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Update 2/2/17: WOW Air has clarified with TravelSkills that the new “Big Seat” will be the Avianor 5810, however that manufacturer doesn’t offer a model 5810. Zodiac does, however — that company’s 5810 is apparently marketed as a premium economy seat for wide-body planes (which would make sense here). If this is in fact the model WOW plans to install, it’ll clearly be a big step up from the airline’s standard seating. Here’s what the off-the-shelf model looks like:
In its quest to stay competitive with other low-cost carriers, WOW Air will begin offering “Big Seats” with extra legroom and a footrest on board its A330 aircraft, which currently flies to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The “Big Seats” will apparently offer 37 inches of pitch between seats, compared to 30 to 31 inches for its standard economy seats. The seats will offer the most legroom of all options aboard the ultra-low cost carrier, with up to two more inches of pitch than its XXL seat and up to five more inches of pitch than the XL seat. According to Condé Nast Traveler, the Big Seats will begin appearing out on the airline’s A330s on June 1, 2017, though they’ll go on sale on March 1. While they’ll be a step up for WOW, it doesn’t sound like they’ll be quite as spacious as Norwegian’s premium offering. (We’ve reached out to WOW to request dimensions and pictures of the new seats and will update this post once they’re available.)
The rollout of the “Big Seat” coincides with the launch of what WOW Air is calling WOW Biz. This new “business” ticket allows flyers to travel with a 26-pound carry-on bag and 44-pound checked luggage item. WOW Biz passengers are also guaranteed the largest seat on board — which will be Big Seats on A330 aircraft and XXL or XL seats on its A321s and A320s — in addition to priority boarding, a meal during the flight and cancellation protection.
The carrier will also begin offering a new rate option called WOW Plus, which includes the same luggage allowances but does not guarantee the largest seat available on board. WOW Plus will come with the same cancellation protection as WOW Biz tickets, though the extent of the protection has not yet been clearly defined. As the Iceland Monitor reports, the new baggage policies with WOW Plus will come at an overall lower price than purchasing a basic ticket aboard the carrier and adding on luggage costs.
WOW Air is also making changes to its carry-on policy for its bare-bones fares. Travelers who purchase “WOW Basic” tickets will now be able to carry on one personal item, such as a backpack, laptop case or purse. However, in line with other basic economy policies, the item must fit underneath the seat, or additional charges could apply.
The new fare options are WOW Air’s second major announcement this year, after a busy period of expansion in 2016. Last month, news broke that the carrier has requested six weekly flights between the United States and Israel. Having roomier seats could definitely be an advantage, especially for that longer proposed route.
Featured image courtesy of redlegsfan21 via Flickr.
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