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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.

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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    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

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases