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Everything You Need to Know About Flying with Wow Air

Every time I told someone I was going to Iceland, they asked me why. My answer was always the same:

WOW Air had flights on sale. So I bought one.

WOW Air is a budget airline based out of Iceland that operates mostly in Europe. However, in 2015, they opened up flights leaving from Boston, MA and Washington, D.C. I knew next to nothing about the airline before purchasing, so I’ve gathered all the info you need to make an educated decision before purchasing your own flight!

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I’ll admit it – I was being totally spontaneous and did little-to-no research before clicking “purchase flight.” This did end up backfiring just a tad.
I had skimmed over the cancellation and change policies, but I didn’t really do enough digging to fully prepare myself for the consequences of buying not one, but two flights. You see, my boyfriend, Pedro, was originally supposed to come with me. When unforeseen circumstances made it impossible for him to travel with me, I didn’t panic initially, because WOW Air allows name changes for a fee. I was a little surprised by this, because I had never seen an airline offer this before. I was delighted, and figured I could easily convince a friend to take over Pedro’s ticket, and I would be on my merry little way to Iceland.

Yeah, no, it didn’t work like that at all

I called WOW Air fully ready to provide them with the name and passport number of my substitute travel companion, and at first the Customer Service agent was more than happy to help. She pulled up my reservation and then her voice went from chipper to concerned. She explained that name changes were only available for flights within Europe, not the US, and that this was a US federal regulation.
Had I not been blinded by amazing sale prices, I would’ve have thought this through and questioned the whole name change thing and realized the US would never allow something like that. Sadly, all I could do was collect a very small portion of Pedro’s ticket price, and forfeit the rest of the flight.
I ended up finding a friend who was in Europe who wanted to meet up in Iceland, so my WOW Air experience continued. Here’s the breakdown of how this airline works.

Luggage Restrictions

Like any budget airline, WOW Air has strict rules about how much luggage you can bring and is not shy about charging you extra. There are various fees you can pay prior to your flight to be allowed extra luggage/weight. If you wait until you get to the airport, you are going to be paying significantly more.

Luggage policy update!

This has changed twice since my flight, so it seems they make updates often. As of February 2017, only a personal item is included in your ticket price.. This is a bummer because when I flew, a carryon was included, but no personal item. In mid 2016, they added the personal item, free of charge. It seems that now they have substituted the much smaller personal item for the carry-on for luggage included in the flight price.
The personal item may be 17 x 13 x 10in / 43 x 33 x 25cm. They do not list a weight restriction and from what I understand, no one will weigh your personal item provided it is under the size restrictions.
Interestingly enough, the luggage update removed weight restrictions from the carry on as well. Previously, Wow Air was pretty intense on weighing bags and quick to charge your overweight fees, so that’s pretty strange. They do, however, list a size restriction, which is 22 x 18 x 10 in / 55 x 45 x 25cm.
For some weird and pretty frustrating reason, Wow Air changes the fees attributed to carry on luggage based off the length of your flight, so it’s important to make sure you know which fees apply to you.

Flights between Iceland and the US East Coast or Canada (Flights over 4 hours)

For these flights, a carry on bag comes with a fee of $40.99 when reserved online, $49.99 if paid for at check in, and $99.99 if paid for at the gate for flights under 8 hours.

Flight between the US West Coast and Iceland (flights over 8 hours).

The carry on fees jump to $50.99 for online reservations and $69.99 for reservations at check-in. The fee at the gate is still $99.99.

Connecting flights between the US West Coast and Europe (8+ via flights)

Carry on bags are $50.99 when reserved online, $79.99 when purchased at check-in, and $99.99 when purchased at the gate.

Flights under 4 hours

The online price goes down a bit for this one. Carry on bags are $20.99 when reserved online, $49.99 when purchased a check-in, and $99.99 when purchased at the gate.
You can see a full chart of fees here.

How to stretch your personal item space

When I flew with WOW Air, no personal item was allowed, so I used this genius Duty Free bag hack. While the updated policy allows for a small personal item, it does not include a free carry on. So if you are trying to keep your costs low and your personal item is bursting at the seams, I recommend using this trick.

WOW Air’s site now states that you are allowed to carry on one Duty Free Shopping bag in addition to your carry-on and personal item.  Here’s what I did: I went to Duty Free and purchased one giant Toblerone bar and then asked the cashier for the largest bag she had. I then dumped my purse and other in-flight essentials into the bag.

Suck it, luggage restrictions

Yep, that's my purse shoved next to some chips and a massive Toblerone from Duty Free.

Yep, that’s my purse shoved next to some chips and a massive Toblerone from Duty Free.

Yeah, I thought I was pretty damn clever. Then boarding time came around and freaking everyone was carrying a personal item and zero fucks where given. In fact, the whole boarding process was basically a mass of people moving towards the gate without any lines or organization at all. So it seems that as long as you can get passed the check-in counter, you can pretty much board with whatever you want. I have, however, heard from readers that some flights are stricter than others, so it couldn’t hurt to have a large Duty Free bag on hand.

Check in

*Check in policy update!*

Previously, Wow Air did not offer online or self-service check in, due to the luggage restrictions. Passengers used to be forced to go to an agent for a boarding pass so they could weigh your luggage and, presumably, measure it. However, as of this update (February 2017) online check in is now an option! If you are flying with just a personal item and carry on, you can check in online from 24 hours up to 1 hour before your flight. You will be able to get a mobile boarding pass or print it out, with the exception of passengers traveling out of SFO/LAX/BWI/BOS, who are required to print out a boarding pass as mobile boarding passes will not be accepted at those airports.

In flight

WOW Air does not provide any complimentary service or entertainment. They do, however, have plenty for purchase, should you be so inclined. Flight attendants come around with iPads for rent, beverages for sale, and an in-flight menu. I packed my food and beverages ahead of time and entertained myself. I recommend you do the same.
The plane itself is pretty comfy and spacious. I got a center seat, but I didn’t feel suffocated thanks to the generous legroom.

Quirky and cute

A lot of budget airlines get a bad rep for being strict and cold. WOW may have strict guidelines, but they are anything but cold. The airline seems to focus on being friendly and playful, down to every last detail. Even my boarding pass was happy to see me.


