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WOW air Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, & More [Airline Out of Business]

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Update: Wow air has gone out of business.

We’ve put together a general review of WOW air to give you a quick glance at the airline from a customer’s viewpoint.

Since this isn’t an airline you hear about every day, we know lots of folks have questions: Where does WOW air fly? Will I get snacks when I fly on WOW air? How much does WOW air charge for baggage fees? What are people saying about WOW air?

In this post, we’ve outlined some basic company statistics, ticketing/fare options, those pesky extra fees (including baggage fees), seat specs, inflight amenities, customer satisfaction rankings, and more.

Basic Info

Airline: WOW air

Alliance: None

Category: Low-Cost Airline

Frequent Flyer Program: None

Tag Line: We promise you that WOW feeling!

About/Mission Statement: “WOW air is committed to providing the cheapest flights to and from Iceland and across the Atlantic, while providing a memorable service all the way.” (source)

Daily Flights: Variable, ~50-55

Fleet: 20 (plans to increase to 24 by the end of 2018)

Main Hub: Keflavík International Airport, KEF (Greater Reykjavík Area, Iceland)

Destinations: 37 (across Europe, North America, and Asia) – note that from November 2018, US routes are being reduced in frequency or cut entirely due to financial difficulties at the airline

WOW air Route Map
Image Credit: wowair.us.

Ticketing Options

Yes, WOW is a budget airline. Yes, fares are appropriated accordingly. Yes, you’ll pay for extras.

However, with options for such ridiculously low fares, it might be worth it!

WOW air Example Airfares
Example fares for some popular WOW air destinations. Image Credit: wowair.us.

Base Fares

WOW air provides 4 fare options. Depending on which option you select, you might pay extra fees based on selected add-ons like priority boarding, seat selection, etc.

SCROLL FOR MORE
WOW basicWOW plusWOW comfyWow premium
Flight Ticket
1 Personal Item
Flight Ticket
1 Personal Item
1 Carry-on
1 Checked Bag
Seat Res (standard only)
Flight Ticket
1 Personal Item
1 Carry-on
1 Checked Bag
Seat Res (best available)
Cancellation Protection
Flight Ticket
1 Personal Item
1 Carry-on
2 Checked Bags
Cancellation Protection
BigSeat
Priority Check-In (KEF)
Security Fast Track (KEF, LGW*, CHP, & EDI)
Priority Boarding (all airports)
In-Flight Meal
No Change Fee

WOW basic: This fare is exactly what it sounds like: the most basic fare WOW has to offer. WOW “basic” includes your flight ticket and 1 personal item (limited to 42 x 32 x 25cm and 10kg). That’s it!

This means you’ll pay extra for things like a carry-on, checked bag, seat assignment, or snacks (see baggage/fees section below). Additionally, cancellations are not refunded.

WOW plus: This fare gets you a bit more bang for your buck. WOW “plus” includes your flight ticket, 1 personal item (above size limitations apply), 1 carry-on (limited to 56 x 45 x 25cm and 12kg), 1 checked bag, and a seat reservation (with standard legroom). Again, cancellations are not refunded.

WOW notes: “WOW Plus will always be cheaper than adding to the WOW Basic fare. That’s guaranteed.”

WOW comfy: This fare is the 3rd fare option offered by WOW. “Comfy” includes your flight ticket, 1 personal item (above size limitations apply), 1 carry-on (above size limitations apply), 1 checked bag, a seat reservation (best available at the time of booking – either XL or XXL), and cancellation protection.

WOW premium: This is the most expensive and inclusive ticket option WOW offers. WOW “premium” includes your flight ticket, 1 personal item (above size limitations apply), 1 carry-on (above size limitations apply), 2 (TWO) checked bags, cancellation protection, and guaranteed BigSeat. PLUS, you also get priority check-in at Reykjavik airport (KEF), fast track through security at 4 popular airports (KEF, LGW*, CHP & EDI), priority boarding at all airports, an in-flight meal and no change fees.

As you can imagine, there are minimal (read: fewer) added/extra fees associated with this fare.

Wow Air Fare Breakdown
Example fare options from Chicago to Reykjavik. Image Credit: wowair.us.

It’s important to note that WOW Basic and WOW Plus fares cannot be upgraded after initial booking. So if you want more perks included in your base fare, choose Plus or Biz from the start.

Iceland Stopover

WOW Air, Captain and Flight Attendant in Iceland
Image Credit: WOW air.

