If you've ever found yourself feeling totally overwhelmed while planning a trip to a new country where you don't know anyone, good news: There's now at least one country where you can just pick up your phone and call a local for some recommendations and tips on where to see. Thanks to Icelandair, customers traveling the airline to Iceland can now take advantage of a "Buddy Hotline," which connects travelers with a literal buddy via phone or online messenger for help with trip planning. Hotline Bling much?
This 'buddy' is an Iceland local as well as a member of the Icelandair team, and it's their job to help you plan your trip according to your unique interests. Each buddy has different passion points and resources, so no matter what you're into, you can be paired with a buddy who can help you have the best vacation ever. Popular passions include local cuisine, outdoor adventures, wellness and more.
Not only will your buddy give you suggestions within your passion, but they'll also provide you with some insider knowledge so that you're not getting stuck in tourist traps or missing out some local specialties that you might not otherwise find. Together, you and your buddy will map out an itinerary that excites you, all via phone or text messaging. No long hold times with customer service, no more unanswered emails or missed calls or misinformation. With Buddy Hotline, you have an on-demand travel agent and a friend all-in-one.
The Hotline launches Apr. 10, 2019 and is available to all Icelandair passengers until May 8, 2019. The service will be available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET and weekends from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
If this service sounds familiar to you, it's because in 2016, Icelandair offered a buddy service for travelers who had stopovers in Iceland. Back then, the service gave you a rent-a-friend for the day who would literally be your tour guide for your short trip, making sure you get out of the airport and into some local experiences. Buddy Hotline is a very much needed revival of the buddy service, but with a tech-y twist.
According to a report from Icelandair, Americans are increasingly skeptical of reviews that they read online during the travel planning process. In their survey, it was revealed that 71 percent of Americans are suspicious about fake reviews and 82 percent say that they trust reviews less and less. Buddy Hotline allows you to skip over the whole review hunting process. Instead of trying to decipher whether a restaurant with very mixed reviews is secretly terrible or underrated and amazing, you have your 'buddy' available to offer you an honest and personal review.
Buddy Hotline allows you to plan a trip that you can trust to meet your expectations. Instead of showing up somewhere to be completely let down by how different it looked online, you can go through your itinerary with confidence because your buddy's been there and unless you have friends in Iceland, this is the closest you'll get to having a personal recommendation. So if you're planning on traveling to Iceland this spring, hop on the Buddy Hotline ASAP and start collaborating on a trip that's perfect for you.