You've just spent a week in the beautiful land of the ice and snow. As soon as you glance off into the distance and begin to notice the two elves slowly peering out from underneath that big rock, the car suddenly comes to a stop. You realize that you're standing right outside Keflavik International Airport, all packed up and ready to fly out of Iceland in three short hours. As you walk through the terminal, you begin to wonder: What would be the best way to end such an amazing trip on an unforgettable high note? Your thoughts begin to slow down, your mind starts to focus, and a lightbulb goes off in your head. Off in the distance, you notice the sign pointing towards the Icelandair Saga Lounge. You've heard great things from the new lifetime acquaintances that you've made on your trip, so what better way to end such a marvelous odyssey than this?
The Icelandair Saga Lounge's location within the airport terminal is fairly out of the way: secluded, carefully tucked away on the ground floor. It's not quite Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station, but you'll have to take a lift just past Gate 6 in order to access the lounge. To make things a bit easier, there's a sign right next to the lift to direct you to the right place, though this does bring the mystique factor down just a bit. As you approach the lounge, you take out your iOS or Android smartphone, and there it is: the push notification from LoungeBuddy, welcoming you to KEF. After checking in and sharing your visit on several social media outlets, it's time to walk up to the front desk to present your credentials.
The lounge attendants at the Icelandair Saga Lounge are friendly and welcoming, and as you'll quickly discover, it is unlikely that you'll find a lounge dragon in the land of ice. If you have some heavy carry on luggage to drag around, feel free to take a load off with one of the designated carry-on lockers, each of which comes with its very own key.
Decor and Design
The Icelandair Saga Lounge is designed by renowned Icelandic interior designers Eggert Ketilsson and Stígur Steinþórsson, and this influence is immediately apparent once you set foot into the uniquely Icelandic airport oasis. Representations of Icelandic nature and culture abound, reflecting a sense of openness and harmony with the natural environment. Some of the special motifs and features that brand this lounge as Icelandic are quite apparent as you walk around to get a better feel of the place. A fireplace of columnar basalt and a cairn of local rocks are two of the more prominent examples. In addition, photos by Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson are visible throughout the lounge for guests to enjoy. These photos feature native Icelanders and picturesque Icelandic waterfalls.
A lack of breathtaking tarmac views is more than compensated for by the cozy ambience and an abundance of natural light in the principal seating area. The all-natural wood floors and the usage of wood paneling in parts, as well as the sky blue finish that envelope some of the walls like a tranquil blue ocean - these qualities take us back to the natural environment where we can relax and feel at peace, a haven from today's high-stress, adrenaline-fueled modern society.
While we're on the subject of walls, there are two airline themed walls that serve to provide visitors with a better sense of the 75-year history of Iceland's flag carrier. One of these walls cover the evolution of the Icelandair fleet, all the way up to the modern day Boeing models, while the other provides a timeline of Icelandair's growth and some of the more prominent developments that occurred over the 75-year period. If you take a quick stroll around to check out some of the other walls, you may notice large monitors featuring images of beautiful natural landscapes - which all fits in with the natural theme.
What Are Some of the Icelandair Saga Lounge's Amenities?
While we've spoken quite a bit about the overall feel of the lounge, we wouldn't want to leave out a discussion of the amenities. Everything that you have come to expect in a modern airport lounge can be found here. If you're more of a connoisseur of older forms of entertainment, there are televisions and newspapers available for your viewing and reading pleasure, in that order. If you prefer to surf the web, there are tablets available just for your use (Note: This is for in-lounge use only, and it is forbidden to take them outside with you). The complimentary wi-fi in this lounge is fast, and if you brought your notebook or smartphone with you, you're in for a treat.
Now that you've selected something to entertain yourself with, it's time to choose from a variety of comfortable seating options. Since the lounge does not normally get too crowded, it will likely be easier to find a place to sit down here than in many of the busier airport terminals in other parts of the world - bright red sofas, along with those of other shades, await you! If you've exhausted your smartphone's battery since the last charge by uploading hundreds of photos and reviews into LoungeBuddy, we'd like to thank you for your efforts. As a token of our appreciation, feel free to utilize one of the complimentary charging stations in the Saga Lounge to give your phone a much needed break, and who knows - there may be even more to come. =)
Showers at airport lounges are almost always a welcome sight, and the realization that there is one available in the Saga Lounge is a pleasant surprise. Since bathrooms are also available within the lounge, there is no need to exit the lounge and re-enter each time nature calls, which is ideal for those who've come to try out some of Iceland's intricately crafted homemade beers.
