$129 To Europe: New Airline PLAY Launches Seasonal Winter Service From Orlando

This seems literally insane to me. Transatlantic low cost carrier PLAY is launching seasonal winter service from Orlando International Airport to Reykjavik (Keflavik), Iceland with connections onward available to Berlin, Dublin, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, London, and Paris. They’re introducing the service with outbound pricing from $129.

Here’s the thing.

  • Winter is when no one goes to Europe
  • Winter is when no one goes to Iceland

Service will run October through April three days a week (Tue/Thur/Sat outbound, Mon/Wed/Fri return).

I can only imagine the primary audience for this flight is Europeans getting out when it’s cold, but they’ll promote it on this side of the Pond, too. The major challenge for low cost long haul carriers across the Atlantic is what to do with their planes in winter. They can manage in summer when everyone is crossing the ocean, but they lack the business customers to limit the winter bleed.

Orlando seems as good a place as any, even if no leisure traveler in their right mind would go to Iceland in winter, and connecting fares on other airlines to other European cities will be cheap even on legacy carriers. The airline is taking delivery of a new Airbus narrowbody and has to send it somewhere. Still, when they’re promoting they’re the only airline offering connecting service from Orlando to London Stansted they’re really stretching.

The $129 one way includes taxes and covers travel to Iceland, Berlin, Dublin, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, London, or Paris and must be booked by midnight Eastern time on February 27.

  • To Iceland Keflavík (KEF) on Tuesdays between October 1, 2022 – February 25, 2023
  • To Paris (CDG), Copenhagen (CPH), London (STN), and Dublin (DUB) on Tuesdays between October 4, 2022 – February 21, 2023
  • To Berlin (BER) on Tuesdays between October 4, 2022 to October 25, 2022
  • To Gothenburg (GOT) on Thursdays between October 6, 2022 to October 27, 2022
  • December 13, 2022 – January 5, 2023 is blacked out

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Those dates for the start of the sale are suspiciously far out into the future for an airline that’s undercutting others on price. Maybe it’s legit and they’re trying to grab headlines while minimizing actual bookings… or maybe they have a problem with cash on hand and they won’t actually serve these routes by the time your flight is supposed to depart.

    I’d consider this a risky bet, though there is some potential payoff. I’ve watched it happen with WOW, several Indian airlines (Kingfisher, Jet, etc), and Air Berlin, just off the top of my head.

  2. You are wrong. Iceland is a legitimate winter destination as it enables a lot of expeditions that are winter-only. Not to mention people go to try and spot the northern lights. I went pre-covid in February and my icelandair flight was 95% full.

  3. “Here’s the thing.
    Winter is when no one goes to Europe
    Winter is when no one goes to Iceland”

    Winter is when Europeans go to Orlando. Might they be the target market, with Play willing to sell r/t’s ex Orlando to those Orlando-ites who want to go to Sweden in December?

  4. I agree with B. I’ve been to Iceland in the summer and winter. And I enjoyed them both. In fact, I would rather go to the Blue Lagoon and the other outdor geothermal pools in the winter than in the summer. Who wants to go in a hot springs in the summer? Bonus of going in the winter is seeing the Northern Lights. So yeah, I think there’s a market for winter travel to Iceland.

  5. To Europe? What about the Russians invading Ukraine? And maybe taking it a step further past Ukraine? Maybe into other pats of Europe? $129 to Europe? Not interested.

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