WOW flew me to Iceland but left my winter clothes behind in Boston

Adam Shulman and his wife recently traveled to beautiful Iceland. The only problem was that the Shulmans’ baggage, which included their winter clothes, didn’t make the trip.

Shulman knew there would be a problem as soon as he got in the check-in line at Boston’s Logan Airport. “There was only one person available to check in the entire flight,” he said. “We tried to warn the staff and then called WOW Air’s main number, but we were ignored and told to ‘calm down.’ As a result, we did not even reach the counter until 10 minutes before the departure time, the flight was late and our bags did not make it with us.”

Shulman filed a claim with the airline the moment they realized that their luggage hadn’t made the flight to Reykjavik. In the meantime, without any clothing to wear, and an average temperature of about 28 to 37 F at the time, the couple went out and purchased clothing, including winter jackets. In all, they spent about $375.

Despite the airline’s best efforts, the Shulmans did not receive their bags until they returned home. They followed up with the airline to expedite a refund for their expenses. But they were very disappointed when WOW offered them significantly less than they had expected.

A check of WOW Air’s website regarding Delayed or Damaged Baggage describes the airline’s policy regarding lost or damaged luggage. However, there is no mention of how WOW Air compensates passengers who are forced to purchase new clothing to replace those lost in transit.

Related story:   Hey Delta, is this enough compensation for a lost passport?

Meanwhile, the airline responded to Shulman’s claim by offering him 60 percent of what he paid for what WOW Air’s representatives called “essential items.” Shulman was frustrated with the airline’s response and pressed them to define what the airline considered “essential.” After not getting what he considered a sufficient response, he and WOW Air representatives exchanged several emails in which Shulman reiterated his point, and the company repeated its offer. Shulman didn’t help his case by typing many words in all capital letters, which is the equivalent of shouting.

Unfortunately, WOW Air stuck to their guns, and Shulman ended up contacting us to see if we could help advocate his case.

The airline’s representative told our advocate that Shulman, in fact, was receiving a larger percentage of compensation than is normally offered. WOW Air’s policy is that they compensate 50 percent of “essential expenses,” but in this case, Shulman was offered 60 percent as “goodwill.”

WOW also reminded Shulman that most of the items purchased in Iceland, such as winter jackets, could be used again, and that that is the basis for the airline offering travelers only a portion of the expenses made replacing lost or delayed items.

In the end, our advocate told Shulman that there was nothing more we could do for him. He received compensation of $108 for the purchased items, as well as a $140 refund for baggage fees, for a total of $248 compensation.

It wasn’t what Shulman had desired, but at least it was something. We’re sorry for the hassle the Shulmans went through on their Icelandic vacation. But, at least they got some reimbursement for their troubles.

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Mark Pokedoff

Four-time Emmy-award-winning television sports production specialist and frequent traveler. Longtime freelance writer and travel blog enthusiast. Proud papa of four amazing kids who have been upgraded to first class more than all their friends combined. Read more of Mark's articles here.

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