Icelandair has been offering free stopovers (no change in fare but you do pay for accommodation) for people traveling between North America and Europe for years. The stopover can be for up to 7 days.
Last year, Icelandair introduced something called Stopover Buddy that is an Icelandair employee showing you around/spends a day with you in Reykjavik.
You can access Icelandair’s webpage for Stopover Buddy here.
Here’s what Icelandair writes about the service:
The Icelandair Stopover Buddy Service
Last winter, we introduced a free service to our Stopover passengers. We gave them the chance to see Iceland through the experienced eyes of a local by requesting a Stopover Buddy, an Icelandair employee who acted as their personal host for up to one day. Now, the Buddies are back and better than ever, offering transatlantic guests the chance to celebrate on their Stopover in Iceland.
What’s in store this season?
Our Stopover Buddies not only know the lay of the land but they also know other interesting locals. That means they are just the right people to help you turn your Icelandair Stopover into a fun and memorable celebration. This winter, pop open the champagne, put on your party hat and request an Icelandair employee to help you celebrate the way Icelanders do. From birthdays, to proposals, our Buddies have it covered. Alternatively, join in on local, Icelandic celebrations and allow our Buddies to show you how to make a good trip even better – Icelandair style.
This is quite interesting program and it is always easier to explore city with a like minded local (compared to a tour). Wonder if Icelandair compensates employees that participate to this program or if is entirely on voluntarily base?
Are there any LoyaltyLobby readers that took advantage of this program last year? It would be great to hear what their experiences were.
Here are more information about the Stopover Buddy program:
Who are the Celebration Stopover Buddies?
The Icelandair Celebration Stopover Buddies are Icelandair employees who are local experts of Iceland, their home country. They can help you not only celebrate their favourite Icelandic festivites but also give any celebration you may be having a Buddy boost. You are eligible to request a Buddy if you’ve booked an Icelandair Stopover between 11 October 2016 and 31 March 2017, pending the Celebration Stopover Buddy Terms and Conditions.
What does the service cost?
Requesting a Celebration Stopover Buddy is free of charge and you don’t pay for his or her time. You can expect to pay for your activities, food, and accommodation, as you would if you’d be travelling on your own.
Who can request a Celebration Stopover Buddy?
Anyone going on a transatlantic Icelandair Stopover between 11 October 2016 and 31 March 2017 can request a Celebration Stopover Buddy. Limited trips are on offer, so slots will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis.
When do I have to request a Celebration Stopover Buddy by?
We recommend you place a request as soon as you book your Icelandair Stopover, and no later than ten days in advance, to stand the best chance of meeting a Celebration Stopover Buddy.
What’s the chance of getting a Celebration Stopover Buddy?
As Celebration Stopover Buddy slots are filled on a first-come-first-served basis, your chance depends on how many other passengers request a similar trip to you on your preferred dates.
When will I find out if I’ve been allocated a Celebration Stopover Buddy?
After you’ve filled out the request form, we’ll get back to you within three working days to let you know the status of your request.
When are the Celebration Stopover Buddies available?
Buddy trips will be scheduled between 11 October 2016 and 31 March 2017.
Is there a limit to the time I can spend on a trip with a Celebration Stopover Buddy?
Yes. Each Celebration Stopover Buddy is available for up to one day at a time.
What if I’m travelling with a large group, can I still request a Buddy?
If you’re travelling with a group, you can indeed request a Buddy. We will ask you to note how many are travelling together when you make your request and the group size cannot exceed 4 people per Buddy. If your travel party is larger than that, you can still make your request, and we will get back to you if we can confirm more than one Buddy for your group.
Do Celebration Stopover Buddies have any guide training or experience?
Celebration Stopover Buddies are not guides, but they’re passionate about celebrations and their country, and can provide interesting insider knowledge to enrich your trip.
What do I need to bring?
You will work out all details with your Buddy if your request is approved. As a general note when travelling in Iceland in winter, you need proper outdoor gear like hiking boots, warm winter jackets and more. Layers are ideal. Also, keep in mind that even if you anticipate travelling a lot by car, you still need to be prepared for any kind of weather, so we advise everyone to bring as much protective clothing as possible.
What happens if I miss my flight and can’t meet my Buddy at the arranged time?
This depends if you have arranged for your Buddy to meet you on the same day you arrive, as they can meet you at any point during your Stopover. If you have organised to meet them the day you arrive, then please do the following: If you miss your flight, you can ring our call centre at +354 50 50 100 and quote your flight number and the fact you have a Celebration Stopover Buddy arrangement. You can also send an email to email@example.com with the subject Celebration Stopover Buddy: Missed flight. Include your flight number, and the Buddy you were supposed to meet and when. If you’ve been in touch with your Celebration Stopover Buddy in person, you should send them an email as well to let them know. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that the same Buddy will be available if and when you arrive in Iceland, but we will work with you to find a suitable solution.
What happens if my flight is delayed and my Buddy isn’t available when I arrive?
If your flight is delayed and you have arranged to meet a Buddy directly when you land, we kindly ask you to ring our call centre at +354 50 50 100 and quote your flight number and the fact you have a Celebration Stopover Buddy arrangement. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or be in touch with your Buddy directly.
What is an Icelandair Stopover?
An Icelandair Stopover is when you stopover in Iceland on your way across the Atlantic for up to seven days at no additional airfare.