Why the $99 Airfare Sale to Europe by WOW Air is Not For Me
A no-frills airline called WOW Air is offering what some people may consider unbelievable deals to London, Reykjavik and Copenhagen from the United States where you can travel for as low as $99.00 one way — including all taxes and fees.
While other weblogs are featuring what appears to be an amazing sale, I am not biting — and here are my reasons why:
Although you can find some good to excellent airfares with this sale, you will most likely be out of luck finding the lowest advertised airfares. In the case of Baltimore to London, those $99.00 airfares were quite difficult for me to find. Consider if it is really worth your time to attempt to find those elusive lowest advertised airfares — and if you are successful, whether or not your schedule is flexible enough to take advantage of them.
Because I am not based in either Boston or Baltimore — the only two cities in the United States from which WOW Air flies — I would need to procure positioning flights to those cities; and regardless of whether I spend money or use frequent flier loyalty program miles, that dilutes the savings of the airfare.
WOW Air is a no-frills airline — which is not necessarily bad if you know how to bypass as many of the fees as possible in order to stay true to the good to excellent airfares which you might be successful at finding. As with the positioning flights, every fee you pay dilutes the savings of the airfare. For example, expect to pay as much as $24.00 per flight leg if you want to reserve a seat in advance; which would mean as much as $96.00 for a trip between Boston and London. Unless all you have is a small bag weighing 11 pounds or less, expect to pay a fee of at least $29.00 for luggage as well.
Whether it is positioning flights or possibly connecting flights into other countries in Europe, realize that WOW Air has no partnerships with other airlines. This could potentially cause problems should the flight operated by WOW Air experience irregular operations.
Not that it is a significant factor — or perhaps to you it is — but you do not earn any frequent flier loyalty program miles or points with WOW Air, which could help to partially or completely offset the cost of a future trip.
Other unknown variables — to me, anyway — include how comfortable are the seats; as well as the flight schedule frequency and times of departures and landings.
I just completed an unintentional trip around the world on five different airlines — all of which I flew as a passenger seated in the economy class cabin. One of those airlines was a no-frills airline on which I did not mind being a passenger for a couple of hours; but I also did not exactly enjoy the experience either. I do not want to have to be concerned about paying fees and wondering what seat I will have when I arrive at the gate; and the thought of flying as a passenger on a no-frills airline for many hours while having my savings slowly erode away due to fees and positioning flights does not appeal to me in the least.