WOW air stretches a la carte to greater distances

Oct 11, 2018

WOW air is a long-haul low-cost airline based in Iceland.  The airline serves 14 gateways in the US which include smaller cities like St. Louis and Cleveland.  These connect with destinations in Europe, Israel, and soon New Delhi.  For example, Newark flyers can choose 20 destinations in Europe along with Iceland.

The airline uses branded fares to speed consumers through the booking path.  There are three regular economy choices (Basic, Plus, and Comfy) along with WOW Premium which delivers lots of amenities and a big seat.  Based upon the results disclosed by other branded fare carriers, it’s likely that more than half of passengers upgrade themselves to the higher priced Plus, Comfy, and Premium fares.

The pie chart displayed on this page discloses the crucial role played by checked baggage for the airline; it generates more than 65% of ancillary revenue.  WOW air is very serious about its baggage policy.  It’s one of the few airlines to charge a fee for large carry-ons.  Others in this category include Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit.  The list once included Wizz, but the airline has backed off fees for medium size carry-ons.

Passengers may bring a personal item free of charge, often defined as a purse or laptop.  Fees are charged for the typical medium size roll-on bag loved by many travellers.  The policy has an attractive outcome with boarding and deplaning time greatly reduced without the delay of stowing bags.  But make no mistake, the policy is designed to drive ancillary revenue, and in return consumers get to enjoy low base fares.