Iceland is simply otherworldly. Volcanoes that rise up from the sea, lava floes running beneath screensaver-like waterfall landscapes, wild horses, and impossibly blue natural hot springs all dot the country in the North Atlantic.
It's wild and stunning … and not all that cheap once you're there, as food and drinks are notoriously expensive in Iceland. But getting to Iceland doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, while flights are getting more expensive, cheap flights to Iceland are still out there for a trip in 2022.
Plus, Iceland recently dropped all travel restrictions for all travelers – vaccinated and unvaccinated – to enter the country. While you still need a negative test to fly back to the U.S., entering Iceland is exactly the same as it was pre-pandemic.
For all of these reasons, 2022 might be the best year ever to visit Iceland. Here's how to pull it off.
The Basics of Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport (KEF)
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland from North America, you’ll be flying into Reykjavík (KEF). It's the only option.
Reykjavík International Airport is actually located about 30 miles southwest of the city Reykjavik itself, in a small town on the southwest shore of the island called Keflavik. Any trip to Iceland is best with your own set of wheels, so your best bet is scoring a cheap rental car.
There are some affordable public transport options, though the development of rail service from KEF to downtown Reykjavík is still in the works after being postponed during the pandemic. And getting a taxi all the way into Reykjavik will cost a small fortune.
When it comes to flying into Iceland, there are a handful of airlines across the globe with service to Reykjavik – but Icelandair is by far the biggest carrier. Icelandair is a hybrid between a budget airline and a full-service carrier, with decent planes, good service, and typically cheap fares to Iceland!
Read our review of what it's like to fly Icelandair!
While there is more competition between European carriers on routes through Iceland, North American carriers still have a relatively small footprint in and out of the country. In fact, just a few airlines have nonstop service between the U.S. and Iceland, including Icelandair, Delta, United, and newcomer PLAY Airlines which is set to launch inaugural service to the U.S. later this month.
In 2022, you can fly nonstop to Iceland from the following 17 North American airports.
- Anchorage (ANC) – Icelandair
- Baltimore (BWI) – Icelandair, PLAY
- Boston (BOS) – Delta, Icelandair, PLAY
- Chicago (ORD) – Icelandair, United
- Denver (DEN) – Icelandair
- Minneapolis (MSP) – Delta, Icelandair
- Montréal (YUL) – Air Canada, Icelandair
- New York (JFK) – Delta, Icelandair
- New York-Stewart (SWF) – PLAY
- Newark (EWR) – Icelandair, United
- Orlando (MCO) – Icelandair, PLAY
- Portland (PDX) – Icelandair
- Raleigh (RDU) – Icelandair
- Seattle (SEA) – Icelandair
- Toronto (YYZ) – Air Canada, Icelandair
- Vancouver (YVR) – Icelandair
- Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Icelandair
How to Book Cheap Flights to Iceland
Iceland might bankrupt you when it comes to food and drinks, but finding a cheap flight to get to the North Atlantic country is not as hard as you think. In fact, it stands out as one of the cheapest places to travel this year with a steady stream of discounted airfare deals.
It's all about knowing when and where to look for cheap fares. Or you can let us do the work for you with Thrifty Traveler Premium.
The best part: This is holding true this year, despite surging flight prices all over the world. Iceland flight deals, especially from the U.S., have been abundant this year! That includes even rare deals on Delta nonstop flights to Reykjavik, like this alert we sent to Premium members earlier this month.
Get flight deal alerts like this one sent to your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium!
A sub-$500 nonstop fare from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Iceland … in the middle of summer? And there's the best part: You can still book fares at these prices all summer long! This is your key for a trip to Iceland in the middle of July or August, when the sun shines all day long.
We always love to find cheap flights on the major U.S. airlines – and not just from Minneapolis. This deal from New York (JFK) offers even more savings for travel during October, which is a great time of year to visit Iceland. You won't get the midnight sun, but you will avoid crowds and get perhaps the most pristine country in the world seemingly to yourself!
United wasn't going to let Delta have all the fun. This late summer fare nonstop from Chicago (ORD) is one of our favorite fares we found this year. It's yet another opportunity to get to Iceland for cheap from the U.S.
Prices on this route have ticked up since we first sent an alert to Thrifty Traveler Premium members a few months back, but there are still solid deals out there for the summer and fall.
Outside of the major U.S. carriers, there's almost always a cheap flight to Iceland waiting with Icelandair. Just take a look at the smorgasbord of great fares we've found on Icelandair lately.
The last of those examples is from Icelandair's newest destination: Raleigh (RDU). It's just one of the reasons why we always tell our readers to keep an eye on new routes to find big savings.
Icelandair isn't quite what we'd call a low-cost carrier, but it isn't quite like the major U.S. airlines, either. It's a sweet spot in the middle, offering a comfortable ride at budget-friendly prices.
If you're looking for an ultra-low cost carrier, however, there's a new player offering nonstop flights to Iceland. They're called PLAY Airlines, and they take off from the U.S. for the first time April 20.
