Icelandair just announced an extension of their popular “buddy” program.
Once upon a time, Icelandair introduced what was perhaps the most heartwarming and effective campaign ever. The airline’s Stopover Buddy offering matched traveler’s taking advantage of Icelandair’s robust stopover program—basically, they make it incredibly easy to spend a night or two… or longer in the country on your way to other final destinations—by pairing the visitor with a local aligned with what they want to get out of the trip. Interesting in hiking? Meet up with a local tour guide (off-duty, of course) who can share some of the best places to check out. Want to know more about the local art scene? Icelandair will intro you to an artist in the community.
They’ve re-introduced the campaign, but this time they’re making it easier for more people to participate and connect with Iceland locals. Called the Buddy Hotline, think of this as a more accessible version of the Stopover Buddies. Icelandair customers will have the opportunity to chat with an Icelandair employee and a local via phone or Facebook Messenger. As opposed to the existing program—which was wonderful in its ability to personally connect people around the world—you can ask your “guide” anything with a few clicks of a button or a quick phone call.
Some inspiration around what to ask your buddy: What’s the general temperature in Iceland during my visit time? How long do you recommend I visit for a full trip around the Ring Road? What’s the best restaurant in Reykjavik? What’s up with elves and what they mean to the community?
The Buddy Hotline launched on April 10 and will be available through May 8, 2019. Phone (and messenger) lines will be open on weekdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. ET and on the weekends from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
Related: How to Plan an Unforgettable Road Trip Through Iceland
The decision to re-invigorate this campaign came after the airline surveyed its customers on the stresses of travel. The results shared that 82 percent of travelers trusted reviews considerably less and 71 percent said they were “more aware of the existence of fake reviews than five years ago.” To help combat that unease, Icelandair hopes this new service will put the trust back in planning a trip through utilizing the experts: Iceland locals.
You can access the Buddy Hotline here, but you won’t be able to use it unless you have a flight booked with Icelandair. You can also check out a video around the new program on the Icelandair YouTube page.