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That $99 Airfare Might Cost You $339

GOBankingRates logo GOBankingRates 5/25/2018 Stephanie Asymkos

Video provided by GoBankingRates

The low fares are as eye-catching as the company’s fleet of purple airplanes — WOW Air appeals to both the wallets and wanderlust of travelers. But exactly what do you get for your money on the 7-year-old airline that currently serves 37 destinations across Europe, North America and Asia? With airfares projected to rise this summer due to surging oil and gas prices, it’s worth investigating. 

GOBankingRates researched one of WOW Air’s frequently advertised $99 fares — a nonstop flight from New York City to Reykjavik, Iceland. Here’s what you should know about traveling on this budget airline.

Before you buy, make sure the fare — and its stipulations — works with your budget and travel plans.

GALLERY: The best and worst airlines for domestic flights (provided by GoBankingRates)

Be Flexible

Turns out, the $99 fare was for a flight on a Monday at 12:40 a.m. in October, which is a month past when most tours and trips to Iceland’s best-known attractions close for the season. Assuming you would like to return to the U.S. after your trip, a $99 return fare doesn’t exist. In the month of October, the cheapest return flight was two days post-arrival and $139.99.

But if you don’t mind missing the Northern Lights or other attractions, October might work for you

Beware of Not-So-Hidden Baggage Fees

Unless you’re a minimalist visiting on a quick jaunt, a baggage fee is unavoidable. The $99 fare covers a personal item, like a briefcase, which is different from a carry-on item, according to WOW. Prepare to spend $39.99, each way, for your carry-on to travel with you. There’s also a $10 premium if you forgo the option to pre-pay during booking and elect to pay the carry-on baggage fee at airport check-in.

A checked bag will set you back $49.99 at the pre-pay rate and $69.99 at the airport. In other words, checking a bag for your round-trip journey is equal to or greater than the price of your one-way ticket. 

Bring Your Own Fun and Food

Come prepared with your own entertainment to avoid boredom during the six hours and five minutes you’ll be in flight: WOW doesn’t offer in-flight Wi-Fi or an in-flight entertainment system. For passengers flying North American routes, iPads are available to rent but are subject to availability.

You’ll likely get hungry during the six-hour stretch, but don’t expect food to be included. Travelers on a budget or with an aversion to airplane food can opt to bring their own.  

If you’re keeping track, you’ll see the $99 one-way fare quickly spiked to $339.96 with a return flight, taxes, fees and carry-on baggage costs. Although the price is still relatively low, it’s a bait-and-switch deal.


This article originally appeared on That $99 Airfare Might Cost You $339


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