WOW Air For Family Travel: Is the Cost Savings Worth It?

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I booked a trip to Paris with my family because the airfare on Wow Air was too good to be true. I usually fly with my preferred carrier connected to my mileage card so I can accumulate miles, reap the benefits of my frequent flier status, and enjoy a rare upgrade to First Class. This time I figured the money we saved on airfare could be put towards a more extended stay in Paris and more indulgences.  Although the flight on Wow Air wasn’t terrible, I started rethinking my decision to fly with this discount carrier as soon as we arrived at the check-in desk.


Pros of Flying on Wow Air

1.    Friendly Service from the Flight Attendants
The flight attendants are upbeat and attentive. They look well rested and appear to love their jobs genuinely. As a former flight attendant myself, I’m a little critical and have high standards for cabin crew. Wow Air’s crew was top notch.
2.    Beautiful New Planes
You can tell that this is a new airline solely by the condition of the planes.  The interior was fresh, clean, and had no signs of wear and tear. The vibrant purple accent lighting is a nice touch.
3.    Opportunity to Visit Iceland
Our layovers in Iceland were only a few hours, but I got to take in the sights of this beautiful country from above. It’s on my list of countries to visit.
4.    Great Prices
Our fare for a family of three flying from BWI to Paris was a total of $1200. I paid an extra $200 in baggage fees. I originally budgeted $2300 when planning the trip with my preferred air carrier. 

Cons of Flying on Wow Air

1.    Check-in Process
Seasoned fliers who know what they’re doing are used to a smooth, self-service check-in.  If you expect to walk up to a check-in kiosk, enter your confirmation number, print your baggage tags, and drop off your luggage at the bag drop desk Air you are wrong!

Everyone has to stand in line to get checked in by a ticket agent even if you checked in online like an average person. The process is slow because of the extra fees imposed by the airline. Every passenger has to place each bag in the guidelines case and weigh it. You can imagine the chaos and extended wait time that results from passengers shuffling around the contents of their bags to meet the weight requirement. The entire time I spent checking in was 40 minutes.
2.    Inconsistent Legroom
I know that airlines reduced seat pitch over the years, but on international flights, the legroom is usually more generous. Not on Wow Air. I’m 5’8” and my legs crammed against the seat in front of me. Now on my return flight from Paris to Reykjavík, the plane had ample leg room.

3.    Handling of Gate Checked Strollers
I expected that I would receive my gate checked stroller at the gate even for a connecting flight. You can imagine my dismay when I found out that Wow Air puts gate checked strollers in the cargo hold to get picked up at baggage claim at your final destination. I had to carry a sleepy, cranky toddler for a layover that included taking a shuttle bus and walking through two terminals. 

4.    Nickel & Diming for Everything
I booked this flight with the understanding that Wow is the Spirit Airlines of Europe but getting nickel and dimed for everything gets annoying after a while. 

Would I do it Again?

I would take Wow Air again if I was traveling solo and only had my comfort and convenience to worry about. It's not suited for family travel because of the customer service hassles. I'll stick to my preferred airline for my next international trip for my next international flight.