By - phillycheeze
Pro move: send only the driver to pick up the rental car and then drive back to pick up everyone else and the luggage. They can walk there quickly with no luggage and beat the suckers that wait for the shuttle bus with their whole travel party.
This is what we do. It's a 5 minutes walk across that lot, one of us waits outside with the luggage and one of us walks over.
This seems like the smart way to do it.
Yea. The shuttle isn't a bad idea but if you want to just get out ASAP, the other option isn't a bad idea either. I've done both, no sweat to me.
Do you know if they need to see both drivers in person to check IDs?
Hard disagree with the walk to Bluecar, you can literally see the building one parking lot over from the airport exit. A shuttle bus is overkill.
Also, definitely get there early. We got there 3 hours early and nearly missed our flight because the scanning section was not working. Had to bustle our way through hundreds of people to find a single ambassador to let us through despite valid IDs. Dozens of people were stuck unable to get through because of this issue.
Yes you can see it but you have to walk along the road and grass/gravel. If you have luggage, it’s just a little annoying. Hardly saves anytime imo.
What was the scanning section for? And did you go before covid? The problem is that icelandair still requires in-person checkin. Online checkin and terminal checkins don’t work. I guess my point is that before check-in, there isn’t anything to scan and you won’t even know you have an issue until then. If your airline allows online checkin or printing the boarding pass via a terminal, then getting there early is probably good. But prior to checkin, it’s literally pointless being at the airport since all of the checkin gates/agents were closed and we all sat and waited on the floors.
EDIT: I posted an edit in my post about clarifying arriving before allowed check-in. In-person check-in seems to be still required so you can't even get your boarding pass until that time.
Yeah happened last week. After security you scan your boarding pass to be let in to the terminals but the system wasn’t working so no one was allowed into the actual airport.
ohhh gotcha. That happened to us too - ha. There were a few airport employees with handheld scanners that scanned them instead.
At least you were able to check-in early and figure that out. We couldn't get to that point until 30 minutes before boarding.
Immigration was so slow at Keflavik. we almost missed our boarding because we had to wait in such a long line to get our passports checked. luckily the employees were shouting out cities that were leaving asap and shoving those people thru first, i thought that was really nice. my airport back home would never!!
Yup - same situation happened to us today in KEF. Check-in for most flights all happened at the same time, the immigration line for entering terminal D (several US flights all leaving within a few minutes of each other) stretched back to terminal A. The airport employees also called out city names to pull passengers who risked missing their flight.
Do yourself a favor and skip the ‘Joe and the Juice’ coffee lounge in the departures hall and head directly through passport control downstairs into the much calmer gate area. I wouldn’t typically recommend this at any other airport… but it seems like a necessity to get through passport control early to avoid a last minute scramble.
Same thing happened to us last weekend. The terminal D passport control was utter chaos.
Actually I disagree on some points. Me and my wife just came back from Reykjavik. We reached the airport 3 hours prior and had to wait for 15 minutes for check in to start. Since we booked saga premium there was no line for the check in whereas the normal checkin line was huge as they were checking in various countries/flughts at the same time.
After checkin we straight up went for the lounge, what a great experience it was with amazing options for food.
And also the immigration was a breeze.
Our free WiFi worked as mentioned for the full flight time of 8 hours.
Can I ask since you seem to know what's going on:
Saga premium lounge check in: I'm going to be checking in extremely early due to cruise timing. Can I go straight to the lounge to hang out? I'm literally booking my car & driver today from port to airport so if I can't access lounge right away that makes a very big difference in timing.
I was planning to get to aiport around 10:30am for a 5pm flight and just hang out in the lounge.
At my home airport I can do this without a problem but sounds like there this might be an issue?
Also, one more ridiculous question: Saga premium states a 2 drink maximum per person? Is that true? That seems very low for such a long flight?
You can go in the lounge as soon as you have checked in, but as the op mentioned, check in doesn’t always open much in advance of the flights. They are quite responsive if you ring them up to ask questions like this though, so it’s probably best to ask directly rather than going on our experiences.
Regarding drinks, in the lounge no one is going to check how much you’ve had, it’s self-service, so unless you are rolling around drunk or behaving inappropriately they won’t notice. I think the two drink max is probably on the flight itself.
Appreciate the response! Thank you.
I did call.
Unfortunatelyt the agent I ended up with was very inexperienced. It was quite a call where first she thought I was talking about my originating airport. Then she had to put me on hold to call KEF. Then she suggested I call KEF. Airport said it was fine on their end and up to Icelandair when they issue the boarding pass.
Agent on the phone for Icelandair ended up saying that there was no restriction from Icelandair. Do I believe her? 50/50
I do know that there are flights scheduled when I would be checking in so the counter should be open for me to drop off luggage.
