By Cynthia Drescher. Photos: Getty.
If you thought that 2016 was the year of peak $99 airfares to Europe, think again. Today, Wow Air announced a new route from Chicago to Reykjavík beginning this summer, and tickets go on sale today. It'll be the ultra-low-cost Icelandic carrier's first route in the Midwest and its third new route to launch thus far this year, as Wow's CEO Skúli Mogensen is keeping his promise to continue adding more affordable routes between Iceland and the U.S. and, by extension, Europe. The new Chicago route from O'Hare also gives travelers the option to connect with Wow's network of 23 European destinations, including Berlin, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam from $149 each way.
Wow began launching U.S. routes in spring 2015, but up until this summer, the airline's focus had been on the coasts, with flights from Boston, Baltimore/Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, and San Francisco. In June, the map extends with new flights from Miami and Pittsburgh. With Chicago an option starting this July, travelers from the Midwest no longer have to consider the added cost of a flight to connect to Wow's planes. Chicago is a hub for long-distance Amtrak trains, and the the city benefits from a broad network of low-cost Megabus routes (one-way trips range from $1 to $40), meaning the dream of budget transatlantic travel may be only a $30 bus ride and $99 flight away for residents of cities including St. Louis, Indianapolis, Madison, Toledo, and Louisville.
Travelers will have to wait until July 13 to see the airline's purple Airbus A321 planes flying non-stop from Chicago to Reykjavik four times a week, but that's just in time to enjoy peak summer in Europe and extra-long days of sunlight in Iceland. If Europe is on your list, don't forget to check out Wow's complimentary Iceland stopover program—it's like getting two destinations for the price of one.
How to book: Head to Wow Air's deals site for an idea of what coming months have the lowest fares for a range of destinations. You'll have the best luck at scoring Wow's lowest airfares by traveling in late summer through fall of this year. Although these $99 and $149 ticket prices are standard and won't disappear tomorrow, it is better to book sooner rather than later in order to secure your preferred travel dates.
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveler.
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