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Play Airlines Offers $500 Round-Trip Tickets to Europe. But Is It Worth It?

Jonesing for a getaway? PLAY Airlines will whisk you away to Iceland, Norway, and beyond.

Until this point, taking a spontaneous trip to see the Northern Lights or the famous thermal waters at Iceland’s Blue Lagoon required ample planning. The country is on the bucket list of many due to its many natural wonders, yet remained largely unaffordable for those wishing to visit. Thankfully, with the Icelandic summer (and midnight sun) in full effect, Play Airlines decided to launch low-cost direct flights from hotspots like New York, Boston, and Baltimore to Keflavik.

I recently got back from my first trip to Iceland and can genuinely say that it’s worth a visit. During my time in the Nordic country, I went to the Sky Lagoon and explored the city of Reykjavik. Here’s everything you need to know about booking through Play Airlines, including what the experience was like, and what exactly is included.

How to Book With Play Airlines

To book a flight through the airline, you need to use the Play website. Overall, the booking and mobile check-in process was super simple and user-friendly. The airline doesn’t have an app, but the website is clear, convenient, and great for usage on either a desktop or a mobile device. It’s worth noting that the prices for the flights begin at $350 and remain in that range for a round-trip flight, depending on the month, time of booking, etc.

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Flight Times

For now, there is only one flight a day on this new Play route. My flight from Boston left at 6:45 p.m. and arrived in Iceland at around 4:40 a.m. the next day. It was just under 6 hours. On the way back, my flight left at around 3:45 pm and landed in Boston at around 5:35 pm and took about 6 hours and 20 minutes. The mid-day departure was a bit annoying because you need to leave in the morning—especially since it takes about an hour to get from the city to the airport. However, it was super easy as a whole and took roughly as long as a trip from NYC to Los Angeles, which was my favorite part of the whole experience.

The Check-In Process

Play is located in Terminal E at Boston Logan International Airport. It’s the same terminal as all of the international flights, so it’s filled with great food options, shops, and plenty of seating. The check-in counter was amongst Emirates, Alitalia, and other popular international airlines and convenient to locate. When I checked in, there were only four counters for the airlines but the line was short and moved extremely fast, so it didn’t feel too long or overwhelming.

5-PLAYFlight-PLAY Ticket and Passport
3-PLAYFlight-PLAY Plane Interior 3
Courtesy of Play Airlines

The Boarding Experience

The boarding was a bit of a mess at the Boston airport. They first called passengers with accessibility needs and those with families, but the rest kind of blurred into one. This queuing felt unorganized and was an area that needed to be improved on. With my ticket, I paid extra to have priority boarding. Although I boarded early, there was no designated priority boarding and everyone began heading to the plane at once. In Iceland, the boarding process was also unorganized and inefficient. We first waited behind the counters to head to the plane and then waited another 30 minutes ahead of going to our seats as they fixed a mechanical issue.  

What to Expect Onboard

Play’s flights are operated on Airbus A321neo aircraft. It has 194 economy seats total—without any business or premium economy options. The seating configuration is 3×3 and there are no individual TV monitors or outlets on the plane. In addition, the overhead bins were sized perfectly for a weekend carry-on—although you do have to pay extra for carry-on luggage or baggage if you plan to bring it.

The entire plane is made up of economy seats. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much room the seats had. It was more comfortable than flying economy on some of the big airline carriers, and I found myself asleep for the bulk of the flight. Personally, I had plenty of room to stretch out and found that the seats reclined comfortably. It’s worth noting that I did pay extra for extra legroom seats. However, the majority of seats have 29 to 30 inches of space, while the extra legroom options have 32 to 35 inches of space.

On my way there, I was seated in row 4, which is almost at the front of the plane. Each row consists of a 3×3 layout on both sides. While there are tray tables, there aren’t any footrests or any extra amenities like pillows or blankets on Play flights.

Courtesy of PLAY Airlines

Unlike other international flights that I’ve been on, Play’s flight did not have any in-flight entertainment options or meals included. Drinks, snacks, and meals could be purchased in-flight with a credit card but weren’t included with the fare. These are added amenities that bigger airlines would include, yet the major price difference makes it worth it to endure.

During the flight, some screens flipped down from the ceiling, but they showed only the flight route—no entertainment. This didn’t make a difference to me since I slept the entire flight. There were also no outlets or charging ports available to recharge my devices. However, if you aren’t great at sleeping on planes, it’s worth downloading movies and bringing a battery pack for your phone.

Onboard, the bathrooms were standard. They weren’t too small and were relatively standard in terms of airplane bathrooms. There was one in the front and two in the back of the plane for passengers to use. There was a mirror with good lighting, which was a bonus.

Courtesy of PLAY Airlines

Additional Notes

Since Iceland has no mask or entry requirements, masks were not required on board. Some passengers wore masks but most didn’t on the flight.

INSIDER TIPPlay Airlines has routes that continue from Reykjavik to other destinations, including Trondheim, Norway.

Before this new route, I would have never considered booking a last-minute trip like this to Iceland. With Play’s new direct flight from Boston to Reyjavik, East Coasters have new affordable options for long weekends in the land of fire and ice.

vickiego July 14, 2022

I thought this article was well written & had a lot of useful information, though, it would have been helpful to know that PLAY doesn't plan on flying to LAX or the West Coast.  


While technically Iceland is part of Europe, the article's title is misleading and should have said something like "Is a $500 weekend getaway flight on newcomer Play worth it?". I was hoping this was an article about flying US to Kevlavik to mainland Europe using Play. I might be in the market for that.