Once on the plane, you’ll be assaulted with the color purple. The flight attendants are decked out from head to toe, and the carpet screams WOW in purple as well.
Your seat will greet you with either “Be my guest” or “Hi, I’m your seat.”
Your attendant bell with read either “Ring my bell!” or “Honk if you’re hungry!”


Was it worth it?

The real question is, are the cheap flights worth it or too good to be true? Worth it! Just learn from my mistakes caused by my overzealous spontaneity. Do not book a flight unless you are 100% sure you can go. You should also consider how much you want to pack before booking, as the extra luggage fees add up very quickly. If you pack light/book extra luggage ahead of time and bring your own snacks, drinks, and entertainment on the plane, you have a chance to get to the beautiful country of Iceland (or one of the other European destinations) for a pretty low price.

168 Responses to Everything You Need to Know About Flying with Wow Air

    • reasek says:

      Really? Do you travel with a lot of luggage? Because I was traveling with only a carry on it was much cheaper than other airlines.The only fee I paid was to have a little bit of extra weight for my carryon (which I barely needed in the end). I was also flying from the US, I understand that within Europe there are several budget airlines that can compete with these prices.

      • Tricia says:

        I’m traveling with a personal item small backpack and a carryon backpack so both are over the weight limit. I’ll be gone for 3 months. I’ve found tickets with Icelandic with a free weeklong stopover in Iceland for about the same price as a ticket/baggage fees with WOW. Next time WOW.
        Tricia recently posted..How to Pack for a CruiseMy Profile

        • reasek says:

          Totally makes sense, it’s definitely not worth it if you are paying double weight fees. I’ve heard about that awesome 7 day free stopover from Icelandic Air. I’m glad you are getting to Iceland any way you can! If you can ever travel light though, WOWAir was great.

  • Henderson Jones says:

    So should I try to bring a carry on and my backpack as a personal item and not worry?

    Or should I do the duty free bag trick?

    • reasek says:

      I wouldn’t go crazy with the personal item. What I had was basically a purse, and no one said anything to me. So, if your personal item is purse/messenger bag size you will probably be ok. I would just be ready to shove it all into 1 bag if absolutely necessary. In the US, at least in Boston, I checked in online so I didn’t have to go to a counter, and no one cared at the gate. In Iceland you have to go to the counter, so I would keep your personal item out of sight when you check in.

  • Henderson Jones says:

    Thanks for the quick reply, if all fail I will try to put the backpack in my carry on, hopefully stays in within the 11lbs. How are they if you go over the 11lbs limit? Like maybe 1 more lb, hoping they just don’t care, not like it’s 5-8lbs more.

    This is a very helpful post by the way.
    Glad i found it.

    • reasek says:

      From what I could tell, they were MUCH stricter on the weight limit than the size, so make sure you can redistribute weight properly. (Maybe wear something with a lot of pockets and carry heavy stuff on you through security then just re-pack it).

  • Henderson Jones says:

    Thanks for the quick reply, if all fail I will try to put the backpack in my carry on, hopefully stays in within the 11lbs. How are they if you go over the 11lbs limit? Like maybe 1 more lb, hoping they just don’t care, not like it’s 5-8lbs more.

    This is a very helpful post by the way.
    Glad i found it.


    • reasek says:

      I’m not 100% sure but I am fairly sure I got it at Walgreens. The color is Sally Hansen InstaDri “Go For Gold.” It’s my one of favorites 🙂

    • Sara says:

      We must be cut from the same cloth because I saw her gold nail and TOTALLY thought the same exact thing! HA! Great minds all think alike! I LOVE that color!

  • ashley says:

    did they happen to have any plug sockets? like to charge my ipad during the flight? also, do you think if the flight isn’t super packed they would be ok with passenger switching to a different seat? I’ve flow transatlantic filghts for my whole life but this is my first time flying on a “budget” airline. I am traveling with a 10 month old so ideally i’d like to sit somewhere where there arent tons of other people.

    • reasek says:

      I did not notice any plug sockets but to be honest I wasn’t really looking. That’s something you could probably Tweet at them about and ask.

      I think they would probably let you switch seats. The flight attendants are super fun and nice, and it if was for your baby and there was room elsewhere, I don’t think they would have an issue with it.

    • Henderson Jones says:

      Depends on the plane, one of the planes had it between the seats and on the return flight the plane did not have it. You’re gonna have to take you chances.

  • Geomantic says:

    We flew to Reykjavik last September as well on Wow Airlines. This was our first experience on a no frills airline. All was fine outbound from BWI to Iceland and went pretty much as you described and as we expected. I would add they were very stringent with baggage weight and at least half the passengers had to either redistribute the weight of their bags or pay for the extra weight. I expected that as well. We had one small shared checked bag (instead of wearing our winter clothes at BWI airport in September, and on the flight) and a paid carry-on each, all were well below the weight limit. I also carried on a very small rucksack and my wife had a small purse. Outbound was no problem, coming home was a different story. A baggage Nazi at the ticket counter felt it was her duty to ensure no one escaped the one carry-on rule and was charging for the ‘extra checked baggage’, meaning the small bags people normally place under their forward seat. We had to shove our small bags into our carry-ons and stow overhead. This little power grab by the ticket agent continued on board the plane and she went row by row looking for any extra bags which might have slipped past her gaze at the ticket counter, which wound up delaying our departure and ensured passengers had to keep getting up and getting into the overhead bins for the entire flight. We complained to the flight crew and to Wow on our arrival at home. We have decided that what is relatively small savings when all is said and done isn’t worth the unnecessary hassle we encountered. We plan to return to Iceland again this fall and will most likely use Icelandair instead of the purple plane. Even after comparing fares with Wow’s big fare sale going on right now, we agreed to pay a slight bit more to not have the stress and hassle we experienced with Wow. Like I said, we were happy with every other aspect of the flight but the ticket agent at KEF airport left us vowing to avoid Wow Airlines. I think it would take a huge savings for us to choose to fly with Wow again.

    • reasek says:

      Oh man, I’ve heard about the super strict weight restrictions but I have never heard of any baggage Nazis going through the cabin! I am so sorry to hear that. Everyone I dealt with at WOW was super friendly but it sounds like your experience was very different. I always only travel with a carry on, so getting it down to just 1 bag versus 1 bag plus a personal item wasn’t too terrible for me, but I agree that it wouldn’t be worth the hassle otherwise. It only makes sense if you are saving a lot of money.

