Giving Icelandair a flying ovation midway across the Atlantic – The Post

Giving Icelandair a flying ovation midway across the Atlantic

The experience of being treated to a play aboard a plane will give new meaning to waiting in the wings

Something’s gone badly wrong with this performance of ‘Elf’, but the passengers appear to enjoy it (photo: Army Medicine)
June 20th, 2017 9:33 pm| by Ben Hamilton

A survey commissioned by Explain The Market and the airline Icelandair reveals that over half of all Scandinavian passengers feel bored on transatlantic flights, and that four in ten regard the journey as wasted time.

An increasing number of Danes are travelling to destinations like New York via Iceland on airlines like Icelandair, Norwegian and Wow, and it would appear that the cabin crew play a vital role in making sure it is a pleasurable experience.

Some 78 percent said the cabin crew can make or break a journey, and a third said they would be more likely to choose an airline that offered free live entertainment as part of their in-flight program.

Boarding the boards
To combat the boredom, Icelandair is partnering with an immersive theatre group Gideon Reeling to give its cabin staff drama classes, as it would like them to star in three-act plays to entertain the passengers – viewers who are also extras.

The service is part of Icelandair’s 80-year anniversary celebrations, and until March 2018, the Icelandair Stopover Pass will be free to any passenger wishing to convert their boarding pass at the departure gate.

As well as watching the three-act play unfold, taking the viewers from 1937 to the modern day, pass holders will be eligible to win tickets to concerts, sports events and VIP access.

Ready for takeoff
“The research findings show there is an opportunity for us to transform wasted time into time well travelled,” explained Icelandair chief executive Birkir Hólm Guðnason.

“We’ve always put customer service at our heart, and now we’re looking to pioneer a new service to delight and entertain our customers, starring our talented staff.”

Some 9,000 passengers from Scandinavia, North America and northern Europe. Of those surveyed, Brits and Norwegians were the most likely to feel fed-up after take-off, and American and French passengers the most likely to talk to a stranger.

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