Destinations The Basics

$300 Roundtrip Tickets to Israel – I Am Not WOWed

WOW Israel
Written by Charlie

WOW air is flying to Israel and is offering roundtrip tickets from the US for as little as $300. But, this may not be as good of a deal as you think! Find out how it could cost MORE than other airlines!


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

WOW Israel

Jerusalem | Courtesy of Shutterstock

Link: WOW Air $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

WOW Israel

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.

WOW Israel

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

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • As far as I can tell, the biggest benefit of WOW(and other ULCC’s) is to hold the legacies’ collective feet to the fire and make them somewhat price sensitive. For that, I thank them.
    No thanks, however, to actually using WOW.

  • I get your point but a bit disingenuous…who brings a carryon and a checked bag?

    • If you have been to Israel, you would realize that if you did not have both, you would be in the minority! Most people that are traveling to/from Israel and the US on the dozens of flights I have been on have 2 carryons and at least one checked bag!

  • I’m so glad someone finally pointed this out. Like you, I have no reason to hate on WOW but I have been checking tickets to KEF for over a year now and I have come to realize that WOW makes no sense for the following reasons.

    1. Their advertised one-way lowest fares are hardly ever available. I have seen, maybe, 2 instances on dates. Of course, the dates won’t be conducive.
    2. Even when you do manage to find a good one-way rate, say $99, if you paid close attention to the return fare, it’s almost impossible to find a return fare within a week or two that’s anywhere under $190. This is a strategy they employ.
    3. I’m not big on choosing seats and can adjust. But their baggage policy simply doesn’t work for international journeys. As a backpacker or adevnture buff wanting to explore the landscapes, it would make zero sense to travel to a destination like Iceland, known for its natural beauty, without at least a carry-on. They’re smart in that, they either force you to pay for the luggage if you’re on a longer trip OR they’ll catch you with a much more expensive return fare (for short trips) if you think you can get a deal by skipping bags.
    4. This 4th point is the most confounding for me. I live in DTW so I checked for tix from ORD, IAD and BOS and almost always the fare for Icelandair is just 50-80 more than WOW and for that money you get free checked bags (which alone is $50 PER LEG), seat selection AND the ability to earn miles on an FFP like Mileage Plan. My tickets are always more expensive with WOW when I add just one bag for a nonstop route. (will be even more if you have multiple legs).

    The only real purpose they serve according to me, is competition. One can argue that the recent spate of low fares to Europe and other places is due to the tough competition offered by these LCCs. You may never get the advertised low fares, but the advertisement is enough to force the hands of other carriers .

    • You are right – their real purpose for many probably is to exist to drive the regular airlines lower. And I am all for that!