When we started planning our honeymoon we were throwing around a few very different ideas. Strapping our mountain bikes to the back of the 4Runner and roadtripping out to Colorado and Utah. Taking advantage of the always cheap airfare to Mexico and going to Cancun/Tulum/Playa del Carmen, checking out the beach and some Mayan Ruins. Exploring Iceland’s national parks, waterfalls, canyons, and beaches.
We thought that Iceland was out of the question for a while. A $900 plane ticket, average hotel prices of $130+, rental car costs, gas, food, etc. It just wasn’t feasible with our budget.
Until we discovered WOW Air.
It was almost too good to be true. The price of a ticket from Boston to Keflavik was $318 for our honeymoon dates. We were so excited that Iceland was a real possibility for our trip, so we did more research.
WOW only flies from a select few airports in the U.S., but they’re adding more! We found a flight from Houston to Boston for around $130, and decided that $448 from Houston to Iceland was doable for us.
Booking: 1/5 stars
After weeks of monitoring the prices of WOW’s flights, they didn’t change at all so we decided to book our tickets for $318 from Boston to Keflavik. We sat down at our computers and booked separately because we were paying from our own respective bank accounts. We complete all the information, pick our seats (an extra $10, which I thought was ridiculous because it’s not like you’re choosing extra legroom, you’re just paying more hidden fees to be on the flight), purchased checked luggage (a whopping $50 for 44 lbs, we just decided to pack in one bag instead of purchasing two), and now we’re up an unexpected $140.
We are ready to confirm our purchase and ceremoniously click the final button at the same time.
Matt gets the confirmation screen. You’re going to Iceland, Matthew!
Me? Still processing. And then, ERROR.
WOW’s website boots me back to the homepage, where I now have to do the whole booking process all over again. But NOW, the prices for our dates (which we have been monitoring for weeks with no change) have been raised. The flight I had just attempted to book for $318 is now $338.
I was pissed. Apparently, WOW sees two people trying to book the same flight at the same time and decides to profit even more by kicking one off and making them book at a higher price. Cool.
I emailed customer service with my experience, and received this reply:
“Thank you for letting us know about this. What probably happened is that when you received the message “Payment Failed” someone bought up the seats on those prices at the same time. We usually sell X many seats on each plane on X price. If someone buys up all the seats on that price it can go up. Our prices follow the law of supply and demand. That is, if you buy the flight ticket well in advance you will get the cheapest seats on the flight, although usually the first seats sold are the best priced ones.”
B.S. Total B.S. My payment didn’t fail. I was unceremoniously booted back to the homepage so they could wring me for even more money.
Lesson here: If you’re planning on booking a flight through WOW with a friend/fiance/husband/sibling, go ahead and find a way to book together. If you don’t, one or more of you will probably end up paying more for your ticket. Which is just unfair.
Airport and Pre-Flight
So when we got to the airport, we realized that our carry on bags (personal backpacks holding our camera, some snacks, Kindle, nothing too large or heavy) were probably over the ridiculous weight limit WOW has for carry on bags. So we were sneaky and checked in separately, moving some stuff around in our backpacks so they were conveniently lighter when they were weighed. Sorry not sorry. We were not going to pay $40 if our backpacks were over 11 lbs. (which they probably weren’t, but better safe than sorry and out more money).
On the way back from Keflavik, they didn’t even bother to check carry on bags. It was a self service machine to check in. They’re probably more lax when you leave because they don’t want to deter people from spending money on trinkets and souvenirs in Iceland and bringing additional weight back with them to the U.S.
The terminal where you board for WOW in Boston is dinky. There was one option for food past security and a little snack/bookstore. Keflavik Airport definitely had the upper hand on this one, since the airport is so small it’s essentially one terminal. There were lots of stores, good eats, and duty free shopping.
Flight: 3.5/5 stars
So now, the important part that most of you are curious about. How was the actual flight? I was super worried about this part in the weeks leading up to our trip. The possibility of delays and cancellations really concerned me.
We were delayed taking off, but that was 100% Boston Airport’s fault. We sat on the plane for an extra 45 minutes before taking off because they never sent a little tow truck out to reverse the plane out to the runway, and then something else happened with another plane being on our runway (I don’t exactly recall), but no big deal. Not WOW’s fault.
The plane’s legroom and comfort was comparable to an airline like United. There were no TVs on the plane, so it’s definitely BYOEntertainment. They did have power outlets under the seats, so that was nice.
They do not serve drinks of any kind or provide snacks, so it’s also BYOSnacks if you don’t think you can last 5+ hours without anything to nibble or drink.
I would also strongly recommend you bring a neck pillow and maybe even a cushion for your tush, something like those we use to sit on football games. My bottom was unpleasantly sore after our flights to and from Iceland.
So if you bring a book, some snacks, a bottle of water, and some comfort pieces, you should be A-OK.
I would 100% book with WOW Air again. Either for another trip to Iceland, or as a cheap way to get to continental Europe (which, surprisingly, about 60% of our flight to Keflavik was doing). I definitely learned a few lessons from my first WOW experience that would make my next one more enjoyable. Learn from my mistakes and book tickets for your group together, bring more comfort items (neck pillow AND tush cush), stock up on snacks.
Happy travels my fellow wanderlusters!