As I continue my worldwide journey through budget traveling, a recent country I checked off my bucket-list was Iceland. Currently stationed at Las Vegas, I searched for the cheapest way to get to Europe to begin my trip. Upon research, I was able to find round trip tickets to Dusseldorf, Germany, from Los Angeles via Keflavik with WOW Air for just $400 (click here to find out how I spent just $660 traveling from Las Vegas to 5 European countries)! However, the reviews for WOW Air were not as appealing as the cost of the flights. As of July 17′ on TripAdvisor, they have a 3 out of 5 star rating, and a 4/10 rating on airlinequality.com.
I decided to give WOW Air a shot. I booked a one-way ticket to Dusseldorf from Los Angeles via Keflavik for $199 and a return flight with a separate airline- in case WOW Air is as horrible as others claim. This way, I wouldn’t need to worry about it on my way back home.
TravelBae WOW Air Experience
Unlike many other WOW Air travelers, I had a very positive experience with WOW Air.
It seems like most of the complains about WOW Air are due to flight cancellations and its expensive flight policy. There was nothing I could do about flight cancellations besides closing my eyes and pray for the best, but it is very important as a budget traveler to review airline baggage policies to avoid a hefty baggage fee. WOW Basic is the cheapest option they offer, and there is nothing included besides 1 personal item up to a maximum of 42x32x25cm/17x13x10in (10kg/22 lbs). So for travelers that assume carry-on bags are free, they will found themselves hit with an extra $50-$100 fee as price varies by flight.
Tip #1: Read the fees & charges page before your flight to make sure there are no surprises.
When you purchase cheap flights, expect nothing. Do not have any expectations because you will very likely be disappointed. Budget airlines will charge you for anything possible. Through my travels, I’ve seen costs for seat selection, international flight TV entertainment, boarding pass printing, water, and etc.
Tip #2: Bring your own empty water bottle, snacks, and entertainment.
As a frequent flyer, I started to realize how much money I’ve spent on water at airports and on flights (you can’t bring liquid over 100ml pass security). It doesn’t make sense to pay for water when water machines offer it for free at almost any airport internationally. Snacks are also ridiculously expensive on flights, and the international flight entertainment (movies, music, games) comes with a surcharge. So bring your own snacks, water, Kindle, or magazines because nothing will be provided to you unless you pay for it. Or else these little charges… not really little, after all… really add up.
Tip #3: Give yourself extra time to check-in and locate the gate.
One negative from my WOW Air experience would be their delay in providing flyers with gate information. I was not given gate info until 30 minutes before boarding for my flight from Los Angeles to Reflavik. This made my journey a bit stressful, but since I was an hour early, I was able to familiar myself with gate locations at the airport so I knew exactly where to go when my gate info appeared on display.
Tip #4: Take advantage of the Layover.
My layover in Reflavik was 16 hours. This gave me the opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon, the famous geothermal spa, before I fly to Dusseldorf Germany the next day. And just like that, I was able to check-off Iceland on my travel bucket list.
Final Thoughts: As much as I can’t promise there won’t be any flight cancellations, I had a great experience with WOW Air. Not only was the flight cheap, but I was also given the chance to explore Iceland for a day for no extra cost! Just remember to review the optional fees & charges page to avoid any surprises!