Last Sunday, I wrote about how WOW Air was eliminating free carry-on bags from their flights. The airline has been aggressively expanding in the US, and competes with their home-town rival Icelandair. One of the key differences between Icelandair and WOW Air was their business model. Icelandair operates a hybrid between low cost and full fare airline. WOW Air is a traditional low cost carrier. Icelandair offers a business class, and even a premium economy product. They fly 757s and 767s to their destinations. WOW Air flies Airbus aircraft in a single cabin configuration. They offer extra legroom seats. For the longest time, they did not offer a dedicated Business class cabin. Well, that’s about to change.
WOW Air Adding Business Class Cabin
Yup, you heard right. WOW Air will be adding a business class cabin. Conde Nast Traveller reports that the airline will now offer the three kinds of service: Business, Extra legroom and Economy. The article says that the business class cabin will be more of a “premium economy” and not really a full business class product as you see on say Delta. The seats will have footrests, 37” of pitch, and priority boarding. The seat will allow for carry-on bags, checked baggage and in-flight food. The cabin will be called “Big Seats”, and I expect them to look something like Norwegian’s Premium cabin.
WOW Air Complicating their Economy Tiers
Conde Nast also reports that the airline will be adding new tiers to their ticketing of flights. The A320s, A321s and A330s will reflect this. The airline will offer three types of ticket. Economy which will be their current product offering, with no seat assignment and only a personal item allowed. Plus will allow you to bring a carry-on and checked bag no more than 44lb. Biz will come with all the benefits of premium economy. Where it is not available, such as the A321 and A320, those passengers will get to choose their XXL or XL seats. These are their current extra legroom seats. For those passengers buying Economy or Plus, you may select an extra legroom seat for a price.
These moves come as a result of their competition with Norwegian and Icelandair. Both of these airlines offer a premium product and are low cost options. Airlines such as jetBlue have also expressed interest in long-haul flights, so we can expect them to try to compete with them when time comes. However, jetBlue offers their excellent Mint product, which can’t be beat by any of these low cost carriers.
I think that WOW Air adding their business cabin is a good thing. It will allow them to compete with Norwegian on all levels. Tiering up their tickets is also a good idea, which will allow passengers to pick the exact product for their needs. I hope to see them expand their Biz product to more aircraft, hopefully the A321s. As the airline continues to expand in the US, it will become a force to be reckoned with.
What do you think? Would you travel on WOW Air’s new Biz product? Have you ever flown WOW Air? What did you think of them? Let us know!
All images from Airline Websites or Wikimedia Commons, unless otherwise noted.