WOW Air (a low cost airline based out of Iceland) announced yesterday that they will now be servicing Tel Aviv. This prompted them to offer in introductory deal from $300 from their US gateways to Tel Aviv. But, is this new price a great deal?
WOW Air with $300 Tickets to Israel
Let me say up front – I have never flown on WOW Air … yet. It is not that I am some business-class-only “snob” but rather I have not found one of their deals that has been compelling enough for me to jump on when I consider what the price would really get up to and what I am giving up by not flying with one of my regular airlines. I do want to try them at some point if for no other reason than to give me experience with them for the future (and a review!)
WOW Air offers exceptional prices for people that can travel light and that do not care where they sit on a plane. If you are traveling with anything more than a small personal item, the price you see is not the price you will pay! Let’s break down this $300 ticket to Israel.
How Much Does That $300 Ticket Really Cost?
First of all, good luck finding a $300 ticket! They are very limited and, while you can find the departure from $149, the return is easily $299 or more on many dates.
So, you find a $300 ticket. If you are like most people, you will have a carry-on. Again, many will check a bag when visiting someplace as far away as Israel. What are those costs?
- $50 for a carryon – one way ($100)
- $70 for checked bag – one way ($140)
- Total bag costs – $240
How about seats? If you are okay with randomly assigned seats, then you can save some money. But, I would prefer not to be between two strangers for all of those hours and I know others would like to avoid that as well. Let’s assume you go for the cheapest seats which are in the back of the plane.
- $9 per flight
- Total seat costs – $36
So, for the basics we take for granted on other airlines, you are now paying a total of $276 – just for extras. Add that with the $300 ticket and you are at $576.
But, remember, finding that return at $149 is not easy! So, going with the next lowest price we have a total airfare price of $450. Tack on the “extras” and you have a grand total of $724 for your roundtrip ticket to Israel from a city like Boston.
Oh, but wait! Currently, they only have 3 aircraft that can service this route. If there are mechanical issues, you will be stuck – especially since these are not daily flights. So, consider the potential inconvenience of missing a couple of days into your equation as well. Will that happen? Most of the time, no. But, it is something to think about.
Are There Alternatives?
Guess what? For the same dates and cities, I am easily able to find tickets for under $700 – on airlines that will let you bring a carryon and even checked bags on for free. Not only that, but you do get meals served also (something else that is not free on WOW – yes, even a soda will cost $3)!
Is WOW Air A Bad Choice?
To be clear – I am not hating on WOW! I love the idea, the competition, and the choice. For sure, this will definitely be of help to some travelers. I mean, the ability to fly to Iceland (maybe build in a layover?) and then on to Israel for only $149 one way is pretty awesome! But, for the majority of travelers, this will not end up as just $149 for the trip.
If you go into this whole option with the right mindset, you can get a great deal! But, do not expect to fly like you might normally and think it will be much cheaper than the legacy airlines!
If I am paying almost as much for a trip as other airlines charge, I will want to fly on an airline that I can earn some miles with and/or have some benefits with. For example, I would lean towards flying on a Star Alliance carrier so I can take advantage of things like priority access, lounge access, bags, and even being able to have some option with selecting better seats.
Will you be buying these $300 WOW air tickets for Israel?
Featured image from WOW Air website