Canada has been on my travel bucket list for several years now and this summer I decided to kill two birds with one stone, visiting Toronto and dropping into Addicted HQ.
International travel, despite its popularity, is still on the whole expensive and I, like most people, want to know that I’m getting the best value for my money when booking a flight.
Short and medium-haul airlines recognised decades ago that many travellers are simply looking for a cheap, no-frills way to get to their destinations. It’s a trend that hasn’t ever really caught on with long-haul carriers but one that is increasingly appealing to those of us who want to travel further distances without paying a premium for a host of unwanted extras.
And that’s where WOW Air comes in. Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen, WOW air is Iceland’s low fare, long-haul airline that flies to destinations across Europe, USA and Canada.
Flights start from as little as £29.99 (approx 53 CAD and 40 USD) one way and are priced according to what, if any, extras you want to include.
Basic – Flight ticket & personal item.
Plus – Flight ticket, personal item, carry on, checked bag, standard seat.
Comfy – Flight ticket, personal item, carry on, checked bag, XXL leg room, cancellation protection.
Premium – Flight ticket, personal item, carry on, 2x checked bags, more leg room, extra wide seat, priority boarding, in-flight meal.
The cabin crew onboard my WOW Air flights were attentive, friendly and professional. It’s clear that service is not something that has been compromised, which is refreshing to see in the low fare market. They may also be some of the most attractive people working in the industry.
I flew WOW Comfy, which offers 35 uninterrupted inches of leg room; the kind of personal space almost unheard of from a low-cost airline. Standing at 6’1” that extra bit of legroom made all the difference a few hours into the flight. Whilst I stopped short of practising my downward facing dog at 35,000 feet, I did appreciate being able to stretch my legs out in front of me without disturbing my fellow passengers.
I do not know anyone who would honestly say they look forward to an in-flight meal. Taking this into consideration, WOW air offers a simple, reasonably priced onboard menu including hot food, sandwiches, drinks and snacks. They describe their margarita pizza as ‘pretty decent’ which really tells you all you need to know.
WOW Air does not screen in-flight entertainment, giving you the perfect excuse to download and binge watch your favourite Netflix series on your tablet (set to airplane mode, of course). Better yet, why not enjoy a few hours free from the constraints of technology and read, stare out of the window, or, if you’re one of the lucky ones, sleep?
The Flight Time
One thing to consider before booking with WOW Air to Toronto is that the total flight time is between 10-11 hours due to the connection in Reykjavik. You do have about an hour on the ground at Keflavík International airport which breaks up the flight and honestly, I did not mind this at all. WOW Air even offer a second flight option with a 10-16 hour stopover that allows you to get out and explore Reykjavik; perfect if you want to extend your vacation that little bit longer.
As with almost all airlines today, WOW air has its own app where you can book and manage your flights and all boarding passes are compatible with smartphone wallets. I also received email and text alerts during transit alerting me to flight delays.
If you are happy to forgo a few little ‘luxuries’ in exchange for saving a couple of hundred pounds/dollars which you can then spend on exploring your destination, why not give them a try next time you fly?
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Wow Air flew me to Canada for the first time and it really was a wonderful experience. Now all I can think is, where can I fly with them next?