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$99 flights to Europe? Budget airline Play is landing in Washington, DC

Aug. 23, 2022
3 min read
Play Airlines plane
$99 flights to Europe? Budget airline Play is landing in Washington, DC
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Travelers heading to or from the nation's capital will have a new low-cost option to cross the pond.

New Icelandic budget carrier Play Airlines announced it'll commence operations at the Dulles International Airport (IAD) on April 26, 2023.

The Reykjavík-based carrier will deploy a mix of the Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft on the new daily route.

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Flights will connect IAD with the airline's hub at the Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Reykjavik, Iceland. From there, travelers can connect to many popular European destinations, including Paris, Madrid, Dublin and many more. Travelers can book flights directly on the airline's website.

If you've never heard of Play Airlines, you're likely not alone. The new budget carrier started operations in 2021, with service to London’s Stansted Airport (STN). The carrier quickly expanded with more routes to Europe and new service to the U.S. that began earlier this summer. Play is deploying a similar model to the now-defunct Wow Air.

Play operates an ultra-low-cost model, with flyers paying for more ancillary services, including checked baggage, seat assignments and meals.

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

That said, one of the biggest reasons to choose a Play flight is the fare. The airline's unbundled fares on the new Dulles route begin at just $99 each way. Note that the promotional introductory offer is available for booking through Aug. 26, and you'll need to buy a round-trip ticket to take advantage of the lowest fares.

While the onboard experience may not be the most comfortable, it'll certainly offer an affordable way to get to Europe.

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The new Dulles flight will complement Play's existing service to the nearby Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).

Perhaps the biggest news is that Play is poised to become the first low-cost option for flights to Europe from Dulles. The airport is a key hub for United Airlines, and together with the carrier's Star Alliance partners, there are plenty of nonstop flights to destinations across Europe.

However, flyers headed to or from Dulles have historically needed to pay up for the convenience of nonstop flights.

With Play's new service, perhaps United and its partners will feel the pressure to compete on price. In that case, everyone will be a winner — both Play's new passengers, as well as those opting for nonstop flights operated by more established airlines.

Featured image by (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees