Really cheap flights to Europe are essentially table stakes at this point. Everyone has them at one point or another. We have whole airlines focused completely on offering what used to be considered ridiculously cheap flights. Norwegian Air, Iceland Air and WOW Air are just a few of the more popular options.
View From The Wing draws our attention to another airline, Primera. It’s funny, I’ve actually heard of Primera. I’ve been downloading pictures to build up an image library and I was able to find one when I came across their name on a list of European airlines. But, I don’t know a single thing about them. Well, didn’t know a single thing about them.
They’re based in Iceland (although, oddly when I signed up for their e-mail list it displayed an address in Latvia) and they are officially in on the $99 one-way fares to Europe craze. One primary difference between Primera and the other carriers based in Iceland? Primera is operating routes nonstop to popular destinations instead of stopping in Reykjavik.
They do offer a premium cabin, though I’m not sure if that’s on every flight. The premium product looks pretty similar to the Norwegian Air premium cabin product I reviewed recently. I really liked that product, so much so that it makes me think a bit differently about the future of trans-Atlantic travel.
The pricing for their premium product seems somewhat in line with where Norwegian is pricing theirs:
The Final Two Pennies
At first blush, Primera should be on your radar if you’re looking for cheap flights to Europe. I still don’t know much about the airline, so I can’t vouch for what your experience is going to be like. After taking a deeper look at their route map, I’m guessing they dropped down a subsidiary in Iceland to operate with lower costs. But, they do appear to be operating now, based on this route map on their website:
I mentioned earlier that Norwegian Air’s premium cabin has me re-thinking the future of trans-Atlantic travel. The $99 seats have me thinking as well. I’ve always been a huge proponent of earning miles and points. That way you can redeem them for air travel to places like Europe.
But, if people are able to regularly get coach flights for $99, it reduces the emphasis on points and miles as the cheap way to travel. Premium cabins like Norwegian (and maybe Primera) combat the logic to save up points for a business class ticket to Europe. Especially so when you consider that the fuel surcharges on a British Airways business class ticket can approach $300 or $400.
Primera will, ahem, strongly incentivize you to buy a more expensive ticket based on the exclusions on those $99 fares. But, you know that already if you’re a regular reader of my blog.
BTW, does anyone have experience flying Primera in Europe?
It’s A Really Long Two Pennies….
I’d argue the right way to think about these low-cost opportunities as a way to augment a solid strategy. Maybe you buy a $99 ticket one-way from New York to London (or spend $600 to get there in Premium). Pairing that up with a one-way ticket using miles for your return flight is now a viable strategy. These options are particularly helpful for families where saving up enough points for 3 or 4 people can be troublesome.
It’s a new(ish) day. I don’t know how long we’ll see $99 one-way fares to Europe, but let’s take advantage of them while they last.
The post $99 Flights To Europe! Another Airline To Keep An Eye On was published first on Pizza in Motion