Is This $99 Flash Sale to Europe Too Good to Be True?

Starting today, the airline Play is offering $99 flights to Europe from BWI and Dulles. But there are some caveats.

Play, an Icelandic airline, is offering $99 flights to cities across Europe. Photograph courtesy of Play.

Does the idea of a jaunt to Europe this winter—when there are fewer tourists and lower prices—sound good? If so, the Icelandic airline Play is offering one-way tickets to major cities across Europe for $99, a deal that may be worth a look. The flash sale began today and runs through November 3. The deal is good for travel November through March 2024.

Eligible countries and cities for the $99 flights out of BWI and Dulles airports are:

  • Iceland
  • Paris
  • Copenhagen
  • London
  • Dublin
  • Berlin
  • Athens
  • Frankfurt
  • Amsterdam

As with anything that sounds too good to be true, there are some caveats. First, this deal is for a one-way ticket—and you’ll probably need to come home after pub-crawling in London or museum-hopping in Paris. That return ticket will be regularly priced.

This deal also does not include luggage, so if you’re trying to be truly thrifty you’ll have to fit everything you want for a transcontinental journey into a 17 x 13 x 10 inch personal item that can fit under your seat. If that sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, bag fees are $66 for a carry-on stored in an overhead bin and $99 to $130 for checked luggage, depending on size and weight.

If the double-digit deal didn’t clue you in, Play is a budget airline, so don’t expect too many amenities. Meals and beverages are extra, and there’s no free wifi or entertainment. But if it’s just a low fare you are after, Travel + Leisure seemed satisfied when they reviewed the airline, noting that “every seat reclines, which is not something all low-cost airlines can boast.”

Rows of seats in a Play aircraft. Courtesy of Play.

Even with a checked bag and any other extra fees, the flight may still be cheaper than the alternatives. We did a quick check of one-way fares on other airlines and found that a flight from BWI to Berlin in early December was anywhere from $450 to over a $1,000, while a one-way trip from Dulles to Athens ran at least $800.

The tickets included in this deal are part of the Play Basic Bundle.  The fare does include mandatory taxes and fees such as carrier fees.

Tickets can be purchased here until 11:59 PM on November 3, while they last.

Editorial Fellow

Hunter is a cat-loving Coloradoan who enjoys history, Halloween and board games. He studied audio production and radio storytelling at Hofstra University before moving to DC in 2022. During his editorial fellowship with Washingtonian in the fall of 2023, he ran Halloween Hunter, a section featuring local stories for the spooky season.