PLAY won't have all the bells and whistles of the major airlines or even Icelandair. It's the successor to Wow Air, which folded back in 2019. But their presence is a positive for all travelers … even if you never fly on one of their pink planes. That's because they offer competition in the market to Iceland, and we've already seen major airlines cut prices since they announced their flights and fares.
Iceland flights don't have to be expensive if you know where to look.
Pro Tips for Finding Cheap Flights to Iceland
Always Use Google Flights (Avoid Online Travel Agencies)
Google Flights is the best search platform out there, and it should be your first stop when looking for cheap Iceland flights this year … or any year.
Unlike any other search engine, Google Flights is the most reliable, useful, and helpful tool that we swear by day after day. Stop using other online travel agencies such as Skyscanner or Hopper, save your time and a headache.
The pros outweigh the cons by a landslide when it comes to using Google Flights. It has the most features and filters, assuring that you will find the best (cheapest) fare with a reliable booking. You'll be prompted by clear links to book directly with airlines. Without question, Google Flights is the number one method to find the next best flight deal.
Read our guide: How to Use Google Flights to Find Cheap Flights Like a Pro
Start with the Cheap Flight, Then Plan Your Trip
In some ways, finding a cheap flight to Iceland is no different than finding a cheap flight to anywhere: The key is flexibility.
If you are start your search with travel dates locked in and no wiggle room, you’ve dug yourself a deep hole from the start. The absolute key to scoring a deal is flexibility – not only on the day of the week you travel but also the time of year. That's why we've coined what we call The Flight First Rule.
Sometimes, shifting your dates by just a day or two can save you hundreds of dollars. Flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays can also save you quite a bit of money.
Traveling in peak summer (mid-June through mid-August) is ideal for great weather, time off from school for the kids, and many other advantages. But airlines know this, forcing you to pay a premium for travel over those high-demand months. If you’re willing to move your dates to late spring or late summer you could save hundreds.
It pays to have flexible travel dates. Let Google Flights guide you to the cheapest fares, and open up your schedule to allow you the ability to capitalize on those deals!
Consider Positioning Flights to Save The Most
Do you feel like you’re never seeing cheap fares from your home airport? You may want to expand your search and look at flights from a larger city that you can fly out of instead.
It's called using positioning flights, and it's one of the best ways to save on flights to Iceland and any international travel. Think about which major airports around you are easy to snag a cheap flight – or even drive – and check out airfare from there.
Let's say you live in a smaller city in the midwest like Peoria (PIA) or Madison (MSN), and flights to Iceland for this summer are looking pricey at more than $700 roundtrip.
But what if you search from Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) or Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)? You can snag a nonstop flight on the same dates for almost half the cost! Then just add in a cheap flight to get there before hopping on your flight across the pond.
Learn all you need to know about the do’s and don’t’s for positioning flights. Putting this concept to use can saves you hundreds – especially if prices from your home airport never seem to be affordable.
Let Us Find the Best Deals for You
Don’t spend hours of your own time searching for the best fares to Iceland. Let us do the work for you! Our team of experts spends day and night finding the best fares, saving you hundreds on airfare.
Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium and you’ll be the first to know about the next hot deal to Iceland. You’ll be instantly emailed about the best sales from your home airport. We find fares from nearly 200 U.S. and Canadian airports. We’ll do the hard part for you!
We sent this ultra-low fare to Iceland to our Thrifty Traveler Premium members earlier this year!
Book A Stopover in Iceland
Believe it or not, you might save even more by seeing Iceland and another European destination.
Icelandair is one of a handful of international airlines that offers a free stopover program. This is exactly what it sounds like: You have the chance to spend up to seven days in Iceland for no extra charge on your way to Europe or back home!
Visiting two countries for the price of one? It doesn't get any better. And sometimes, you can even score a better deal than the nonstop flight to Reykjavik.
Icelandair has promoted this type of ticket for years – it's their bread and butter. And it gives you the ability to stay for up to seven days at the same price as a standard ticket. Explore Iceland and then continue on to mainland Europe for one low price.
Use Points and Miles Instead
Sitting on a stack of Delta SkyMiles? Put those miles to use when booking a flight to Iceland.
Last year, we found a Delta SkyMiles flash sale with flights from several U.S. airports to Reykjavík (KEF) starting at just 30,000 SkyMiles roundtrip – for Main Cabin fares! These fares included a free checked bag and advanced seat assignment.
A cheap flight is great, but what's better? A free one! Instead of paying cash for a cheap flight to Iceland, use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to cover that flight. Using these points is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to unlock free travel
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best spot to start if you’re looking to dip your toes into travel credit cards – especially now that it's back with an 80,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months. With a low annual fee and a generous sign-up bonus, it could easily cover two roundtrip tickets to Iceland by using those points to book a cheap flight through the Chase travel portal.
Iceland is back on the map in 2022. With no travel restrictions or requirements to get in, it's the easiest to visit it's been since 2019.
But most importantly, cheap flights to Iceland are back with a vengeance – even at a time when airfare is skyrocketing elsewhere.