Tuesday, October 27, 2015

WOW Air Flight Review: Boston - Reykjavik - Paris

So I recently took WOW Air, the budget airline from Iceland. They currently fly to New York, Boston, and Baltimore (and soon adding Toronto) to Europe via Iceland. They have sales with prices that will make you go "Wow!" including $99 one way to Paris, which is the one I bought.

It's not exactly $99 each way, though. I did get $99 from Boston to Paris, but the return flight is slightly more expensive. Still, on select dates they're still pretty cheap and I ended up paying $309 for a round trip flight from Boston to Paris. Not bad at all!

As with other budget airlines, there are a lot of caveats. First, you only get 1 carry on bag free, up to 5 kg (11 lbs). I was only going to Paris for 3 nights, so I actually managed to carry everything with me.
They don't provide drinks or food on board, you have to buy whatever you need, including water. They cost about the same as water at the airport, so whatever. It's still a $300 ticket to Paris, I'm not complaining.
Wow Air
I think because they're a newer and a budget airline, they usually taxi to a spot not directly connected to the airport buildings. Passengers had to take a shuttle bus from airport to the plane at all three airports I flew into. Just keep that in mind when you pack, because you have to be outside for a brief moment, but Iceland can be cold and raining or snowing. Pretty much all three happened to me.

I like the cheeky touches of WOW Air. The plane itself looks like a character out of Pixar's movie, with a grin on its face, wearing an aviator.

So how's the flight itself? Well, on the first leg from Boston to Reykjavik, I got really lucky! Window exit row seat, baby.

Wow Air
Best seat in the house
This plane also has plugs under the seat. Sweet, that meant I can work on my laptop all flight long. The KEF to Paris airplane didn't have plugs, however, and obviously there's no entertainment system. Bring a book.

Boston to Iceland flights tend to land early thanks to the wind. We landed in 4 hours and 40 minutes, a good thing since this flight was delayed. I got delayed on the way back as well. WOW Air is supposed to be Iceland's most punctual airline, hmm ... At least since I'm connecting with WOW, they wait for all connecting passengers to land before the second flight takes off.

An Icelandic airline means skyr! I landed in KEF too early in the morning for shops to be open, so I got my skyr on board. They don't have this on the flight from US airports, though, they have a separate menu for those because US doesn't let them bring skyr into the country. The flight attendant said they have to serve food bought from US supplies on US originated flights.
Wow Air
Skyr was 300 ISK, which is currently about $2.30. Not bad.

I read less than favorable reviews about their sliders, so I opted for one of these instant quinoa pots from The Food Doctor, a UK based healthy food company. Pour hot water, wait 10 minutes, and voila, I had quinoa and bulgur wheat in tomatoes and olive sauce. This was actually quite tasty, and I wished I could buy one for a reasonable price in the USA (on Amazon they go for $5 a pot, as opposed to £1.20 in UK. That's what I paid on the plane! I paid 700 ISK, which is about $5)
Wow Air

I approve of this reading material: strongest woman on earth! She's Icelandic, of course.
Wow Air
On the way back, there had been a snowstorm over Iceland, so my flights were delayed again. I did have a delay on my outbound flight, but other passengers said they had no issue on their outbound flights. I think Iceland weather is quite unpredictable, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are more delays.

Now, I didn't have to pay extra for luggage because my trip was short, but if you're planning a longer trip, you should keep in mind the charges for luggage are pretty high. It's also higher if you're going to the rest of Europe as opposed to getting of in Iceland (see fees here. If you're going to the rest of Europe, look at the VIA flights table). As usual, if you plan on paying for extra luggage, be sure to do it online as it'll be cheaper than paying at the airport. The extra carry-on allowance still only gives you 1 carry-on bag, but you can bring a heavier one. Checking in a luggage to Paris would've cost me $67 each way, even with the online price.

I only brought a tote bag and they didn't weigh it. If you're only carrying a backpack, etc, I don't think they're strict about weighing everything, but they might if you're bringing a roller bag.

For my trip, WOW Air was definitely worth it for the sale price. It was cheap, and the flights were still comfortable. I didn't mind spending a few extra $$ for water and food (Icelandair didn't feed me either, although they do give drinks) and I wore the same jeans for 4 days so I didn't have to bring a lot of clothes. Sssh.
Wow Air
Almost in Paris!



Thanks for the review!! Which seat did you sit in with all of that leg room?


Exit exit row!

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