Update: from November 2018, US routes are being reduced in frequency or cut entirely due to financial difficulties at the airline.
On Tuesday, WOW air announced expanded service to the United States.
Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, the low-cost airline will begin flying to 4 midwestern cities in 2018. Service to Detroit begins on April 26, while Cleveland, Cincinnati, and St. Louis will begin seeing those easy to spot purple planes in early to mid-May.
When asked if these smaller midwest destinations could support the planned 4 weekly flights to Iceland, WOW air founder and CEO Skúli Mogensen said, “We like the region. We think there’s opportunity there. We think it’s underserved.” He went on to further explain that their decision to enter a new market is data-driven and that they are “very excited about these new cities.”
What Is WOW air?
WOW air is an Iceland-based low-cost carrier that launched service to the U.S. back in 2015. They are known for fares as low as $99 one-way and for charging extra for everything from seat assignments to food and drink onboard. They now even charge for full-sized carry-on bags, so (as with most low-cost carriers), your fees can add up quickly.
We won’t get into all of the details of WOW air here, but if you want to know what fees they charge, what services you can expect, or even if you can earn miles for flying with them, head over to our full WOW air review. It has everything you need to know to decide whether you want to jump on one of these new routes.
Where Do They Fly?
The 4 newly announced cities are already listed on the WOW air Destinations Page, but since service hasn’t started yet they’re not shown on the route map above. By this time next year, WOW air will be serving 14 destinations in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to their hub in Reykjavik and the 21 locations they fly to in Europe and the Canary Islands.
This covers quite a bit of North America and Europe. Although you will always have to connect in Reykjavik, there can be some very inexpensive flight options depending on when you want to travel.
Another thing you might want to look at when booking with WOW Air is stopping in Iceland for a few days. Cheap fares to Iceland plus cheap fares from Iceland to Europe can mean a decently discounted trip to Europe—with a bonus stop at one of the many hot springs Iceland is famous for. Spending a couple of nights in Iceland is never a bad idea!
Since their launch in the U.S., WOW air has regularly had great deals to Iceland and many locations in Europe. The expansion to 4 additional U.S. cities is great news, especially since they are known for their $99 one-way fares when beginning service to a new location.
If you’re interested in visiting Iceland and are ok with flying on a low-cost carrier, you should keep these new departure points in mind. Always be sure to check total pricing including add on fees; in some cases, it might even be cheaper to buy a short positioning ticket to take advantage of their introductory fares out of the midwest.
I visited Iceland a couple of years ago and flew WOW air out of Baltimore. It wasn’t the most extravagant flight I’ve ever been on, but it was clean, fairly comfortable, and had friendly service. I would even say I enjoyed it more than many flights I’ve taken on legacy U.S. carriers. If I wanted to fly the short flight to Iceland again, I would definitely consider WOW air.