Route: Paris CDG to Keflavik
Having started operations in October 2012, WOW air has served North America via its hub in Keflavik since 2015. WOW air has recently complemented its fleet of A321s and A320s with their first wide bodies, leasing two A330-300s from Air Europa. I booked this flight for mid-January around Christmas, when the one-way fare was 398 Euros, of which the actual fare is just 98 Euros, the rest taxes.
Despite a twenty-minute flight delay, check-in goes fairly smoothly; no big line, and I check my cabin bag weighing almost 19 kilos, 20 kilos being the maximum for the hold baggage, as opposed to the usual 23. Remember to pre purchase your baggage at the time of booking to avoid high airport charges. Free carry-on also doesn’t exist anymore, now only a “personal item” is free. This item must fit under the seat in front and can’t be bigger than 42x32x25 cm. Otherwise you have to pay approximately US$50on a connecting flight between the US East Coast and Europe.
Seat and AmenitiesMy seat 5K is one of the easiest to reach when boarding. There is a single Economy Class cabin, however seats with extra legroom are available for a fee. Mine seems more spacious than most Economy Class seats. Officially, WOW air’s general pitch is 31’’, while the so-called XL seats have 34’’ and the new “Big Seats” promise to offer 37’’. I have no problem storing my carry-on, and right from the get-go I’m enthralled by the clever welcoming messages on display on each seat and above. Charging devices is possible, but the power outlet is inconveniently placed under the seat, between the two seats next to the window where I am seated. It takes some time to realize it isn’t charging properly, but rather on and off depending on how expertly I move the cord. While ringing the flight staff, I notice a slew of hilarious sentences next to each attendant bell. With playful catch phrases such as “saved by the bell,” “ding-dong, anyone home?,” "honk if you're hungry" or "put a ring on it" as Beyoncé’s song, WOW air excels at creativity.
Customer service on boardFlight attendants are very friendly and accommodating with answering any question.
CateringThere is no complimentary food or beverages offered,not even a free glass of water. So, passengers should either come prepared with snacks and drinks, or purchase on board. I packed two small sandwiches and some fruit, but I order an additional blueberry skyr, decently priced at 300 ISK (less than three euros), the Icelandic yoghurt of choice. There are also wraps available, including with lamb, the most popular meat option in Icelandic cuisine. Small wine bottles sell for five euros, however the instant coffee option is disappointing. Meanwhile, “I keep this aircraft from being trashy” trolleys go through, doing just that, while raising a few giggles from its passengers.
Inflight entertainmentThere is no free entertainment offered on board, nor are there any screens to be seen. One can rent iPads for 2.000 ISK (17 euros) to watch a movie or play a game of Tetris or Angry Birds. The movies offered are a few years old (eleven in total), so I’d save your money for Icelandic treats instead. It’s surprising Wi-Fi isn’t also offered for purchase. The in-flight magazine is also nowhere to be found. But as soon as I call the stewardess to inquire if a WOW air magazine even exists, which it does, the problem is solved in due time. I receive two, one for myself and one for the passenger next to me. Indeed, the magazine doesn’t disappoint, which explains why passengers leave the aircraft with a copy.
Extra informationWOW air is resourceful in offering a useful platform to maximize your knowledge about Iceland. There are ads for Reykjavik Excursions, a popular tour company most tourists use, as well as the possibility to buy FlyBus tickets on board, indispensable between Keflavik International Airport and the capital of Reyjkavik. As the price is the same on board, as is on the ground, I take advantage and save myself a few extra minutes of wait once landed.
Route: Reyjkavik - Newark
Iceland-based low-cost carrier WOW air, commenced service in May 2012 offering passengers low-cost trans-Atlantic flights.
In a bid to separate themselves from other low-cost carriers, the airline has placed quirky slogans throughout its aircraft such as ‘put a ring on it’ for the call bell, ‘hows the view’ on the wing and a hilarious ‘vomitmeter’ on the sick bag. We could tell you them all here but that would ruin the fun for future flyers.
We put this funky low-cost carrier to the test between Iceland and New York.