Posted by: jeanne | February 19, 2014

flight check

usair and icelandair thru bos on the way out and jfk on the way in, stopping in charlotte. it’s $902.

i’m seeing price drops on delta’s flight to $1010 from $1030, and my stopover flight to see the folks is now down to $1056.

it’s four months until my flight dates.

i wonder if it’ll be clear when i should buy them.

and don’t forget trip insurance! cancel for any reason insurance.

a few days later and i’m seeing the air canada / icelandair flight at 907.

i’m getting volatile results doesn’t mean the results are volatile. it could be me. but i’m going to be paying more attention now.

it’s more what site am i using?

yapta is saying i can do the stopover at iad for 1156, but it means hanging at jfk for 10 hours. gives the air canada / icelandair routing thru toronto, with that the only stop, as 1229 tuesdays and thursdays. i was seeing it somewhere yesterday at 907. air canada charges $35 a bag.

priceline gives me the delta route thru jfk, and it’s 1097. it’s 1032 with orbitz.

i go to the delta site, and can get the jfk route for 1010. but that’s thru orlando. it’s 1039 to go thru jfk. and one free checked bag.

expedia shows the air canada / icelandair route thru toronto and halifax for 994. onetravel has the same flights for 987.

i can’t get the same deals going thru air canada or icelandair, only the booking engines.

both the toronto route and the jfk route are about 15 hours. the stopover has me sitting at jfk for 10 hours. the only thing against the canadian flight is that i have to go thru 2 sets of customs, which is potentially long and arduous for just travelling thru. of course, how would i know, never having done this. my normal trips are to places i’ve been to before several if not many times. i never thought of going to iceland, except after the volcano, when i thought it would be kind of cool. and then i thought about booking passage on a cargo ship.

this drives me crazy, and i hate actually spending money, so it’s going to be torture. so i’ll just keep watch over the next week, or at least til mercury is direct again.

oh btw you can take a boat to iceland using eimskip‘s green line, and you can take a ship around to akureyri. 10 days to reykjavik from portland and 3 days around the north end of the island. can’t figure out what it costs, tho. i’ve sent an email.

a week later and orbitz is giving the12 hour usair/icelandair flight at 1053, cheapo-air at 1046, and expedia for 1004 (and shows recent search results), yapta gives the 15 hour delta flight with the million hour layover at jfk for 1060.  cheapo-air gives the air canada/icelandair flight (thru charlotte and boston and back thru toronto) as 1111.

boy these prices fluctuate.

okay, now it’s next week, the first week of march, and the canadian flights, thru halifax, are down to 1027 on kayak. the delta thru jfk flights are 1034 on kayak, 1041 on yapta. expedia is showing 1004 for the usair/icelandair flights thru boston (and charlotte), and delta’s orlando and jfk flight for as low as 1011, and has the air canada / icelandair flight for 1120. skyscanner gives the same prices as expedia for delta, but quoting 1102 for the usair/icelandair flights.

a cool roundtrip might be the ones that take usair icelandair going out, but icelandair westjet or air canada going back (a daylight flight over canada). the trouble with the westjet flight is that there’s a 11 hour layover in toronto, at night, which means a hotel room and $200.

trying to go to the airlines and see, the usair / icelandair flight thru boston goes for a total of 1086. delta gives 1011 thru orlando and jfk, and 1033 thru jfk. air canada / icelandair is 1604. wow.

i’m too tired to look at some of the more exotic providers at the moment, so i’ll stop.

mar 4. things are down another few dollars, the lowest being 1003 (the usair / icelandair flights thru bos) and the next 1027 (air canada / icelandair on kayak). tonight i’m looking at flights, as in which ones am i really considering.

the first thing i’m going to look at now is how long the flights are. i am appalled to find 29 hour flight times. 37 hours. this is for the air canada / icelandair flights, which would go over canada and greenland to get to iceland, a route i would like to see – all those snow covered mountains and frozen lakes – it’s so cool.