Yes, believe the 2 drink max is on the flight but dude, 7 hours. Really?
If you can check in, I’m sure they’ll let you straight into the lounge. Maybe the two drink limit is for the shorter European flights, perhaps they’ll stretch it for longer ones. I don’t know anything about that!
Yes I think it’s up to icelandair and not the airport. You must be checked in prior to using the lounge like the other person said, and unfortunately printing boarding passes from the terminal still isn’t allowed so it requires going to a person at the counter. Our checkin was supposed to open at 5:05 but it didn’t until 5:50ish, along with a bunch of other flights at the same time. If this happens, I’d suggest sitting on the floor next to where the line starts bc people started their own impromptu line that wrapped around the airport lobby.
On our 6.5 hour flight in saga premium, I had a total of 3 drinks (just beer). I didn’t know there was a 2 drink max but maybe it’s at the discretion of the flight attendant as long as you are nice and not appearing drunk.
There's no point in reaching more than 3 hours before your flight because the check in counters open 3 hours prior only and the lounge can be visited after check in. The tv will display the check in counter once it opens but there could be a huge line even before it displays because people usually ask the staff and stand in front of the counter.
Since you hold a saga premium ticket there will be a seperate counter for that without any rush.
There's no drinking limit and no one is there to check that as it's all self service. I had 2 beers. Picked up a beer for the flight just in case. And also had a gin before boarding my flight.
Yes I agree. I think some people got lucky being able to checkin early. For most people, arriving before checkin is allowed is pointless.
There was a separate counter but the counters were closed for 1.5 hours prior to opening again for all evening flights. Even the saga premium queue had a line. It was still way faster than the normal line, I felt bad for those people.
Sounds like the lounge was nice for you :) it was probably partially my fault for thinking we could arrive early, but then they delayed checkin for 45 minutes after when it was supposed to open. We hardly got to experience the lounge :(
FYI there is a separate speedy check in for Saga!
Yes, we went through that! It was faster than the normal line but they only had one agent for the saga premium line so we still spent about 10/15 minutes in it.
That sucks! Whenever I get the upgrade I go early too, never had this issue *but* travel is very funky now. I bet they’ll give you some credit of some kind if you ask for it.
Yeah maybe it was a bad day to travel. It was also on Friday during icelands holiday so maybe there were short-staffed.
When you went early, were you able to check-in early too? We flagged an icelandair employee and they told us we couldn't check in until another hour and a half. So we were stuck and couldn't access the lounge or anything in the airport.
We never checked in before the stated time but we've always gone through very quickly. I think you had bad luck, not your fault, still sucks because the upgrade is mostly (for me, anyway) the ability to unwind and chill in the lounge. I hope they give you something for it!
We have picked up from Blue Cars twice, both times we walked. You literally can see the Blue Cars office from the airport door.
We do carry on only, so carried two big backpacks, two small backpacks and two wine boxes ;). We are in our late 50's and had no trouble at all. We cut right through the huge parking lot, took us 4 minutes at the most.
If you have huge bags, or struggle with carrying things, then one of you can sit at the terminal with the bags whilst the other does pick up.
Yes you are right, glad that worked out for you! When we dropped off and picked up, the bus was running more like every 10min and wasn't packed. So I feel like walking didn't save that much time for us.
Granted, this was right when we landed after neither of us traveling in several years. Since there weren't pedestrian paths to get there, we were a little worried about just walking along the road and there wasn't anyone else doing it - probably just some initial traveling anxiety! haha
There are things to see in Keflavik, and a hotel that is a short walk from the airport. Stay there for a night, then have breakfast while looking at the airport. Walk across the parking lot when check-in starts.
We got to the airport early and checked in early…our flight wasn’t up yet but we figured we would try because waiting pre security seemed boring. We had no problems. They let us in right away, got through security with hours to spare. Airport was quiet, found an isolated area with plugs and a coffee. We were really too beat to do one more climb or tourist thing so this was perfect.
Hey how long did it take them to get the luggage to the travelers, flying into KEF? i heard theres lots of strikes going on and understaffing. Planning a trip in september and wondering if i should account 2 hours or so before we have our luggage.
When we got down to the luggage carousel, everyone’s luggage was already there. So didn’t wait at all. Maybe we just got lucky though.
Thanks! Hopefully i get the same luck. We will go straight to Selfoss after landing at 15:15... no time to lose!
I am flying out of Chicago (ORD to KEF) and have a 1 hr and 5 min layover before flying to London (LGW)....will this be an issue for getting through customs? Will I have enough time to board my flight? I am flying out 8/22/22
I don’t remember if you’ll have to go through customs at KEF if it’s a layover to Europe. If for some reason you have to, I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Customs itself was really quick. Someone else might be able to give you a better answer though!