Iceland-based discount carrier Play Airlines announced it will begin connecting Boston and Baltimore to Europe via Reykjavik in the spring. The company's leadership is largely old WOW Air executives. I like the livery.
You beat me to it, I just came here to post this. I was made aware when a flight alert site I’m signed up for emailed me a flight to Barcelona for $185 round trip! I was shocked. Very tempted to book a short budget getaway next summer. With travel insurance of course because you can’t really trust old WOW employees (or the covid situation)
With Icelandair already flying the routes to these 2 airports with the intention of mostly carrying passengers connecting to Europe, I wonder if they will both survive on the routes.
The problem with airlines like Play and Norwegian is that they don't codeshare so not very useful to many people (Icelandair does codeshare with JetBlue and Alaska so reaches more people).
They are using other times than Icelandair for their connection "banks" so as to avoid crowding at KEF, changes eastbound 4-6 am in KEF vs 6-8 am for Icelandair, similar the other way 2-4 pm vs 4-6 pm. Getting thru Schengen at KEF means it's not all wasted time. Note that carry on bags are over $50 EW and I doubt there is food, but then Icelandair doesn't offer food for free in coach anyway. The lowest fares are already disappearing and it makes no sense to choose Play over a main airline with nonstop service and likely free food, bags, and seats for the same price. Flights are single aisle on A320 neos.
When I did some dummy bookings, carry on bags averaged $41 each way (which includes priority boarding but that isn’t much value to me). Over $50 is for a checked bag. And in the age of Covid, direct flights to Europe are much more rare and easily at least 3 times the cost of Play. If you can fly to Paris for $500 less than the next traditional airline and the detour through Iceland adds 4 hours to your trip, I feel like most people would consider that worth it. Now if they’re only saving $100, I think less people would think it’s a fair trade off
I did dummy bookings also and the carry on bag was over $50 and checked bag over $70. I found that the website resets to euros at every click, so maybe you were seeing euro pricing? I was looking at Boston so maybe that makes a difference.
I cannot recall a more unfriendly airline site to use/navigate.
The 'add-ons' amount to 50-60% of the basic fare, (without checked baggage)
The question is, will PLAY, SPIRIT or FRONTIER be the first to charge to use the loo.
I guess they are after the leisure market. I can't see a road warrior turning in expense accounts for "Play" flights....
I was looking at their Boston to Berlin route. Even their fee schedule doesn’t have any carry on bags listed for $50. Maybe you were looking at checked bags? Or baggage prices if purchased after initial booking. https://www.flyplay.com/optional-fees
Maybe it’s because I haven’t really looked at Icelandic air until this year, but I never found their prices to be any cheaper than United. I feel they started off very budget and then just slowly creeped their prices up. But also, the prices during covid are very different than what they use to be so not sure how fair of a statement that is.
Well I can’t bring up seat selection on a phone without registering, but I could on my laptop and I saw higher fees than posted. Noting that seat selection is $40 according to their rate chart.
I have made several crossings on Icelandair over the years and when buying 5 tickets the savings was worth it. Also their one-way only pricing (like Southwest) meant I could pair miles tickets one direction with Icelandair the other, or one-way with Icelandair with a one-way fare on Condor. Last spring Icelandair was offering their premium economy (Saga) RT $1000 to DUB, LHR, and AMS, and just recently IAD to FRA. So there are still some deals. Also Icelandair is more competitive in markets without a lot of Europe nonstops: Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Edmonton, and now Raleigh. And except for Raleigh, Iceland is right on the way for the other cities.
I honestly can't think of a worse time in history to be trying to launch an airline. Book at your own risk
But as a business traveler? . No it wouldn’t bother me to put play airlines on my expense report. Why do you think anyone would even care?