working from the timetable to see how many flights a day icelandair runs to kef from bos, there’s flight 1634 (1435-2340), 1632 (2100-0600), and 1630 (2130-0630). from jfk there’s 1612 (1410-2340) and 1614 (2040-0615), and from ewr it’s 1622 (2045-0615). from mco it’s 1688 (1900-0610). from iad it’s 1644 (2035-0620). and btw only the toronto route (yyz, 1602 2105-0620) goes overland and over greenland. the halifax route (yhz, 1606, 220-0515 tts) goes over water most of the way.

so the next best option is one of the usair connections that switch to icelandair in boston. but the routemap shows that bos to jfk to iad to mco are kind of evenly spaced out, so really it’s getting to the connecting airport that’s the issue because once you’re on the flight to kef it’s nonstop. duh, i tell myself. and the only major port icelandair doesn’t visit in the lineup of east coast ports is my own airfield, atl. which sucks. i have to say it.

anyway, the usair configuration. usair has 12 flights a day to bos, etc etc. that’s not the way to find the best flight. i guess what i want is a minimum of layover time. like none of this 37 hour bullshit. so. shortest flights. that’ll be the delta flights, no doubt. the 15 hour one with the 7 hour layover at jfk. at 1034 on kayak.

how long are the usair / icelandair flights? they’re 12, 13 hours. but it’s a plane change in charlotte, and a plane change in boston. hustle hustle. 0700 to 2340. and at 1003-ish they’re the cheapest. on expedia. i’ve checked with the hostel in reykjavik and it’s okay if i get in at midnight. everybody’s up anyway and besides you check yourself in. so okay.

orbitz is telling me 1040 is the lowest fare, and it’s thru it’s a delta flight with only a 3 hour layover in jfk. and the clt/bos usair flight for 1118. what gives with the difference in these prices? i think expedia.

i guess i’ll watch for a few more days, and then go ahead and get my tickets. 3.5 months ahead. then i can stop worrying about prices.

but wait. here’s an air canada / icelandair flight thru halifax that only takes 13 hours and is 995. air canada 8620 to 614 to icelandair 606. huh. 1135-0515. ah yes, but the return flight is 25 hours. so never mind. that’s the one i don’t want.

next morning, i have a story about a boot, one i bought on line and and love, but it was almost the wrong size, and by the time i returned it, it was the end of the season and suddenly there wasn’t my size. there was for a minute, but before i realized what was happening, the last one was sold and there went my boot. fortunately it’s just a half size different and i love thick socks, so it’s great.

so the lesson is to check every day and keep track of what the prices are doing. back to expedia, with kayak as a reference.

kayak / yapta won’t do the usair/icelandair route, and only gives me air canada / icelandair or delta. frustrating.

998, 1003, 1049 for flights on tuesday, wednesday and thursday, these are all usair / icelandair flights. but the 998 goes thru philadelphia with 55 minutes to get to the gate, then thru halifax with a 5 hour layover. the 1003 goes thru clt and bos and gets in at midnight. the 1049. and that same flight is still 1003 on wednesday, but 1049 on thursday.

and there’s only 1 more seat at this price, so buy now!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

no pressure.

so, the trouble with the usair flights is that to get a flight that’s 12-13 hours long and not arrive back in atlanta at midnight will cost me 1120 even with the clt bos hops. the cheap one is westjet i.e. delta, and goes thru toronto and halifax on the way back, for a 20 hour flight, that’s the 1003 round trip flight. it seems like my choices are a quick flight and a horribly long flight, not both quick flights at once, because that costs 2000+. it’s interesting how they package these things. but again, they’re cheaper than going to usair and then going to icelandair and buying tickets separately. a lot cheaper.

like some surreal novel, the flights keep changing themselves. i mean the delta route i saw before is the same one i’m now looking at with usair and icelandair. this is why it takes so long to buy tickets. not because i’m waiting for the best deal, but because it takes so long for me to come up to speed and just buy a ticket.

