The $99 Flights Everyone Is Freaking Out Over Come With A Major Catch

Put down your credit cards.

1. This morning, a lot of people on Facebook were sharing articles about insanely cheap flight deals from WOW Air, an Icelandic airline.

2. The flights advertised on WOW Air’s website are *mind-blowingly* cheap.

We’re talking $99 from D.C. to Iceland and $149 for San Francisco to Paris.

3. If the rates seem too good to be true, it’s because THEY ARE.


4. I live in California. A $200 one way ticket to Europe from the west coast (in June no less!) is cheap as hell, so I jumped on it immediately.

5. I realized very quickly that WOW Air employs a hidden fee structure meant to trick you into thinking you’re getting a great deal. This means you end up paying more for every feature.

Think: the Spirit Airlines of Europe.

It’s kind of like when you get cheap fro-yo and it ends up costing way more after all the toppings.

6. Let’s take a look at the $199 one-way flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt.

7. The return flight? NOT CHEAP. The $199 deal is valid for just one way, and nothing was more affordable than $400 coming back to San Francisco.

$199 + $409 = $608 = still a great deal for a European getaway, right? Nope.

8. There were also very few return flight options for the routes I looked at.

9. Carry ons? NOT FREE. *Any* carry on luggage heavier than 11 pounds will cost you $57 each way, while checked in luggage (44 pound max) is $76.

Also of note: it’s not a “personal item + luggage” policy. You’re allowed just ONE carry on, even if you pay.

10. Seats? DEFINITELY not included. Every seat comes with a price attached to it.

Some of them can’t be leaned back. :(

11. You can end up spending nearly $1,000 on a flight that you thought was just going to cost a couple hundred.


12. Let this be a lesson to all: beware of hidden and ancillary fees, travelers!

The extra $$ for that seemingly pricey direct flight (with a meal! and a free carry on!) might be worth it after all.

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