    • Melissa says:

      Were they also measuring carry-ons at all? We have a reservation for June with our two kids — 5 and 7. They won’t let us take a carseat for my 7-year old for free, so we were thinking of taking her folding booster seat ,which is within the 11 lb limit and under the size dimensions for two of the three dimensions, but it exceeds the max depth by an inch (folded size 17.5″L x 16″W x 11″H). I’m hoping they would let it slide — c’mon, it’s a car seat after all, but don’t want to get hit with a $60 charge each way if they decide to be sticklers about it.

      • reasek says:

        I never saw anyone with a tape measurer and from the people I have talked to, it was more weight than size they were worried about. It’s always a risk, but I think you will be ok. Just be extra nice, and hopefully your kids will be looking extra sweet and cute that day! haha

  • JakeS says:

    I’m traveling to Iceland on Wow Air in 2 weeks, from BWI (Baltimore/Washington DC). What’s the ticketing/boarding process like? Do they only weigh your bags when you check in and get your boarding pass? How’s the boarding process – is it just a mad rush to the door?

    • reasek says:

      They do not have any kiosks so you have to go to the counter to check in and get your boarding pass. This is clearly done on purpose because you HAVE to let them weigh your carryon. They are super strict on weight, so make sure you bag is under the tiny weight allowance. If you know it will be over, buy the extra allowance online before you go, because it will be cheaper than the at-counter price.

      The boarding process in Boston was pretty unorganized. It was basically just a mass of people slowly making their way to the door. No lines. In Iceland it was much more organized. I’m not sure what it will be like in BWI. I do know that at both gates, no one was really looking to see if you had a small personal item. I carried my suitcase (Carry on) which had my purse jammed inside of it to the check in counter, but once I got through security I took it out carried it on the plane and no one said anything. However, another reader just commented (you can scroll to see it) that his flight attendants were totally crazy about the personal items and made sure no one had one. I would just make sure that you can shove that personal item into your carry on without going over weight, just in case!

  • Ashleigh says:

    I know you said that some of the seats said “Be my guest” and other said “Hi, I’m your seat.” If I don’t preselect a seat, do we choose them on board or do they get assigned to you?

  • Sabrina says:

    We are flying from Amsterdam to Boston via Iceland. I have a couple of questions. I am travelling with my 16 yr old daughter. I have not selected seats. Do you think they will seat us together? Once we are in Iceland do you think they will interrogate our luggage further? As in making us put our purses in our carry-on? If you are allowed a duty free bag we should be able to put all our food and water and purse for travel in there….right? I don’t want to get hit with the nazi.

    • reasek says:

      It’s possible you might not be together, I’ve seen that happen on lots of airlines. If you aren’t together I recommend finding a solo traveler and asking them to switch with you (just make sure you don’t ask someone with a window or aisle to take your center seat!)

      I have never seen any airline weigh your luggage AFTER the flight. I don’t see why the would or could, because they no longer have to transport it. They could, in theory, weigh your bags again at the gate BEFORE you board, but their website does say 1 duty free bag is allowed. I bought some candy at duty and asked for the largest bag so I could put my purse, water, and snacks into it just because I didn’t want to have to go into the overhead bin for my stuff during the flight.

  • Sayar Karmakar says:

    Can you request for an aisle seat without paying a price? Also do you think if I have a connecting WOW flight at KEF, they will again weigh my luggage at KEF?

    • reasek says:

      I don’t believe so, I think you just get whatever they assign you unless you are willing to pay a bit more. And no, they shouldn’t weight your luggage after the flight. I didn’t see this done to anyone and I’ve never heard of anything like that. They could weigh your luggage again before you board though.

  • Jade says:

    Anyone else received an email with a change date for June? I was supposed to fly on a Monday and they changed it to Tuesday. Can they do that? I had everything booked for my stopover and their customer service didn’t help at all.

    • reasek says:

      I’ve never heard of that! I wonder if there is something in the fine print when you buy your ticket that says they can do that. I would ask them to send you a copy of the terms and point out the section that states they can change dates.

      • Michelle Olafsson says:

        They can. They changed our departure time. But they were willing to let us change to a different flight that suited us better for no charge.

  • Alexander Chavez-Esteban says:

    Are you sure about the name change? I emailed their customer service and they changed the name of one of tickets to a friends. The thing is, I haven’t entered any passport info a all. No passport #’s nothing, literally just the name. Once I enter the passport info nothing should happen right? PLUS they DIDNT charge us the $86 fee. My flight is in 12 days. I should be fine right?

    • reasek says:

      It’s not WOWAir that makes the name change rules – it’s the US. In the United States, name changes are not allowed on flights originating from or going to the US. In Europe it’s totally fine. So I’m assuming maybe your flights are based outside the US?

      If they are in the US and they already changed it, that’s kind of WOW’s bad. I can’t see how that would affect you when you fly. I would enter the passport info ASAP so you won’t run into issues at the airport.

      • Eduards says:

        Do you think it also applies for flights from Europe to Canada? I’m trying to change the name on my ticket and came across your post

        • reasek says:

          I doubt it, but it would depends on Canada’s laws on that. I would definitely give them a call and ask! I know they told me the only reason i couldn’t change it was US law, so as long as Canada doesn’t have laws like that, you should be fine.

  • Great post! I try to do carry-on only when I travel. I hate waiting for checked bags at the airport, and the possibility of my bag getting damaged or not arriving on my flight is enough to make me do carry-on.

    • reasek says:

      Yeah I hate checking bags for so many reasons, so I always try to go only carry on as well. The only thing that made it hard for this trip is that they don’t allow the personal item and I usually carry my backpack/laptop bag as my personal item.

  • phillip liem says:

    are they that strict with the 1 carry on rule? from what i read on this page they did not care about the personal item. I was hoping to bring my luggage and a backpack.

    • reasek says:

      Yes, they are strict. I highly doubt you would be able to make it on with an extra backpack. I was able to carry my purse on one flight, but on the other people had t shove their purses into their luggage or pay extra. So, if you backpack cannot be placed in your luggage, you’ll be paying extra.

  • Christine Podvorac says:

    So if I have my ipad and book and snacks into my one carryon, I will have to open it up to get it out of the overhead bin once on the plane? This seems ridiculous. I understand the rules, but they should allow a personal item.

