Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Airline
PLAY
Flight
OG804
Aircraft
Airbus A321neo
Registration
TF-AEW
Class
Economy
Seat
18F
Date
04/11/2021
Flight time
02:30

  Iceland - Autumn 2021

Ryanair Marseille (MRS)  →  London (STN) 737-800 Economy Class 31/10/2021
PLAY London (STN)  →  Reykjavík (KEF) A321neo Economy Class 31/10/2021
PLAY Reykjavík (KEF)  →  London (STN) A321neo Economy Class 04/11/2021 Current review
Ryanair London (STN)  →  Marseille (MRS) 737-800 Economy Class 07/11/2021 Short review - 2.8/5

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  Iceland - Autumn 2021

Ryanair Marseille (MRS)  →  London (STN) 737-800 Economy Class 31/10/2021
PLAY London (STN)  →  Reykjavík (KEF) A321neo Economy Class 31/10/2021
PLAY Reykjavík (KEF)  →  London (STN) A321neo Economy Class 04/11/2021 Current review
Ryanair London (STN)  →  Marseille (MRS) 737-800 Economy Class 07/11/2021 Short review - 2.8/5

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to this Flight review.

Last summer, the aviation world witnessed the birth of a new airline: PLAY Airlines.

PLAY is an Icelandic low-cost airline based in Reykjavik (KEF/BIKF). Launched eight months after the bankruptcy of WOW Air in March 2019, well before the Covid-19 pandemic, PLAY operated its first commercial flight only on June 24, 2021, between Reykjavik-Keflavik and London-Stansted.

Today, I'm honoured to offer you an exclusive Flight review on board this brand-new airline.


Departure Airport

I arrive at Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport around 1:15 pm. I notice that the check-in will open at 1:30 pm.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

However, I notice that a dedicated kiosk for PLAY flights is already open. Positive point: Reykjavik offers automatic check-in for passengers who have already checked in online.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

I then go upstairs to the security controls.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

I then arrived in the duty-free area. The airport of Keflavik has been modernized since my last visit in 2013. On the side of the terminal, I find some restaurants and other stores

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Here are the flights planned for today and tomorrow from Reykjavik-Keflavik.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

I go then towards the picture windows to observe the present planes. The airport has a long corridor leading to gates C and D.

I find TF-PLA, one of the three A321neos within the fleet of Play leased from AerCap.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

A bit further, I am facing a 757 of the Icelandic national airline.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

I continue to walk before observing this A320neo of Lufthansa which will soon fly to Frankfurt.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

At the foot of the escalators leading to the Saga Lounge, the only lounge in the airport, I see this Icelandair 737 MAX.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

I then venture to the end of the corridor, in a deserted place in order to see some aircraft. It is a very long corridor at the end of which we arrive in Hall C.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

This is the PLAY A321neo we met earlier waiting for its passengers before flying to Berlin.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

A few relaxing seats are arranged along the bay window, offering a nice view of the tarmac. It's a very good layout!

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

My plane then arrives from Copenhagen.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

I had the joy of admiring, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful liveries in the world: the "Aurora Borealis" of Icelandair!

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Boarding

It is time to go to the boarding area, but first, I have to pass customs. Here I am in zone D where I discover new stores.

My boarding gate is D23. An announcement inviting us to present ourselves at the gate is made. I am among the first to board. We are going to board by jetway. It is the first of many positive points during this flight distinguishing PLAY from a classic low-cost airline.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The livery of this airplane is simply beautiful.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

On board, I find a bright cabin with pleasant tones.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

My seat is the 18F. The legroom is simply exceptional for a low-cost airline and is even better than that offered by most European airlines. PLAY rarely flies full. That's why the airline has no interest at the moment to densify their cabin. In the bag, we find a safety card, a sickness bag, and the menu.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The headrest is adjustable. Indeed, it is possible to adjust its height as well as to fold down the edges in order to offer support to the neck.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The boarding continues. The cabin was about 80% full.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Take-off

