With Britons reported to be overspending by £17.21bn per year whilst on holiday due to lack of local knowledge and 72 per cent admitting to feeling embarrassed for “looking like a tourist” Icelandair have launched a new service that allows passengers to collect a ‘Buddy’ upon arrival to give them an authentic, Icelandair Stopover with a local host for free. The airline currently offer flights from five UK airports to 15 North American cities in ski regions,all with a stopover in Iceland en route.
Passengers taking an Icelandair Stopover have risen over 60% in the past four years, supporting this popular trend of consumers wanting to maximise their time off and ‘l Buddies’ are always a member of the Icelandair team. On a transatlantic stopover, members of the airline team including stewardesses, pilots and even the CEO of Icelandair (who may take you skiing) will be up for grabs upon landing, as personal, local Buddies offering a rare glimpse into the ‘real’ Iceland.
“People want to experience local culture and unique adventures over anything else whilst on holiday. However, we are more time-pressured than ever these days and people can’t spend hours researching the best things to do and places to go,” said Birkir Hólm Guðnason, CEO at Icelandair, who has himself taken part in the Buddy service, offering passengers lucky enough to be matched with him the chance to go off-piste skiing.
“We have worked closely with our colleagues on the Stopover Buddy service, discovering their interests, hobbies and unrivalled local knowledge which will make for some truly unique and personalised experiences. These friendly and warm individuals, who are keen to open up their lives to our passengers, will show them a really great, authentic time in Iceland during their transatlantic stopover,” he added.
Visitors could also be paired with Margret, 64, a stewardess of 30 years who is an expert on geothermal springs. Or enjoy a cooking lesson in traditional Icelandic fish dishes with stewardess, Inga, 45, who can introduce visitors to the local fisherman. Passengers wanting to keep active on their Stopover may find themselves on a running or cycling tour with fitness fan, Dagur, 51, who has worked in Icelandair’s IT department for 20 years. More adventurous guests can spend time with pilot, Sigrun, 44, whose passion is racer biking down icy mountains!
“Icelanders are known as the friendliest people in the world, and now Icelandair is officially the friendliest airline,” concluded Birkir Hólm Guðnason.
The one of a kind Stopover Buddy service is available for Icelandair transatlantic passengers to enjoy until April 30th 2016.
The service is free to book and each trip lasts for up to 24 hours. Buddies can be reserved when booking an Icelandair transatlantic stopover between 2nd February until 30th April 2016 from Icelandair.co.uk/stopover-buddy.
Currently Icelandair fly from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow airports via Iceland to Anchorage, Vancouver, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Toronto, Orlando, Washington DC, New York (JFK & Newark), Boston, Halifax, Chicago and Montreal. Icelandair also begin flights from Aberdeen airport in March 2015 operated by sister airline Air Iceland.