Honest Review: Wow Air

September 20, 2018

While telling everyone about our trip to Iceland, there was one topic that everyone wanted to know about…our experience with Wow Air!

Wow Air is a budget airline that offers cheap flights to Iceland and Europe. They’ve recently exploded in popularity, which is probably one reason why so many people are venturing to Iceland these days.

Today I’m giving our honest review of the airline. It’s worth knowing we actually took four flights with them (one from Los Angeles to Iceland, another from Iceland to Sweden, and then those same flights back home).

Going Back to Basics

Wow Air flights are cheap and by cheap I mean they can sometimes be a few hundred dollars cheaper than others. This is enough of a difference that it makes it difficult to rule this airline out when you are making travel plans.

When purchasing your flight, you are given a few seating options at different price points. Wow Basic, the cheapest one, includes your flight ticket and one personal item (maximum size of 17 x 13 x 10 inches). Almost everything else comes with an additional cost including your carry-on, checked luggage, food, drinks, entertainment, cancellation protection, and seats with extra leg room.

All of this is not really an issue as long as you 1) pay for your luggage ahead of time (it’s a higher price if you pay at check-in) and 2) come prepared. We brought sandwiches and snacks, filled up our water bottles in the airport, and made sure our phones were loaded up with all the shows, movies, podcasts, and books.

Surprisingly Comfortable Seats

Many had warned us about seating on budget airlines, which got me worried for our nine-hour flight. I then braced myself as we boarded and noticed the seats looked like a cushier version of roller coaster chair (see what I mean here).

Color me surprised, they aren’t half bad! Turns out the overstuffed padding of traditional airline seats doesn’t really do much for comfort. Plus, there was a decent amount of leg room since the back of the seats are on the thinner side.

Sure, it may not be comfortable as the cushy reclining seats in first class. But, it isn’t any worse than seats in the coach section of other airlines.

An Extra Boring Flight

Since extras are not automatically included and most passengers tend to forego them, the flight experience can be a little boring.

I never realized how much “fun” it is to wait for the flight attendant to make their way to us and ask for my drink order (tomato juice, always and forever). Nor did I realize how getting served meals periodically can break up the flight time.

However, it was kinda nice not to be bothered by the flight crew so that I could watch my rom coms in peace. Plus, the sandwiches we brought were much tastier than the weird overcooked chicken meals you usually get on flights.

If and when you want to something to eat or drink on the flight, simply push the button to call the attendant and they’ll be there in a jiffy. You may end up paying $6 for an off-brand Cup O’ Noodles, but hey, it will make the time pass quicker and that’s worth it in the end.

A Different Type of Passenger

One of the first things I noticed when we boarded the flight was that most passengers were pretty young. Wow Air seems to attract a lot of college kids and folks in their late 20s and early 30s, which gives the plane a fun and exciting vibe.

That said, there was definitely a higher number of difficult passengers on each flight. At first we thought it was just our luck but then we overheard a TSA agent talking about one of our less-than-wonderful passengers. It seems that Wow Air has a reputation of attracting rude folks!

Overall, the rudeness wasn’t a huge issue. There was just a slight cringe-factor when we overheard one lady treat the flight attendant like garbage or watched as two people fought over the “rules” of overhead storage.

Next time I’ll pop in my ear plugs and block everyone out earlier!

The Final Review

Was this the best flight of my life? Nope. Would I fly with Wow Air again? A resounding yes!

Look, flying kinda sucks overall and I’m totally down to pay less for a flight that is only slightly less suckier than the rest.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend this flight for families with young children since the lack of amenities could be an issue. Older folks may also want to forego this airline since it’s not the coziest flight and you probably have less patience for mean people.

Hopefully, this helps you make your decision about your flight. Bon voyage!

P.S. Here’s a travel guide for Reykjavik and some tips on packing light that may also help you prepare for your Icelandic adventure.