Tips to finding affordable airfare to Iceland

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After weeks of scouring the internet for affordable flights to Iceland, we finally found a way to get to the Land of Fire and Ice much cheaper than we first anticipated.

Flights from Chicago to Reykjavik have hovered around the $1,000 USD per person range for weeks.  I was okay with paying that amount but I wanted to see if I could find cheaper options since I would rather save money getting there and have more to spend while in Iceland.

With a little planning, I was able to save approximately $550 total getting to Iceland.  Here is what I did to save on our roundtrips flights to Iceland:

I was open to travel to one of IcelandAir’s departure airports

From what I have observed IcelandAir offers the best flight deals to Iceland from the United States, especially if you are able get a direct flight of one of their 10 US gateways.  They offers direct flights to Reykjavik from the following airports:

  • Anchorage (ANC)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Minneapolis (MSP)
  • Newark (EWR)
  • New York – Kennedy (JFK)
  • New York City Area (NYC)
  • Orlando (ORL)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • Washington D.C. (WAS)

Kyle and I were able to find flights out of Minneapolis for nearly $400 cheaper a head than if we were leaving out of Chicago.  We jumped on this deal and paid $1204 (tax and fees included) for roundtrip airfare.

I used Skyscanner.com and Kayak.com

Usually, I utilize Expedia.com for all my vacation booking needs.  However, for our adventure to the Land of Fire and Ice I found that Skyscanners.com and Kayak.com offered better deals.   These two websites had tickets for the same flights nearly $120 cheaper than Expedia.

Used Kayak.com’s price trend feature

I love this forecast feature on Kayak.com.  When I bought my tickets, Kayak stated that it was 70% confident that the cost of the flights I was looking at would increase over the next 7 days.  

The easiest option is not always the quickest

So, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in a car for over 6 hours before getting on a 6 hour flight.  I was getting horrible flashbacks to our swollen feet after our flight to Australia.  However, after looking into the details further I found that the easier option (flying out of Chicago) was not only more expensive, but also more time extensive. Here is my breakdown:

Our round trip expenses summary:

  • Two roundtrip tickets from Minneapolis to Reykjavik (with tax and fees): $1204
  • Gas roundtrip from Chicago to Minneapolis (MSP) Airport: $68
  • Parking at MSP airport for the duration of the trip: $143
  • Travel from Chicago to MSP: 6 hours 23 minutes
  • Time checking-in/waiting in airport: 3 hours (standard for international flights)
  • Flight time from MSP to Reykjavik: 6 hours
  • Total expense: $1415 
  • Total Time: 15 hours and 23 minutes

Flights out of Chicago:

  • Two roundtrip tickets from Chicago (ORD): $1946
  • Taxi from home to ORD: $26
  • Drive from home to ORD: 20 minutes
  • Time checking-in/waiting in airport: 3 hours (standard for international flights)
  • Flight time with layovers from ORD to JFK to Reykjavik: 18 hours 40 minutes
  • Total expense: $1972
  • Total Time: 22 hours

We saved $557 and approximately 6 hours and 37 minutes!  It’s a win win!

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