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WOW Cuts Back to 4 US Cities

In an effort to right it’s financial ship and to placate Indigo Partners, WOW Air is cutting back to 4 US cities. It hopes to grow again in 2020, but it sounds like the plan for the future is to stick with one aircraft type in true low cost airline fashion. It‘s current A320‘s can’t make it to the West Coast, so it appears that future growth (at least for now) will be limited to the East Coast.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2019/01/14/wow-air-us-flights-four-cities-detroit-newark-bwi-boston/2573229002/

Posted by
6828 posts

That makes more sense. Iceland Air still flies from ORD. I flew Wow probably for the last time last week cashing in my claim voucher. We still have Norwegian at least ( one low cost carrier at ORD).

Posted by
9635 posts

Last year, Indigo Partners placed an order for 430 Airbus 320neo aircraft. Besides burning about 70% of the fuel the current Airbuses burn, it has a range that can make it from Iceland to the west coast of the U.S.

Indigo could be planning to allocate some of these aircraft to WOW.

or

Indigo will use Frontier Airlines as a feeder airline for WOW passengers. Rather than fly WOW direct, you would fly Frontier to one of the four cities WOW serves. It would all be done on one ticket or possibly as a codeshare. Long flights, many changes but probably very cheap.

Many people don't know that Jet Blue has a similar arrangement with Icelandair. In most cases you can book an Icelandair flight from almost city Jet Blue flies to. This can be done on the Icelandair website.

Posted by
7881 posts

Sad news for us, we really liked WOW.

Posted by
1724 posts

Wow, many of these were new routes.
I did read the article so understand why.

Personally I dislike their policy of charging practically the same for a normal size carry-on as checked bag and their marketing policy of advertising cheap fares but the rates are only 1 way and you can never find a return fare for close to the offering.
For example their $99 Boston to Iceland fares are select dates at $99 on the way to KEF but then all possible returns from KEF to BOS is $299 ; so your fare is $398 ; double the advertised rate.
When you add in the baggage extra charges Wow smacks you with, Iceland Air is usually the same price for similar R/T flight and offered without the deception.

Posted by
7881 posts

We’ve flown WOW many times and never had any of the issues mreynolds mentions. I don’t think WOW is deceptive at all.

Posted by
2522 posts

James II --

You lay out the options well. From reading the article, it sounds like it is very important to Indigo that WOW have a single aircraft type. The primary difference in the A320 and A320neo is the engine, of course. I don't if that creates enough difference that an A320/A320neo fleet would be considered a mixed fleet. Of course, it could convert to an all A320neo fleet, but that would take quite a bit of time.

To feed West Coast people to the East Coast will require A LOT of work on Frontier's part: It serves BWI with one route right now (Denver, adding a second route to Orlando in April). Detroit has routes to Phoenix and Denver plus several East Coast routes. Frontier will start serving Boston with a single route to RDU in May. It does not serve Newark (but does serve JFK and LGA). So a West Coast to WOW city itinerary right now will require two stops (transfer in Denver). Frontier is very disciplined and very opportunity oriented. They are not going to throw in a bunch of transcontinental flights just to prop up a struggling trans Atlantic carrier.

It should also be noted that a final agreement has been announced. The Icelandair deal looked set in stone; it was a surprise that it fell apart.

Posted by
2522 posts

It sounds like WOW is a great airline when everything goes well. The problem is when things don't go well (delays, canceled flights), they tend to go atrociously bad, with passengers on canceled flights often having the option of being rebooked in 3-7 days or buying a walk-up price ticket on another airline to get to their destination.