One-way Flights to Europe for $100!

WOW Air is really their name, they’re a low cost carrier with initial promo fares for US service that are advertised from Washington DC (but really departing BWI) and Baltimore to London, Copenhagen, and Reykjavik as low as $99-$125 one-way.

Return flights are slightly higher, but total trip costs under $300 to Europe are pretty amazing and it’s certainly a great way to get buzz going for a new airline no one had ever heard of before.

The flights do not start until March 27 for the 6 weekly Boston – Reykjavik flights (with connecting service beyond Reykjavik) and until June 4 for Baltimore – Reykjavik. So you have to make your purchase pretty far out. BUt that also means these fares are for travel during peak season to Europe, too!

Their website isn’t great, and it’s getting lots of traffic presently. You enter your travel dates and see what the fares for those dates are, there’s no fare calendar to show you where to find those $99 fares. You have to hunt and peck if you’re flexible with your travel dates and just looking for the lowest fare.

This is a low cost carrier so expect fees for everything except the lav.

This one is special. Don’t cancel a booking, just no show. Because while you won’t get a refund, if you cancel by phone they say they charge you extra! Unless of course you buy their $18 cancellation insurance and have a covered reason.

Here’s the charges for pre-assigned seating (left column for online payment, right for seat assignments at the airport).

They love $86 charges. That’s the unaccompanied minor fee, and the date change and name change fee (it’s actually generous to allow these).

You’ll pay for anything more than an 11 pound carry on. Checked bags are expensive — the first checked bag is $48 online in advance, $67 at check-in, and if you are forced to gate check that’s $95. That’s for non-stop service, bag fees are higher for connecting flights.

With apologies to Norman Greenbaum, these folks seem to be the Spirit in the international sky.

If you travel super light, and don’t especially care where you sit on the plane (and I don’t know what their seat pitch or legroom is like), you can get some pretty amazing fares for US-Europe travel without the need for a pricing glitch.

(HT: The Flight Deal)

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, 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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  1. 29″ pitch. For sure they will appeal to some, but most leisure travellers are going to be checking bags and that drives cost up pretty fast. Also if flying to London, you are adding an extra 4hrs to the trip so ~60% longer flying in a worse seat.
    could be useful for positioning flights tho/

  2. Gary,

    Sort of a side-point, but if one is being literal about BWI not being in DC itself, as you know, neither are DCA and IAD, which are both in Virginia.

    I just checked google maps, BWI is only 10 miles further than IAD in relation to the city center.

  3. @Gary – though significantly less time than IAD by public transit (and that will likely still be true even after the silver line!)

  4. I have to at least slightly disagree with the characterization of WOW Air as similar to Spirit. I flew round trip with them to and from Reyjavik, and I found them to offer great service on the actual plane (think Southwest, but quirkier – this is the country of Bjork, after all), and I didn’t feel nickel-ed and dime-d (although it’s true that they don’t include a lot bundled into the tickets). They may have changed since I flew them and/or have a different fee structure in the US than in Europe, but we had to change our flights for a sick kid, and they rebooked us without a change fee pretty easily (although I had to call in to do it), which I’d never expect if I was ever unfortunate enough to fly with Spirit. Since there aren’t many flights to Iceland from the states that I can use miles with (I don’t have a bunch of Saga Points), this is a nice option to have, methinks.

  5. With WOW charging $39 each way for anything more than an 11 lb. carry-on to Iceland (and more to “the Continent”), these fares aren’t as cheap as they look. Even an empty rollaboard weighs almost 11 lbs. When I read posts from folks who don’t live near BOS and BWI — and are planning on buying domestic tickets to connect — I scratch my head. Would you reposition for a $400 Spirit ticket to Europe? I wouldn’t.

  6. Actually MARC does run on weekends (Penn Line) and service is decent. Bus is nominal charge from the train station to the airport.

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