it’s enough to get me back to delta, where it’s 1083 to go thru jfk and that’s it. and one of these flights is only 5 hours layover. leaves at 1700 gets in at 0930. 12 hours.

but, see, i haven’t been clicking thru. i haven’t been considering the return flights and what that would do to the bottom line. the usair choice came back thru canada and took forever for the same price that showed up on the outward bound flight page.

and here’s a return for the same lolo price of 1083 (slightly high in the range i’ve been looking at), leaving at 1100 and getting in at 1800 (+-). it’s not on icelandair, however, which is the big strike against it. the same flight is 1190 the next day. so i have to get there 6 days before i have to be at the residency.

6 days. i would have to travel. not just hafnarfjordur to reykjavik, but either around the ring or a 3 day hiking trip or go out to the westfjords.

hmmmmmm. it would cost $75 a day at least, no matter how cheaply i did it. travel and bed and board. and a swim.

usair clt to boston, leaves home at 0700, gets in at 2340 – says 1003 on this page. go thru, and the option i want is not 20 hours going thru canada for that same 1003. it’s the 1030 to 1922 flight thru bos and clt for 1120.

so, one stop with delta for 1083 or 2 stops with usair and icelandair for 1120.

can i find out what the flight is like on icelandair versus delta? delta is a known quantity, much preferable to shabby usair, which always makes me feel like cargo. i know it’s just a northern attitude versus a southern one, but i like the south. the usair flight is also an hour longer each way. and the delta layovers in new york are just enough time to get thru customs and race for the gate.

it’s a $40 difference. why am i freaking out about it? i love to fly. i love airports. i love standing in line with all the other people for a chance to say hello to the people who work there.

anyway, i’ll let it sit a day or two. i don’t know why. well, partly because it’s such a huge chunk of money. by far the most i have to put out to go on residency. and then i have to purchase insurance just in case, because this year just in case could really happen, and i want to be prudent about the chances i’m taking.

thursday, i got an email notice from cheapo air about a big sale that turns out to be a coupon for $50 on top of an instant savings of $28. and the cheapest it’s giving me is the same old usair/icelandair flights thru boston and charlotte. for 1000 with the forever layover thru canada on the way back. but if i book one way tickets thru boston and charlotte and then icelandair both ways, i can get 12 hour flights both ways, and the total is 1058.

is that any better than getting those routes together? can i get those routes together? yes i can get them together, and their price is 1116, so it behoves me to get one way tickets. i never. now i have to look at everything this way. feh.

okay, it’s almost paddy’s day, and it’s time to buy. the options are narrowing horribly. turns out, at this point, that the option i thought was silly, thru canada, is the only option under a thousand dollars, and the prices rise a hundred or two hundred each day’s different arrival and departure.

so after being flummoxed by these complex pricing issues, after having one window open for each choice of departure and arrival over a solid week at each end, i finally made myself a grid. i used expedia. monday thru friday leaving, monday thru thursday coming back. mondays and fridays are out, i just want to say that. thursday creeps on up there. basically i go on tuesday or wednesday and i come back wednesday, and i can keep it under a thousand.

and before i commit this huge sum, i should check the hostels i’ll be staying in, because they’re booked out already in some parts of iceland (reykjanes penninsula). okay, so far so good. i prebooked the hostel in reykjavik and the one in akureyri for the trip to the residency. i have 2 days i need to book, a bus ticket to buy, an airline ticket to buy, and 5 days after the residency before my plane leaves to go home. so what to do?

and as of early this morning, i went and bought them, using my aarp membership to get that extra $7 discount whee. and now that’s a weight off my mind. to be replaced by other weights not quite so concentrated.

that’s a month’s worth of blog posts on this, and now it’s ended.



  1. Most folks say buy them 3 months from date of flight.


  2. that’s the end of march. i’m certainly waiting until mercury goes direct…


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