The pushback is in progress and is accompanied by an engine start and safety demonstrations.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The window is very clean.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The Lufthansa A320neo is taxiing.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

A 767 passes us by.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Another special livery at Icelandair.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

We taxi to runway 19 before lining up.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The silence of the A321neo's engines is truly striking.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

After the rotation, we make a left turn and cross the thick cloud layer.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

We leave then the rainy Icelandic weather to find the sun. This last one is rather low in the sky in this period of the year. A magnificent sea of clouds offers itself to us.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Onboard service

We quickly reach cruising altitude. The crew goes into the cabin to distribute the catering offer (for a fee). PLAY's BOB (Buy-OnBoard) is similar to that of other low-cost airlines. In view of the high prices, I am satisfied with a Pepsi at 3,00 €.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Cruising

Outside, the sun falls behind the horizon accompanied by a beautiful luminosity.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The A321neo's quiet North Atlantic crossing was made possible by the CFM LEAP-1A engines.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

It is only when we approach the European coast that we start to feel turbulences. I feel that the passengers will soon be forced to remain seated. That's why I take the opportunity to stretch my legs before landing.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

I was right! I don't have time to go back to my seat when the verdict is in: the "Fasten your seatbelts" sign lights up.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

It is important to note the presence of collective screens allowing us to know our position as well as other information on the flight.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Descent and arrival

Then, the descent begins. It is completely dark outside.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The crew turns on the lights to wake up the passengers for the landing.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

We fly over some cities of the United Kingdom, resplendent in the darkness.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Landing is imminent.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

And pilots put the wheels down smoothly! Welcome to London!

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Then we drive to the parking lot.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

We are well and truly in the fief of the Irish low-cost.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The disembarkation is carried out in the tread, celebrated with this fuselage shot!

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

The opportunity for me to contemplate once again this singular livery.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Arrival airport

Stansted is an airport that does not offer a circuit for connecting passengers. All travellers are therefore forced to exit the terminal.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Welcome to Stansted!

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

After a quick shuttle ride, I head to the baggage carousel.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Within minutes, I was out of the airport.

Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy Flight review: PLAY from Reykjavík to London in Economy

Conclusion

Reykjavik-Keflavik (KEF)

My time at Keflavik was a great experience. From check-in to boarding, everything was smooth, pleasant, and clean. As you can see in the pictures, the omnipresence of windows makes it a bright airport despite the Icelandic greyness. The automatic check-in is an excellent system to avoid long lines. The passage of security and customs was almost instantaneous. The duty-free shop is modern. The range of catering options is also a good point to note.

PLAY

As PLAY is a brand-new airline, I didn't know what to expect. Finally, my expectations were more than met. The quality/price ratio is just excellent. From the comfort of the seat and the aircraft to the kindness of the crew and the boarding device, everything was perfect! Apart from the BOB which is close to that of other airlines, PLAY is not a low-cost airline! The biggest positive point of this flight was the seat. We are far from the extra-thin seats offered by similar airlines. The adjustment of the headrest as well as the possibility to recline the seat will allow you to spend a pleasant flight. The 86 cm of legroom is immense. In comparison, Qatar Airways offers less legroom (81 cm) on their A350 (latest generation long-haul aircraft). However, I would like to qualify my statement by pointing out that this is the Interjet cabin and that PLAY will probably make their cabin denser in the future.

London Stansted (STN)

Stansted is a classic airport. I have no positive or negative points to mention. The wait at customs and at the baggage carousels was moderate.


Ratings

Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
4/5
Efficiency
5/5
Services
4/5
3.6/5
Cabin and comfort
4.5/5
Entertainment
1.2/5
Food and beverages
3.1/5
Crew
5/5
Cleanliness
4/5
Accessibility and orientation
4.5/5
Efficiency
4.5/5
Services
N/A

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