Penny recently flew from Gatwick to Iceland with Wow, after a horror filled check in, she found a little haven of hygge-filled serenity at 40,000ft.
£35 lighter, the sheer terror of opening an empty passport case and the fear that I would need a sex change before I would be allowed to fly was not how I imagined my escape to Iceland would begin. A last minute change of my travel companion for this press trip to Iceland meant a name change had me listed as Mr No Name on my friend’s booking, but as myself on my own booking. We checked in together, she first, which threw things completely.
Wow must be one of the few airlines to charge you for a cabin bag, admittedly only £12, but why do airlines have to do things so differently, it’s confusing. Having not made the booking myself but knowing that we had definitely paid for a bag, I wrongly assumed we had paid for a hold suitcase so that’s what I took. My mistake, it is clear on the booking, but as you gather, I was sleep deprived. It seems stingy to charge for cabin bags though. Goodbye £35.
Next I experienced the full on horror of opening my passport case to find it empty; while I had been sorting the name issue the check in staff had already taken my passport out without me realising. Moral of that story – passport cases are a nightmare.
Wow staff were cheery and sympathetic to my plight throughout.
Once we boarded all the stress melted away, the flight staff were Icelandic and there is something so cosy about an Icelandic accent.
We were really well looked after, the staff are efficient but without rushing, they make you feel as if you are their main priority, and that nothing is too much trouble. They insisted on fetching me lime for my much needed at this point G and T and on both flights made it clear we must ask if we need anything – a rare thing to hear on aeroplanes these days, where brusque efficiency seems the order of the day.
It was great to find a healthy range of snacks and small meals as well as standard sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, drinks and teas and coffees. The Food Doctor pots with lentil and cous cous or quinoa were surprisingly good and flavoursome, there were nuts and herbal teas too.
One thing that struck us was the sense of space and legroom; WOW is an Icelandic airline and Icelanders are one of the world’s tallest nations, so perhaps this has something to do with it.
Comfort levels are above average for a budget airline, the upholstered seats were a refreshing leap up from plastic and PVC I have come to expect from a budget airline. The soothing grey and purple colour made for a more serene atmosphere than other budget airlines I could mention too. I hadn’t factored how much colour and interior decor could make an impact on passenger mood until I flew with three different airlines in one month.
Wow even has a sense of humour, although sometimes, it can be a bit cheeky. It depends to what extent you want an airline to talk to you like you are mates. The staff however, remain incredibly professional.
The plane was exceptionally clean and spotless, possibly because it was also very new.
After a stressful check in, which admittedly was six of Wow and half a dozen of sleep deprived me, Wow really redeemed themselves.
Perhaps you have flown with Wow? We would love to hear your experiences.
Need to Know
As well as Iceland and Europe, Wow Airlines opens up cheaper travel to the States. Prices from London, Gatwick: Rekjavik from £39.99 (My flight was £170 return), LA from £175, Montreal from £125.