If you’re flying between the U.S. and Europe on round-trip flights, WOW air offers a stopover option in Iceland for no additional cost. This is different than a layover in that the stopover can extend for multiple days. Additionally, the stopover may be selected for the outbound or return journey at the customer’s preference.

However, WOW air provides the following disclaimer related to the WOW Stopover:

Wow Baggage & Other Fees/Add-ons

Since WOW air offers a couple different ticketing options, baggage fees and add-on/extra fees are charged accordingly. Some fees will be charged regardless of which ticketing option you choose, so keep this in mind when you’re planning to fly WOW air.

Baggage Fees: With WOW air, baggage prices depend on the fare option you choose when purchasing your ticket and the specific route flown.

As we mentioned earlier, with WOW Basic, you’ll pay fees if you bring anything other than a personal item. WOW Plus and WOW Biz fares include a carry-on and a checked bag.

It’s also important to note that baggage fees increase the closer you get to take-off. So try to pre-purchase your desired baggage allowance during your initial booking if you want to save the most money.

The size/weight limitations for WOW air baggage are as follows:

  • Personal item: 17″ x 13″ x 10″
  • Standard carry-on: 22″ x 18″ x 10″ (max weight of 26lbs)
  • Checked bag: max linear dimensions of 62″ (max weight of 44lbs)

The following table displays a range of baggage fees for most WOW air routes to/from the U.S. to Reykjavík, per leg. However, for the most accurate baggage fee calculations, please use WOW air’s online baggage calculator tool.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Online During
Booking
Online After
Booking
At Airport
Check-in Desk
At the Gate
Carry-on$40-50$45-$55$50-$70$100
Checked Bag$50-$70$60-$75$70-$80$100

The following table displays a range of baggage fees for most WOW air routes to/from the U.S. to Europe via Reykjavík, per leg. Again, for the most accurate baggage fee calculations, please use WOW air’s online baggage calculator tool.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Online During
Booking
Online After
Booking
At Airport
Check-in Desk
At the Gate
Carry-on$40-$50$55-$60$70-$80$100
Checked Bag$60-$70$75-$80$80-$90$100

Hot Tip: Let us reiterate that the above prices are PER LEG. Since all flights have 1 leg outbound and 1 inbound, you should expect your baggage prices to be double what’s listed here. This is pretty normal; any typical airline that charges fees for baggage will charge per flight or leg. 

Other Baggage Related Fees: Here are a few other baggage-related fees WOW air charges.

Carry-on Bag Change Fee: $30 (this applies if your carry-on is overweight/oversize and you choose to change it to a checked bag at the check-in counter; if you do not and you are forced to check it at the gate this will cost you $100)

Overweight Baggage: $20 per kilo, max of 12kg extra per bag

Sporting Equipment/Special Baggage: $76-$116 (see fee page for specifics)

Service Charge 1: If you want to save money, book online! Booking through the call center will cost you $28 per guest, per flight leg. That can add up quickly!

Service Charge 2: Try to book all your extras like baggage and seating at the same time you book your flight, and do it online. This $18 fee is charged per guest, per flight leg if you have to book bags and seats through the call center after your initial booking is made.

Flight Change: In addition to any fare difference between the flights (if applicable), customers are charged a $91 fee per guest, per flight leg. 

Name Change: $91 per guest, per flight leg; this service is not available to/from U.S. within 72 hrs of flight departure.

Name Spelling Correction: $18 per guest, per flight leg.

Cancellation Protection: $25 per guest, per flight leg.

Unaccompanied Minor: $90. Per WOW air: Not available on connecting flights between North America and Europe. A service charge has to be paid for a child traveling unaccompanied for each individual flight. If 2 or more children (siblings) are traveling together without a parent or guardian, only 1 charge will be applied per leg of the journey.

Seat Reservation Fees: These fees vary significantly based on which flight route is taken and which seat is desired. Customers can choose from:

  • Standard Seat – Back
  • Standard Seat – Front
  • XL extra legroom
  • XXL extra legroom
  • BigSeat

Please see WOW air’s extra fees page for details on seat reservation pricing.

Priority Boarding: $10; must be purchased during initial booking.

Refreshments Onboard: Other than meals included with WOW Biz fares, all other refreshments are available for a fee. Customers should also note that certain meals are not available from certain locations. Sandwiches and light snacks like chips, yogurt, and chocolates are included in the inflight menu.

WOW air, In-Flight Meal Deals as of Aug 2017
Example meal deals on WOW air. Image Credit: WOW air.

