I hadn’t actually heard of WOW Air until I visited Iceland this summer, where they were advertising all over the airport. They’re an Icelandic low cost carrier and started operations in 2011, so are still very new. They exclusively operate a fleet of A320s, each of which features 174 seats spread across 29 rows, with 29-30″ of pitch per row.
Blue Lagoon Iceland
What’s really cool is that they announced service to the United States today. Via airlineroute.net, WOW Air will begin flights to Boston and Baltimore as of 2015.
As of March 27, 2015, WOW Air will begin 6x weekly flights between Reykjavik and Boston, as follows:
WW125 Reykjavik to Boston departing 3:35PM arriving 5:50PM
WW126 Boston to Reykjavik departing 6:55PM arriving 4:05AM (+1 day)
As of June 4, 2015, WOW Air will begin 5x weekly flights between Reykjavik and Baltimore (hilariously they’re marketing it was service to Washington DC), as follows:
WW117 Reykjavik to Baltimore departing 3:30PM arriving 5:55PM
WW118 Baltimore to Reykjavik departing 7:25PM arriving 5:10AM (+1 day)
This will very nice complement their Europe route network, making Reyjavik a great connecting airport while enroute between the US and Europe.
They’re marketing this as a way to get between the US and Reykjavik, Copenhagen, and London Gatwick.
WOW Air connection opportunities
Anyway, WOW Air has some crazy good introductory fares, in many cases for as little as $99-125 one-way. They’re not being very transparent about how many of these discounted fares are available and on which dates, so you’ll want to enter your preferred dates on their website to find out.
Their US website seems to be having some issues right now, presumably because they weren’t anticipating the volume of interest. So I’m not able to get anything to price there right now, though their non-US sites are working fine (though are priced in other currencies, and typically tickets are more expensive). I suspect the US site will be operating again shortly.
WOW Air fares on UK website
The thing to keep in mind is that they’re an ultra low cost carriers, so they charge you for everything. Check out WOW Air’s optional fees and charges page to get a sense of just how many things they charge for.
For example, the per segment cost of hand luggage is €20 if paid for online, €36 it if paid for at check-in, or €59 if paid for at the gate. Checked luggage is even more expensive, and starts at €36.
WOW Air also has a pretty epic cancellation policy. Cancellations are possible, but you’re not getting any money back. And if you cancel by phone they’ll even charge you (in which case I’m a bit why anyone would bother canceling if they’re not getting any credit or money back?).
I also love the disclaimer at the bottom of their fees page. Not only are the fees subject to change, but they’re also “subject to error:”
Prices shown are subject to error and change. Last updated: 22.10.2014
WOW Air Bottom Line
These are some incredible fares, and I welcome the competition that WOW Air brings to the US. Regardless of whether you get the introductory pricing or not, I suspect their prices will remain incredibly long long term. They’re sort of like the second Norwegian Air Shuttle to enter the US market in terms of their pricing strategy.
If you do decide to make a booking with them, just make sure you’re going in with the right expectations. They’re not a US “low cost carrier” like Southwest and JetBlue, which are actually pretty full service airlines. Instead, you’ll be charged for everything on WOW Air, so be prepared for that, and factor that into the overall cost of the trip.
PS: Their crews deserve an award for doing the least Harlem Shake-ish Harlem Shake I’ve ever seen:
PPS: Thank goodness that craze is over. No, really.
PPPS: Am I the only one that finds it odd that their tagline is “Iceland’s Most Punctual Airline In 2013.” I have a lot of questions and concerns about WOW Air, yet oddly their on-time record wasn’t among them.