I am always on the hunt for cheap flights to Europe. Finding cheap flights Toronto to Europe – that is my hobby. Some people knit. Knitting is nice, but I seek out the advantages of low cost airlines in my spare time. Knit one, purl two, cheap flights Toronto Europe, don’t drop a stitch. A knitter’s hobby rewards them with a lovely sweater. Mine lands me in Spain with money to burn on experiences instead of airplane food I won’t eat and luggage allowance I don’t need.

Play Airlines

Play uses Airbus A321neo aircraft with three seats on each side of the aisle, all economy.

Play Airlines, based out of Iceland, is a relatively new player in the low-cost air carrier world. When they offered me free air passage to Iceland to try it out, I took it as a sign. My 60th birthday was coming up on Good Friday, and I wanted to spend it in Andalusia for Holy Week. Another sign from the universe, by the way. Seeing Iceland has long been a dream of mine, but I hadn’t convinced anyone to come.

Having already decided that my 60th year would be spent returning to my love of solo travel, how could I say no? I decided to fly Play to Reykjavik, enjoy a 21-hour layover, and then continue to Spain for ten days. On the way home from Spain, I took a six-day layover in Iceland. Play allows you to book a layover for up to one week in Iceland at no extra cost. My flight to and from Madrid and all of my lodgings, car and activities in Iceland, apart from my horse riding experience, came out of my own pocket. More on that later.

What’s the skinny?

Like all cheap flights on low-cost carriers, you must pay for all extras: priority boarding, extra checked luggage, seat choice, and snacks. This way, you are only paying for what you actually need. If you don’t plan to eat, why pay more for a service you don’t want? Also, if you are okay with any seat assigned and flying with a small backpack, why not fly at a much lower price?

Despite my best efforts, I overpacked. Ultimately, I wore the same clothing daily in Iceland and could do it with my backpack on my next trip. Throw a bathing suit, some thin thermals and extra socks in your bag; wear your waterproof coat, pants and toque on the plane with your hiking shoes, and you won’t need much else. Or, better yet, rent your outdoor gear from Iceland Cover, as I did. I was never cold and always dry, and it was worth every penny not having to lug a parka and wind pants on and off the plane.

Play keeps costs down by flying out of Hamilton International instead of Pearson. Getting to and from Hamilton is a consideration, and you must factor in the price and time spent doing this. If you are lucky enough to have a friend or family member drive you, that is a huge plus. My best friend drove me there, and we made a day of it, stopping in Hamilton for lunch. My husband surprised me by picking me up when I returned to Canada.

How to get to Hamilton International Airport

You can take the Go bus to Main St. W. @ Summers Ln. (Hamilton City Hall) and catch the airport shuttle, which is just a short walk away. This will take almost 2 hours from Union Station. There is a direct bus operated by Mega Bus, but it only runs once daily there and back, so check to see if the times work for you. Tickets start at $9.99, but it leaves Union Station at 1:30, so you will have a long wait at Hamilton Airport. The only return bus leaves Hamilton Airport at 7 pm, again, you will have a long wait but it’s direct and budget friendly.

Once you are at the airport, it’s smooth sailing.

My worries that I could not use my NEXUS were for nothing. The airport is compact, and there aren’t multiple flights leaving and arriving at once. Once you go through security, it almost feels like waiting at a bus station. There is a store to buy last-minute snacks and essentials and a bar that serves drinks and limited food, making the wait pleasant enough.

Check-in was quick and smooth. I rarely check a bag, but I was packing for two climates and brought a 24″ suitcase. This process was fast and easy after checking in online the day before, so we just had to weigh my bag, send it off and they gave me a paper boarding pass.

Finally, cabin crew looking comfortable and stylish

I found a seat along the wall in the waiting area with power outlets relaxed before boarding. This was also a snap since our flight was the only plane leaving, and I had priority boarding. The crew was young, energetic, friendly and helpful. Seeing them dressed in a more casual uniform than many airlines was refreshing. No heels and nylons with stiff skirts for them. These kids were wearing pants, sneakers and their cute red Play belts.

Low Cost Carrier Means You Pay For All Extras

A different way to look at it is that you aren’t paying for things you don’t need or use. As on most cheap flights to Europe, I knew there would be no screens or entertainment. Because I was also aware that there might not be a place to charge electronics going in, I brought an external battery, downloaded Netflix shows and carried a physical book. This ensured there would be no surprises or worries there.

As expected, nothing is included in the price. You pay for all drinks and snacks. I had an excellent lunch beforehand, so I didn’t try any food apart from a glass of wine, an Icelandic chocolate bar on the way there, and a prosecco with Pringles on the way back. Prices were reasonable, and people said they were happy with their sandwiches, etc.

Play offers standard chips, chocolates, pastries, sandwiches and various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. There were well-priced bundles for sandwiches with a drink and a sweet for those who wanted something more substantial. Check the menu here before you fly.

But is it comfortable?

Even though they are simple seats, I slept soundly for the last three hours of the flight, thanks to the slightly roomier legroom pitch of 29 to 30 inches. The temperature on the plane was perfect. Before the flight took off, they offered an upgrade to a larger seat with more legroom, and several taller people took advantage of that.

Although we had to walk out onto the tarmac in Hamilton, we boarded through a jetway in Iceland for the trip home. Attendants were attentive, passing through a couple of times with their cart. The flight to Iceland is about 5.5 hours long, and there is one daily flight that leaves at 7 p.m. and a return flight that leaves Reykjavik at 3:30 p.m.

@auburnlane

Whats it like to fly to Reykjavik on the low cost airline, Play? Based out of Iceland, this budget carrier offers chep flights to Europe via Iceland. You take a layover of up to one week without any added cost. Or, just fly to Iceland for an amzing adventure. Our very own intrepid traveller, @carole nelson brown gives us the lowdown on this cheap flight option. #playairlines #cheaptravel #cheapflights #budgettravel #traveltips #traveltok @PLAY airlines

♬ original sound – Auburn Lane

Play constantly flies to more European destinations, adding new spots regularly. I will visit Dublin the first week of July and envision a little layover in Iceland. So now I’m looking at flying Play to Ireland. How could I pass up a chance to see Iceland in the summer?

Look out for my upcoming stories, where I will share ways to spend the money you saved on your flight. This is another one of the advantages of low cost airlines. As Play’s motto goes, “Pay less, Play more.”

Play Airlines provided me with a free return flight to Iceland. All opinions are very much my own.