WOW Air offering $199/INR 13.5K fares India/USA & reverse

The much talked about Debut of WOW Air has happened! Over a week ago, we first got a word that WOWAir is considering an Indian launch. Yesterday, it was all confirmed, and today came the official announcement. WOW Air launched their Indian innings with a bang, offering INR 13,499 fares to and from the USA (8 Airports, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newark (NYC), Boston, Chicago, Detroit and a couple of others). There are also fares to Canada (Montreal and Toronto), and their home airport in Reykjavik at the same fare level.

WOW Air India USA

While for their longer flights to USA West Coast (SFO/LAX), WOW Air uses A330 aircraft, to the East Coast, WOW Air flies the A320 family aircraft (single-aisle). Their flight to Delhi will be operated by the A330-900neo. Let’s take a look at WOW Air India USA pricing.

WOW Air India USA fares

But before you jump on these prices, a word of caution. These are the lowest fares available, but they are not available every day. On most days, you would find the tickets to be selling at about INR 22K one way. So, some planning required there. Also, the lowest fares are available to MyWOW members. Hence, you will need to sign up for MyWOW to access these fares. All they need is your email address and a password.

However, do remember, that WOW Air is an ultra-low-cost carrier, so they charge you for everything. The headline fares are basic economy and will buy you access to the plane and a purse/handbag. So if you have homes at both ends, you can sure travel with this little pouch. But usually, you’ll need to bring a cabin bag or a checked-in bag. So, expect to pay extra for that. INR 3299 for a Carry-on and INR 4699 for a checked bag one-way.

Coming to your food. No free food or IFE on this plane. So, either eat before you come on the plane or bring something along. It should be a long flight, at least 10 hours long from Delhi, so I do expect you to ask for a bite. If you pre-book your meal, you are going to be paying about INR 650 or upwards.

Coming to the seat itself now. WOW Air charges for seat assignments, so you should be willing to either get the last available seat at the airport for free or willing to pay for seat assignment. Like you would see, INR 599 gets you one round of seat assignment. They also have Extra Leg Room Seating, which is going to cost you INR 6000, and also a bigger, more comfortable for the backside Premium Economy kind product, which comes with a meal and all. Costs INR 16000 extra.

Then, of course, there are other ancillary fares we can live with or without. Such as paying for Priority Boarding and so on. WOW Air launched their Indian website at www.wowair.in.

Bottomline

While the noisy discussions I’ve heard almost all add up to hearing that if I add up all the costs, we are talking full-service airline pricing, my view is different.

Before you book WOW Air, you need to have patience and an attitude to save money. So you can’t be extravagant with your bags for instance. You need one bag, you buy one bag. If you think you can survive on a rollaboard, you just need to buy that. Don’t think you’ll be able to fool the airline because they use sizers to measure up your bags, and if you look like flouting the rules, they will charge you money at the gate.

Hence, the best approach is to see what airline is offering you a better price for the day you want to travel, and then go for it. For example, if Emirates is going to be 50$ more, then why not take them instead? I am not saying they are 50$ more, but I fully expect the disruption coming in pricing with IndiGo and SpiceJet also in the fray to launch low-cost long-haul flights.

Have you flown WOW Air? Would you buy this 13.5K INR ticket to travel one-way to the USA?

Comments

  1. I just did a check on some dates in Jan 2019 on Wow and KLM from Delhi to New York on the dates with the lowest available fares for both airlines. Here are the options-

    Wow Plus
    Delhi NYC Del
    Wow plus: standard seat, one check in bag, one carry on, no meals
    Fare: INR 45000

    KLM
    Delhi NYC Del
    KLM standard economy- 2 check in bags, one carry on, daily connectivity with multiple routing options, meals, IFE.
    Fare: INR 55,000

    If we consider the an economy plus product here is the breakdown

    Wow comfy
    1 check in baggage, 32-33 inch pitch, no meals
    INR 65000

    KLM
    35 inch pitch (economy comfort on all legs), 2 pcs of checked in baggage, meals, IFE, daily connectivity with multi route options. INR 80000.

    Looking at WOW’s food prices, one can easily spend INR 5000-8000 per return trip on food and beverages. When one considers the extra bag the difference is further negated. Personally, I just don’t see myself sitting on a 16 hour flight with no IFE, no Wifi, less flexibility, sub-optimal meals and tight baggage allowance to save less then 10,000.

    Curious to know what everyone’s choice would be.

  2. If you’re not sure about your travel, book a ticket now and don’t select any ancillaries – just the base fare. You can add on the ancillaries just before travel – they seem to be at the same price as the “bundle” fares.

    Additionally the Rs. 2K for a cancellation protection (though on a medical reason only) seems to be a good option for flights booked months out.

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