(EXPIRED) Pack light? “$49” one-ways to Europe (round trip purchase required, basic econ)

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WOW Air is offering unbelievably cheap flights on select dates through March 11th: just $49 one-way from the US to quite a few cities in Europe. The catches are several: First, round trip travel appears to be required (I’ve found several dates with $49 pricing if I’m searching round trip, but the price is much higher when searching one-way). Second, return flights are more expensive (from around $120 for the flight back home, though many dates are more) and you only get a personal item for this price. A checked bag will cost you around $50-70 each way, seat selection will cost you, there’s no free food, etc. But if you can travel light, you can certainly save a lot of money on your flight. This is also a great use of the airline incidentals credits on some credit cards. I see round trip from New York to Iceland from $169, and that’s still pretty darn good.

The Deal

Key Details

  • These are basic economy and only include a personal item
  • Available for travel through March 11th
  • Checked bags are around $70 one-way (check your route as prices vary)
  • A full-sized carry-on is around $50 one-way
  • Seat selection can be as cheap as $7 or as much as $200 depending on what size seat you’d like
  • You’ll connect in Iceland (might be a good chance to see the Northern Lights from the plane)

Quick Thoughts

These prices are ridiculously cheap. Of course, they are loaded with gotchas, so you have to be prepared to get around those or pony up a bit more depending on your wants/needs. If you need to travel with two 60lb suitcases, you’ll want a business class award ticket on some other carrier. But if you’re ready to fly by the seat of your pants carrying nothing more than a laptop messenger bag, you can get to Europe super cheap from tons of cities. On the return, you’ll pay more for your flight (from around $120 one-way).

As noted at the top, I’ve flown WOW and I really liked it. I paid for an XXL seat (cheaper at the time) and used the annual airline incidentals credit on my Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa to get reimbursed for the baggage and seat selection fees (which made up at least half the cost of my ticket). We saw the Northern Lights from the plane (on that flight, the show was on the left side of the plane when facing the cockpit).

This sale isn’t quite as terrific as advertised since (I think) you can not travel one-way only for $49. Still, round trip to Iceland rings in from $169.99 out of New York, and that’s pretty stellar if you don’t need any bags…though that’s somewhat hard to imagine for travel at this time of year. I guess you’d have to really dress in layers for the flight.

Bags to Iceland are neither cheap nor crazy expensive, with a carry-on running $45 or checked bag $55 from New York — though note that pricing depends on your route.

I’d recommend doing one or the other if you do need a larger bag — if you need both, you might just do better on a legacy carrier with a full economy fare.

Overall, this is an interesting sale, especially since so many cities are included, but it may not work out to be an amazing deal depending on your level of flexibility / checked baggage needs.

H/T: Points With a Crew

Last updated on January 26th, 2019

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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If you follow the discount flight sites (secretflying, the flightdeal), there have been a lot of very cheap transatlantic fares lately. Not all of them are for winter travel. Heck, I’ve bought two different tickets for late spring and late summer travel for well less than $300 on major carriers. The biggest annoyance is that most (all?) of these fares book into something like “basic economy” where you sometimes don’t get a free checked bag and you always don’t get an advanced seat assignment. The up-charges for these things are always overpriced so you basically can’t buy what “you want” when you find these cheapo fares these days. Still, there are better value than these WOW fares in most circumstances.