    • reasek says:

      I agree that a personal item should be allowed, but those are their rules! I had to pack my laptop in my rolly bag.

  • laura keane says:

    I booked with WOW air to new york from Dublin, a big impulse buy like yourself :O I’m wondering do they weigh your hand luggage as well as any checked in luggage? 🙂

    • reasek says:

      Yes, they do. You can buy extra weight allowance for your carry on if you know it is going to be overweight. It’s more expensive to pay the fee at the airport, so you should try to do it online 2 days before if you know you will be carrying a heavy bag.

  • Renee says:

    I suffer from flying anxiety… I am mostly concerned with being comfortable on the flight and feeling safe. If are familiar with low budget US airlines like Spirit, I was very umcomfortable due to loud and a shakes flight. How would you rate the flight safety on WOW Air? Was it a comfortable and smooth flight? Thank you in advance for answering!

    • reasek says:

      The smoothness of the flight will depend a lot more on the weather and where you are flying to/from but the plane itself I actually found very comfortable. I ended up with a middle seat, which I hate, but I did not feel cramped. I’ve flown on some noisy scary planes, but this one was fine! I felt as safe as I do on more expensive airlines.

    • reasek says:

      On the plane or in Iceland? In Iceland it is European plugs. I’m not sure if the plane actually has plugs but if it does, I’m sure they are European as well.

  • Sean Chandran says:

    I have a question, more for folks who might have “transited” via Iceland. Did you have to do immigration in Iceland. I am planning to go to Paris via KEF and the stop over is just 55 mins. Wondering if that will be enough time for us to go through immigration and also if it is enough time for them to transfer a checked-in bag.

    • reasek says:

      Yes, you do have to go through customs and get your passport stamped. I landed at a pretty crazy hour, so the lines were super short for me. I remembered lumbering through the line sleepily but quickly. It’s not super intense. Plus, I only had the one carry on so I didn’t have much to search. On the way out it was pretty quick too. They are very efficient, but 55 minutes is very close for any airport!

  • donviti says:

    Color me confused. I just checked their website and it seems the carry on limit is saying 10kg? I have read that you say 5kg and my travel agent just said it’s 5kg as well? It also says I can take a camera bag? I’m so confused and don’t want to get popped for $$$ when I get there. Any knowledge of a change

    How much hand luggage can I take with me?
    Each guest is permitted ONE piece of carry-on luggage.

    Included in your airfare is one small carry-on bag up to a maximum of 42x32x25cm (10kg/22 lbs) including handles and wheels.
    You can purchase allowance for a large carry-on bag, up to a maximum of 56x45x25cm including handles and wheels and no more than 12 kg (26 lbs), but please note that you are still only permitted one piece of carry-on luggage on board + one personal item.
    In addition to this, guests may board the plane with one personal item such as a laptop, a small purse or camera bag (max 42x20x20cm); and a duty free shopping bag.

    • reasek says:

      It looks like they have changed the rules! I will update the article. You can now bring a personal item, hooray! When I traveled, a personal item was not allowed. I remember specifically asking a customer service agent about that. That’s great news, so it looks like yes, you would be able to bring your camera bag provided it is small enough to be considered a personal item.

  • Elizabeth says:

    What about things like winter coats, neck pillows, etc? can I put my wallet, phone, etc in my coat pockets and wear the coat?

  • Anderson says:

    Baggage specification says we can have a carry-on bag up to a maximum of 42x32x25cm (10kg/22 lbs). The size specifications seems to be pretty small. General carry on sizes for United, American, Delta etc., are 56 cm x 35 cm x 22 cm. I am having a hard time finding a bag with 42x32x25cm size, can you point me to website where I can buy a carry-on bag which meets WOW airlines specifications.

    Thanks in Advance

    • reasek says:

      I wish I could recommend something but I actually flew with my normal carry on, which is closer to the 56 cm x 35 cm x 22 cm. I believe when I went, they allowed the bigger bag, but now that they have updated it to allow a personal item, they have made it so the carry-on size is smaller. You can, however, pay about $40 extra (per leg!) to bring the more standard size. You’d have to decide if that money is worth it or if buying a smaller bag is worth it. In general, I recommend buying higher-quality bags because they last longer, so that investment could end up being a lot more than $80.

  • Suleng says:

    Bonjour, I plan to go to Boston from Paris at the end of September. I will be over the weight allowance and I know that I will have to buy and pay for extra luggage. My question, will my suitcase be transported in the cabin or in the hold? Do I have to check it in/out at the stopover in Reykjavik or will it be checked through to Boston? Merci for your answer

    • reasek says:

      As long as your bag is still within the carryon size parameters, you can pay the fee for extra weight and you can keep it with you in the cabin.

      If you decide to check a bag, you’ll have to grab it for customs during your layover then re-check it, but when you do a customs check there is a bag drop so you don’t have to wait in line all over again to check your bag.

  • Nesil says:


    Thank you for this informative article. I have one more question. I’m ok to sit randomly and won’t select or pay or any specific seat but do they still charge me for check in or any other things? I’ve heard that wizz air has a strange policy about check ins and they do charge money if you don’t do online check in 3 hours before the flight.

    I’m going to ask the same question to wow air but I trust you more as a passenger than a company 🙂

    Sorry to bother,

    Take care.

    • reasek says:

      You are very welcome and your question is not a bother!
      I don’t know about the specific time period, but I know that checking in is NOT extra because they force your to check in with them. There is no way to check in and get your boarding pass without going to the counter. This is because they weigh your carryon, so they can’t really charge extra for something they force you to do.

      As for other extras- nothing that you need. If you want snacks, water, entertainment, etc on the plane, that’s all extra. I brought my own snacks and bought a bottle of water in the airport before boarding.

  • Andre Hendrik says:


    Thanks for the very informative article. Was your flight sold out? I’m wondering whether the in-flight crew frowns upon/prohibits changing to other empty seats after take-off?



    • reasek says:

      I’m pretty sure mine was sold out, so I’m not sure, but the crew was super friendly and helpful, so I’m sure you could ask. The worst thing that could happen is they would say no!

  • Alyssa says:


    Did you checked-in online with Wow Air? I usually avoid going to the counter, so I can head straight to security with my carry-on!

