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Now you can fly to the States from £99

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2014 has been a revolutionary year for low-cost travel to the States. First came news that budget airline Norwegian had launched a London-New York route from just £150 one-way, in July this year. And now low-cost Icelandic airline WOW air has upped the ante with transatlantic flights from just £99. 

From next March, British jet-setters will be able to pop over to Boston for less than £100 one-way and they can book flights to Washington D.C. for the same price from June 2015. 

The only catch is, the flights are not direct - passengers will have to stopover in Keflavík International Airport, in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. This means the journey to Boston will be three hours longer than a direct route, and on the return to London it takes over five hours longer than the direct equivalent. 

For Washington, the outbound and return journeys take two hours and four hours longer than direct ones respectively.

And it costs an additional £22 to check a bag, plus travellers must pay for in-flight food and drink.

Still, bargain-hunters are likely to pounce upon the offer which is considerably cheaper than a return train ticket on prime UK routes, such as London-Durham or London-Truro. 

WOW air

WOW air is launching flights to the States from £99 one-way

WOW air really has thrown down the gauntlet in its latest move to push down the prices of transatlantic flights, amid rumours of a potential price war as low-cost companies race to open up flights to the U.S.

Skúli Mogensen, CEO of WOW air, said: "This is just the beginning of our plans to transform low-cost transatlantic flights. 

"Not only are we providing flights to the USA for less than a standard London to Edinburgh train ticket, we’re opening the market to a whole new market of travellers who might previously not have been able to afford transatlantic travel.

"The low-cost airline market is scrambling to offer cheap flights to North America and I’m happy that we‘ll be among the first to do so and at a price point that will no doubt cause our rivals to re-evaluate their plans."

Washington DC

The White House is now just a £99 trip away

This latest flight offer means the delights of New England and the U.S. capital will be in reach for thousands of cash-strapped travellers.

Boston's charms include a cruise in the picturesque harbour, perusing for vintage clothes and sampling street food at the legendary Faneuil Hall Marketplace and world class galleries such as the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Over in Washington D.C., you can tour the three houses of government including the U.S. Capitol Building, the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court, take a look around Georgetown, the capital’s historic waterfront, or cycle or walk, bike or kayak along the beautiful C & O Canal, set within a national park. 

And that's not to mention the shopping bargains you can snap up at iconic department stores such as Macy's and Bloomingdale's. 

Jefferson Memorial on the Potomac River, Washington, DC.

Jefferson Memorial on the Potomac River, Washington D.C.

However, long-distance budget travel is not for everyone.

It's all very well sacrificing leg space and the chance of a warming meal on a two-hour flight to Malaga, but it's an experience that may grate slightly when you're flying all the way over the Atlantic. And the stopover may also be a turn-off for some. 

WOW air's US-bound flights will be operated on its Airbus A321 extended range aircraft, while its existing Airbus A320 fleet will carry passengers from London to Iceland on the first leg of the journey. 

Throughout the history of air travel, airlines have dabbled with the idea of cheap long-distance flights but it hasn't always been successful.

Thirty years ago, Laker Airways tried to launch budget transatlantic routes but failed to make them work.

It's understood technical developments in aircraft manufacture over the past few years have made the concept a serious proposition once again. Other budget airlines are likely to be watching the development of WOW air and Norwegian's transatlantic flights with interest. 

WOW air launched in November 2011 and is committed to providing cheap flights "with a smile and a memorable service".

Its US-bound flights go on sale from today. Find out more and book tickets here

It's a tough life for the team abroad WOW air

It's a tough life for the team abroad WOW air

Photos: WOW air and Rex Features

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