I flew Delta's extra legroom seats to Iceland and the flight was fine, but the extra space comes with a catch
- Wow Air and its low-cost Iceland flights no longer exist after its March 2019 bankruptcy, but it's still possible to score a flight deal to the Land of Fire and Ice.
- I recently flew on Delta from New York's JFK to Keflavik, Reykjavik's main international airport, and got a free upgrade to Comfort-Plus, Delta's extra-legroom seats, thanks to my frequent-flyer status.
- However, I found that Comfort-Plus on Delta's 757-200 came with some compromises. It was nice having extra legroom, but I might have been happier back in coach.
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When Icelandic low-cost carrier Wow Air declared bankruptcy and abruptly stopped flying in March 2019, Iceland's economy took an immediate and sustained hit.
With its shockingly low fares - $199 roundtrip from US cities was not unheard of - and its attention-grabbing marketing tactics, the airline dropped off more than one-fourth of Iceland's international visitors before its collapse, according to The New York Times.
Tourism made up more than one-third of Iceland's economy in 2015, so Wow's collapse has prompted recession worries in Iceland. The number of international visitors are expected to drop by 16% this year, with 20% fewer Americans visiting.
A few weeks before Wow's collapse, I got an email from Scott's Cheap Flights, a service that highlights flight deals from your favorite airport, with flights to Reykjavik, Iceland for around $220 on Delta.
Unfortunately, such compelling flight deals to Iceland are becoming rarer since Wow's collapse, although they still pop up from time to time.
"The flight prices to Keflavik have been affected by Wow," Darci Valiente, a flight searcher with Scott's Cheap Flights, told Business Insider. "According to our [historical database], we regularly send JFK-KEF nonstop on Delta once a month in the $200s and $300s. However, the last time we saw this deal was in July, and since then, prices have trended to the upper $300s and lower $400s."
Now, I wasn't purposely avoiding booking a flight on Wow, despite rumors at the time that the Icelandic carrier's days were numbered, I was hoping to qualify for another year of elite frequent-flyer status on Delta, so the Wow-level fare on the US airline was quite appealing. My wife and I decided to book a long weekend in September.
Because of that frequent-flyer status (I am a "Platinum Medallion," in Delta's parlance, for 2019), I got a free upgrade to Delta's extra-legroom seats - branded as "Comfort-Plus," or comfort plus, for both flights.
Comfort-Plus is usually a nice perk on Delta's domestic and international routes, but this particular flight from New York to Keflavik, Iceland, the main international airport serving Reykjavik - is operated by an older narrow-body Boeing 757-200. While it's a fun plane, and usually a comfortable one, Comfort-Plus on this plane usually involves a few compromises - ones which aren't worth the extra two inches of legroom.
Most of the Comfort-Plus rows are against a bulkhead, an exit, or behind the "Premium Select" seats - Delta does not offer business class on the relatively short Iceland flight, only its take on premium economy. Those Comfort-Plus seats end up with a few shortcomings. Other seats, like mine for the outbound flight, are right next to the bathroom, meaning you have aisle traffic and an odor throughout the flight.
That said, it was a fine flight, but if I'd have paid the extra couple hundred dollars that the Comfort-Plus seats usually cost, I would have been quite unhappy.
Take a look at how my flight experience went: