web Musings of The Global Traveller

Monday, November 09, 2009

How to get to | Greenland

This is part of a series of blog entries on how to get to countries and places. Here is a link to the index. I plan to eventually cover every country and some other places. If you have a request for a particular country or place please use the email me link at top right, or leave a comment.


Source: Hannes Grobe

A few cruise ships visit Greenland each summer. Otherwise (except for Arctic expeditions) the only way to arrive at Greenland is by air. Airline options are few with the only international flights being from Copenhagen and Reykjavik, and include:
  • Star Alliance - none
  • Oneworld - none
  • Sky Team - none
  • Other selected - Air Greenland year around, and Air Iceland (subsidiary of Icelandair) in summer

TIP Fares are pricey, and with limited seats many summer flights sell out. Book as far ahead as possible. Don't do what I did and wait until arriving in Iceland to attempt to book flights.

TIP With infrequent service and frequent weather disruptions ensure your schedule has a buffer of several days.

TIP It may* be possible to use Icelandair Saga miles on the seasonal summer Air Iceland flights. *unconfirmed

TIP With the possible exception of the above, there are no ways to redeem miles for flights to Greenland, nor to include Greenland on an alliance fare (or indeed any longhaul fare). Air Greenland used to participate in the SAS Eurobonus frequent flyer program (in respect of flights between Copenhagen and Greenland only).


Andri Thorstensen said...

I've been three times to Greenland in 2007 and 2008 (all times to the east coast) and here's my experience.

I very much agree that one should book a flight to Greenland as far in advance as possible. The fares get quite expensive the longer one waits!

Regarding buffer. In my total six flights to/from Greenland I experienced delays on 2 of the flights (both during winter and the second one was delayed for two days) and one flight in the summer was almost cancelled due to fog. (In that case a buddy of mine had to catch a flight to South-America from Reykjavik in two days so he was understandably a bit anxious - most certainly not recommended!) In the end though the flight was [nearly] on time so my friend happily got to South America.
So in my opinion I would allow 2 days buffer (longer in the winter) if flying from Greenland and you need to catch an expensive flight from Reykjavik or Copenhagen.

According to the Air Iceland and Icelandair websites it is not possible to use Icelandair miles on flights to/from Greenland and certainly not possible to earn any miles on flights to Greenland.

But I would wholeheartedly recommend traveling to Greenland - it's an amazing place, especially in the wintertime.

The Global Traveller said...

Thanks for the detailed comments and advice Andri.