Icelandic airline Play offers summer and fall fare deals to Europe starting at $300
About an hour north of Manhattan, the leafy suburbs hold a surprise for local travelers hoping to find deals on airfare to Europe this summer. Play, a low-cost Icelandic airline, is expanding its service to New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) starting June 9; it will be the first international airline to serve SWF since 2019.
Related: 7 reasons flying Iceland's newest airline was a great experience
Along with the convenience of transatlantic flights to Europe from a less-densely populated area of the perpetually packed New York region, Play will offer low and discounted fares to Reykjavik, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin and Paris.
Currently, we're seeing fares for round-trip nonstop flights to Iceland at less than $400 on peak summer travel dates in July. Round-trip fares come down as low as $300 in the fall. Prices for round-trip flights to other European cities are higher; some are in the $600 (or more) range and have short layovers in Iceland. However, they still may be good alternatives to skyrocketing fares on the major carriers from overcrowded city airports.
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If you've always wanted to see the spectacular glaciers, ice caves, geysers, geothermal hot springs, enormous waterfalls, dramatic black-sand beaches and ancient volcanos of Iceland, this might be the perfect summer deal.
The best deals we found are direct to Reykjavik's Keflavik Airport (KEF), and round-trip flights during peak summer weeks cost less than $400. If you're located outside of the Big Apple, driving to Orange County may be both easier and faster than driving to the city's major airports including LaGuardia Airport (LGA), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). For a July direct fare, this is one to grab:
If you don't mind chillier temperatures (and possibly light snowfall), consider traveling during the fall shoulder season. We found round-trip base fares for less than $300.
Related: 3 reasons Iceland is a great destination for LGBTQ+ travelers
Play will also offer flights to Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen. For the best deals, consider mid-fall journeys, when prices for round-trip flights (with short layovers in Iceland) are available for about $400. This is a great time of year to find hotel deals in Paris along with fewer crowds, so you can stroll the Champs-Elysees.
Note: This low-budget carrier charges extra for almost everything on your flight. You can bring one personal item for free, but a larger carry-on bag will cost you. All advance seat assignments carry an additional fee, including the back row (although that will only set you back $6). Food and drink cost extra as well, so consider packing your own dinner to bring on board.
Maximize your purchase
If you book this deal, be sure to use a credit card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). Or try the Citi Prestige® Card (5 points per dollar on airfare), the Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees) or the Chase Sapphire Reserve (both of which offer 3 points per dollar on airfare). The American Express® Gold Card also awards 3 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. Lastly, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar on travel). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Play's newest expansion brings deals and discounts to the New York City suburbs. A slew of add-on costs means fares aren't always as low as they initially seem. However, despite the extra costs, these low fares to prime European destinations may be worth checking out.