low cost flights dublin north america

Icelandic budget airline WOW has launched a seat sale offering low cost flights from Dublin to North America from just €99.99 each way.

The offer is valid for travel between November 1 and December 2013, 2017. There are nine destinations to choose from: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington DC. All destinations involve the usual WOW stopover in Reykjavik on both the outward and return journeys.

WOW says the sale will allow people to enjoy events such as Thanksgiving and the Black Friday shopping extravaganza in the States on the cheap. It seems too good to be true. Can you really travel to the USA for less than €200 return?

It turns out that yes, it is too good to be true, and no, you can’t travel return for that price.

Price comparison with Aer Lingus

Insure My Holiday took the example of trying to book a short break to New York. For comparison purposes, we first tried doing so with Aer Lingus.

The national carrier has ‘Smart’ fares to New York during November from €230.36 going out, and €187.44 coming back. Those fares entitle you to a carry-on bag, one piece of checked luggage, and reserved economy seats. It means that if your dates are flexible, you can fly return to New York, with enough baggage space for luggage and shopping, for €417.80.

Then we tried booking the same with WOW.

WOW flight prices

First, the flights themselves. It was easy to find a flight out with WOW for €99.99 all right. But the cheapest return fare was €129.99. That means flights are actually a minimum of €229.98.

That’s for what they call ‘WOW Basic’, which is really as basic as can be. All you’re allowed carry is one ‘personal item’ bag, up to 43x32x25 cm. That’s about the size of a small handbag, or a laptop case. You’re not even allowed a carry-on bag.

Baggage prices

To book a carry-on bag with WOW is an extra €31.99 each way, or €63.98 return. So now we’re up to €293.96.

Now let’s say we want one piece of checked luggage as well, to allow for some shopping in New York and for a more valid comparison with what you get with that Aer Lingus fare. That’s a further €47.99 each way, or €95.98 return. We’re now up to €389.94.

Reserved seats

Finally, seats. The Aer Lingus ‘Smart’ fare allows you to reserve your seat at time of booking, for no extra cost. The ‘WOW Basic’ fare doesn’t.

So if you don’t want to play the seating lottery, running the risk of being stuck in a centre seat between two annoying neighbours, it’s a minimum of €6.99 for each leg of your trip. And because of WOW’s stopover in Iceland, there are actually FOUR legs, so that’s a cost of €27.96.

Total costs

Our total costs with WOW are now €417.90. And that still doesn’t match what we get with Aer Lingus for €417.80.

That’s because:

  • We still don’t have anything to eat or drink on board.
  • We still have to put up with a stopover in Reykjavik each way, instead of flying direct.

Conclusion

Our conclusion? WOW’s fares seem attractive, but make sure you consider everything and check out other airlines too, before you actually book. You could get there quicker and in more comfort for the same price, or even cheaper.

Of course, WOW’s headline cheap fares might work for you. You can indeed fly to North America for less than €230 return if you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions:

  • Can you fit everything you need into a bag the size of a laptop case?
  • Can you squeeze snacks and a drink into that bag as well?
  • Are you okay with sitting in a centre seat that nobody else wants?
  • Are you happy to spend three to four hours in Reykjavik Airport on your outward and return journeys?

But if you want what most passengers would consider standard benefits for a transatlantic trip, like one checked bag and a meal on board, then you may be better off booking with the more traditional airlines.

Again – check everything. Do the sums, and do what’s best for you. And enjoy your trip, whoever you fly with!


Just as it’s important to consider everything when booking flights, it’s equally important to consider everything when buying travel insurance for your trip.

While we at Insure My Holiday have some of the cheapest rates around, you may find even cheaper on offer by others. But be sure to check the levels of cover and the benefits they give you, as overall, we know that we give the best cover at the best price.

That’s equally true whether you choose single trip travel insurance for your trip, or annual multi-trip travel insurance, if you’re likely to do more travelling in the coming year too.

Whatever policy you choose with Insure My Holiday, you are assured of a high standard of cover at a low price.

Key benefits of our Gold Plan travel insurance

  • Medical Expenses Cover of €5 million
  • Personal Luggage Cover of €2,000
  • Personal Money and Documents Cover of €1,600
  • Delayed Departure Cover of €200
  • Cancellation or Curtailment Cover of €4,000
  • Abandonment Cover of €4,000
  • Missed Departure Cover of €500
  • Personal Accident Cover of €55,000
  • Personal Liability Cover of €2,000,000
  • Third Party Supplier Insolvency Cover of €2,000
  • Schedule Airline Failure Cover of €1,000
  • Legal Expenses Cover of €10,000
  • Hijack Cover of €1,000
  • Catastrophe Cover of €750
  • Credit or Cash Card Fraud Cover of €300

Key benefits of our Platinum Plan travel insurance

  • Medical Expenses Cover of €10 million
  • Personal Luggage Cover of €3,000
  • Personal Money and Documents Cover of €2,000
  • Delayed Departure Cover of €400
  • Cancellation or Curtailment Cover of €6,000
  • Abandonment Cover of €6,000
  • Missed Departure Cover of €600
  • Personal Accident Cover of €95,000
  • Personal Liability Cover of €2,000,000
  • Third Party Supplier Insolvency Cover of €2,000
  • Schedule Airline Failure Cover of €2,000
  • Legal Expenses Cover of €20,000
  • Hijack Cover of €2,000
  • Catastrophe Cover of €1,000
  • Credit or Cash Card Fraud Cover of €500

All are as generous or more generous as you will find with any other travel insurance provide. They all add up to even more great reasons to choose Insuremyholiday.ie for all your travel insurance needs.

Just get a quote now to see how much you can save!

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