of Alaska Airlines. I could buy a ticket, and it’s a pretty short flight for ‘Europe’. I’m not going to redeem via, say, Frankfurt and then Scandinavia using Star Alliance miles just to get business class. I never went.
So perhaps this deal, where you can get miles from scratch for about a penny apiece would make sense to actually visit Iceland.
But it doesn’t.
I live in Washington DC. “USA1” which includes New York and Boston in addition to Washington Dulles (and listed seasonal service to Minneapolis) to Iceland runs 150,000 miles roundtrip. So for about $1500 in purchased miles I could fly non-stop business class to Iceland.
Except… do you know what paid business class on Icelandair runs?
And I would earn miles (credited to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, natch). And I wouldn’t have to worry about availability.
Not that Icelandair’s business class is much better than US domestic first class, but then for all intents and purposes the flight to and from the East Coast is a transcon, a redeye going East of course.
Sadly, Icelandair really is just a play for redeeming first class on Alaska Airlines.