Have you heard about WOW’s $99 fares to Europe but wondered how they could be that cheap? I was a skeptic before we first flew with WOW about 2 years ago and was frankly a little nervous to fly with them, wondering if we’d be crammed in the plane like sardines and if they were safe. After now having 6 flights with WOW under my belt, I can confidently say they are a great option if you go about your booking and packing in the right way. We’ve also wondered if they require a modeling portfolio to work for them, because every flight attendant we’ve had has been tall and gorgeous!
- Stopover in Iceland/Connection through Iceland – Because they are based out of Iceland, taking advantage of WOW’s stopover option has proven to be the cheapest way to get to Europe during most months that we are booking travel. If you have a little extra time, it can definitely be cost effective (and fun to explore Iceland). They also recently added a bunch of new routes as you can see on the map below – I’m particularly excited about their addition of Tel Aviv!
- Healthy Food – Like many other European airlines, there are no complimentary drinks or snacks. Plan ahead and bring your own from home or from the airport so you won’t be hungry. The good news is, if you DO purchase snacks/drinks on board, they have a really nice variety of healthy food.
- Discounts on excursions/buses – If you’re spending time in Reykjavik, be sure to book your Flybus/excursion tickets while on the plane to save money. We saved $10 by booking the bus ticket on the plane. Since the airport is located 45 minutes from the city, 99% of those visiting will end up taking this or another bus to get to all the tourist spots.
- USB charging for each seat – To me, this is all I really need on a flight so I can watch downloaded movies on my own device, so I really appreciate that they offer this.
- Comfort and Safety – Since I’m 5’9″ and my husband is 6’0″, leg room is crucial so we don’t go completely insane in the air. WOW offers extra leg room seats at an additional cost, but we found their standard seats to be just fine (on par with the economy section of all other airlines). As far as safety, their crew is probably the most conscientious of any airline I’ve been on of making sure everyone is buckled in and safe, and our flights with them have all been smooth and without delays. Their Airbus321 is what we’ve had on our journeys, with the 3 and 3 seat configuration, and they’ve all been well-kept up and comfortable.
- Lack of gate agents – One of their money saving strategies seems to be to cut back on the number of check in/customer service agents they have at each airport (except in Iceland, where they have plenty). In one airport, we waited in line for an hour just to pay for our bags. Seems they have some inefficiencies to work out in that area. Moral of the story: Pre-pay for your bags online so you can skip the lines and just do the self check in and tag them/drop them off yourself.
- Limited availability – At certain airports their ticket counters don’t open until fairly close to the flight, so you may have to wait a while before you can head through security, whereas with bigger airlines there always seem to be agents available to help you at any time of day.
- In Flight Entertainment – No WiFi or seat back screens to watch movies, but they do rent out iPads for $25 on certain flights, so you can watch movies that way if you’re desperate.
- Baggage Costs – The cost of checked bags is high, and they will make you check larger hand luggage, so you probably won’t end up saving money if you don’t pack light. I was able to carry on my backpack and purse (pictured at the top) at no extra charge, but my husband’s larger backpack had to be checked (for an extra charge).
For me, they offer far more benefits than downsides, so I’ll be continuing to fly with them as often as possible, hopefully going on their route to Tel Aviv soon! Have you flown with them or will you consider trying them in the future? I’d love to hear what you think!
The Planking Traveler