I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to write a blog about our trip to New York in January. It’s not as if this was our dream vacation, the one destination that we both always wanted to visit and that we saved up for for almost 8 months in advance… but better late than never, right?
In short, New York was… incredible. We’d been talking about going for almost two years and failed to book lots of flights which we saw online for a good price. Then, in May of last year, WOW Air announced their amazingly cheap flights to the US via Reykjavik and without hesitation, we booked the return flight for €230 each from Amsterdam #bargain.
If a flight is €230 return you’re always going to have the initial worries – will it be safe? Is it going to be comfortable? We did of course have our reservations, especially after seeing some bad reviews online during the icy Christmas season where a lot of flights were delayed or cancelled. However thankfully, our flights didn’t cause us any problems.
We departed from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport at 11am on the Thursday morning and after a short three hour flight arrived in Reykjavik where we had approximately 45 minutes to wait for our connecting flight to Newark Airport. Our first thoughts about the plane itself was that it was pretty basic. It definitely wasn’t what we expected for a Trans-Atlantic flight but then again, if you pay €115 to fly to America, should your expectations be that high in the first place? If you think about your standard Ryanair flight, this is how the WOW Air plane looked. There wasn’t a huge amount of leg-room and we did have some initial issues with people in front putting back their chairs, however it wasn’t a big problem and once we explained the cramped situation to them, they were happy to stay in an upright position. 😉 There was no on-board TVs so unfortunately we didn’t experience the amazing entertainment systems as seen so often in the movies. You could however rent an iPad for €20 for the duration of the flight however we opted to read and watch a movie on my own tablet.
Once we arrived in Reykjavik we grabbed quite possible the most disappointing pizza of our entire lives! Not only did it cost a whopping €16 but sadly, it was not very tasty. The airport there is really tiny so there wasn’t anything to do or see but there was a small gift shop but we didn’t even browse through it. The benefit was that it only took us ten minutes to get from the airplane to our next gate so that was convenient! As it was January in Iceland, a bus had to pick us up from the bottom of the stairs exiting the plane and transport us the 300m to the entrance of the airport. We had the same experience on the way home although at 4am in the morning, it wasn’t as fun!
The flight that would take us from Reykjavik to Newark was exactly the same as the first. It was basically the same plane and so again, not much leg-room. Fortunately we did have the last row of the plane to ourselves so that definitely allowed us to get some rest and to also have an incredible view of New York as we flew into the city. The six hour flight was probably the longest either of us have spent on a plane however it wasn’t as bad as we expected! We arrived in Newark at 17.30 US time and after some luggage delays and the standard custom-clearance queues, we finally made it out of the airport where we were picked up by my uncle.
Overall I would say that the experience with WOW Air was great. We did have some delays on the flight back from Newark to Reykjavik and had to run to catch our connecting flight with approximately 15 minutes to spare, however for the weather conditions during this time of year I thought that everything was handled well. For the price that we paid I would definitely recommend them to anyone wanting to travel to New York on a budget. You really do get what you pay for but the staff were also really friendly on board. On the way back at 2am, the flight attendant stopped by our row (again at the back) and invited us to her window to see the Northern Lights. The view wasn’t crisp clear but we did see the lights and it was amazing. It was really a nice touch for her to invite us back.
With flights this cheap and a great service, you would be crazy to pay four times as much just to have a direct flight or on board entertainment. We’re already looking at our next holiday to the US and will definitely be checking out the WOW Air prices to get the best deal!