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Grab Your Credit Card! These $99 Flights to Europe Are Real

SmarterTravel

Icelandic airline Wow is kicking off new routes from the U.S. to Europe with some pretty incredible introductory fares. These are the kind of airfare deals that make you stop the important things you’re doing and fumble around in your purse for your credit card.

The ultra-low-cost carrier, which operates all-coach Airbus A321 and A320 planes, will begin service from Boston to Europe in late March, with five flights a week. Thrice-weekly flights out of BWI will begin in June. The carrier already flies around Europe, but these routes mark Wow’s first-ever service to the United States.

Those fares, tho. The introductory rates include transatlantic flights for less than $300 in spring 2015. Wow advertises fares to Europe starting at $99 one way, which I can confirm are real because I saw them during the booking process. But when I searched for roundtrip tickets, I couldn’t finagle an itinerary with the $99 fare both ways. The cheapest roundtrip fare I could get was $245.90 for Boston to Reykjavik in June. I also found a flight from Boston to Copenhagen, with a stopover in Reykajvik, for $319.51 in June. These prices are fantastic. Excuse me while I book a flight to Copenhagen.

But wait. There’s a minor catch. Low-cost Wow is kind of like the Icelandic version of Spirit. The carrier charges fees for seat selection, carry-on bags, and checked bags.

Prices for all the extras vary by flight. Here’s the breakdown for my hypothetical Copenhagen ticket: A carry-on bag of more than 5 kg (basically anything that’s not a purse) added $76 to my roundtrip ticket cost. And the bag can’t be more than 12 kg, which is about 26 lbs. Checked luggage will cost you, too. Although at least one piece of checked luggage is usually free on most international flights, this is a discounter we’re talking about here. So things are different. If I check one bag both ways, I will have $134 tacked onto my ticket price.

Seat selection starts at $3 each way. And since Wow’s planes have three-by-three seating, I imagine I’ll be stuck with a middle seat if I don’t open my wallet. Seats in the back of the plane—rows 25 and higher—cost $3. Seats in the middle of the aircraft cost $9, and seats toward the front cost $24. There is no upper-class seating on this plane. Extra-legroom seats cost $24, which actually isn’t a bad price for a bit more room on a transatlantic flight.

With all the extras, my ticket to Copenhagen just went from $319.51 to $529.51.

This is still an amazing deal. By comparison, flights from Boston to Copenhagen in June via Icelandair start at $911.68 rountrip. And you could always ship your luggage.

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