    If so, did you have the opportunity to choose your seat online without paying a fee? I remember when I traveled with Air Transat, they let us choose our seat (well the remaining seats) when we checked-in online. We are 3 travelers and we, of course, wish to be seated together.

    Thank you!

    • reasek says:

      There is no way to check in online. Wow Air makes sure you go to the counter because they want to weigh your carryon. I know, it was annoying for me too because I also like to go straight to security.

      No, you cannot choose a seat without paying a fee. However, I do think if you check in as a family you can ask to be seated together and they will try to help you.

      • David says:

        Was able to check in online in Frankfurt on my return flight. But said there was no online check in available for my original departure. I’m going through counter just in case since they don’t have a gate number yet.

          • Lizzy says:

            I’m traveling to AMS via KEF, through WOW next week. I’m extremely nervous because I bought a cabin max bag on Amazon for my 2 week 3 city tour of Europe, and it’s over the wow allowances (it’s listed as an IATA approved bag but that doesn’t mean much). I’m gunna be at or under the weight allowance but I’m stressed that just because it looks big they might stop me. However when I called to check when the latest check in was, they told me they don’t do check in because it’s all online but the latest I can arrive is an hour before my flight and make it through security.

            Wondering if that means I won’t have to go through any Nazi attendant checkpoints? Hyper stressed over this whole thing.

          • reasek says:

            It seems they have switched to online checkins, when I flew that wasn’t an option. I think you have a good chance of getting by! Is the bag soft? I have a carry on that expands and it makes it look bigger, so i put a luggage belt on it so that no one gives me trouble about the size. Maybe you could do that?

  • Anton says:

    Hi Reasrk.
    I’ve plan to fly with wow airlines from KEF to AMS without buying any check in baggage nor bigger cabin luggage allowance. I would only carry one backpack which is canvas (adidas strenght backpack) and not fully loaded. The size of my backpack when fully loaded is 48x32x24 which i notice beyond the wow airlines free alowance of 42x32x25

    I pack light around 6 kg and still can fold or squeeze my backpack into their free alowance size. Would i be fine from any oversize luggage charge?

    • reasek says:

      That’s kind of a judgement call, but I would bring something to tie it up. I have a suitcase that expands past the carryon size, but it’s never that full so i use a luggage belt to make sure it’s clear that it will fit. I would recommend you do the same with your backpack. Ultimately, it’s about the space your bag takes up, not necessary the actual size, I would think.

  • Lynn says:

    What type of food and drink were you able to bring no on board? Did you go through security with the food or did you buy it after? Thanks for the great info

    • reasek says:

      I brought on a sandwich, chips, and candy. That time because I was coming from Boston, not from home, I bought the food in the airport, but usually I bring my own sandwich. As long as you consume everything before you arrive in Iceland, you’ll be fine. If you don’t consume it, it has to be packaged (for agricultural reasons)

  • Gen says:

    hello, I know they are strict with luggage but do they actually measure your carry on? I believe my carry on is about 20inch so I’m worried it won’t pass. I’ve weighed my luggage and it’s only about 12lbs lol! I don’t have anything so my outfit will suck for my eurotrip. I’m so sad! Is it better off for me to carry a gym bag? I’m also thinking of carrying a beach bag type or a small backpack as my personal item Is that ok? Hoping to hear from you. Thank you!

    • reasek says:

      I personally didn’t see anyone whipping out tape measurers at either check in, the weight was the main concern. They will definitely weigh your carryon personal item. However, 3 inches over might be a little much. Usually if it’s an inch or so, you’ll be all right, but I’d err on the side of caution and switch to a duffel bag or something smaller.

      Don’t be sad about packing light! Remember: repeating clothes is fine! Just bring a few great and versatile items. I bring a leggings and dresses if the weather works.

      As for the personal item, as long as it is within the size and weight restrictions, a small backpack or beach bag would be fine.

  • Jim says:

    What does their checked baggage price $49 per flight leg mean?
    If Im traveling from Baltimore to Copenhagen with a stop in Reykavic Iceland does that mean I will pay a total of $98 for the checked bag?

  • Charles says:

    Hi, thanks for your post! Very enlightening 🙂
    One question though; wouldn’t they get suspicious if they open your duty-free bag and see random thing like homemade chocolate chip cookies and headphones? Don’t they police what’s in the duty-free bag and ask for your receipt? Because if not that seems like an awfully easy ‘hack’ to bring more crap on-board..
    I’m asking because we’re taking Wow next spring and we’re planning as best we can.

    • reasek says:

      Honestly, there was absolutely no policing at boarding when I flew. All the checks were done before security, so once it came time to board, no one was really worried about luggage anymore. In fact, in Boston boarding was kind of a free for all. In Iceland it was much more organized and I didn’t use the duty-free trick that time. I actually just held my small purse in my hand and no one said anything to me. Of course, the rules have changed since I flew, and they do allow a personal item as well as a carryon now, so I would say the duty free bag trick is only necessary if your bag is packed super tightly and you don’t want to smush those homemade cookies!

  • Lisa says:


    I’m flying to Paris through Iceland on WowAir this Sunday. I just measured my carry on luggage and realized it goes over the length requirement by 10 cm. If I’m under the weight limit do you think it’s going to be a huge issue when I check in?


    • reasek says:

      10cm is pretty far over. If it’s just a couple cm I’d say you’d probably be all right but if they can tell by a glance that it’s oversized you might get charged extra. Can you switch to something smaller?

    • Lecia says:

      I just flew on Wow, they have a little box of the exact dimensions at the check in counter that they MIGHT have you test your luggage in. They didn’t check ours, but they caught the guy ahead of us with an oversized carryon. If you aren’t checking bags you may bypass this counter, and likely have no problem.

  • DuAnn Davis says:

    Thank you SO much. This is incredibly helpful and informative for our upcoming trip next month. I appreciate the info very much indeed.

  • Janis says:

    Hi, I’m flying WOW in 3 weeks; couldn’t resist the low fare $199 LA to Paris when everyone else costs 4x the price. But I’m concerned about the baggage because we are moving overseas and plan to take the maximum of 3 suitcases each. You say they charge for “each leg.” Does this mean that when I change planes in Iceland I’ll have to pay again? (not doing a stopover BTW). On the phone they said the bags will go all the way through, but they didn’t clarify if charge was doubled.

