Do I need to go through a security check when transferring from a European flight to a U.S.-flight at Keflavik airport with Icelandair?

Icelandair does not serve free food any more, and the transfer in KEF is very short, so I would like to know what food/drinks I can buy at my departure airport for my second leg.


There is a Schengen emigration control that you must pass through (if coming from a Schengen country. There is no security control (i.e. Metal detectors) that you normally must pass through. There are food vendors both before and after the control.

  • From memory, the vendors will accept all main currencies and cards. And they were pretty efficient.
    – Willeke
    Jun 5 '17 at 8:55
  • After flying both ways now, I can mark this answer correct as of today. Might be different coming from Canada though, here a quote from Icelandair's stopover magazine, Spring 2017, p. 107: "Aviation security regulations in countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA), including Canada, do not comply with those in EEA countries, including Iceland. Passengers from non-EEA countries must therefore go through security screening at Keflavík International Airport before joining other passengers in the terminal. The same rules apply to the quantity of liquids in carry-on baggage." Jun 24 '17 at 14:38
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    @Willeke The vendors did accept many currencies+cards, I wouldn't call them pretty efficient on my two transfers though - I had to queue for several minutes on both of my transfers, which is quite a while when your flights are on "final call"... Jun 24 '17 at 14:42

I have been pulled aside by security ("SSSS" code on my boarding pass) when going from the Schengen to non-Schengen zone on my way to the US via Keflavík. I had my bags inspected, I was swabbed for residue, etc. The whole procedure took less than 10 minutes.

I would recommend heading to your gate first to make sure you have time, and then find a place to eat. As Jacob says in his answer, there is food available in both the Schengen and non-Schengen zones of the airport. I'd rather be hungry than miss my flight.

Finally, food is available on Icelandair flights, but it's not free. You can a use credit/debit card or Saga points, but they do not accept cash on board. If you pre-order your meal, you get a 20% discount.

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