Awesome: $298 RT New York to Israel

WOW Air is running a promotion: $149 each way between New York and Tel Aviv, Israel. Round trip to Israel for less than $300 is amazing. Note that at that price, you can not check a bag or select your seat, but you can add on those things that you need and skip the extras you don’t and still have an incredible price. If they don’t have a flight available for your preferred date in one direction, keep in mind the fact that Flying Blue (the loyalty program of Air France / KLM and a Skyteam carrier) includes Israel in its definition of Europe — meaning that a one-way in economy class costs just 25,000 miles — and you can transfer those points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi Thank You points, or Starwood Preferred Guest.

The Deal

  • Flights from New York to Tel Aviv, Israel for just $149 each way
  • Check the WOW Air website to view dates one week at a time.

Key Details

  • Price does not include checked bags or seat selection
  • Flights available on random dates between October 2017 and March 2018

Quick Thoughts

This is an amazing deal. Keep in mind that it is bare-bones — you would need to be able to travel with just a personal item to get your flight for this price, but even if you pay the rate for one carry-on or checked bag, you’re still well under $400 round trip.

 

When I flew WOW, I used the travel credit from my Chase Ritz-Carlton card to cover XXL legroom seating and it was perfectly comfortable and spacious — closer to domestic first class than the Ryan Air style that you might have in mind. The travel credit from a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred would also obviously cover the cost of the ticket in this case ($300 annual travel credit) or the $250 annual airline credit from the Citi Prestige would wipe out most of the cost. I don’t believe you could use the incidental credits from any Amex cards on fees here as those only work with your chosen domestic US airline. I similarly believe I’ve read that the travel credit on the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite will not work with a foreign carrier (but if readers have direct experience, please comment). At any rate, there are some options out there to cover the cost of fees. Here are seat selection fees for the example trip I walked through earlier (note that these prices are for a single leg:

Flying Blue one-way

If you can’t find availability for $149 in both directions, keep in mind that Air France / KLM’s Flying Blue includes Israel in its definition of Europe, meaning that you could get a one-way in economy class for just 25,000 miles in economy class — though, as you can see, the taxes alone are almost as much as these WOW AIr tickets.

Bottom line

This is a great deal that surely won’t last. If you’re interested, I suggest booking this one sooner rather than later.

H/T: View from the Wing

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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    • Unfortunately, that’s a tough question to answer. As you know, Flying Blue sometimes requires people to go to the airport to ticket and/or shuts down accounts when people create a new account and transfer miles and redeem. Anecdotally, here are my experiences:

      This past winter, I helped a friend set up a Flying Blue account. The same day, she transferred points from Chase Ultimate Rewards and booked a ticket to Hawaii on Delta using those points (all on Day #1) and it went smooth — no problems at all. So it certainly can work out fine. But I’ve definitely read contrary stories.

      In my case, I was over-the-top cautious to an extent that I don’t think is necessary, but this is what I did:

      1) I created a dummy account that I use just for searching. I use a VPN to change my IP when I just want to search around on availability for a while and I use the dummy account (fake name and all that). I did this because I’ve read about Air France giving people problems for running too many searches without miles in the account.

      2) I created a real account and didn’t use it for at least four or five months.

      3) I credited a paid business class airfare to Flying Blue (not a big mileage earner, but it was something).

      4) Then, several months later, I transferred in points (I believe it might have been a combo from MR/TY/UR). I then made a booking that same day. I actually messed up the booking (reversed a first and last name) at some point in the process and ended up with a confirmation number but hadn’t yet paid for the flight. I ended up calling in and an agent fixed it and then I was able to pay the taxes for the redemption over the phone. I’ve actually read that redemptions over the phone have less issues than online. I found the phone agent competent, friendly enough, and polite.

      And I haven’t had any issues with them. i don’t log in with my (real) account and gratuitously search, though I don’t know that I can’t — it’s mostly an abundance of caution.

      But like I said, I did help a friend do it all in one day and it worked out for her. Best practice in general is to open a Flying Blue account right now, before you need one, and that way it’ll be a bit more “seasoned” when you go to use it (if it’s possible….if you’re looking to book today, you obviously can’t do that. I’d probably chance it and go ahead, but YMMV).

  1. From the travel industry’s point of view here in TLV we see the a sharp increase in demand for Iceland stopover products. During the last few years Iceland was high on the destination charts here so the WOW product came in just on time and combining it with the US ( Top chart destination) it will sure offer a few good seasons. The other segment is large families. The true accumulated saving is not so great during low season flights yet when talking large family could amount to a nice saving.

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