Flying WOWair to Iceland… Epic Deal

I cannot even begin to thank WOW air enough and state that they are sole reason I was able to, not only go on an adventure of a lifetime, but also bring 3 of my friends with me. WOW air is a budget airline, similar to RyanAir, easyJet, and Spirit Airlines. They are a no-frills, no-extras provider that, luckily with great timing, ran deals from Boston or DC to Keflavik, Iceland that started around $325 for a round trip flight. Yes, that is right, we could fly round trip to Europe, cheaper than flights inside the USA. At a price like this, it becomes a much easier sell to your friends on a trip to Iceland than, “Hey wanna go to (Spain/France/Italy), flights right now are only $1000 right now!”

We booked the trip in October with the intention of going in the Spring. 5 months out, all the flights were under $350, perfect timing. I reiterate, this is a budget airline, which means expect to get hit with strange fees when planning to fly WOW air. For example, you had to pay a $6 fee, each way, to pick a seat. On a 5hr flight, it’s crucial to be able to sit where you want, that’s a given. Now the strangest of fees came with baggage.

Most of us are used to flying with one carry-on bag and a backpack, right? Well that is not the case on a WOW air flight, which only allows one carry-on bag to fly free. As long as that bag is under 5kg (11lbs). For most people, that is nearly impossible to pack a bag longer than 1 night and have it under 11lbs. I took it as a challenge to get 6 days worth of clothes, pack, gear, and camera equipment under 11lbs; and spoiler alert, I succeeded. So what happens if you’re normal, and cannot fit it under that weight restriction? For $58, you can increase that weight restriction, of 1 bag, to 12kg (26lbs). Yes, I realize how ridiculous that may seem, because now your cheap flight is becoming more and more expensive and you still only can bring 1 bag.
Still not convinced it can be done for a week long trip or more? There is the third option of checking a bag, up to 20kg (44lbs), for the round trip cost of $96. If you check a bag, you are able to bring a backpack as a carry-on still, which is what two of the guys did on our trip. Note, all these prices will go up if you do not purchase these options beforehand. So either learn to pack efficiently or be prepared to see your ticket go up higher and higher.
The flight itself is as normal as it can get, for most of us. There is no “first-class” seating and it’s a normal 3-a-side seating arrangement. But you will not be given anything free while onboard. No water, no peanuts, no TV in the headrest, nothing. Food, beverages, and inflight entertainment are available for purchase via cash or credit card though. So as long as you can endure a 5 hour plane ride, you’ll be set. I do have to retract the paid-for inflight entertainment statement though. On our redeye from Boston to Keflavik, we were blessed with hilarious, friendly, and gorgeous Icelandic flight attendants. Not to mention, 2hrs into our flight, we were able to see the northern lights. Yup, before we even landed in Iceland we were able to check something off our bucket list.
In summary, from my experience I would highly recommend flying WOW air. After all my fees were said and done, I was able to pay $380 for my round trip flight to Iceland. If you intend to bring a large amount of clothing or heavy bags, look into IcelandAir, which may have a higher sticker price than WOW, but after all WOW’s fees, they might be equal.
And how did I get everything into my pack and under 11 lbs? See my gear video and article which talks about what I brought, and retrospectively I can say that I was completely prepared for everything.

 

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