This Well-Known Airline Will Lend You One Of Its Cabin Crew To Travel Around With (Yes, For Free)

Now this is service.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 14 Mar 2017

Want to come to a really crazy party?

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


When I first heard about this, it sounded ridiculous.

Which meant that there was a good chance it was true.

These days, after all, the truth sounds more ridiculous than anything fake news can muster.

So here's what I was told. If you fly with this airline and stop over in its native country, it will give you a member of staff to be your hospitable guide for up to a day.

And look, it's true. Look, it's Icelandair's Stopover Buddy program.

The essence is glorious.

"Last winter, we introduced a free service to our Stopover passengers," says Icelandair. "We gave them the chance to see Iceland through the experienced eyes of a local by requesting a Stopover Buddy, an Icelandair employee who acted as their personal host for up to one day."

Please imagine landing in New York and having a New Yorker showing you around, telling you how great he is and swearing at you periodically.

Please imagine landing in London and having a local walk you around, talk you around and never once moving their lips.

Icelandair's logic is blissful.

"Our Stopover Buddies not only know the lay of the land but they also know other interesting locals," says the airline. "That means they are just the right people to help you turn your Icelandair Stopover into a fun and memorable celebration."

This is Eidur. He can lift four oak trees with one hand. He also played left wingback on our famous European Championship football team.

Icelandair says its Buddies have experience in organizing events, such as proposals and birthdays. But whatever you have in mind, its fine Icelanders will apparently know just the thing to make you happy.

And here's something you'd never expect from a contemporary airline. This Buddy Service is free.

You might think this is too good to be anything other than advertising. It seems, though, that all Icelandair employees get involved, from the cabin crew to the ground staff to the big brains upstairs.

Let me tell you that last year one intrepid traveler got Icelandair's CEO as their spontaneous Buddy.

I cannot confirm that CEO Birkir Hlm Gunason took his guest to a board meeting and let them declaim on the subject of their choice -- which turned out to be goatback-riding -- followed by dinner for 12 in a sauna prepared by two celebrated chefs in loincloths.

Especially for those who travel alone -- and there are very many of them all over the world -- what a truly wonderful way to be made to feel both special and at home.

Not merely by a country, but by an airline.

And how many airlines make you feel either special or at home these days?