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Thoughts on WOW Air Coming to Canada

Pointshogger reader Fanie asks: “What are your thoughts on WOW Air coming to Canada?” 

Starting in May 2016, WOW Air (a low cost airline from Iceland) will be coming to Canada. The official launch date is so far away, so I was initially going to wait to see if there are any other developments before writing a post. But since I received a question on it, I thought I’d at least provide some initial thoughts.

List of Flights

First of all, I will list the 2 confirmed flights to be launched direct to the Iceland’s largest airport, Keflavík International Airport:

  • Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Keflavík International Airport (as of May 12, 2016)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport to Keflavík International Airport (as of May 12, 2016)

Deals

Just based on the two above flights, it may not seem like a big deal. But some of the deals are impressive. Here is a quick snapshot of the current deals:

Wow Air (1)

The current deals aren’t too impressive, considering that Canadian Travel Hacking was able to find some deals for as low as $99 back on October 2, 2015. If you have a flight in mind that you want to book, you may want to track the website a little bit to see what other deals may come out.

You can also sign up for WOW club to receive exclusive emails for more deals.

Benefits of WOW Air

What I like most about WOW Air is that it provides a nice connection hub to the rest of Europe. I am expecting that this will put some pressure on other airlines to hopefully lower their fares to Europe. Having competition is great, so long as doesn’t squeeze out another airline.

Words of Caution

There is no question that having another airline that services Europe, even through a connecting flight, but with competitive prices, should have a positive effect for consumers.

Always do the calculations before deciding whether it is worthwhile or not. There are several factors that I would consider in my calculations.

Factors to Considers

First of all, if the connecting flights costs me too much extra time (especially if it will cost me an extra night of hotel) to get to my destination, it may not be worth it for me. In which case, I may just pay a little more with another airline with a more direct route.

Secondly, WOW Air is not a member of any airline alliance. For this reason, I would only want to pay for a flight with them if they are significantly cheaper than the other options (at least $150 round-trip cheaper).

I would combine the cost and the routing together to decide whether I will fly with WOW Air.

Final Thoughts

Personally, even though I will most likely not fly with WOW Air, because I believe that the other airlines will catch on and start lowering some prices soon enough to keep up with the competition. I much prefer earning miles and a more direct route to my destination.

That being said, I really do hope that they are successful in Canada. Their success should benefit the consumers. 

What I do not hope to see is that WOW Air does such a good job that it squeezes out competing airlines servicing Europe. If routes get cut to Europe because they cannot keep up, then WOW Air would have no more reason to offer lower prices. So here’s hoping to find the right balance of competition where all the airlines can make money, while offering competitive fares at the same time!

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