Larger food items range from $9.50-$11.00, while meal deals can be purchased for about $15. Snacks vary from $3-$7, and non-alcoholic beverages cost around $3.30. If you’d like an adult beverage, you’re looking at between $8-$14 depending on your preference.

WOW air also gives customers the option to pre-order a meal from a special menu up to 48 hours before their flight (service not available on Chicago, LA, Miami, San Francisco, or Tel Aviv routes). This can be done on the WOW air website via My Booking.

How to Avoid Paying Excess Fees & Travel Expenses

The following Capital One cards offer airline credits that will cover the cost of added travel expenses, such as baggage fees, inflight purchases, seat upgrades, etc., so long as you made the purchase within 90 days. You can redeem your Capital One miles for 1 cent each as a statement credit.

TOP PICK
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$395
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-840)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

 

Pros
  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$95
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit (670-850)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

Pros
  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Cons
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.
20,000 miles
$360
$0
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Interested in a travel rewards credit card without one of those pesky annual fees? Then say hello to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

In addition to no annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card offers no foreign transaction fees.

But is this card worth its salt, or is it merely a shell of the more popular Capital One Venture card?

Pros
Cons
  • Weak earn rate at 1.25x miles per $1 spent on all purchases
  • No luxury travel or elite benefits
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

To find out more about how each of the cards listed can help cover the costs of your excess fees, please refer to their respective card reviews.

Inflight Amenities & Seat Specs

WOW air, Flight Attendants Onboard
Image Credit: WOW air.

What will my WOW air flight look like? If you’re wondering, here’s all the info you need:

Inflight Amenities: As we previously mentioned, this depends on which WOW air base fare you choose and which add-ons you purchase. To run a low-cost airline, certain amenities some customers are accustomed to with larger airlines simply aren’t available.

  • WOW air does not provide inflight Wi-Fi, video streaming capabilities, or any onboard entertainment. WOW air encourages customers (especially those with children) to bring something fun to do with them.
  • While the above is true, customers on North American routes have the option to rent an iPad “full of entertainment.” WOW air’s website does not currently list the cost of this rental.
  • There are universal power outlets onboard WOW air’s A321 and A330 aircraft.
  • Unless you’ve picked a WOW Biz ticket, refreshment service is limited to paid beverages and snacks only.

WOW air, Aircraft Interior - better seats
Some of the nicer seats onboard. Image Credit: WOW air.

Seat Specs: Seat specs and seat arrangements vary quite a bit depending on which WOW air flight you’re on. We’ve listed WOW air’s fleet according to plane type, and then documented how many of each size seat is available. Seat widths are not disclosed on the WOW air seating maps.

  • Standard Seats*: 29″-30″ pitch
  • Standard+ Seats*: 29″-30″ pitch
  • XL Seats: 32″-33″ pitch
  • XXL Seats: 35″+ pitch
  • BigSeat: 37″+ pitch

*WOW states the difference in their Standard & Standard+ seats has to do with their location on the plane. Seats in the back of the plane or seats in the middle row are often considered “Standard” while seats in the front of the plane, window seats or aisle access are considered “Standard+”. 

SCROLL FOR MORE
AircraftPlane
Type
Total
Number
of Seats
Standard
Seats
Standard+ SeatsXL
Seats
XXL
Seats
BigSeats
TF-SIS
TF-BRO
A320-2001749660153n/a
TF-NEOA320neo178132246124
TF-MOM
TF-DAD
TF-KID
TF-SON
A321-20020097402736n/a
TF-NOW
TF-PRO
TF-WIN
TF-CAT
TF-DOG
A321-2002081133831188
TF-SKY
TF-DTR
A321-200neo2081133831188
TF-GMA
TF-GPA
TF-JOY
A321-200210110740188
TF-GAYA330-300345156100521621
TF-WOW
TF-LUV
A330-30034515096561627

You may have noticed WOW air has some unique registration names for their planes. They state: “We like to keep our registration names fun and a bit different as they represent WOW air in a BIG way.”

WOW air, Aircraft Interior - tray tables
A look from the tray table point of view. Image Credit: WOW air.

Customer Satisfaction

We hear it all the time…air travel used to be glamorous.

In an age where it seems like there’s a general negativity surrounding airport and airline experiences, passengers regularly wear sweatpants to fly, and aviation branding is lackluster, WOW Air stands out.

The first thing you notice about WOW—whether you’re booking a flight on the website, perusing their facebook page, or flying with the airline itself—is their clean, modern feel. They seem to be promoting air travel in all the right ways and they look damn good doing it. (Are we allowed to say that?)

