Mar292015

WOW! How Low Cost Carriers are Changing the European Travel Itinerary Experience

WOW, Norwegian and dozens of European low cost airlines make budget travel to Europe a reality in Summer 2015 with one way low cost flights widely available.

Forget the train and backpack tour of Europe. Micropack your small carryon and stay three weeks in Europe flying from country to country.

I jumped on WOW tickets from Boston to Copenhagen when they first went on sale several months ago. I got a great deal of $480 round trip with seat assignments and bag fees in July. I predicted with high probability there would be no summer deals coming close to matching that fare from USA to Europe.

I was wrong. Last week there were deals under $700 from California in July on major airlines. I gave that about a 5% probability of happening. Low cost carriers flying between USA and Europe are changing the sky high summer fares from legacy carriers.

Dublin, Reykjavik and Scandinavian airports look to be capturing a good flow of USA passengers into low cost hubs for access to Europe. Once you reach a hub, low cost carriers will take you all around Europe.

Travelers without severe time constraints can plan extensive air travel on low cost carriers to Europe and around Europe in one way flights. Flying to several countries for little more than the cost of a $1,200 single roundtrip ticket from Airport USA to an airport in London, Paris and other major European cities is what this article begins and my next article will show with a European itinerary based on one-way tickets on low cost carriers from the USA to Europe this summer.

WOW Airlines

WOW Airlines have flights from Boston BOS and Baltimore BWI via Reykjavik KEF in Iceland to Berlin SXF, Copenhagen CPH, Dublin DUB, London LGW, Paris CDG. Some of these routes start later in 2015. WOW and Icelandair use KEF airport as a hub.

 

WOW Air home 3-28-15

Norwegian Airlines

Norwegian Airlines is in its second year of flights between five US airports LAX Los Angeles, OAK Oakland, JFK New York, MCO Orlando and FLL Fort Lauderdale and Oslo OSL, Stockholm ARN and Copenhagen CPH. There is also a nonstop LAX-LGW London flight.

Flights tend to be more expensive one-way from European airports back to the USA. Most award tickets charge 50% miles for one way Europe USA.

Europe Ticketing Strategy: Fly a low cost carrier to Europe and use frequent flyer miles to get back Europe-USA if your miles are not sufficient for travel roundtrip travel.

WOW BWI-CDG July 6 $375

WOW Air Washington BWI – CDG Paris is $374.28 one-way July 6.

You need to pack light and plan for additional bag fees when flying WOW, but still a great price for Paris in July from the USA.

Roundtrip flights from Washington DC area to Paris, France in July are an expensive ticket on the legacy carriers. Air France flies IAD-CDG Paris nonstop for about $1,250 per ticket for some dates in July 2015. Icelandair will take you to Paris roundtrip in July for around $950 via Reykjavik.

IAD-CDG Icelandair July 2015 $967

Icelandair $967 Washington IAD – CDG Paris, France July 7-13, 2015.

You can pay $1,000 to $1,300 per ticket to travel this summer to Paris or perhaps you have sufficient frequent flyer miles for award travel.

The problem with WOW flights is the return from Paris to Washington BWI in July makes the flight as expensive as a legacy carrier.

BWI-CDG WOW July

Return flights on WOW Paris CDG – BWI Washington are high priced. These roundtrip prices match the Air France nonstop at nearly $1,200.

The value of low cost carriers like WOW, Norwegian and Icelandair is the opportunity to purchase a discount one-way ticket from the USA to Europe. Alliance airlines like Delta, American and United rarely offer low-priced one-way flights between Europe and USA.

From Europe you can book an award ticket back to the USA or book a low cost carrier back to the USA. Icelandair will get you directly back to IAD for around $950 roundtrip. Fly Norwegian back to the USA and you can travel for less.

Norwegian can take you to New York, Orlando or Fort Lauderdale Florida, Los Angeles or Oakland/San Francisco OAK.

ARN-JFK Norwegian July fare calendar

Norwegian has one-way airfare From Stockholm, Sweden ARN-JFK New York for as low as $371 USD (340 EUR) in July.

ARN-JFK Norwegian July 23

WOW Airlines July 6 Washington BWI-CDG Paris, France $375

Norwegian Airlines July 23 Stockholm, Sweden, ARN – JFK New York $371

Total airfare $746 round trip in July.

Travel from New York JFK to DCA is less than $100 one-way for most dates in July 2015. Delta has flights for $88 on July 23 and July 24.

JFK-IAD $88 Delta July 2015

For an extra $100 you can fly roundtrip between Washington DCA and Paris France in July for $950 with Icelandair. Or you can fly Air France nonstop for $1,250.

So why would a person buy a one-way ticket from Washington BWI – CDG Paris on WOW and a one-way ticket from Stockholm Sweden ARN-JFK New York?

I’ll leave you with that question as I write the next article on a sample itinerary for July connecting cities, countries and flights within Europe with two one-way tickets arriving in Paris on July 7 on WOW and departing Stockholm, Sweden on July 23 flying Norwegian to JFK.

You might be amazed at how inexpensively you can fly around Europe and the places you can see in 16 days.

Part 2: Loyalty Traveler – July 2015 USA Europe travel on low cost airlines (March 29) shows an itinerary traveling Paris to Amsterdam to London to Stockholm for under $200 in July in conjunction with WOW Air to Paris and Norwegian Air from Stockholm back to the states.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. You can also take Amtrak between DC and NYC for around $55 if you buy your ticket early enough. You would also have to add getting to/from JFK to Penn Station. More hassle but you could save money in a pinch.

  2. I’m from Portland and found a great deal with Norwegian Air in the Fall from Oakland.
    Using Southwest miles (about 3500) I’m fying from PDX to OAK, then flying from OAK to Stockholm, Sweden for $170 dollars in Norwegian Air.
    It would be about $350 to come back but since I’ll be in a different country by the time my 3 week euro trip is over, I’m planing to use miles from London to fly back to Portland. If I plan this better, I might visit Iceland for a few days and fly back home iceland air. Iceland is flying from/to PDX first time this year and they seem to have some flights in the fall, mid week for about $310 one way. I might do that.

  3. I developed an itinerary last night flying WOW to Iceland, then to London, and Norwegian Air from London to Copenhagen to Stockholm and to California for $800 in July.

    I’ll have to check Icelandair to see if PDX has flights with comparable low fares.

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