As if sleeping next to the airline employees weren’t enough, Icelandair wants to take the typical traveler-airline relationship to the next level…with a proper date. Well, it’s not really a date, but the eclectic airline hopes to hook up travelers with a “Stopover Buddy”
From February 2 through April 30, passengers can canoodle with a “Stopover Buddy,” an Icelandair employee who’ll act as an embedded tour guide for travelers. The guides, completely free of charge, will accompany tourists on Icelandic adventures and share a localized view of their homeland.
Inga Ólafsdóttir, a travel agent for the airline, wants to “take you on a boat, catch some fish, and have a great time.” Anna, a flight attendant and geology expert, hopes travelers will enjoy a good old fashioned sperlunk. Even CEO Birkir Guðnason will whisk travelers away to his hometown for a day of sledding and Icelandic hospitality. Additional guided activities include heli-skiing, knitting pink jumpers, hitting up some concerts and a variety of other quirky to extreme activities.
Although the service is free of charge, a few days in Iceland accrues its own set of costs like
hotels, meals and cross-country skiing beneath the Northern Lights, so don’t expect a free vacation.
Iceland’s tourism industry has long promoted the country’s unique location and adventures—from hiking to hot springs and knitted sweaters—to attract tourists heading to either Europe or North America, and to feed the need for adventure, Icelandair already offers a seven day stopover at no additional charge. Even Reykjavik’s Keflavik airport offers a tour bus to Blue Lagoon for travelers who want to enjoy some scenery during a short layover.
Icelandair’s latest promotion is another step into a potentially burgeoning industry of
“stopover tourism,” or really, a vacation within a vacation.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.