Listen, I’m all for luxury. But I’m also all for saving a coin in the name of travel.
My Tennessee Titans were playing in London and that was something I wanted to experience, but how? Because you KNOW I don’t spend a lot on airfare.
I searched all over… looked high and low… for a ticket that I was willing to pay to see them
play attempt to beat their opponent in a game of football. (Yes, that was shade. All non-titans fans, keep your comments to yourself. )
After checking the prices on nearly every airline in the world, Craig, I came across WOW Air. I had heard about WOW before, but I was a bit nervous. I’ve heard horror stories about budget airlines and I didn’t particularly want to be the subject of said “horror”. But, after doing TONS of research on the airline, I took the chance and purchased the tickets.
Now, that we got that out of the way, let get to why you’re really here…
Would I do it again?
But, not without preparing first.
When traveling on budget airlines, it is imperative that you take the time to prepare before your flight to ensure you have an enjoyable experience.
Read, Read, Read, and Read again!
Reading is fundamental. PERIODT! Budget airlines make their money on additional fees that are typically standards on traditional airlines. For example, for international flights on a traditional airline, your meals and beverages are included. However, this is not the case with budget airlines. If you didn’t bring your own shacks, the airline is charging you, shawty. I made certain that I had enough snacks for my flight leaving the US, so I could keep my coin. Also, my flight was an overnight flight so there wasn’t much snacking going on. I did purchased food on my way back to the states, but surprisingly, it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be; about $15 USD for a personal cheese pizza, a mini can of Pringles and a soda.
Next is luggage. On most traditional airlines, you are allowed at least one personal item and a carry on for free. Again, this is not the case with budget airlines. Specifically, with WOW, you are allowed one personal item that fits under the seat. Anything that goes in an overhead bin you will have to pay a carry on fee of $49.99 USD one way. And that price is only available when you pay for your bags at the time of purchasing your ticket. Wait to pay anytime after that and the price increases. You can be paying up to $100 USD one way for a carry on bag if you don’t prepare! In addition to the size requirements of a carry on, there is a weight requirement as well. Your bag can not exceed 26 lbs.
One thing that I noticed during boarding, they never checked to see if we actually paid for our carry on bags. Now, the “Tiffani before Christ” felt some type of way because I could have kept my money if they weren’t going to enforce their carry one rule. But, the “After Christ Tiffani” was reminded that we always walk in integrity, even if other’s aren’t watching. Plus, running the risk of them actually checking and I had not paid for a bag would have ran a chick a C-note for a one way flight. “No ma’am Pam!”
Initially, I ended up paying $100 RT for my carry on luggage. I said “initially” because… well, we’ll talk about that later.
Now, let’s talk about seats. If you are someone who has a preference on where you sit, then you might want to pay to choose your seat. Seat prices rage from $6.99 to $299.99 USD depending on the size of your seat and the amount of leg room provided. If you just want to get there and don’t care about where you sit, then go for the free option and allow the airline to choose your seat for you.
Because I was traveling with someone and we wanted to sit together, I paid $12 USD one way to select my seat.
For this trip, WOW air just made sense. For my ticket, bags, seat, taxes and fees, I initially spent $472.35 USD for my round trip ticket to London that was purchased a little over 30 days in advance. That’s an awesome price considering we had a stop over in Iceland that allowed us to spend time exploring Iceland without having to pay for a round trip ticket there. I’ll take it! Here’s a list of all of WOW’s optional fees and charges.
Now, let’s get to why I kept saying “initially”. Learn from my mistake, ALWAY check in online. Especially when dealing with smaller airlines. When they tell you to check in at least an hour before the flight is scheduled to leave, usually it’s because the people checking you in are also the people who are at the gate assisting you with boarding. If you arrive at the check in counter too late, you run the risk of the counter being closed. What does that mean? You miss your flight. How do I know this? Because I missed my flight! Had I checked in online, even if the counter was closed, I still would have had my boarding pass to go through security. I would have had to sprint to the gate, but my chances of making my flight would have been much greater than not having my boarding pass at all.
Because I missed the flight, if I wanted to get back home to America, I had to purchase another airline ticket. When traveling internationally, a missed flight isn’t as forgiving as it is when traveling domestically. There’s no re-booking on the next available flight, Boo. You have to purchase an entirely new ticket. Moral of the story: don’t miss an international flight.
But even with all the preplanning and additional money spent, I would still choose to fly WOW Air again!
Have you ever flown a budget airline before? Share your experience below.
Until next time, pray fervently and travel often!