How an Extra Night in Iceland Turned into a Free Trip

Hi Wanderers,

I’ve finally adjusted back to Toronto time since returning from Iceland. It literally took me a week to get over the jet lag. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss getting up early in the morning, it was so effortless during the week I got back. Now I’m maxing out the snooze button and being dragged from the bed by my ankles. But, I am happy to say that my next adventure is booked and my slumber is filled with dreams of the Middle East.

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I mentioned in my last post, My Trip to Iceland, that we didn’t have the best experience with Wow Air. We faced some challenges trying to get to Iceland. The plane had a mechanical issue and we were stuck on the tarmac for two hours, but that really wasn’t what did it for me. I certainly understand that any aircraft could have a number of problems and thankfully, Wow did not take the chance in flying, but they did handle the rest of the situation poorly – we were stuck at the airport and we didn’t have any insight into how long we would be there. We were “generously” given a shot of water (I hope you can sense my sarcasm) while we were stuck on the plane, and the customer service that followed was quite sad. It became very clear that they were unorganized, which concerned many travelers who had tours booked the next day and caused many missed connections. We were directed to call customer service, and of course, they weren’t able to assist either. All we could do was wait. After a few hour delay, a lot of stress, a crappy burrito courtesy of a $12 meal voucher and a repaired plane, we were finally off to Iceland.

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Waiting for our flight at Pearson International Airport

Fast forward through our magical trip. Guys, if you haven’t been to Iceland, GO! It really is spectacular. We arrived at the airport to go home definitely thinking “no way are we going to have any issues.” Guess what?! We were wrong. There was an issue with the Wow systems and they were unable to check Canadians into any flights… fantastic. I’ve flown with many different airlines in the past and never have I experienced anything like it… never have I heard as many complaints as I did waiting in the line to get checked in.

Fjadrarglijufur Canyon

We had finally reached the check in counter and the systems were fixed. The lady at the counter tells us that our flight is overbooked (of course it is) and they are looking for volunteers to stay back. Immediately I say “no, thanks”, we’ve already wasted half the day getting to the airport and waiting around for their systems to correct themselves. While she’s preparing our checked bags, my husband asks me to inquire about what volunteering entails. She proceeds to tell me that we would get a free night stay in Keflavik, with breakfast, lunch and dinner included, as well as free transportation to and from the airport. I’m thinking “meh, that’s alright” but before I can speak, she adds a free round trip for each of us. UMM SAY WHAA? A round trip where? Back to Iceland? (Not that that would suck anyways). She let’s us know that the round trip applies to any Wow Air destination and before she can finish, I tell her to sign us up!  Of course, they don’t confirm that you’re staying back right away. You have to wait for the flight to fill up, any no-shows and you’re potentially getting on that plane. When they finally announced the flight was full and they were leaving, it literally felt like we won the lottery.

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Hotel Keilir where we stayed for our extra night

Thankfully, we were guaranteed a spot on the next day’s flight and we actually flew home without any issues. If you ever have an opportunity to stay back and you have a flexible enough schedule, do it! It might actually turn out to be an amazing deal. We were offered a similar deal flying home from Spain once and I refused to take it. I won’t ever make that mistake again.

A few things I learned flying with Wow Air…

  1. Don’t plan too much for the day you arrive. You will experience far less stress if you don’t have pressure to be anywhere in the case there are delays
  2. If your schedule isn’t flexible, prepare for the possibility that you could stay back
  3. Don’t have any expectations. There is no food/drink service, the plane could be extra squishy, bags will double the cost of your flight, and it truly is a “no frills” airline
  4. Be prepared to follow up for what they offer but won’t willing give. For instance, they didn’t tell us how and when the round trip vouchers would work, so I didn’t hesitate to send emails and get on the phone in regards to that

As much as I could complain about the experience, I’m thankful for it. We got to enjoy an extra night in the adorable town of Keflavik and now we are set to fly to Tel Aviv, Israel. Not only do we get to experience Israel, but we are also going to spend some time in Jordan. Thank you Wow Air! The moral of this story is to embrace all of life’s opportunities, and for us, this was definitely redemption. I’m less bitter when I think back about the entire experience, I just hope that they continue to improve for the next time.

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Natural pool in Keflavik

Have you flown with Wow Air? Tell me about your experience in the comments below! I’d love to know if you can relate or if you’ve had a great experience.

Happy Travels,

Mel

2 thoughts on “How an Extra Night in Iceland Turned into a Free Trip

  1. Great story.lm glad it worked out in your favour.lts ok to complain when things seem to go all wrong.But when fixed it takes away some of the pain and suffering.So happy you get to experience more of this beautiful world.You share your experiences beautifully!!💖Well done.🖒

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