PLAY, a low-cost Icelandic air carrier, is about to begin service from the U.S., and you can help celebrate that milestone.
The first U.S. flight, on Wednesday, April 20, will take off from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport bound for Iceland. Depending on their travel plans, those passengers will either stay in Iceland, where they can celebrate the country’s “First Day of Summer” holiday, or board a connecting flight to one of the 22 European destinations PLAY services.
Although PLAY’s first U.S. flights will be from Baltimore, it will quickly expand U.S. service. Indeed, PLAY will begin offering service from Boston on May 22 and from New York on June 9. It will then begin offering service from Orlando this fall.
“PLAY is thrilled to welcome American passengers for the first time,” PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson told TravelAwaits in a statement. “Since we opened bookings, PLAY’s affordable fares and high reliability stood out, appealing to travelers eager to embark on long-awaited vacations, spontaneous getaways, and work-cations.”
In recognition of the new U.S. service, PLAY is also offering a flash sale of 25 percent off flights from Baltimore, Boston, and New York for travelers who want to visit destinations such as Iceland, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Madrid, and Paris. Those trips must be between April 18 and June 10, 2022, or September 1 through November 15, 2022.
You’ll have to act fast, however. The flash sale ends at midnight, April 22. You can find all of the details here.
If you aren’t familiar with PLAY yet, it’s because the airline, which enables passengers to “pay less, play more,” was founded in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 2019. It then began service across Europe in June 2021.
“Years ago, launching an airline during a pandemic would have been a crazy idea but the pandemic has been a rare opportunity for PLAY’s successful launch, with low aircraft prices and availability at key airports that have been critical to supporting PLAY’s business model and affordable prices,” Jónsson told TravelAwaits. “Not only is there pent-up demand for travel, but passengers have also drastically changed their travel habits to begin booking trips spontaneously, with short notice compared to long booking times before the pandemic.”
PLAY had a strong first year in Europe, flying more than 100,000 passengers. Now, as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted around the world, the time is right for the airline to expand service to the U.S.
“PLAY is entering a new chapter, and the first flight from North America is a milestone. It’s a major accomplishment for the airline to expand with transatlantic flights less than a year after its first flight from Iceland,” Jónsson continued. “This is the culmination of a year of hard work and PLAY isn’t slowing down, these flights from the United States will increase our load factor and number of passengers massively.”
What Sets PLAY Apart
Here’s how PLAY is able to keep its prices down despite providing international flights and 95 percent on-time reliability: PLAY operates a hub-and-spoke model, with all flights from North America stopping in Iceland.
“Compared to other airlines that need to find many passengers from one location, PLAY brings together passengers from all over Europe – and now North America – into Iceland, and then on to their final destination,” Jónsson told TravelAwaits. “This model benefits passengers by enabling PLAY to keep fares lower than the competition, and passengers can extend their stay in Iceland and experience two countries in one trip.”
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