Travel to Iceland
Last fall, I was surprised to find myself planning to travel to Iceland for June of 2015. The country of Iceland was placed on our travel bucket list several years before. I have this fascination with volcanoes. I had seen several adventurous articles or photos about Iceland and it went on the list. A fun trip to Costa Rica four years earlier to see erupting volcanoes was a bust. The volcano ceased eruptions two months before we arrived and still haven’t begun again. Don’t get me wrong, Costa Rica is fantastic, but the volcano part was disappointing. So when an Iceland budget airline began advertising fare sales to celebrate finally flying from Iceland into the United States, I sat up and paid attention.
Wow airlines is Iceland’s version of Frontier, Norwegian, or Spirit Airlines. Wow has been flying from Iceland to other European countries for a while. Although the base fare might seem low, you must be prepared to factor in a bunch of add ons. They charge for everything from checked bags, extra legroom seats, carry ons over 11 lbs, and even seat assignments. Wow airlines flies to Iceland out of two United States airports, Boston Logan and BWI. So for lots of people that means positioning flights as well.
The fare sales claimed a $99 base fare each way without all of the add ons. So about $400 for 2 people. However, when we factored in our positioning flights, and the fact that we needed to travel in the peak season while our boys were at summer camp, and the extra legroom seats, the total with taxes, came closer to $800. I still consider that a great price, so we booked it. Iceland has notoriously expensive dining and lodging, but with 10 months notice, there was a good chance we could stay in hotels using award nights as opposed to cash.
We chose to take the Wow flight out of BWI, because we could find a non-stop postiioning flight from home on Southwest. Thanks to Hubby’s work travel, we utilized the companion pass for this leg of the trip. I’d also note that BWI does not have a large international terminal. So the security lines were short, as were customs on the way back into the United States. Anything that makes air travel feel less like a travel call, I like. I’ll definitely pay more attention to international flights out of BWI since our experience was so positive.
It’s interesting to note that they weigh your checked and hand luggage at check in. However, once through security, they do not weigh it again. Most passengers were grabbing drinks and sandwiches in the terminal before boarding. It was like watching an episode of Hoarders before the 5 hour and 45 minute flight. In fact, we never purchased anything on board either of our flights, but they were short, and it was nice to know we could if we needed to.
I can’t end this post without talking about the flight attendants. They were all friendly and curtious, not to mention stylish. Their fuschia suits, heels, scarves and hats are a modern take on a bygone era. The women change from their high heels to low wedges during the flight, and remove their hats. The men have white shirts with subtle fuschia pinstripes. Their vests have a bright fushcia back panel that matches their tie. It made me smile just to look at them.
The extra legroom seats are in the front of the plane and absolutely worth every penny. I’m not tall, they don’t even have a foot rest, but I consider it money well spent. On our return flight, we sat next to a passenger that was traveling with Wow airlines back from Paris. She never even left the airport in Iceland, but her flight from BWI to Paris was only $750 round trip. I’d definitely make sure to check out Wow airlines options on my next trip across the pond. Just make sure you run the numbers to make sure it’s worth it. If they allow a stopover in Iceland, that would seal the deal.
I did notice that the other most prominent airlines flying to and from Iceland were Icelandair and Delta. Alright, enough about getting there and back. I’ll spend the next few weeks sharing the details of our amazing adventure in Iceland.