I hope you guys took advantage of those $99 fares to Europe because WOW Air just got a whole lot more expensive. I don’t know when this new policy took effect but I just stumbled upon it this morning. I’m shocked WOW Air did this but they just eliminated their free carry-on bag allowance for all flights from the U.S. to Iceland and Europe. That’s right. You read that correctly. Your WOW Air carry-on bag is no longer free.
WOW Air prices used to include one carry-on bag (16.5 x 12.5 x 10 inches with a maximum weight of 22 lbs) AND one personal item (16.5 x 8 x 8 inches with no weight limit). It wasn’t much allowance but it was definitely do-able if you could pack light for a cheap backpacking trip to Europe. If you wanted to pack a little more, you could “upgrade” your standard carry-on bag for a larger carry-on bag size limit of 22 x 17.5 x 10 inches for a $47.99 fee.
But now, instead of giving you a free carry-on bag allowance included in the price of your ticket, you only get ONE free personal item to carry on-board. That’s it! You get one personal item such as a backpack, laptop bag or purse within 17 x 13 x 10 inches (up to 22 lbs) and it must fit under the seat in front of you.
Carry-on bags such as roll-aboards, larger backpacks or anything else that won’t fit under the seat in front will now cost you $50.99 per flight ($101.98 roundtrip). However, carry-on bags will now have an increased maximum dimension of 22 x 18 x 10 inches and up to 26 lbs. If you want to check a bag, that will now cost you $70.99 per direction.
Seat selection fees have increased too. Seats selections will now cost you between $11.99 – $12.99 for standard seats, $50.99 for XL seats, $60.99 for XXL seats and $169.99 for their new premium seating, “Big Seats.” The new premium seats will be rolled out June 1, 2017 but no details regarding the actual seats have been announced yet. I’m assuming they we be comparable to Norwegian Air Shuttle’s “Premium Class” seats but that’s just a guess at this point. Think more premium economy seats as opposed to a lie-flat business class seat.
Additionally, WOW Air will soon be introducing different “bundled” fare classes. According to Conde Nast Traveler, WOW Air will be rolling out three new fare classes this year: WOW Basic, WOW PLUS and WOW Biz. In theory, bundled fare classes will provide a better value as you get a discount for bundling extra services but that has yet to be determined as they have not released price details yet.
- Wow Basic: An economy seat with no pre-selection; a personal item that must fit under the seat in front of you with maximum dimensions stated above.
- WOW Plus: All of the above, plus one carry-on luggage with maximum dimensions stated above. Also includes cancellation protection and one checked bag up to 44 lbs.
- WOW Biz: All of the above, plus priority boarding, a hot meal on-board and reservation for the best legroom seat available (that’s the new premium “Big Seat” on their Airbus A330s, or XXL and XL seats on the smaller Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft.
Overall, I think this is an extremely negative change for WOW Air passengers. It used to be possible to snag one of these cheap deals to Europe for $99 but now it’s impossible to travel within such restrictive bag constraints. I don’t know a single person that can travel to Europe with just one standard size backpack. I know I can’t. The point to take away here is WOW Air can still offer an incredible deal even with all the additional fees. But make sure to add up all the ancillary costs before booking. You might be better off booking with a traditional carrier.
If you want to check out what it’s like to fly WOW Air, you can read my full WOW Air flight review here.
What do you guys think? Will you still fly WOW Air after this or did they go too far? Let me know in the comments section below.
Other reviews in this series include: