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Travel experts put Icelandair’s 737 MAX business class head-to-head with economy

Iceland is a thrilling country – but is flying there using its national flag carrier similarly exhilarating?

Two travel experts from The Points Guy UK set about finding out, pitting Icelandair’s business class against its economy offering on a 737 Max flight from London Heathrow to Keflavik Airport.

The two-man team filmed their experiences, which on the whole were positive during the two-and-a-half-hour journey, though the meal served in economy is described as ‘almost inedible’. And the business class price is deemed too high for a short flight.

Putting the posh seat on the Icelandair 737 Max to the test is Nicky Kelvin, Head of The Points Guy UK

The Points Guy UK said: ‘Icelandair was founded in 1937 and has been synonymous with Iceland ever since. On international routes, the airline flies a combination of Boeing 737, 757 and 767 aircraft, but following on from a TPG report outlining why you should fly the Boeing 737 Max over the larger 767, we were eager to try out this newer, fresher 737.’

Putting the posh seat to the test is Nicky Kelvin, Head of The Points Guy UK.

He paid £552 for seat 1F, with his ticket securing him access to the Aer Lingus lounge in their departure terminal, Heathrow’s Terminal 2.

However, he’s not impressed.

He said: ‘The food and drink offering here was very disappointing with the only hot food option being a soup, which tasted artificial and straight out of a can.’

The journey improves once he boards the aircraft, though.

He said: ‘The cabin was very smart and the seat large and comfortable for a short flight like this. I was particularly impressed by the food. This was served cold, but the steak and potato salad main course was fresh and delicious. The dedicated gin menu with local options was an impressive touch.

‘The service was particularly excellent. The crew were warm, friendly, efficient and up for a laugh. One of the crew poked fun at me during the flight in the most perfect way, keeping the experience fun and light-hearted.’

‘The steak and potato salad main course was fresh and delicious,’ said Nicky 

He highlights some ‘downsides’, though.

He continued: ‘Icelandair flies this aircraft on journeys of five-plus hours and for a longer flight the seat would have become uncomfortable with its poor recline and lack of foot or leg rests in row one.

‘Costing £552, I struggled to find the value for such a short flight.’

Nicky said that his £552 business-class seat didn’t represent good value for money

Putting Icelandair’s 737 Max economy cabin through its paces is Liam Spencer, TPG UK’s senior social media manager.

He paid £136 for seat 22F and it’s all fine and dandy to begin with.

He ‘loved the fresh cabin… which felt clean and modern’ and ‘particularly enjoyed the charcoal colour scheme’.

He found that the service was ‘extremely efficient, including check-in and boarding’, and his meal arrived less than two minutes after ordering it.

The menu? ‘Fairly extensive with a number of different food and drink options,’ he said.

However, the meal he ordered was ‘almost inedible’.

Shocking: Liam said that his “‘Viking lamb” broth [pictured] tasted like dishwater with bits in and wasn’t cheap at £7 per serving’

Liam liked the ‘fresh’ economy cabin and ‘efficient service’, but said the headrest was ‘flimsy’

The Points Guy UK flew with Icelandair from London Heathrow to Keflavik Airport. Pictured is their plane at the gate at Heathrow’s Terminal 2

He said: ‘The “Viking lamb” broth tasted like dishwater with bits in and wasn’t cheap at £7 per serving.’

Liam was also non-plussed by the headrest on the seat, which ‘was extremely flimsy and wouldn’t have held in place if you were trying to sleep on it’.

He added: ‘I was made to purchase IFE headphones for an additional £3. This seemed expensive given their quality and the fact that lots of carriers provide them for free.’

For more information on travel tips and tricks, sign up to The Points Guy UK. Click here to see the full-length Icelandair review footage.    

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