With a name like wow air and their crazy cheap flights, I can completely understand why a lot of people are dubious about this company. Some of my friends still refuse to fly with them simply because of the name. Nevertheless, we flew to Washington DC (via Iceland) at roughly half the price of the all the other offerings at the time and genuinely had an amazing flight. We paid about 15 pounds extra for a seat upgrade (just to get wider seats and more legroom), which I think was definitely worth it considering the length of the flight but still not necessary. I flew back from Vancouver with British Airways recently and felt a lot more cramped than on this flight.
Ok, so I will point out the reason that Wow Air is so much cheaper than other long haul airlines, is because it is a budget airline still. There is no in flight entertainment or food offered but you can buy food onboard.
If you like a flight with comforts like that, Wow Air aren’t for you. If you’re looking to save money and get to where you need to be (while constantly saying “wow” every time something happens), then it is.
Personally, I didn’t mind at all not having entertainment because I always bring my iPad with me anyway and I was with two friends, so I didn’t really have a chance to get bored. Also, food on the plane wasn’t expensive and we brought some along with us too, so it wasn’t an issue.
The only thing I found stressful was the layover in Iceland; it is an Icelandic airline, so all flights stop there for varying lengths of time. In fact, I think you can request layovers longer than a day without paying any extra, and stay in Iceland for a bit if you wish. The reason I found the layover stressful was because it was only an hour long and we were delayed by roughly 40 minutes at Gatwick. The last time I had an hour layover, there was bad weather, my flight couldn’t land and I got stuck in Minneapolis for 24 hours on my own. So, you can see where my head was at.
Anyway, upon arrival in Iceland, we jumped off the plane, hurried around the airport, queued to get onto our next flight (all very stressful) and thankfully, made it on the plane… The plane that turned out to be the one we had just been sat on. That’s right, all that stress and no-one thought to mention that we were actually already sat on the plane we were worried about not being able to get on.
Nevertheless, I really liked the airline. The attendants were nice, they have fun graphics in the cabin and most of all, I saved a fair amount of money.
I’ve flown with Air Canada a few times now and never had a bad experience. Most recently, flying from Toronto to London, all of the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. In fact, I actually ended up sending an email to Air Canada afterwards about how great they all were – people love sending complaint emails so I thought it might be nice for them to get a positive review for once; from the moment I got into the terminal at the airport, Air Canada staff helped me weigh my bag, get my luggage label printed and point me in the right direction. I mean, I can imagine I did look quite flustered as it was early in the morning and confused about life but they didn’t have to help me so much.
The whole experience was a delight – I was fed so many times on the way there (with them considering my dietary requirements, which was nice), had a million cups of tea and in general, they were really nice. Plus they have great onboard entertainment and the opportunity to check in for your flight/book a seat for free 24 hours in advance on the app, which meant that I got a seat in an aisle of 2 people in both directions. I picked one right at the back so I was near the toilet and could recline my seat without irritating anyone, too. Pretty good (well until you try to get off and it takes a million years because you have to wait for everyone else but still).
Amazingly, I would say my mum has had an even better experience with them because she was bumped up to business class when we flew from Montreal to Calgary a few years ago. I sat in lowly economy with no food, squashed in between two people, while she was fed multiple times and waited on throughout the entire flight. I’ll point out, there wasn’t meant to be any food, so I wasn’t annoyed by this – I was just jealous that she got bumped up and I didn’t (it’s because we didn’t check in, so they had to give us what was left).
Overall, I’ve always had a good experience and if you fly at the right time/look out for deals, you can get flights at a reasonable price.
Hamilton and I flew with Air Transat from London to Toronto, on our way out here in September. It was the cheapest flight we could find and for an extra 50 pounds, we also got to add on a bag, had priority boarding and got extra food throughout the flight, that in all honesty, I could barely eat because there was so much. Now, with BA its 60 pounds more for an additional bag alone, which is madness. We also had 2×2 seats so it was just the two of us and we didn’t have to talk to any other people, which was great considering we were in the process of moving to another country and would have probably been very annoying to listen to.
