WOW's Trying to Compete in the Transatlantic Business Market With New Premium Fare
Ultra-low-cost carrier WOW Air announced on Friday that it's launching a full-service ticket bundle, which it claims rivals similar business services with legacy carriers.
[Update, 3/28/2019: WOW Air has ceased operations. Find our ongoing coverage of WOW Air's collapse, and what affected passengers can do about it, here.]
WOW Premium, the new ticket bundle, offers travelers "a more inclusive travel experience," with fares remaining closer to what passengers have come to expect from the ultra-low-cost carrier. In all, the WOW Premium ticket bundle includes: the WOW Air BigSeat (a wider seat with a foot rest and at least 37 inches of legroom), priority boarding and fast track security, an in-flight meal and drinks, two checked bags, one carry-on item, one personal item and no change fee for reschedule and cancellation protection.
If this package sounds somewhat familiar, that's because it is. The WOW Premium bundle is "an enhanced version" of the WOW Biz product that was announced in 2017. Check out TPG Managing Editor Alberto Riva's review of the WOW Biz product here. With the Biz seat, you would get a personal item, carry-on bag, checked bag, cancellation protection, in-flight meal, XXL legroom and priority boarding. So, the Premium option differs in that it offers an additional checked bag, a BigSeat (37-45 inches of pitch and a foot rest) and fast track at security.
WOW believes that with this new Premium bundle, it can offer a premium product that's on par with legacy carriers' transatlantic business products but at a lower cost.
The carrier's A320s will feature four business class seats, and A321s will have eight. Meanwhile the A330s will feature 42 BigSeats. The carrier is in the process of retrofitting its existing fleet of Airbus A320, A321 and A330s with the new configuration, featuring the BigSeat seat. By the end of 2018, WOW's CEO expects to have all of its aircraft retrofitted with the new seat.
With the addition of WOW Premium to its fare offering, the carrier now offers four different types of tickets.
For the launch of its new Premium product WOW is offering discounts on tickets for travel in the cabin. WOW is advertising select one-way WOW Premium fares to Reykjavik (KEF) from Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and New York (EWR and JFK) for as low as $399. Alternatively, you can fly from LAX, SFO, EWR or JFK to Amsterdam (AMS), Paris (CDG) and London (STN and LGW) via KEF for as low as $599. However, the lowest fares we found were from New York (JFK and EWR) to KEF from $599 one-way: