It’s actually happening. On March 27 the Icelandic airline, WOW, which promised $99 transatlantic flights, had their first U.S. flight from Logan Airport, Boston to Reykjavik.
Everything seems to be going plan with their service out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) to follow on May 8. As of now you can transfer flights out of Reykjavik to other European cities such as Barcelona, Milan and London for an additional $80 and in the fall they’ll be rolling out their direct service to Dublin.
Back in February 2015 they announced plans to provide flight from Dublin to Boston and Washington Dc for less than $325 (€300). A far cry from the usual $850 or $1,000 it has become quite standard to pay during busy seasons.
The direct flights to Dublin will kick off in October (see right). However, as with all other airlines, ticket prices increase depending on interest and booking timetables. We had a look at what midweek flights from Dublin to Boston, with a two-hour stop in Reykjavik, would cost. The total was $465, which isn’t bad at all.
The new flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and will all include a two-hour stopover in the Icelandic capital. The Dublin to Boston journey will take 12 hours and 20 minutes while the Dublin to Washington flight, including the stopover, will last 12 hours and 45 minutes.
Looking at the fine print of these far cheaper flights, as the San Francisco Gate has, you see that the deal becomes all too “Ryanairy” (you pay for everything!)
You can buy larger seats with more legroom for between $24 to $33. Passengers can pay more for their seating location selection and any luggage beyond the included 11-pound max carry on. In-flight entertainment and dining options are, of course, extra.
However if you’re willing to shop early and be frugal and Spartan about your traveling arrangements, it could soon be possible for you to fly transatlantic for close to $99.
What their new service will certainly do is shake up the market. Although Ryanair has now set aside their plans for transatlantic domination, the other carriers used heavily by transatlantic flyers (the Aer Linguses, Deltas, and United Airlines of this world, for example) will now have some new and unusual competition.
Wow Air's founder Skúli Mogensen said at the time of the announcement, “Our aim is to transform low-cost transatlantic flights and make travel to the US affordable for everybody.”
That’s music to our ears.