For Americans craving the rugged coastline of Portugal, the romance of an Italian sunset, or the cafe-lined canals of Amsterdam, your long-awaited European getaway just got easier. Play, a new low-cost Icelandic airline set to hit the skies this spring, offers budget flights connecting four eastern U.S. airports with 22 European destinations. Think $450 for a New York-to-London round trip, or a one-way ticket to Reykjavik for $133.
Play’s first flights will depart from Baltimore-Washington airport in April. Over the following six months, the airline will introduce routes out of Boston Logan, New York-Stewart, and Orlando. Among the European destinations on offer are some of the continent’s biggest tourist hubs, including Berlin, Copenhagen, Madrid, Bologna, Paris, London, and Tenerife.
Play’s business model keeps costs competitive while prioritizing basic comforts over lavish extras. There are no direct flights. All routes involve a transfer in Reykjavik, which can be turned into a stopover at no additional cost. As with other budget carriers, there are additional fees for baggage and seating assignments. However, passengers may be surprised to find that Play’s seats come with an above-average amount of legroom. This is partly due to the absence of a business class section and a lower-than-average number of seats on board each plane.
Unlike its Icelandic budget carrier predecessor, Wow Air, which went bankrupt in 2019, Play aims to pursue a strategy of measured growth. The airline has no plans to expand its service offering to additional continents.