Icelandair Connecting Flights

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This is an Icelandair connecting flights guide.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to book Icelandair connecting flights. This guide also covers passenger rights, compensation rules and baggage policy. Icelandair is the flag carrier airline of Iceland. It operates scheduled flights to Europe and North America. Icelandair has codeshare agreements with several European airlines, including AirBaltic, Finnair and SAS, Scandinavian Airlines

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

Icelandair Plane
Photo by Max Walter from Pexels


Is It Protected?

Yes, it’s a protected connection.

Traditional airlines sell airline-protected connecting flights. It’s more convenient and more safe than self-transfer flights. You don’t need a visa for connecting flights like this.

Unless you book flights separately.

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Baggage Rules

Airline takes care of your baggage.

Mostly, you will check in baggage only once — you won’t have to recheck baggage for every flight. This is how it works with full-service airlines and airline-protected connecting flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the ticket, destination and occasionally some other factors. 


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1. Icelandair Connecting Flights

Icelandair is a full-service traditional airline.

It offers connecting flights and other services that only full-service airlines provide. Airline-protected connecting flights and better service are the most popular reasons why people prefer full-service traditional airlines to low-cost airlines. It’s simply a better choice.

Protected connecting flights are better than self transfers.

Airline-protected connecting flights are:

  • More safe. Your airline takes care of flight problems.
  • More convenient. Baggage transfer is automatic.
  • Easier to book. You book several flights as a single journey.

Yes, Icelandair sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

You have booked a connecting flight with Icelandair. 

But not always your flight will be operated by Icelandair. When it is, you’ll be flying on a Icelandair plane, manned by Icelandair crew. But it’s not the case with all Icelandair connecting flights. Don’t be surprised when your flight is operated by another airline — it happens a lot.

1.2 Icelandair Codeshare Partners

You have booked a connecting flight with Icelandair. 

But not always your flight will be operated by Icelandair. Why is that? It’s because sometimes airlines share their flights. So, you may have a connecting flight booked on Icelandair website, but it could be operated by another airline. In this case, you will fly on that airline’s plane manned by that airline’s crew.

Connecting flights with different airlines is a norm in aviation. It’s a very common practice. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, it’s Icelandair’s responsibility to find a solution. You should contact Icelandair to take care of that. In most cases, the airline will provide you with a new ticket for free. As long as it’s a Icelandair connection booked from Icelandair, they are called marketing airline — they are responsible for finding solutions. Even if the flight was operated by another airline (codeshare partner).
  • If your flight is heavily delayed, cancelled or overbooked, compensation is paid by airline operating this particular flight. If it’s operated by some other airline, not Icelandair, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Icelandair codeshare partners here.

Icelandair Airplane in the Sky
Photo by Max Walter from Pexels

2. What If Icelandair Cancels a Flight?

There are number of reasons why Icelandair cancels their flights.

Staff shortage, technical problems or airport congestion. Bad weather, security issues or medical emergency. These are just some of the most popular reasons.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Icelandair is a European airline.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

One of your flights is cancelled, and as a result, you miss the next flight. In this case, it’s Icelandair’s responsibility to offer you an alternative flight to your final destination. Unless you choose a refund. The rules are the same with all Icelandair cancelled flights.

You may have a right to compensation (more on this below).

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

2.2 All Your Flights Are Cancelled

Overall, for you as a passenger, the options are the same.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, Icelandair must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport if it’s a last-minute cancellation and you are already at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Icelandair Refund for Cancellation

You have a right to ask for a refund.

If the alternative flight you were offered doesn’t fit your travel plans, you can ask for a full refund. You don’t have to accept coupons from Icelandair. Refund has to be paid by bank transfer.

It must be paid within seven days.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Icelandair Missed Connecting Flight

Why people miss their connecting flights?

There are a number of reasons. It could be just a mistake — waiting at the wrong gate or falling asleep while waiting for the flight. Or it could be something more serious like long lines or airport congestion, or delayed/cancelled previous flight.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Icelandair Connection?

If it’s your fault that it happened — it’s your responsibility.

If it’s not your fault, then your airline has to take care of that. If you booked a flight from Icelandair, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Icelandair or not, you should contact Icelandair. They have to find a solution. You missed a connecting flight, and the airline must offer you a solution.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Take you to your final destination as soon as possible.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Icelandair

In some cases you may have a right to compensation.

If your flight lands 3 or more hours later than scheduled, and the cause of the delay or cancellation is due to circumstances within the airline’s control (technical or crew problems), you may be entitled to compensation from Icelandair. Sometimes even a 2-hour flight delay is enough for you to be entitled to compensation. The latter applies to situations when one flight is cancelled last-minute.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.


File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Icelandair

On all Icelandair flights you have a right to care.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004 airline should provide:

  • Free food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
  • Free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary;
  • Free airport transfer to hotel and back.
  • Plus, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. You’ll need to notify your loved ones about changes in your travel plans, right?

It applies to all domestic and international flights with Icelandair. Again, it’s because Icelandair is a European airline. With non-European airlines it applies only to flights departing from European airports.

