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5 Things You Need to Know About WOW Air, Iceland's Low-Fare Airline

WOW air has been making big news for offering flights to Europe from the US as low as $69 (seriously). Flights are selling out faster than people can click because travelers are wisely jumping on those deals, but people searching for crazy-cheap flights across Europe and North America should still be looking to WOW air for their flight needs going forward.

In addition to very inexpensive flights, the airline also offers incentives to travelers so that they will stop in Iceland on their way across the Atlantic. This is an extremely smart move to increase tourism in Iceland (and hey, it must be working, because Iceland is on everyone's bucket list these days), and it's also a way to see even more countries for a remarkably low price in comparison to other transAtlantic flights.

For some travelers, there are certainly drawbacks. In order to keep fares low, WOW air offers what you could call "just the basics" in terms of amenities. If you like to travel in a bit of style, the airline may not but your cup of tea, but if saving money is your number-one priority, then this hip but simple airline might be the one for you. Here's what you need to know about WOW before you fly.

1. What is WOW air, exactly?

WOW is based in Iceland, and was created by entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen. Its inaugural flight was in May 2012, to Paris. It serves 31 destinations across Europe and North America, and is committed to "providing the cheapest flights to and from Iceland and across the Atlantic and providing a memorable service all the way."

2. What are the fares like?

The number one perk of flying WOW is low fares. Their user-friendly site makes it extremely easy to snag flights for as low as $69 from the West Coast of the US to various cities in Europe. The airline also flies within Europe as well. The calendar shows different departure locations and destinations, and displays the price for a ticket depending on the date. Fares can definitely vary, but overall, you're pretty much guaranteed to save hundreds of dollars on flights (especially transAtlantic flights!) by booking with the airline.

3. What is the Iceland stopover deal?

WOW's air's Iceland stopover option is a pretty unique opportunity for adventurous travelers who want to get the most bang for the buck. The deal "gives you the chance to break up long-haul journeys across the Atlantic and visit Iceland at no additional airfare." Basically, when booking a round-trip reservation with the airline, travelers can visit an extra entire country without spending more money on an additional flight. Here's how it works on the site:

4. Are there any other fees involved when flying with WOW?

The airline keeps the cost of actual tickets very low, but they do charge for other things that some airlines include as part of your ticket.

  • You may have to pay for your carry on: Small carry-on bags are free, but larger bags (26+ lbs) can cost between $41-$100, depending on the flight.
  • Checked bags cost a pretty penny (opting to pay at check-in is way more expensive than pre-paying). TransAtlantic baggage fees vary depending on where you are flying to/from, but range from $51-$100, and can't exceed 44 lbs. If they are more than 44 lbs, you will be charged $20 overweight fee per bag. Flying with baggage within Europe on WOW Air is less expensive than TransAtlantic flights (prices vary).
  • You have to pay to select a seat: If you're open to any seat, then you skip this option and get assigned a seat when you check in. However, if you want to select your seat beforehand, you have to pay a fee (the fee varies based on seat destination and seat location/type).

5. What are the amenities on the plane like?

In order to keep fares low, WOW air keeps the free amenities very basic. According to one passenger, the airline doesn't offer free snacks, or even free water. Food and drink will cost you a fair amount, especially if you're on a longer flight.

Image Source: Flickr user awilson
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