Unsettling TikTok Shows The Hair-Raising Ordeal Tourists Might Face Flying Into Iceland

Iceland has made it on many travelers' bucket lists for its famous Blue Lagoon spa, northern lights sightings, and more otherworldly natural landscapes. However, it's not the easiest place to get to. For one, it doesn't share a border with any other country, meaning you'll have to hop on a flight to access the Nordic paradise. On top of that, flights in and out of Iceland can be stress-inducing, to say the least.

A content creator named Bailey (@baileyturvey) posted a TikTok video from inside a plane cabin, where he and other passengers were stuck for hours without being allowed to disembark. "Warning if you're flying into Keflavik Airport," reads the caption on the video. "Check the weather conditions." Additional text explains that the plane's arrival was delayed for six hours due to strong winds, which consisted of "3 attempted landings & being stuck on the runway because it's too dangerous to open the plane doors."

Brace yourself for strong winds when visiting Iceland

Bailey's experience is a common one among tourists in Iceland. "When we were leaving Iceland to fly back to the UK the wind was unlike anything else," one person commented on the TikTok clip. "The plane was shaking the whole time we were sat down and whilst we were taking off." Another wrote, "I was NOT prepared for the wind in Iceland. Literally fighting for our lives every time we stepped outside." One commenter also added that they were stuck in the Nordic country for two additional days due to dangerous winds.

Weather-related flight interruptions aren't unusual in Iceland, and as the TikTok user posted, some delays and cancellations can impact travelers' itineraries for days. In December 2022, a snow and windstorm left some passengers stranded for multiple days at Keflavik Airport. Tourists leaving Iceland were blocked from boarding their flights, while those who had just arrived at the destination weren't allowed to travel to their hotels. Many were left to sleep on the floor, and as one traveler told Business Insider, food became a scarce resource inside the airport.

Such catastrophic disruptions don't happen often, thankfully, but you might still run into minor delays and snags due to wind or snow. Severe winds are most common during the fall and winter, though storms are also typical throughout the spring season.

What to do if your flight to Iceland is delayed

As frustrating as it might be to get stuck on a plane or in an airport for hours longer than planned, take a deep breath and accept any delays or changes to your flight if they arise. Remaining seated on the tarmac or relaxing inside the airport is the best way to stay safe when the winds become dangerously fierce. Along with volcanoes and the scary waves at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, wind is one natural threat you'll want to come prepared for when traveling to Iceland.

Some airlines may offer compensation or travel vouchers for delayed or canceled flights, but according to The Icelandic Transport Authority, bad weather and natural disasters fall into the "special circumstances" category. Translation: Passengers may not be entitled to a refund for a flight that was interrupted by strong winds. The rules are largely the same in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Still, it doesn't hurt to contact the carrier and ask what benefits or amenities they may be able to offer.

If you'll be flying in the winter, when weather-related delays and cancellations are most likely to occur, then pack your carry-on luggage strategically. Bring extra snacks, basic toiletries you may need in case you get stranded, and a travel pillow or blanket in case you can't reach your hotel.