Ever since Icelandair expanded operations to start flying out of Western Canada, I've been excited about the potential for cheap flights from Calgary to Iceland.
In the second half of last year, Icelandair announced they would begin non-stop flights from Vancouver (YVR) and Edmonton (YEG) to their main hub in Reykjavik (KEF), the capital city of Iceland, along with connecting flights to various other cities in Europe.
Icelandair's route map:
This was exciting to me because having seen the ridiculously cheap prices Icelandair had been offering over the years from Toronto and Halifax (the only two Canadian cities they previously flew from) - there was now potential for similarly cheap prices from Western Canada.
Icelandair did not disappoint in their Western Canada debut, with prices as cheap as $560 roundtrip including taxes between Edmonton or Vancouver and Reykjavik, Iceland.
And what about Calgary? Well, at first it didn't seem to really have an impact, and Calgary-Iceland prices seemed to still be bottoming out in the typical $1200-$1300 roundtrip range.
But lately I had been noticing prices starting to drop significantly from YYC, mainly via connecting WestJet flights that stopped over in Edmonton each way, where you catch the non-stop flights (6 hours) between Edmonton and Iceland.
The other interesting thing was that June 2014 flight prices were dropping. This was significant because Icelandair is always the most reluctant to drop their June, July, and August fares. Why? Because those are the 3 best months to visit Iceland.
Summer has the warmest weather and the most daylight, and that's when most people want to visit. Up until now, some January through May flights were getting cheaper, but when June started dropping it made me sit up and take notice.
So last night I booked it. Yep, heading to Iceland in June 2014 !
Iceland has long been very near the top of the list of countries I had hoped to visit one day. Over the years I've kept tabs on really amazing sights from around the world, and photos from the web that I found unusually captivating. The list of sights and photos from Iceland just kept growing and growing, along with my interest.
Just a few of the places in Iceland that made me want to visit include...
Svínafellsjokull (crystal caves)
Diving at Silfra
Where you can snorkel or dive in a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents.
And of course there's the Blue Lagoon, the famous and undoubtedly touristy geothermal spa...
Not to mention the chance to take a tour *inside* a volcano...
And what was really exciting to me was that I hadn't yet even started a thorough investigation of all that Iceland has to offer.
Decision time - depart from Calgary or Edmonton?
When it came time to book the flights, there was a decision to be made. Depart from YYC or YEG ?
$570 roundtrip including taxes
Cons: 2.5 hour drive to Edmonton + $65 parking for the trip
$754 roundtrip including taxes
After factoring everything in, including the fact that there were 4 of us, and that departing from Calgary meant a layover in Edmonton that was approximately as long as the drive would be anyways, and the fact that the flights departed and returned at reasonable hours, we decided to depart from Edmonton.
How to book the flights to Iceland
Search for cheap date combinations on Kayak. Here are some examples to get you started...
From Edmonton ($627)
June 02 to June 13
Date combinations that work out to the cheapest price in June 2014 do seem to be very limited, although certain date combinations in and around these dates are available for slightly more.
To make the booking, do one of the following...
- click through from your search result on Kayak to FlightHub (the link is right above the 'details' button on your Kayak search result)
- take your dates, and just start a search from scratch over at FlightHub.com
Other sites I've tried all seem to be showing the same flights for quite a bit more, even on Icelandair's own website. I can tell you that all went well with my FlightHub booking though, and within minutes of booking I received the actual record locator which I tried on Icelandair.ca - and it showed my booking as being confirmed.
When you get to the booking page on FlightHub, you may want to deselect their 'Best Purchase Guarantee' which they try to sneak past you by default for $19.99 per passenger. It can be found about two-thirds of the way down the booking page.
I'm not sure how many June seats Icelandair will be offering at this price, so if it disappears quickly after sending out this alert, I apologize. If they do go quickly, hopefully Icelandair will offer up some more.
If you either have or need any advice regarding Iceland, feel free to comment below or post it in the YYC Deals Facebook Group.
I'd definitely appreciate any suggestions from anyone who's been!
And if you see any other cheap date combinations, please share those with your fellow travelers as well.
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