Other than lounge access, I can't see anything in the product that's different from other Premium Economy product. The seats aren't even 180 degree recline!

Sure, they are cheaper than business class fares in other airlines, but it feels a bit disingenuous on Iceland Air's part to call it "business" in the first place

  • It's C-class. The seats are better and the service a lot better, especially when you're alone in the Saga Premium cabin. Oct 19, 2019 at 22:23
  • 8
    "Business" is a meaningless word, anyone can slap it on anything they want. If you want to know the truth, check Youtube reviews of the product.
    – JonathanReez
    Oct 19, 2019 at 22:27
  • 12
    WHERE is is classified as "Business"?
    – Doc
    Oct 20, 2019 at 0:06
  • 1
    I know I flew Air Canada’s business class, I believe YYZ–FRA, back in 2002. My memory is a bit hazy but I don’t remember the seats being 180 degree recline either. I believe they were more like fatter, more comfortable economy seats. Point being that business is just a label that has evolved over time.
    – Jan
    Oct 21, 2019 at 13:12
  • "The seats aren't even 180 degree recline!" What does this have to do with business class? I don't think I've ever flown business class with this kind of seating configuration, so it's far from universal. Dec 25, 2020 at 8:44

4 Answers 4


It's not. Here's what I see if I go to book a flight on Icelandair's website:

Icelandair booking showing classes Economy Standard, Economy Flex, Sage Premium, and Saga Premium Flex

The premium cabin is sold as "Saga Premium," as also shown on their services page. Their fleet pages depict "Saga Premium" and "Economy" classes, not business. Which strikes me as fair. It's clearly a premium service as compared to economy, even if there aren't all the benefits you could hope for.

They used to have a third "Economy Comfort" class in between, but it never made much sense, was weirdly inconsistent so nobody knew what they were actually getting, and they got rid of it.

As Carl notes in a related question, Saga Premium may show up as "business" on some third-party booking sites. These sites are limited by the commonalities of the GDS booking systems and do not generally have the capability to display custom labels for cabin classes. In Icelandair's case, they used to offer three classes until last year, so I suspect it made sense for them to map the now-discontinued Economy Comfort to "Premium Economy" and Saga Premium to "Business," since GDS systems don't let you make up arbitrary names.

Ultimately, there is no standard definition for the quality of service to be provided in any particular class, so it's something you have to research on an airline-by-airline and even flight-by-flight basis, as the product may depend on the route or aircraft being used.


This page sets out the different fare classes.

The difference between economy flex and saga premium:

  • Free headset
  • Free meals
  • Free alcoholic beverages
  • Free champagne
  • Free hot towels
  • 2 32 KG checked baggage vs 1 23 KG checked baggage
  • 2 - 2 vs 3 - 3 seating
  • Plug socket
  • Priority check-in
  • Lounge access
  • 3400 miles points for flights within Europe vs 2550
  • 4800 miles points for flights to/from North America vs 3600
  • 1
    Other than lounge access, I don't see anything else other airlines don't provide in Premium Economy. Its like Iceland Air is operating within it's own framework of fare classes. Disingenuous of them Oct 19, 2019 at 22:12
  • 1
    @WhoDunItttt yep, that’s what it it
    – Xnero
    Oct 19, 2019 at 22:13
  • 15
    @WhoDunItttt Flat seats in business class started in the last ~15 years and are not universal. Premium economy is even newer, and airlines vary greatly in their definitions of what makes it premium. For many flights within Europe, a "business class" seat just means an economy row where the middle seat is blocked off, so surely you'd feel even more ripped off by that. Domestic "first class" in the US means, on most routes, recliner chairs inferior to international business class. But it appears Icelandair has done what you ask and called the service "Saga Premium" instead of business class. Oct 19, 2019 at 22:16
  • 5
    You aren’t going to find a “true” business class product on many narrow body aircraft, which make up 90% of Icelandairs fleet... Even American Airlines “First” product in their narrow bodies are 2-2 layout and recline rather than lay flat.
    – user29788
    Oct 20, 2019 at 1:36
  • 1
    Those things aren't free if you have to pay more for the seat...
    – Brady Gilg
    Oct 22, 2019 at 17:13

The important external thing (for naming a booking class "Business class") is whether airports recognize it as business class (and get the appropriate fees for those passengers) and hence honor their business class services to those ticket holders. Then the airline can call a ticket business-class. What happens inside the airplane is really the airline's discretion and the level of services differs dramatically from airline to airline.


As some already said business class does not mean business class. If you compare Qatar Airways Q suite with Lufthansa you can also ask why is Lufthansa classified as business class. In business class you get better seats, for Icelandair these seats are not much better as other airlines seats in premium economy. But you will have lounge access, something you don't get in premium economy, and you earn more miles, it helps a lot if you know where to credit them.

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