Is Today The Day We Go Home?
We woke up to cold and snow - Surprise - hahah
Oh, some ice too.
We were at least 2 hours north of the airport, but we packed to fly home and started driving.
Through the big tunnel again - 3.5 miles long and 550 feet below sea level! You can really tell that you are descending/ascending too.
We were sad to drive on by Reyjkavik, Iceland's capital and most populated area of the island, but we wanted to go to the airport and talk to Iceland Air face to face. On the phone, they would not change our reservation even though seats were available on the flight for today.
Once again the airport was empty.
Once again - denied! They offered to sell us tickets for the flight to Boston for $3000 over and above the tickets we already own. Grrrrr
Where's the sympathy?
In Viktor Navorski's best Krakozhia accent, we said 'We Wait!'
The flight we're booked on is about 30 hours away and still on the board.
We headed to a nearby town for lunch. As far as we could tell, there is almost nothing right around the airport so we were glad to find this little diner.
Lots of old memorabilia.
Not really any theme - just old - fun memories..
Not the best name for American tourists.
We didn't try any but Abby did try some Iceland ice cream.
They had several ice cream toppers that we couldn't identify and the 'ice cream scooper girl' couldn't find an English word to describe them so she offered us a sample.
I try lots of food, but that was probably the most disgusting thing I've had in my mouth in a long time! It was a mixture of black licorice and coffee - two things I hate. We both had to spit them out.
Abby said the ice cream was mostly 'normal' - what we're used to. The food was okay too. I had a burger and they had hot dogs.
I've seen this before, but still thought it was cute.
The weather was not great, snowing and blowing, so we thought we would just find a hotel and tuck in for safety.
This place was just across from the airport and called Airport Hotel. How creative.
They had a restaurant so we would be all set for dinner too. There were just a few cars in the lot and 3 other couples at dinner. Not a hoppin' place - that's good.
Day 10.....To The Airport - Again
Not really sure what this is but like everything else, I took its picture.
This is in the parking lot and I saw a number of nice shots of this with different lighting. This is not one of those. It is a drive-by.
Airport parking lot art.
Guess What? The airport is still empty!
There are about 5 people here, plus us.
Now that we know where we are, let's buy those souvenirs we didn't get - mostly due to lack of shops.
Oh Darn Again! What could she possibly have in there???
I guess after carrying that heavy backpack everyday to school, this is life as usual.
It's not very often security looks like this.
Nice ceiling.....the things you notice when there are no people.
We found a quiet place to relax while we wait.
Our plane is here. Lots of planes are here.
Boarded. We're really going home! Our flight is pretty empty - maybe 30 - 40% full. Getting De-Iced first.
This is a 6 hour flight and they are not offering any in-flight service, so we each picked up a sack lunch with a water bottle and a sandwich. We each had our own row so we could stretch out. We watched some movies and napped a little and before we knew it, we were landing in Boston!
We spent the night in Boston.
Day 11....Heading HOME!
We had a 5:30am flight, so we were up early and out of our room. We arrived at security before it was open. There were about 10 of us waiting.
Another very empty flight. This time there were 7 on board - 3 singles ahead of us, us in the middle, and one guy behind us. WOW!
Just pick a seat.
Again, we each got our own row, well except Lambchop. Just 3 hours separate us from sunny Florida and 4 hours to our Marly girl!
The only ones at baggage claim! WOW! When have you ever seen that?
Where da bags at?
Hope we can find our vehicle.
Now the 14 day quarantine begins.
Crazy times we're living in now!
My 1 Star TripAdvisor Review of Rey Apartments:
Poor Customer Service
I will tell right up front that we didn't actually stay here. We had a reservation booked for March 20, 2020, Just as COVID19 was ramping up in the US and right when travel restrictions were getting strict and things around the world were getting scary. We had been in Iceland for about a week when the US government issued a level 4 travel advisory stating that all US citizens should return home immediately unless they were prepared to stay abroad indefinitely (photo attached), which we certainly were not. Several of our tours had been cancelled and some restaurants had signs on the door saying visitors not welcome. Most of the flights back to the US were cancelled. Only flights to JFK and Boston remained.
I explained to Marco/Rey Apartments that we were getting scared with everything going on and the travel advisory, and needed to return home, and asked if we could get a refund. I thought this would be a no-brainer. He wouldn't give me a definite answer but put it on hotels.com. I waited a few weeks for him to make the right decision and when he did nothing, including respond to me, I contacted hotels.com. They also contacted him but he refused to issue a credit. He did offer a voucher. I explained to him that we traveled to Iceland from Florida and that was a long trip, probably a once in a lifetime vacation and with the uncertainty of future travel, it's not likely that we will return to Iceland. The answer was still NO.
I could understand if he had spent money doing something for us or if there were other tourists who would have booked the room, but that was not the case, We booked a room that went unused during non-peak season and when many tourists had already left the island. They airport was eerily empty and our flight home was mostly empty. We cancelled two reservations that were scheduled on our last day of vacation and had been pre-paid (Blue Lagoon and The Cave) and both refunded immediately and with a sincere email.
The tour company who cancelled on us, Arctic Adventures, has still not refunded our money and it's been 6 weeks. I have contacted them twice. They tell me to be patient.
I don't take pleasure in writing negative reviews. Most of the businesses I review get high marks, but I want to warn travelers that not all businesses are sympathetic in these uncertain times when we should all be working together.
My review did not get published. What happened to Freedom of Speech? I told the truth and I got silenced by TripAdvisor: Our travel community appreciates you wanting to share your experience with them, unfortunately we cannot publish your contribution as it does not meet our review guidelines.
I have not yet reviewed the other overnight accomodation that also has not refunded us or Arctic Adventures.....soon. I'm still waiting patiently for our refunds. It's been almost 8 weeks.
Thanks for reading!