Icelandair Must Reimburse Passenger for Legroom Skip to content

Icelandair Must Reimburse Passenger for Legroom

By Erik Pomrenke

Keflavík airport Icelandair
Photo: Golli.

In a June decision by the Norwegian Transportation Authority, Icelandair is obligated to reimburse a passenger for legroom that he did not receive. RÚV reports.

The passenger in question booked a flight from Reykjavík to Oslo in September of last year. He lodged a complaint with the Norwegian Transportation Authority when, due to technical reasons, Icelandair had to switch aircraft. In the following rearrangement of seats, the passenger did not receive the legroom that he had paid some 2,300 ISK [$17, €16] for.

Read more: Icelandair’s Airbus Order Largest Transaction in Airline’s History

Worldwide, airlines generate significant revenue from the sale of similar add-ons, known as ancillaries, including extra legroom, preferred seating, and priority boarding. The practice of “un-bundling” services from the ticket price has become increasingly common in the airline industry. In 2011, global ancillary revenue in the airline industry accounted for 32.5 billion USD [€29.7 billion]. In 2022, that figure had risen to 102.8 billion USD [€93.8 billion], a 216% increase over the course of a decade.

The passenger demanded that Icelandair reimburse him the amount, but the airline refused, stating that these were non-refundable privileges according to the terms and conditions.

However, in the recent Norwegian ruling, it was stated that this provision applies only if the passenger changes their mind. In this case, the airline changed the aircraft, and the passenger could not be held responsible.

Although airlines are not required to abide by the ruling, most comply with the decisions of the body.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!