    • reasek says:

      Have you booked your baggage online yet? It might clear that question up for you. I know that they DO check baggage to your final destination, but you’re right it’s kind of vague on if the “per leg” still results in extra charges. I would say yes, it probably does, but since they offer a stopover when a lot of other airlines don’t, their definition of “per leg” could be different. You should definitely reserve your bags online first because it’s literally half the price as at the gate. Online it’s $50.99 per bag, at the gate it’s $99.99! Since I’m pretty sure you pay ahead of time when you do that, it should tell you if you’ll get charged per leg.

      Baggage is definitely one of the most important thing to consider when booking on budget airlines like Wow Air. I always travel carryon only, but when I moved to Argentina and then to Puerto Rico I remember booking an airline that allowed me free checked bags because I knew I’d need them. The cheap base fares are great but after all those bags, you’ll likely end up paying the same as on another airline, if not more. I highly recommend going onto their site to manage your booking to buy baggage allowance. Best of luck, let me know how it works out! Congrats on the big move!

  • Nayana says:

    You are a patient, compassionate, generous lady…thank you for all your time and help in making these stressful big adventures more confidant and prepared…oh and I love the way you think…brilliant! Duty Free bags!!!

  • Tonya Haines says:

    Thank you for all the comments. We leave next week for Iceland and Amsterdam and this will be our first flight on WOW. I’ll definitely leave a comment about our experience as it might be helpful to someone traveling in the near future.

    • reasek says:

      I love that the comment section on this article has become like a forum! Looking forward to hearing back about your trip. I think I need to travel with Wow in 2017 so I can make my own updates as well!

  • Kinga says:

    This post is soo helpful! I’ve read each comment and I think I’m ready! Flying from BWI to Berlin on Monday, hopefully with no surprises. I have my purse, small carry on bag and I bought a luggage for $70.99, there is no way I could fit all these xmas gifts in my 10kg carry on.
    Thanks so much for the post, I’ll let you know how my experience was👍

  • Niamh Daly says:

    Hii I’m flying from Dublin to New York via Iceland in two weeks where is immigration done? Great to read this post and excellent idea with duty free bag, I did this once on a Ryan air flight from Barcelona to Dublin when I went a little mad shopping!!!

    • reasek says:

      I didn’t have a layover before, but each country kind of decides how intense to get with pass-through customs. I imagine there you’ll have to do something after getting your passport checked.

    • reasek says:

      You won’t be able to bring beverages because you can only have 3 ounces of liquids to get through security. Food, however, is fine. The only thing you have to be careful with food-wise is produce because you can’t bring produce from one country into another. Sandwiches and chips work great! You can buy beverages in the airport, which is what I did, but I think the bottle of water in the airport was the same price as on the plane.

  • All

    I am flying with Wow air at the end of Feb, the 10kg carry on weight will not be an issue, but I do plan on taking a few electrical items hair dryer, straighteners, tablet and phone… Are there any restrictions with regards to packing electrical goods for carry on luggage?? Any help would be much appreciated..

    • reasek says:

      Those electronics should be fine as long as they don’t put you overweight! Just know that the plugs are different in Europe and voltage will be different for things like hair dryers and straighteners, so if you have US plugs you’ll need a voltage converter for the hair dryer and straightner.

    • reasek says:

      When I flew, no personal item was allowed, so I can’t say for sure but since they don’t list any specific weight I’d say as long as your bag doesn’t look like it is completely stuffed, you’ll be fine.

    • Finney says:

      I carried a personal item- they didn’t weigh or measure it. It should be small enough to fit under the seat, like a purse, small backpack, or camera bag

    • Lizzy says:

      When I flew, both I and my bf carried a personal item. Mine was a sizeable purse and his was a laptop bag. The laptop bag had a laptop, charger, 20oz camelbak, a sweater, electric shaver, etc etc suffice to say – it was HEAVY. Mine was also overstuffed and heavy. I had a gallon bag of candy, a stainless steel 24oz tumbler, two sweaters, passports, chargers……No one weighed either personal item. Carry on is different. That was weighed once I think, I forget which airport though. We took WOW in 4 different countries


    Their website says only one personal bag is included, no carry-on bags are free. I’m going from London to San Francisco, on February 8.

    • reasek says:

      You are right! It seems they have updated their luggage policy again. I just updated the article to detail all the new fees. So for you, unfortunately, you are flying from the West Coast to Europe I believe you will fall under the connecting flights to Europe category, which means your carry on would be $50.99 if you reserve online (which I highly recommend you do!) To reserve online, just go to “My Booking.”

  • Our booking does not display our middle names. They want to charge us 180.00 to add our middle names. Do you think we need to do this? When I review the internet about names on reservations and it matching your passport they emphasize that your first name and last name must match your passport. I was just curious about your opinion.

    • reasek says:

      I think you will be ok without the middle name. Not everyone has a middle name, so it’s not nearly as important as first as last. As long as the names are spelled correctly, I think you’ll be fine. It’s not usually the airlines that give you trouble so much as customs.

    • Brooke says:

      Nichole, I booked my boyfriend and myself a flight last week with WOW from Amsterdam to the US and did not put our middle names in the booking either. Did you end up adding your middle? If not, did you run into any issues? Thanks!

    • David says:

      Hi everyone!
      I booked a flight from France to Iceland with Wow air but I didn’t put middle name.

      Did you have any issues with this?

      Thank you

  • Tom says:

    I booked a flight from BWI to Iceland couple months back. I had to change the passenger (the person who I was originally supposed to go with could not go anymore), so I went and requested the name change service on the website and everything went through fine. I wanted to provide the API (Advance Passenger Information) since they request it being done at least 72 hours prior to departure if flying from US, but the API section of my booking still has the original passenger’s name and gender on it. I emailed them about this issue, but they take 72 hours to respond. Is this the same issue that you went through? Does this mean I’m basically screwed?

    • reasek says:

      When I tried to make the change, I was told that the US does not allow name changes and that it was a United States Government policy, not WOW Air. So, unfortunately, you are probably not going to be able to change that ticket. However, I highly recommend calling them to double check. At the very least, you might be able to get some of your money back after paying a cancellation fee (that’s what I did.) It SUCKS and I do wish that WOW would make it more clear that name changes only work for European flights. But who knows, maybe you’ll be get lucky and be able to change the name. Don’t wait for an email though, just call.

