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Saturday, December 3rd 2016

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YYC." - Chris Myden



2014
10
February
Calgary to Iceland | $754 roundtrip including taxes | June 2014

Bruarfoss, Iceland

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:

Icelandair 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 !

Why Iceland?

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...

Seljalandsfoss waterfall


Svínafellsjokull (crystal caves)

Svínafellsjokull glacier - crystal caves

Diving at Silfra

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...

Blue lagoon, Iceland

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 ?

From Edmonton:

$570 roundtrip including taxes
Cons: 2.5 hour drive to Edmonton + $65 parking for the trip

From Calgary:

$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

Step 1:

Search for cheap date combinations on Kayak. Here are some examples to get you started...

From Edmonton ($570)
June 03 or June 04 to June 10 or June 11
June 06 to June 17

From Edmonton ($627)
June 02 to June 13

From Calgary ($750)
June 03 or June 04 to June 10
June 06 to June 17

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.

Step 2:

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)

OR

- 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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11 Responses to "Calgary to Iceland | $754 roundtrip including taxes | June 2014"


    Has james woods been here?
       james woods on February 10th, 2014

    Icelandic needs a nonstop from Calgary.

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on February 11th, 2014

    Couldn't agree more James! Curious to know what all went into the decision to select YEG over YYC.

    The thought did occur to me that maybe one day Icelandair would fly out of YYC,and it could be worth waiting for sub 600 flights from Calgary. On the flip side of the coin, it is the first year for Icelandair to fly from Western Canada, and if it didn't work out, flights might never be this cheap again to KEF from Calgary or Edmonton.

    Has Mitch been here?
       Mitch on February 12th, 2014

    Just booked my Dad and myself, he'll love it as a 65th B'day present. Thanks for the tip

    Has Kelli been here?
       Kelli on February 17th, 2014

    Thanks for posting this Chris. Booked my flight for early June 2014 and can't wait!!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on February 18th, 2014

    Excellent, have a great trip Kelli! Mitch: Awesome gift!

    Has sonia been here?
       sonia on February 26th, 2014

    Does anyone know if this is still available?
    If so, can you please let me know where you found it.

    Thanks

    Has Tracy been here?
       Tracy on February 26th, 2014

    Any Recommendation on hotels?

    Has Evan been here?
       Evan on February 27th, 2014

    The flight is more of a case of connecting Edmonton to mainland europe (through Iceland air's network) rather than connection Edmonton to Iceland. Ac has neglected YEG for a long time, FI took advantage of that. Didn't hurt that AC threw a hissy fit after that happened. FI will stay in Edmonton and hub Calgarians there. It's likely that it will be a year round flight and they'll hub Vancouver there too. YEG is the closest airport to KEF of those three.

    Has Jason  been here?
       Jason on March 1st, 2014

    Do you know if they will be offering the same prices after August when the tourist season quiets down?

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on March 3rd, 2014

    Hi Jason, it's hard to say for sure, but typically from what I've seen, Icelandair does offer their cheapest prices in the winter and fall months, including September.

    Has Steve Ungerer been here?
       Steve Ungerer on March 8th, 2014

    We're headed to Iceland in a couple of weeks. R/T airfare YEG-KEF and a week's hotel (actually a small apartment) in central Reykjavik came in around $1,800 for 2. An incredible deal. I agree with Evan's post: Edmonton has been under served with flights to Europe for years. With a metro area of over a million people, there is definitely a market for it. Icelandair has added a fifth round-trip YEG-KEF on Tuesdays. Plus, if you are connecting to Europe through KEF, Icelandair allows you a free stopover in Iceland for up to 3 days (either outbound or inbound). A brilliant bit of tourism marketing.

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