Icelandic uber-budget airline, the appallingly named WOW Air, has just launched flights to the US at, in some cases, staggeringly low prices.
While a handful of other dates are available at this price, there is (currently) wide availability of:
- the GBP £99 fare from London Gatwick to Boston in March and April 2015; and
- the US $99 fare from Boston to London Gatwick in September and October 2015
(In both cases via Reykjavik, Iceland.)
So if you’re only after a one way fare, or planning to spend several months in Boston, and your dates match the above, then that has to be seen as a great fare.
The problem is, of course, most people want to return within a week or two. I doubt many people will be in a position to fly to Boston in April 2015, and then return in September.
So what about returns that don’t have a 5 month stay requirement?
This is where the “too good to be true” element kicks in slightly, although not entirely. For example, the lowest return journeys I could find, with the return reasonably soon after the outward flight, were as follows:
- March 31 2015: Gatwick to Boston for £99
- April 6 2015: £141.63
So £252.44 in total (when an £11.81 booking fee is added).
September 10 2015: Boston to Gatwick for $99
September 17 2015: Gatwick to Boston for $299.08
So $398.08 in total (there’s no booking fee)
To give some perspective to these fares, BA economy on the same dates are £609.86 (Heathrow to Boston return) and $1116.03 (Boston to Heathrow return), but this does include a checked bag of up to 23kg.
And hidden charges?
This is of course a budget airline, so don’t expect anything much to be included. Taking the £252.44 Gatwick to Boston return as an example, these are the potential add-ons:
- Carry on luggage 0-5kg free
- Carry on luggage over 5kg to 12kg £44 return
- Checked in luggage (up to 20kg) £78 return
What is WOW like?
I have never flown with them, so I can’t really comment. Here are WOW’s “promises” to you, however.
In short, I’d expect the full low-frills experience, but I wouldn’t hesitate to book a £252 return to Boston if the dates suited me. It’s also worth noting that the emergence of WOW as a low-cost Europe to US carrier, in addition to Norwegian Air and Jet2.com’s recent entry into the market, is likely to have a very positive effect on prices, not least in advance of Ryanair’s possible entrance into the market (warning: this link contains an image of Michael O’Leary).
Flights to Baltimore are also available, and by all means search for them, but they’re not at the same level as the Boston flights. The lowest one-way fares we could find were £188 from London Gatwick to Baltimore and $195 from Baltimore to London (June 2015).