Food and Beverages
It's now time to move on to the next question that's on everyone's mind: the food and beverage selection. There is a nice variety of quality treats to enjoy. While you won't find minke whale on a stick, there are enough options here to put together a light meal for yourself before your flight. Choose from finger sandwiches, breads and rolls, crisps, salad, soups, cheese, and sliced cold cuts. Some of the standouts here are the creamy potato soup, smoked salmon, and the trays of sushi. If you want to try something authentically Icelandic, go for the skyr, the Icelandic national yogurt that's been part of the local culture for over a thousand years. For dessert, you can choose from a number of cakes, chocolates, macaroons, muffins, and fresh fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. And finally, for something to wash it all down, you will find a variety of juices, soft drinks, tea, water, and coffee (several espresso stations are conveniently placed throughout the lounge area).
Another lounge highlight is the open self-serve bar, with a number of options that fall under the categories of complimentary beer, wine, and spirits. This is certainly a nice touch, especially in a country where the market price of alcohol is kept artificially high by the state monopoly. Danish guests may welcome the inclusion of Gammel Dansk, a famous bitters liquor that is commonly consumed in the morning.
If your command of the Icelandic tongue is still a bit rough, look for the distinctive green coloured bottle with the black label. "Brennivin", the Original Icelandic Spirit. After several shots of this liquor, which is traditionally consumed for the feast of Þorrablót as an accompaniment to hákarl, the signature Icelandic dish of fermented shark, you'll be well on your way to speaking fluent Icelandic. Or so says the marketing team at the brewery. Brennivin is made with fermented grain and potato mash, and is flavored with herbs, much like Scandinavian akvavit.
The most prominent brand, which is available in the Icelandair Saga Lounge, is produced by Egill Skallagrímsson Brewery, which incidentally, is also the producer of Egils pale lager and Brio, an award-winning German style pilsener, as well as a handful of famous foreign soft drinks. Vífilfell is the other main brewer in Iceland, producing all of the Coca Cola branded drinks in Iceland, in addition to Thule export beer and Viking Gylltur lager. The majority of these products are available for sampling within the Icelandair Saga Lounge.
How to Access The Icelandair Saga Lounge
To cover the different ways through which passengers can access the Icelandair Saga Lounge (before departure), here's a reproduction of the list that you'll find just outside the lounge as a reference:
Requires Boarding Pass From:
|Saga Class||Travel Class||Icelandair||No|
|Economy Comfort Class||Travel Class||Icelandair||No|
|Business Class||Travel Class||SAS||Yes|
|Business Class||Travel Class||British Airways or Finnair||No|
|Saga Gold||Elite Status||Icelandair||Yes|
|Saga Silver||Elite Status||Icelandair||Yes|
|Star Alliance Gold||Elite Status||SAS or Lufthansa||Yes|
|EuroBonus Pandion||Elite Status||SAS||Yes|
|Miles and More Senator||Elite Status||Lufthansa||No|
|Miles and More HON Circle||Elite Status||Lufthansa||No|
|oneworld Sapphire/Emerald||Elite Status||British Airways or Finnair||Yes|
|Premium Icelandair American Express Card||Credit Card||Icelandair||No|
|Business Icelandair American Express Card||Credit Card||Icelandair||No|
|Arion Bank World Elite Mastercard||Credit Card||Icelandair||No|
|MP Bank Platinum Business Card||Credit Card||Icelandair||No|
The Icelandair Saga Lounge is a unique airport oasis in an even more unique travel destination. As a relatively undiscovered diamond in the rough, the Saga Lounge stands out as an interesting and one-of-a-kind addition among the brotherhood of worldwide airport lounges. If you have a bit of time to wait for your connecting flight, or if you want to experience that last taste of Icelandic hospitality before your departure, the Icelandair Saga Lounge is an excellent place to relax and recharge. As the midnight sun begins to set, remember to always keep this in mind: Icelandair welcomes you on your next journey, so don't wait - book your Saga Class ticket now and enjoy a stay in the Icelandair Saga Lounge!