I recently visited Iceland for 10/11 days. I enjoyed myself immensely - enjoyed seeing a large part of Iceland, enjoyed the food, met lovely people, etc. Upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport for my return flight to Toronto (3-1/2 hours before my departure time of 5:00 pm), I got my luggage tag, arranged for my luggage, passed through security and arrived at the large Duty Free part of the airport. Since my gate information would not be available until 3:20pm, I spent at least an hour walking around shopping for gifts to take home with me. Once the gate information (D34) became available, I commenced the long walk to the gate, thinking upon arrival at the gate, I would be able to sit down and relax until boarding, which was scheduled for 4:20 pm. Imagine my surprise and dismay to discover upon arrival at Gate D34 that there were absolutely NO SEATS FOR WAITING PASSENGERS. There were seniors, a mother with a 7-month old child, several young children standing as well. To compound the problem, our flight was delayed 1-1/2 hours, so we did not board the plane until shortly after 6pm, which meant we were on our feet from the time we arrived at the airport (1:30pm until we boarded shortly after 6pm (4+ hours)! I have traveled all over the world and have never experienced such treatment. I was left with a very unfavourable impression of my trip to Iceland. I cannot imagine that is the impression you would want to leave visitors of your country.
Dangerously overcrowded. We had to leave Iceland through this airport on a Monday evening at the end of July. There were many, many people sitting on the floor in the hallways because there were no where near enough chairs. In the gate areas, the hallway was absolutely packed with people, wall to wall. If there had been an incident, many people would have been trampled and possibly killed. I can't believe that this situation is ok with the Iceland's authorities. There are too many international flights coming through this very small airport, and yet Icelandair is advertising their desire for people flying to Europe to have layovers in Iceland. There are not even enough gates for the number of planes waiting to be boarded. We had to be jammed onto a bus to take us to our plane. Even stupid little things, like having to present your boarding pass in order to purchase food in the main concourse, made the situation stressful and completely uncomfortable. This airport must be making a lot of money, given the number of passengers they are putting through it. How about spending ta little of that money to make the place at least somewhat comfortable for your customers?
The security checkpoint was absolute HELL. The line stretched all the way through 2 mazes, down another long hallway, and then downstairs. They had to shut off the escalator that comes up from the check-in area because the line was stretching all the way down it! We had to wait in line for WELL OVER AN HOUR!! Children were crying, people were tired and grumbling, and everyone was worried about missing their flights.
When we finally got to security, they had only 3 lanes open for all the thousands of travelers. All of the personnel were moving incredibly slowly, as if intentionally trying to ruin everyone's day. After finally passing through, I had to run through the airport to not miss my flight. Luckily my flight had to be delayed to wait for the a third of the passengers still stuck in security. Unfortunately that led to some people on the plane then missing their connecting flights and having their days ruined even more.
Other smaller complaints: This security point was after already waiting 45 minutes in the check-in line, which had zero automated kiosks for those not checking in baggage. After the security point, you are forced to walk through not 1, but 2 duty free shops and a very long hallway to the terminals that are unnecessarily far away.
In summary, the airport officials are showing an incredible LACK OF RESPECT FOR PASSENGERS! The solution is very easy: just have 4 or 5 security lanes instead of 3, and it will prevent the line from ever building up to gargantuan size. But no, they don't care about passengers. Past reviews on other sites show that this problem has been around for a long time.