Every autumn, Reykjavik rocks out as the Iceland Airwaves festival takes over the city. The festival takes place over a long weekend (November 5 – 9 in 2014) across many venues in this compact city. The festival, a favorite among festival aficionados, is a great way to get acquainted with up and coming talent from Iceland, Europe and beyond. This year, one of the headliners are Flaming Lips, a festival favorite.
Iceland Airwaves started humbly in an airline hangar in 1999 and has quickly grown to be a citywide event. Sponsors include the City of Reykjavik, and most importantly to the rest of us, Icelandair. Why is that important? Because Icelandair has put together amazing packages for the festival at super cheap prices. Icelandair’s packages give you your flight (with all fees/taxes), a hotel for the length of your stay, and festival passes, all for what it would normally cost to fly from North America to many cities in Europe. (In fact, in the few cases I’ve checked, its cheaper!)
If you decide to get one of the packages, you may want to consider using the Club Carlson (Park Inn or Radisson Blu) hotels or the Hilton, in case the rates will allow for points accumulation. Some sample packages, each include festival passes:
- Boston departure, 4 nights hotel @ Park Inn Island (w/breakfast): $823/person
- Seattle departure, 5 nights hotel @ Radisson Blu Saga: $1,136/person
- Edmonton departure, 8 nighs hotel @ Park Inn Island (w/breakfast): $1,023/person
If you do choose a Club Carlson hotel, and you have status with any other major hotel chain, consider trying to get a status match to earn even more points (or possibly upgrades). All you need to do is take a screenshot of your elite status with another brand and send it to with your Club Carlson number to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to sign up for Icelandair’s Saga Club, their frequent flyer program. Even if you never fly with Icelandair again, you can always convert your points to another airline via Points.com, donate your points to charity, or redeem the points for gift cards.
There is so much to do in and around Reykjavik, you may even want to stay a few more days to take a bus out to the Blue Lagoon, check out the Strokkur geyser, or soak up the culture and history of the city. With the Icelandair package it’s so cheap to stay an extra few nights, why not?