      • Tom says:

        Thank you for your response. I spoke to them on the phone today, and was told that the first name, middle name, last name, and gender fields would unlock 72 hours prior to departure. Was also told that if that does not happen, I can always change them at the airport. I’ll post an update when/if I resolve this issue in case this happens to anyone else.

        • reasek says:

          I’m glad calling helped! I’d love an update. I’m planning on booking a trip on WOW in 2017 so that I can get more information about new policies, but I am loving that the comments section of this post has really turned into a helpful forum!

          • Tom says:

            Turns out the name change service was all that needed to be done to change the passenger information. We had no problems at the airport whatsoever.

  • Ian says:

    Flying tomorrow U.K. to KEF, checked in online and my boarding pass says “1 large carry-on” despite me not paying for it. Do I chance it?

    • reasek says:

      Hi Ian,

      Sorry, you commented on a day that I was flying out of Puerto Rico for good (moving back to the US) so I’ve been offline. Now I’m dying to know – did you chance it?!

  • Lucas says:

    Hi Rease,

    Has Ian (above) replied regarding that boarding pass carry-on message? I’m flying WOW tomorrow night BOS – KEF – SXF and my boarding pass displays the same message even though I didn’t purchase any carry-on or check bag. I have an electronic boarding pass (paper too) so I think I’m taking my chances. Will take you duty free bag advice just in case–THAT WAS AN AMAZING IDEA. Great post!

    • reasek says:

      He has not responded yet, sorry! I hope it works for you or at least the duty free bag! I’m glad my post helped. Let us know how your flight goes!

  • Li says:

    I’m planning to fly round trip (a little over a month) to Paris from SFO towards the end of April. Comparing WOW and the deal I found through British Airways, the price difference is just under $100. Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like BA is the way to go, right?

    • reasek says:

      I’m not familiar with British Airways baggage policies, but if you get baggage included, I would say yes, go British Airways! WOW has some great cheap flights, but that doesn’t mean it’s ALWAYS the best choice.

  • Karen says:

    I’m flying to Iceland from Boston in April 2017. I was wondering if I can bring aboard a travel pillow in addition to my free personal item or if it must be stuffed into my personal item. I know most airlines are fine with a pillow but wanted to know how to plan. Thanks.

    • reasek says:

      I’m not sure, I feel like this always depends on the people each day no matter what airline you fly on. My mom has a special pillow for her neck so she brings it when she travels, and I’d say 80% of the time they let her carry it on, but every so often people make her shove it into the bag. I did see people on WOW with the neck pillows, so I assume if your pillow is small, you will be ok.

  • Thomas says:

    I wanna fly on 05th of May from Berlin via Iceland to NYC ( U.S.)
    Does they accept my nike backpack as personal item ? ( size: ca. 48,5 x 30,5 x 15 cm (H x B x T) ?

    They say: “Per guest, per flight leg 1 piece per guest. Size: 42 x 32 x 25 cm. (10 kg) ”
    Its just a 6cm difference, what do you think, its matter ?
    king regards, Thomas

    • reasek says:

      You can never be 100% sure but I think if you don’t overpack the backpack you will be ok. Just don’t pack it to be completely full so it can still fold up a little.

  • Matt mayfield says:

    Do not fly wow under any circumstance. It’s a crooked and possibly racist corporation. I say that as a frequent international traveler who was denied without refund by a stewardess who claimed a frayed corner of my passport denied entry. They also denied and ignored a African American mother and daughter on their way to see the deployed military father. To watch the stewardess callously walk away from the crying child sickened me. The story gets even worse after calling customer service and walking the family down to the offices where they refused to even speak with us. Just told us to rebook.

    Do yourself a favor and read the horror stories of other passengers. I wish I had.

    • reasek says:

      I’ve never heard such terrible reviews of WOW, but to be fair I think every airline has complaints and issues. As for the passport issue, I’ve heard that happen on various airlines and sometimes it’s not the airline, it’s the security officers. Some countries and airports are stricter than others, but technically a damaged passport cannot be used. I have friends who had bent/frayed passports and were denied boarding on other airlines as well. It’s not a policy I agree with, but it’s not an issue exclusive to WowAir.

    • reasek says:

      They actually have a special sub-section for musical instruments as carry ons. I’d guess that your guitar would fall under rule #2 – “2. Carry-on baggage – extra charge
      If the instrument is larger than the free size dimensions of the carry-on baggage allowance you can purchase additional carry-on baggage allowance and bring it in the cabin. The maximum dimensions are 90 x 35 x 20 cm. ”

      However if your guitar is larger than that, you’d have to either check in (which I understand would be scary) or book a seat for it. So, hopefully it fits within 90 x 35 x 20 cm!

      Here’s the full details on musical instruments:

  • Olivier says:

    For what it’s worth, we just flew with Wow last week and no one so much as looked at our carry-on luggage or personal items to see if they were oversize. Twas a very stress free and easy flight indeed.. and everyone was so polite!

  • Mary Anne Durkee says:

    For Jade, I got that same email from Expedia about the change in days. I panicked. However my husband read it and said it wasn’t what it seemed He suggested I called the credit card company and see if they made the payment. They did. All it was was an offer to fly a day earlier at a higher price. Mary Anne

  • Jonas says:

    I flew WOW in April this year from BWI to RKV. The agents at the check in counter requested that you place both your personal item and carry on in the sizer bin right there at the counter before issuing you your boarding pass. I had the basic fare ticket so I had to put my personal item in. My friend travelling with me had paid for a carry on so had to place both for them to confirm compliance. They did not however weigh any of the bags.

  • Charlene says:

    Brill thread. I’ve just about read every comment. I’m worried about the middle name issue. We are flying from Ireland to Iceland in Sept. I didn’t even mention our middle names when booking our flights with wow via phone booking months ye guys think I’ll be charged? Thank u 🙂

    • reasek says:

      I just double checked my original booking – I did not list my middle name, but my passport definitely has it on there. So, I think maybe it’s more an issue if you book WITH the middle name but you don’t have it on your ID, maybe? All of my IDs have my middle name, so I don’t know why I didn’t book with it, but I had no issues.

