When it comes to budget airlines, passengers are often willing to pay a little extra beyond the discounted base fare for legroom and wider seats. But what happens when you don’t get the upgrades that you purchased? Mounting complaints about poor customer service at WOW Airlines have some passengers questioning if budget airlines are worth the hype or the hassle.
When retired history teacher Bill Brown bought a ticket from WOW Airlines eight months before a trip to the United Kingdom, he was equally excited about seeing the sights and flying directly from his hometown of St. Louis, where WOW had recently expanded.
“From the city of St. Louis flying almost anywhere is a hippity hop, you don’t get to go directly to where you’d like to go,” Brown told the investigative team at KSDK News. Because of a recent surgery, he had chosen to upgrade to a larger seat with extra legroom for additional comfort during the long-haul flight.
But when he arrived at the airport for his return flight home, the airline informed him that they had changed planes and that his upgraded seat was no longer available. To add insult to injury, he arrived back to St. Louis to discover that his luggage had been misplaced, along with nearly two dozen other passengers’. The airline refused to refund his ticket until the KSDK team got involved.
Other WOW Airlines passengers have recently complained to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about overbooked flights, lost luggage and poor customer service.
Would Brown fly WOW again? In reflecting about his experience to KSDK, he concluded, “If they realize word of mouth gets around, no one is going to want to use those flights.”