WOW Air Slashes Free Carry On Bag Allowance

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

I love the idea of flying to Iceland or Europe for $69 – $99 via one of the crazy WOW discounted airfare sales, but since WOW is a low cost carrier, you have to take into account that pretty much everything will cost you extra on top of that base fee to fly. That isn’t new information, but what is new information is that with that base fare you no longer get a free personal item and a small carry-on, now you just get one free small personal item total.

Wow Carry On Change.jpg

The “new” one small personal item doesn’t have a published weight limit, but it does retain the size maximum of the old free “small carry on” of 17 x 13 x 10 inches. WOW describes it as a small purse/backpack, laptop or a camera bag that must fit under the seat in front of you. For those curious on how this stacks up, the free personal item that Spirit will allow beginning in April is 18 x 14 x 8 inches,


This does not impact those who purchased their tickets before the rules changed in January as they are still permitted the personal item and the small carry-on up to that size limit and 22 pounds – I’ve reached out for clarification on exactly what date in January the rules changed.

Of note for those traveling on WOW with children is that those six years and younger get either a free stroller or a car seat. Infants have baggage allowance for one small bag/item, max 17 x 13 x 10 inches.

If you need to carry-on or check a larger bag, carry-on bag fees start at $41 and go up from there. While WOW will charge you the baggage fee for each direction of travel, the fee is not charged per segment the way that seat assignments fees are charged. In other words, if you flew Boston – Reykjavik – Copenhagen – Reykjavik – Boston and then back again you would pay for your carry-on twice, not four times the way you would for a seat assignment. This is true even if you opt for a stopover in Reykjavik.

Thanks to Travel Codex for first spotting this change.

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. The fee for using a seat belt on the flight is $55, using the bathroom is $75 per visit, and for those who insist on wearing clothes on the flight, that’s an additional $125. But if you are ok with not having a seat belt, are pretty sure you won’t need to use the bathroom, and don’t mind flying naked, this is a great deal. 😉

  2. Wow!!! Too good to be true with those ridiculous fares!!! Don’t forget to bring your own oxygen because we charge for the air you breathe on the plane.

  3. I agree the “fees” list and FAQ are confusing, but I’m not sure your interpretation is correct:
    In August 2016, Wow changed the rules from a free regular-size carry on up to 5kg with the option to pay for an extra 7kg to having a smaller, personal item up to 10kg. I think that change was positive as most regular-size, wheeled carry-on will be 3-4kg empty!
    As far as I can tell from the Wow site, those rules from August ’16 are still in place. You get a free, personal item up to 10kg and you can pay for 1 larger carry-on (but not for 2 larger carry-on).
    The size of the personal item allows for a volume of 33l – about 25% less than a regular carry-on at 44l. Packing light is the key – I could travel, at least in summer, for a week or more with that volume and weight.
    I agree that most people won’t be able to get away with that, but if you are on a budget and want to do a weekend trip to Europe, you can still do it with Wow on the cheap.

  4. We just flew WOW, BWI-DUB thru KEF in May 2017, family of 3, for 10 days, with a 24 hour layover in Iceland on the way back. We stuck to the new personal item policy as I’m just too cheap to pay for the extra baggage. I know it isn’t for everyone, but the fares were too good to pass up. It actually worked out great and I was pleased that I had been forced to scale down our baggage. Maneuvering along streets and transportation was a breeze, as was packing up and moving from hotel to hotel during our stay. I have developed lots of tricks to keeping things uber-simple. WOW is very straightforward with their charges, and if you read their website in advance, you won’t find yourself shocked and disappointed at the gate. They will at least hold a plane if you are delayed on a connecting flight, unlike Spirit, who literally left us stranded in FLL through no fault of ours. If anyone is flying out of BWI, I will say that those WOW employees were the most strict about the luggage size requirements, and were really ridiculous with using those bins to check the size of what you were carrying, even being particular about the handle being over the threshold, so be prepared for that. But it wasn’t that way in Iceland and Europe. All that being said, even if other airlines’ prices challenge WOW’s, we would probably still stick to this light luggage plan, as it made the trip much much less stressful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *