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Around 5pm EST, their US website finally went live, advertising specials and bookable deals in US Dollars, with some flights as low as $99 and $125 one-way. Despite those unbelievable numbers, the airline is a reputable one. WOW has been flying between Iceland and Europe since 2011, and we didn't think twice to book them earlier this year for a trip to go waterfall-spotting and hot spring-soaking in Iceland.
Think fast and have your credit card ready, and here's what you need to know to score WOW Air's cheapest US deals:
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We hope you are sitting down, because the long-awaited budget flights between the US and Iceland are finally happening and already on sale.
Icelandic low-cost airline WOW Air has been serving up spicy low fares from their home at Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport to Europe since 2011. This morning they announced their next destinations: Boston from March 2015 and Washington DC from June 2015, with flights from $125 each way.
Deep breaths. Notoriously expensive Iceland is indeed about to become a much more affordable hotspot for 2015 travel, but the deals don't stop there. WOW Air is also offering specials from their new US destinations to continue on to Europe and the UK, including £99 each way on over to London or Copenhagen.
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This may sound weird, but our New Years resolution for 2014 was to fly WOW Air, a low-cost airline based in Iceland. Its awesome name aside, WOW intrigued us for its fleet of pink A320s, humor on Twitter, and promise of cheap flights to the notoriously expensive Reykjavik.
To complete that resolution, we booked Flight WW 201, departing Reykjavik-Keflavik at 6.45am and arriving London-Gatwick at 10.50am. That early flight and mid-morning arrival into Gatwick was ideal to then catch the train into town in time for lunch with a friend, followed by an afternoon napthe best way to ease back into London.
So here’s how it went...
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Know what sounds nice? A long weekend in Iceland. While most Americans would chose to fly Icelandair or seasonal non stops from the US on other major carriers, we managed to fit an Iceland trip into a visit to London, all because of the availability of cheap one-ways on Easyjet. What proved to be most notable about the entire EasyJet travel experience is the time spent at the airport, and not actually on the flight.
For the 7.35am departure from London's Luton Airport (LTN), we reserved a £12 4.15am National Express coach bus from Victoria Station, which arrived to LTN at 5.25am. From there, we clutched our print-at-home boarding pass and, with no luggage to check, we headed straight through to airport security. Luton seems better equipped than Heathrow to handle crowds of passengers at security as, despite the morning rush, we were through security and handled (not manhandled!) in under 10 minutes. So far, so good.
Airside, Luton is a massive food court, with the boarding gates located down hallways. Passengers find seats only in the main central area, and then stand to rush and line up at the gate the minute info screens announce their flight. This early in the morning, when budget airlines love to sell their seats cheapest, the terminal resembled a safe house during an evacuation drill. Every available seat was taken, and passengers clutched their luggage on their laps as there simply wasn't room to spread out.
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In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Icelandair's dedication to Iceland culture, both in the airport and their aircraft.
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We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.
"We'll have the kids meal."
Never before have we uttered these words on a flight, until flying with easyJet this last week, early enough in the morning that we'd eat pretty much anything. While perusing the airline's surprisingly extensive menu (they dedicate 25 pages of the duty-free catalog to onboard food choices!), we spotted a $5 snack box we just had to have.
This was a cheap flight in the first placewe paid $150 total for a one-way flight from London-Luton to Reykjavik-Keflavik Airportand we don't board cheap flights expecting very much. This snack box was, on top of the impressive menu, a huge positive surprise. It's designed specifically for kids! What other airlines offer such a thoughtful buy-onboard food pack for picky children? Off hand, we can't name another.
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Yes, this airplane totally exists and yes, we feel kinda late to the news since it's actually been tooling around the world since notorious heavy metal band Iron Maiden customized an Astraeus Airlines Boeing 757 in 2008 to fly around on their world tours. It wasn't until this week that we really learned what we were missing, when Lonely Planet's US Editor Robert Reid hopped onboard "Ed Force One" for a tete-a-tete with Iron Maiden frontman (and the plane's Captain) Bruce Dickinson. You can read the first bit of Reid's adventures here.
What the what?! It just seems too awesome to handle. Heavy metal man Dickinson goes from flying high on stage to champion fencer to flying high literally, as a part-time pilot with Astraeus. Iron Maiden is still touring, believe it or not, but Bruce makes time to jet. Andhere's the real newsthe plane is now on a somewhat regular schedule flying to the US from Iceland, with international low-cost carrier Iceland Express.
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Believe it or not, it's already been since the beginning of June that low-cost airline Iceland Express began flying between Newark-Liberty International and Iceland's Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport. The route has done well for them and they're extending the seasonal service through the end of October, as well as throwing in a totally new routeOrlando to Reykjavikspecially for the month of October, but we're guessing it'll return for summer 2011. The Orlando flights begin October 2 and end October 26, chiefly for Icelanders to get a last bit of sun.
If you're looking to squeeze in a last taste of Europe in summer, the airline is also throwing a huge sale on flights from New York to their European mainland destinations. For $399, taxes included, you can get from NYC to Copenhagen (we found $399 for a Sept 6 departure, Sept 13 return), London-Gatwick ($399 for Sept 2 departure, Sept 6 return), and Luxembourg (Sept 1 departure, Sept 9 return). Surf around for more dates, but remember not to try later than October since the airline will leave NYC for the winter.
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If there's one good thing that's come of the bank collapse in Iceland, it's that Icelandair seems to be putting themselves out there and making the rounds in order to seduce frugal travelers to their hurting homeland. First, we noticed the advertisements popping up on the New York subway, reminding those with wanderlust that Iceland is only five hours away, and now Icelandair is letting more of the west coast in on their action.
Freshly announced yesterday, the news that the airline will add fellow cold climate city Seattle to its list of destinations is great for both ends. Flying four times a week direct from Reykjavik's Keflavik Airport to Seattle-Tacoma Airport, Icelandair will launch their first US west coast route on July 22. Although booking doesn't look to be open for the flights yet, we're hoping that these fares feature into the frequent Iceland specials.
For reference's sake, the press release does give a sample direct roundtrip price of $822 plus taxes. If they were to make inclusive of taxes and throw in a few nights' hotel stay, then we may yet be tempted to personally inject some cash into Iceland's economy.
· New Seattle Service [Icelandair]
· Is it Icelandair? Seattle to announce new international route [Today in the Sky]
· New Routes Coverage [Jaunted]