When it comes to air passenger rights, unless otherwise stated, we talk about air passenger rights in the EU, EEA and UK. When we say Europe or European, we mean EU, EEA or UK. This is done for the simplicity, since the according laws in these countries are about the same.

Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

4. How to Book Connecting Flights with Icelandair?

You can do it directly from Icelandair or via a third-party.

These are two best options. You can either go to the website of Icelandair and book Icelandair flights there, or you can book via a third-party booking website.

How to Book?

Airline website (directly).

This is the easiest way to book a connecting flight. It’s also the safest way to book a connection. You make a single booking, have a single reservation code and the booking includes several flights. Sometimes they are all with one airline, other times – two or more. Anyway, in this case, you can be 100% sure that you have a proper connecting flight.

Other Option

Flight booking websites.

Few examples:,,

Pay attention to the details. Because some of these sites are only search engines, and sellers are other websites. Apart from that, they often sell both airline-protected connecting flights and self-transfer flights. If it’s a self-transfer, know that it comes with its own risks, and there are things you should take into account. Self-transfer is not the same thing as airline-protected transfer. 

For extra protection, buy also a travel insurance covering flight disruptions, or book with sites like, who offer extra protection.

With you are more protected than normally.

Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Icelandair Connecting Flights: Baggage

Since Icelandair is a traditional airline, everything’s very easy.

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Icelandair are simple.

In short, Icelandair takes care of your baggage. You check in your bag upon arriving at the airport (origin). In most cases, it will go all the way to your final destination. You don’t have to collect and recheck your baggage between flights. Unless you have a self-transfer, or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (for example, the U.S.). If you aren’t sure if you need to collect and recheck your baggage, upon check in you can ask airport staff about it.

5.1 Baggage Transfer: Different Airlines

What happens if there are several airlines?

What if one of your flights is operated by different airline, not Icelandair? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Icelandair does share some of its flights with its codeshare partners. In this situation the rules are the same — your baggage is being taken care of by an airline. In most situations you won’t have to worry about it.

Read more:

5.2 Icelandair Free Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance varies — it’s not the same on all flights.

Free baggage allowance varies depending on your airline, class of travel, destination, and occasionally some other factors. Check your Icelandair booking confirmation to see what is your baggage allowance. Or, if you’re planning to book a flight with Icelandair, make sure to pay attention to that — these rules aren’t the same for all flights and for everyone.

5.3 Economy Light

This is the cheapest option for long-haul flights.

Economy Light comes without free baggage allowance.

We see this often in the industry. Full-service traditional airlines are offering also tickets without free checked baggage allowance. The wording is also often the same — Economy Light. So, if you see this, most likely it’s without checked baggage (carry on baggage only).

When you see cheap Icelandair flights, pay attention to this. Because Icelandair also offers Economy Light tickets. If you want to travel with more than one bag, this option is not for you.

New York Skyscrapers
Skyscrapers in New York

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Icelandair.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Icelandair (Most Common)

For this example I’ll be using the website of Icelandair.

For example, I want to fly from Helsinki to New York.

I search for flights for October 30, and these are my options:

Helsinki - New York Connecting flight with Icelandair
Helsinki – New York Connecting flight with Icelandair

On their website Icelandair sells only protected connecting flights. However, not all of the connecting flights are operated by Icelandair. For example, the third option is partly operated by Finnair, one of Icelandair codeshare partners. If this matters to you, if you want to be on an airplane of Icelandair, you must pay attention to details like these.

Total flight duration, number of stops and price also vary. The first and second options are the fastest, and also the cheapest. 

When booking a flight, pay attention to the destination airport. Let’s look at the second option. It consists of two flights: Helsinki – Keflavík and Keflavík – Newark Liberty International Airport. Newark Liberty International Airport is not the main airport of New York. JFK is. If you want to fly into JFK, choose the first option which flies into JFK.

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Icelandair

Now, let’s assume, that your itinerary is slightly more complex.

Your final destination is Los Angeles. 

You want to fly from Helsinki to New York, and from New York onwards to Los Angeles. But before that you want to spend a day or two in New York — to explore Manhattan and visit the Statue of Liberty.

  1. You book a connecting flight to New York, like in the example above. For example, you’re taking one of the cheapest options, the first one, which arrives in New York at 7:10 pm. 
  2. And then you go to, or some other flight booking website, and book a flight from New York to Los Angeles. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 2 days in New York. You can book this flight also directly from an airline; it’s usually a safer option.

Until New York you have an airline-protected connecting flight. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, Icelandair will take care of that. Most likely the airline will put you on another flight for free. However, the last leg, New York – Los Angeles, is a separate flight booked separately. Take this into account and don’t risk with short layovers (like less than 4 hours). For a smooth transfer, leave yourself at least a 4-6 hours. Especially if you are transiting at a U.S. airport where you need to wait in long immigration lines.

Remember this! Even if you’ll be only transiting through the US, and won’t leave the airport in New York, you still need an ESTA or visa for this connection. This applies also to airline-protected connections. With most other countries you don’t need a visa for connecting flights.

What is your experience with Icelandair? Have you ever missed a connecting flight with Icelandair? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive compensation from Icelandair?

Featured photo by Max Walter


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