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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Kenise

WOWair: The Minimalist Airline

$99 one way to Iceland!

That’s what you see advertised everywhere for WOW air. It’s a pretty sweet deal, but I wasn't ready for Iceland. However, I was ready for another trip to Europe! How can you pass up flight deals to Europe for under $300 roundtrip from the East coast. When I saw those deals, I begin to question who WOW air is and why are they so cheap?

WOW air is the purple colored, budget-friendly, a la carte airline based out of Reykjavík, Iceland. They are relatively new to the scene since they got started in 2011. They are known for those cheap flights between the USA, Canada, and Europe.

Once I saw the flight deal from Boston to Amsterdam with WOW air, I couldn’t resist jumping on the deal and knocking another country off my list. I will admit, I was a little skeptical flying WOW air considering the reviews regarding baggage and charges, but if I could get over flying with Norwegian, then I should be okay.

Baggage? WOW air allows one small carry-on free with all ticket purchases. I’d recently purchased a new travel backpack and needed a reason to try it out. This would be a perfect time to test my backpack with a budget friendly carrier. Unfortunately for me, my backpack was on the large side. Unclear by how the luggage situation was going to play out, I decided to try my luck. Favorably for us, the ladies at the check-in desk in Boston were super sweet and helped make sure we were tagged and ticketed without any extra charges. (But I can’t say the same for some of the others on the flight)

How was the plane ride? I call this airline the minimalist airline because they only provide the bare minimum. Flight only. No free snacks. No free beverage. No in-flight entertainment. Not even Wi-Fi. Nothing. Wait… I take that back. You get a thin headrest cover. And speaking of the seats, they are rather basic. Picture flying Spirit, but with recline capability.

Fortunately, I read about the minimal food options during the flight, so I made sure we purchased enough food and drinks before boarding. During the flight, they have beverages and a few food options for purchase, but the price for the small portion of food makes it not worth the hassle.

Customer Service? From beginning to end, WOW air provided excellent service compared to other budget friendly carriers. Even when stranded in Amsterdam due to the snow storm that hit New Jersey, they were still nice and assisted when asked. However, I thought they should’ve handled the situation a bit better by helping with accommodations since they canceled our connecting flight to Iceland as well. Also, it was hard to reach someone since they didn’t have a desk at the airport in Amsterdam. We had to call them by borrowing a desk phone and wait on hold for over 45 min to get through to someone. We eventually were able to get flights back to the US finding our own flights and calling to ask them to place us on them. Otherwise, they told us we wouldn't get back to Jersey for another week.

Would you ever fly with WOW air again? I would fly them as a last resort option. The carrier offers great deals that at times, may be hard to pass up when balling on a budget. Other than that, they don’t fly to as many places as Ryanair and Norwegian to consider them a top budget airline contender. I will, however, give them an A for effort for customer service.

Happy Travels, XOXO


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