All of the air hosts were really friendly and very taken aback when at one point they offered us a drink and we turned it down – we had genuinely just had one and physically couldn’t drink any more. Also, the onboard entertainment was really good although we had the misfortune to choose to watch A Wrinkle in Time, which may well be the worst film I have ever seen. This of course, was not Air Transat’s fault though.
The only things I didn’t love about flying with them was the luggage restrictions – they even weigh your hand luggage. I’ve heard of restrictions before but I’ve never actually seen them enforced. Thankfully, mine just about weighed in. My big bags were 0.1 over (even though I weighed them on the scales around the corner), but they let that fly luckily. I think there must be some give and take in the weights.
The other thing is that you can’t check in online beforehand – my boyfriend is going to be flying out to see me soon for Christmas (I am counting down the days and ridiculously excited) but he can’t check in to his flight, I think he’s just going to get there earlier in the hope they’ll give him a window seat.
This is kind of a random one in comparison because I’ve only ever flown very short haul with them but you know what, my experience on board every flight has been a breeze; the hosts have been lovely and we got given little snack boxes with water and food in, that most cheap airlines wouldn’t even consider giving out to people.
The only issue I had with them was that they cancelled my flight the day before (it was a Monday morning flight, first thing so I could get back to work on time) and they tried to reschedule it for 3pm the next day. I only found out it was cancelled because they sent me a text message and then I had to have an incredibly painful conversation with them, convincing them to allow us to fly back into London Heathrow rather than City airport because the arrival time would only be 10 minutes later than the other flight and still within London. This took them a while to get their head around but they did change it for us in the end.
I mean, this flight then got delayed by 30 minutes on the runway due to fog but that wasn’t their fault.
In general, nice and easy airline to fly with, that I would pick over Ryanair/Easyjet any day.
I’ve only flown with them once and now keep trying to find a way to fly with them again – any time I need to fly somewhere that I think they will go to, I look up their flights but haven’t found the right one since (timing/pricing issues) but the return flights my mum and I had to New York in January were absolutely on point… The plane was lovely (the smoothest ride ever with the fancy new lights to help with jetlag), the staff were nice and the entertainment was pretty good too (as in films and stuff, the hosts didn’t put on a musical production or anything, thank god).
Aside from the fact that they lost her bag on the way back and it is an absolute mission to get it back because you have to physically print and send forms to Norway in the post.
I’m really realising in writing that post that considering these are my favourite airlines, it has never actually gone perfectly for me! I suppose that is part of the fun of travel; you never know what might happen. Less fun when what happens is them losing your bag of course, but these (very irritating) things do occur.
Also, these are the better experiences I have had – I’ve mostly flown with British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair but have never had a truly great flight with them. British Airways is generally considered one of the best airlines but I feel like they’ve really gone downhill in the last few years but their prices haven’t changed to manage that. It used to feel like luxury travelling with them but not so much any more. Saying that, I’m flying with them in January so who knows, maybe we’ll have a great flight and I’ll change my mind.
Ryanair I will always do my best not to fly with, simply because they cancelled all of those flights last year and left a lot of people stranded, without really helping them out even though it was their fault for not organising their pilots schedules better. Annoyingly though, they do fly to a lot of places that I tend to want to get to that not many other companies do (especially Scandinavian countries/smaller airports) and I am not made of money. If I can possibly avoid it, I will.
I’ve never had particularly terrible experiences on board Ryanair and Easyjet, in fact they’ve been pretty good to be honest; basic but fine. It’s more the way they treat their customers in general and the steep luggage restrictions that are constantly changing.
There are also a hell of a lot of airlines I’ve not flown with, that I would be interested to. If I like an airline, I do tend to stick with them if I can but at the same time, I’m not adverse to trying new ones because you never know, you might find a ‘Wow Air’.
P.S. I liked Wow Air so much, I made a video about it: