(JTA) — Wow, what a deal! Or not?
The headlines screamed at me from every Israeli newspaper, in both English and Hebrew: only $149 for a flight from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv to New York on WOW air.
The Iceland-based airline has plastered Israel with advertisements featuring its distinctive purplish logo for the new deal, and many Israelis are talking about it. Flights begin on Sept. 20.
However, the Israeli business daily Globes helped to put the $149 fare into perspective.
The no-frills flight goes through Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland
And the $149 price is only for a one-way ticket, and there is no guarantee that you will get the same fare for a return trip. The cost of flying home on the airline is more likely to cost around $400, according to Globes.
In addition, one suitcase of 44 pounds or more costs $70 dollars, each way — though a personal item such as a purse or backpack is thankfully still free.
After adding all of those considerations together, a round trip between one of several major cities in the United States and Israel on WOW air could cost around $700 or $800.
To put this into perspective, El Al, Israel’s national carrier, has $665 mid-week round trip flights in September.
A $149 Flight To Israel? Wow, Don’t Believe The Hype.