Icelandair makes Raleigh-Durham its newest US destination

Dec 16, 2021

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Icelandair is headed to The Tar Heel State for its latest U.S. expansion.

The carrier will launch service between Keflavik (KEF) near Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik and Raleigh-Durham (RDU) on May 12. Service will be operated four times a week — on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays — with a Boeing 737 MAX 8. That aircraft has features 144 economy seats and 16 Saga Class seats, which is similar to an international premium economy product.

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“We are excited to add Raleigh-Durham to our extensive route network, offering non-stop flights from North Carolina to Iceland with convenient connections to our many destinations in Europe,” Bogi Nils Bogason, president and CEO of Icelandair, said in a statement. “North Carolina is an exciting new destination for our local market, to visit as a tourist or in relation to the world class university community and the strong high-tech industry.”

For residents of North Carolina’s “Research Triangle” metro area, Icelandair’s new service provides a new travel open when visiting Europe. American Airlines’ flight to London Heathrow (LHR) is scheduled to resume in March, with Delta resuming its flight to Paris (CDG) in August. Icelandair serves more than 25 destinations throughout Iceland, Scandinavia and continental Europe. It famously offers free Iceland stopovers of up to seven days on its tickets.

The new flight departs RDU at 8:30 p.m., arriving in Keflavik at 6:30 a.m. the next day, all times local. The return flight departs KEF at 4:45 p.m., arriving at RDU at 7:30 p.m.

More: 4 reasons to fly Saga Class on Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX over the larger 767

Fares start at $449 for travel to Iceland, and $499 for onward travel to Europe, and are valid between May 12 and June 15 as well as August 16 and Oct. 30. Icelandair is bookable using Alaska Mileage Plan miles, and while the partner availability for this flight has not yet been released, round trips between New York (JFK) and Keflavik run anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 Alaska miles (TPG values Alaska Mileage Plan miles at 1.8 cents per mile). JetBlue TrueBlue members are able to earn miles for cash bookings, though these miles are not redeemable on Icelandair. Finally, Icelandair’s Saga Club is a good option for frequent travelers to or through Iceland, though it does not participate in any credit card transfer programs.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

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