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Flying to Canada

View 2016 Borneo, Europe, Iceland & Canada on alexchan's travel map.

Today we fly to Toronto [Toronto-travel-guide-205344] at 1700. Apart from Kim returning the rental car by 0930, we spent our time in the hostel relaxing, packing, eating breakfast and making sandwiches for our flight. Icelandair’s onboard catering is expensive but in-line with Icelandic pricing. We had nice heavy bread rolls which we filled with ham, cheese and hard-boiled egg.

Checking out at 1100, we had an hour to kill in the kitchen before our 1200 van pickup, which took us to the airport bus. We go to the airport before 1330.

The bagdrop queue for Icelandair, WOW and SAS was long. One had to queue for the kiosk to get the bagtag beforehand as well. It just seemed so strange that everyone was queueing but maybe passengers on WOW (being a budget airline) didn’t have a manual option.

Security at Keflavik was very efficient and high-tech with motorised conveyors for the trays, including a mechanism for pushing aside bags that needed to be manually inspected. How does such a small population base fund this level of sophistication? Likewise with the very flash integraged tap/soap/dryer contraption in the toilets.

Our flight left from the non-Schengen area and we decided to go through passport control while there wasn’t a queue. Unfortunately seating in the non-Schengen area wasn’t as good as the area was cramped and seats were hard.

The flights for WOW and Icelandair appear to be timed for hubbing. There were only North American flights departing at this time. All of WOW flights were around 1600 and Icelandair around 1700.

They had five Icelandair flights (including ours) leaving from one corner of the terminal within 15 minutes which created a jam-packed environment. We couldn’t even see if the flight was boarding or whether the queue was moving.As time got close, we cut our way to the front to see that our flight was actually boarding by bus even though people on some of the earlier flights weren’t yet moving.

We were welcomed at the B757 door with a bottle of water each. Their pre-loved planes are nicely refurbished with PTVs, white (instead of old yellowed) lights which make them look cleaner, newer and fresher.

Our flight time was only 5h20 today instead of 5h55. The routing took us over the southern tip of Iceland and we saw some of the white snowy landscape. Time went reasonably quickly with some comedies, writing, photo-editing and eating. This airline provides complimentary soft drinks and hot drinks.

We landed early around 1830 and cleared immigration swiftly only to end up waiting for our luggage. We saw our crew, all with large suitcases even though they were only overnighting; no doubt they are all empty awaiting filling up with groceries and other goodies to take back to Iceland. There was no queue for the prepaid taxi so we got to the Isabella Hotel & Suites around 2000.

After popping out in the very pleasant evening temperature to get some milk for a cuppa, we retired in our very tiny room. Accommodation is expensive in this big city. Other reasonably priced options were in dodgy areas, very rundown or required full non-refundable payment even when booked many months in advance.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Canada

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