The Fun Factor

Plus, the Wow air team looks like they’re having FUN. Imagine that…airline employees having some actual fun!? Just look at them all giggly and smiling!

Wow Airlines Employees Having Fun!
Images Credit: WOW air.

WOW even expands on this as one of their “Promises”: “Everything we do has the WOW factor! Everything from how we make the coffee at the office to how we welcome our guests on board. Simply put – We’re fun, free, and we love smiling, and we hope our guests will smile back and maybe laugh at some of our jokes.”

Why is all this important?  Because it makes you want to fly with them.

But Is It Enough?

WOW air suffers from wildly furious consumer complaints similar to a lot of other low-cost airlines like Spirit. Many complaints revolve around flight delays, tarmac delays, baggage delays, lost baggage, and horrible customer service.

There are even Facebook groups and Twitter handles dedicated to WOW air complaints.

Poor Transparency, Although Honest

A number of other complaints are due to WOW air’s poor transparency—basically, the fact that WOW air charges extra for “everything,” but many customers don’t expect that since it’s not advertised all over their homepage.

It’s certainly difficult to determine the total price of your ticket until you click all the way through to the purchase page. Additionally, it can be tough to find the exact price of some fees on their website.

That being said, WOW is honest in that they clearly state what’s included in your Basic, Plus, and Biz fares. And you can find the extra fees if you look around the website hard enough.

In a sense, if you’re an informed consumer, you already know to expect extra fees before booking. So, while there are a lot of these complaints, we don’t consider them particularly valid.

Most Common Complaints

What are the most common WOW air complaints?

The August 2017 Air Travel Consumer Report filed by Transportation.gov lists the following 264 complaints against WOW air for January 2017 through June 2017.

  • Baggage: 65 / 24.6%
  • Flight Problems (cancellation, delay, or misconnection): 58 / 22%
  • Reservation, Ticketing, Boarding: 52 / 19.7%
  • Refunds: 30 / 11.4%
  • Fares: 24 / 9.1%
  • Customer Service: 16 / 6.1%
  • Other: 7 / 2.7%
  • Over-Sales: 5 / 1.9%
  • Disability: 5 / 1.9%
  • Discrimination: 2 / 0.8%

Consumer Rankings, Ratings, Etc. 

There are a number of different systems out there when it comes to airline ratings and reviews. We’ve taken a few of the most popular and presented them here.  

SkyTrax Ranking: 3 Star Airline (out of 5)

SkyTrax Customer Rating: 4/10 (average from 273 reviews)

WOW air Skytrax Customer Rating
Skytrax Customer Rating breakdown by category. Image Credit: airlinequality.com.

TripAdvisor Airline Review Rating: 3/5 (average from 3,977 reviews)

Kayak Customer Rating: 5.6/10 (average from 651 reviews)

AirHelp.com Overall Rating: 6.9/10 (quality of amenities, on-time arrivals, and how well an airline resolves flight delay compensation claims)

Performance

AirHelp.com Delay Report: AirHelp.com reports that WOW air flights are heavily delayed or canceled only 0.53% of the time.

AirHelp.com Most Disrupted Route: ALC (Alicante) to KEF (Reykjavik) is disrupted 75% of the time

Awards & Notable Mentions

SimpliFlying Awards for Excellence in Social Media, 2017: A Top 3 Airline, Branding

SimpliFlying Awards for Excellence in Social Media, 2017: Best Airline, Launches; Best Airline in Europe, Overall; A “Highly Commended” Airline, Branding

Skytrax World Airline Awards 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017: 7th Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe; did not break World’s Best Low-Cost Airline top 20 list; did not break World’s Best Airlines Top 100 list.

Final Thoughts

WOW Air, Try Something New Campaign
Image Credit: wowair.us.

If you do your research and know what you’re getting with each ticket option, WOW air may save you some cash to certain destinations. This is especially true if you have an applicable credit card that saves on costs related to added fees like baggage and in-flight purchases.

Keeping in mind that WOW air is a fairly young airline, we expect them to continue to make strides toward improved performance in the future.

So, if you don’t mind a fairly basic flight without a lot of included amenities and you aren’t too bothered by potential delays or baggage issues, WOW air could be a viable option.

Plus, if you’re looking to visit Iceland, doing so on a stopover at little to no extra charge (if you book the right flights) is a great perk!

Frequently Asked Questions

Has WOW Air out of business?

Yes, WOW Air has gone out of business.

Erin Miller's image

About Erin Miller

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.

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