    • Brooke says:

      Charlene, did you end up having an issue? I have the same problem and don’t want to be charged the large fee to add the middle name if it’s not really necessary. We are flying from Amsterdam to the US.

  • Austin Faria says:

    I have a 24″ maybe pushing 25″ bag, and the restriction is 22″. Do you think it could get by just fine as a carry-on? I am backpacking Europe and flying out of Boston soon.

    • reasek says:

      Eek I’m not sure you’ll make it! It really depends on the agents you deal with. Some are stricter than others!

  • James M says:

    Thanks for your post! Did you have any trouble with the snacks that you packed? Did you buy them outside of the airport or inside? I’m trying to figure out if it’s possible to basically pack my inflight meals. Thanks!

    • reasek says:

      No trouble at all! The only issue would be produce because when you fly between countries you aren’t allowed to bring any agricultural products from one country to another. However, if you have, for example, some lettuce and tomato on a sandwich, you’ll be fine as long as you consume it before you get off the plane. I absolutely packed a full meal for my flight and had no issues. I brought some form outside the airport, but I was flying out of Boston, which isn’t where I live, so I had limited supplies and had to buy some more in the airport.

  • Shahid Salam says:

    The backpack size limit is 17x13x10; mine is 18x13x10. The weight: less than 10lbs.

    Will they allow the backpack; it will definitely go under the seat.

  • Becca says:


    I fly out this weekend from Toronto to Frankfurt. I do have a layover in Iceland. I bought my ticket via Priceline so the WOW website would not let me buy any baggage. I called and the lady said I have to either buy it through the phone or at the airport. From reading every ones responses it looks like it would be cheaper via customer service than at the airport. Just a quick question, when I buy the checked in baggage fee, do I have to pay for it again when I land in Iceland or does my bag go straight through to Germany from Toronto and I only have to pay for it one time?

    Thank you in Advance!

    • reasek says:

      Hi Becca,

      It sounds like you just have a layover, not an extended stopover, so I believe it would go to your final destination. This is a quote from the WOW site “When you are traveling on WOW air connecting flights (VIA), with no stopover in Iceland (two flights in one WOW air booking), your checked hold baggage is forwarded to your final destination.”

      I do think you have to pay per flight leg though – “Service charge 2 is added if bags and seats are booked via the WOW air call center after the flight booking has been made. Per guest, per flight leg.” The charge, according to their site, is $17.99.

      They have a lot of variables, so it could be more than that, but I do think you’re better off calling to make the reservation rather than waiting until you are at the airport.

      • Becca says:

        My layover in Iceland is only an hr. On Priceline I had requested my seats already, (traveling with two other people) but the WOW website does not let me even see my booking because it was bought through PriceLine and not their website. I freaked out at first thinking that my ticket wasn’t reserved but when I called WOW customer service they did have it. She also mentioned that I have to pay in Canadian dollars and not USD because I am leaving from Toronto. Which sucks because then my credit card might have another fee for that? Geez I didnt think it would be this hard lol.

        So I guess I am still confused on the Service Charge 2? I have to pay for that and for baggage? Just don’t get why I have to pay for service charge 2?

        Also thanks for the fast response! You are awesome.

        • reasek says:

          Yeah, WowAir baggage fees/policies are pretty confusing. Your best bet is to just call them to make the reservation because you will definitely pay more at the counter.

          You might be in “Service Charge 1” category as well –

          Not sure about the CC fee. It depends on if your CC charges for foreign transactions. Otherwise usually you just get a charge adjusted to your currency.

  • Becca says:

    Hi again. I guess just to update. So I called back and the genetlemen said that at my time of booking through Priceline I had already selected my seats and selected carry on and check in baggage. So he said unless I wanted to add more baggage I don’t have to pay anything else that my tickets per leg are set and good to go. I really hope he is right. Did anyone else have this happen? I’d hate to get there and the airport tell me something different but he said it was attached to our confirmations already. I checked my email and it does say baggage’s and seats so I guess I am ok? Fingers crossed.

  • Anita says:

    Hi, I booked through and so luggage fees go up considerably. I am wondering though since I don’t want to pay more fees than necessary I may just go with the standard ‘personal item’ of 17x13x10. My purse is backpack style but much smaller. Can I take a purse with me ? Or does that have to fit into the personal item? Thanks!!

    • reasek says:

      Unfortunately your purse does count as a personal item, so you’ll need to shove it into the bag somehow. But you can also do what I did – go buy something at duty free and ask for a large bag, then toss your purse in the duty free bag. Their policy states that 1 duty free bag is allowed along with your personal item.

  • LK says:

    After read this article and the “tricks “, I followed tho suggestions bought a duty free candy with the biggest duty free bag. Flying from sfo to Paris.just seated on the plane waiting and typing. At check in at the gate. There’s no one checking and measure any bags what so ever. I see people have bags purses and little carry on luggage. No one ever asked anything.

    • reasek says:

      Yes it seems to be pretty random. Sometimes the flight attendants are vigilant, sometimes they aren’t. I feel like it’s better to be prepared for the strict flights because some people have reported having to pay fees any/or shove purses into already over-packed carry-ons. When I flew, I saw some people forced to weight their carry ons, while others did not have to.

  • Judith says:

    Flew a few months ago with husband and baby. Flight was nice. We took personal bags AND my husband brough a suit bag. They didnt charge extra…flying again in 2 days. You think theyll allow us to each bring a suits bag for his suits and my dresses? Were going for a wedding. Were not planning to bring a carry-on, just personal item. Last time we checked baggage in so we went to the desk, any way to avoid that and doing online check on and straight to security? (Since no check on bags?) Thanx so much!!

    • reasek says:

      It’s hard to say! If you only have a small personal item you might get away with it but TECHNICALLY the could charge you. It really depends on how lucky or unlucky you are with the flight attendants!

  • Nakima says:

    So I just booked a flight for Amsterdam via Wow Airlines w/ a stopover in Iceland. I also didn’t realize their strict luggage policies. I’m wondering if I could carry a camera over my neck in? Or would that not be allowed? I have a few lenses and I want to take it with me. Won’t fit in my personal bag unfortunately. How does the “put lens in pocket” trick sound? Do you think it would work? I’m wearing this thin coat with large pockets and they fall inward so lenses wouldn’t be noticeable.

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