The workhorse of the Icelandair fleet, the Boeing 757, does not accommodate the Christmas shopping appetite of Icelanders visiting the US. Morgunbladid reports that sometimes up to 40 suitcases have been left behind and not sent to Iceland until cargo space is available.
According to Gudjón Arngrímssonar, an Icelandair PR representative, passengers returning from Boston, Minneapolis, and New York have “packed” the planes. Gudjón said that th situation reflects the low exchange rate of the dollar which stimulates people to shop in the US.
Icelandair set new luggage regulations on US and European flights that went into effect on November 15. Passengers traveling on economy can check-in 2 bags, maximum 23 kilos each. Business class passengers can check in 2 bags weighing 32 kilos each.
Gudjón said that Icelandair’s US routes had experienced a 50% increase in passengers from 2004, a substantial increase. “The only explanation [of the increase] in the low exchange rate of the dollar. At this time of year it is evident that many people are going on shopping trips,” said Gudjón.