Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is Iceland’s low cost carrier WOW Air going bust?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

(EDIT: overnight on Thursday, a US venture capital group announced – subject to due diligence – that it would invest in WOW.  Whilst not guaranteed, if this goes through it should take the pressure off for a few months.)

If you have a booking with WOW Air, you need to keep a very close eye on it.

The airline appears to be on the cusp of going bankrupt.  Icelandair has walked away from its agreed deal to buy the airline (we wrote about that here) and on Wednesday the airline handed back two A330 and two A320 aircraft to their lessors.

Whilst the airline is still flying as of today, you should start to research a back-up plan if you have tickets.  This may include, for example, booking Avios redemptions on the same routes which can be cancelled for £35 if WOW does survive.

Comments (164)

  • Sussex Bantam says:

    I’ve made the app work twice now – just tell it you are going to spend £40 and then stop the pump just after £30.

    I’ve had one success email but no credits to my account yet.

  • antoinette calleja says:

    OT: got a CW reward flight to Seoul. I know nothing about the different planes so can someone suggest the best seats to book. It is on a 788 & most seats seem to be available at the moment including 1A.


    • Genghis says:

      Personally I’d chose 7A/K (direct aisle access) and then if aircraft gets changed to 789 (with F not operating), you’ll still have direct aisle access. Enjoy Seoul. We were there last month.

      • The Lord says:

        Booked a redemption for next year too. Any top tips for Seoul Genghis?

        • Genghis says:

          – take the limousine bus to / from the airport. It’s a bit more expensive than the basic train but can take you very near to where you’re staying (going from hotel we struggled to get a taxi to go down the road in the pouring rain but took bus back).
          – it was raining a lot when we were there for a couple of days (though I’ve been a couple of times before) so we didn’t do everything we wanted to do and we were on a bit of a go-slow anyway. We enjoyed Gyeongbokgung and the guard changing ceremony, the music outside the cultural centre to the east of there, walking around Bukchon Hanok Village, had a decent pajeon from Namdaemun Market and a good korean BBQ round the corner from the Courtyard Namdaemun. We enjoyed the v pricy food at Jihwaja but certainly not worth the money (we’ve eaten at some great restaurants across the world and this didn’t come anywhere near).

        • Genghis says:

          that should say “going from the airport to Seoul station we struggled then to get a taxi…”

      • antoinette calleja says:

        Thanks Genghis will do.

        Any tips appreciated

        • Jake Mcloughlin says:


          You talk about the plane to Seoul being swapped to a 789 with F not operating.

          Is it not possible to upgrade or pay extra in those circumstances?

          Do BA really just let the seats go unoccupied?!

        • Genghis says:

          Not possible to upgrade. Prior to check in I was able to move wife and I into 1A and 2A but then I personally couldn’t check in (wife could and reverted back to her original 7J). I checked in at the airport and was given my original 7K back. Tried to get into F again but no go. After dinner service, we then moved up to F for some kip.

        • Jake Mcloughlin says:

          Thanks for the info! I’ll see what happens to the plane and take it from there though.

          Out of interest what reasons to BA give for not taking payment to upgrade?

          Surely it makes sense to offer cheap(ish) cash upgrades to F to passengers or for free to status members. The former will up revenue while the latter will up useable good will.

          For an airline as thrifty as BA one would have thought it would be considered easy money. Surely has to be easier than scrapping free food in ET to earn an extra £2 profit on a G&T!?!!!

        • Genghis says:

          No staff to run the cabin.

    • Jake Mcloughlin says:

      Thought it may be cost effective to add additional staff members (especially if equipment swap is known sufficiently in advance) and charge for upgrades.

      Must be possible to extrac £1k from Bus class passengers per leg.

      Then again, what do I know. I didn’t make $$$ of profit running an airline last year…

  • Andrew says:

    Newbie query. I am 20000 IHG points short of Spire qualification. Will buying 20000 points in this offer (not the 20000 bonus on top) count towards my qualifying points total or will they just be applied as bonus points too?

    • Genghis says:

      They’re non qualifying. Options (inter alia):
      – spend £10k on the IHG black credit card
      – stay at IHG hotels a lot
      – buy bonus point (is that what they’re called?) packages at hotels as part of the stay, which are qualifying.
      – transfer from Hertz
      Virgin transfers no longer qualifying

    • Sundar says:

      Do you have Curve and need to pay VAT/Corporation tax/HMRC/Council tax of about 10K ?

  • Concerto says:

    Just downloaded the Shangri-La app onto the phone, as opposed to the iPad. I am wondering if I can get these points if I already downloaded the app on another device. Interested, because Golden Circle points are quite hard to come by.

  • Neil says:

    Have you read that article “Marriott learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014″…….You can’t make this up!!

  • G says:

    OT: Using the Lloyds upgrade voucher for the first time. My avios account is now closed so I need to ring in to make a booking. The avios I need for the flight are split across 4 accounts that are part of the same household account. Will this be ok or do the avios all have to come from my account?

    • Charlie says:

      I used two in one go last week and they took the entire balance from my own account (head of our HH account)

    • Ronster says:

      Good afternoon everyone.

      Another O/T question but connected with the Lloyds upgrade voucher.

      A family member has the upgrade voucher from Lloyds Card and wanted to upgrade a possible BA flight I will take.

      However Avios informed, that only the person who’s name was on the account, can actually benefit from the upgrade voucher.

      I have heard people say they have upgraded for others, when they themselves are not actually flying.

      Who does my family member need to talk to to make this happen?

      Many thanks


      • Charlie says:

        The only way you can use the voucher ‘within the rules’ for another person is if you have two of them and use them both at the same time, which will upgrade a return journey for the voucher holder and another person.

        I would suggest HUACA otherwise – another agent may not be so worried now that they’re in their last days.

        • Ronster says:

          Hello Charlie

          Thank you for your advice.

          Would you recommend ringing BA or Avios itself to reserve?


        • Charlie says:

          You need to ring Avios as they are the ones that can ‘see’ the voucher. In truth, the agent will process the booking and draw out the correct amount of Avios from your BA account, but they send the request to another office after for them to adjust the booking to reflect the ‘new’ Avios cost and to mark the vouchers as used (which is why some agents ‘may’ not know that the named person needs to use them).

          0344 493 3349 was the number I used.

      • BJ says:

        Reports of using the voucher entirely for people who do not hold the voucher is extremely rare. Wouldn’t surprise me if a single poorly trained or intentionally generous CSA was responsible for booking all of them.

    • Anna says:

      I made a CW upgrade booking a couple of months ago with 2 vouchers in 2 separate bookings, requiring 100k avios in total. These were drawn from my HHA with no issues.

      Just for info, if you need to call from abroad or use free minutes, I got through by calling 01925 848619.

      • Anna says:

        Apologies, the booking required 200k avios in total (2 upgrade vouchers worth 50k each). I didn’t this many avios in my account so they must have come out of the HHA.

  • Reeferman says:

    OT: BA seems to have “changed” its policy on boarding groups.
    Previously, the boarding pass showed your boarding group based on your individual status – e.g. if you were a bronze card holder travelling with a Gold Card holder (both on the same booking in world traveller) you would have group 2 or 3 shown (I can’t remember which) whereas the gold card holder would have group 1 shown. The verbal advice was to both turn-up and you would be “allowed” to board together in group 1.
    However, for both my outbound flight yesterday – and return tomorrow – the boarding passes now show group 1 for both travellers.
    In effect the actual policy is unchanged, but is now much clearer.
    I asked BA about this when boarding groups were first introduced (thinking it was an error) but was told it was deliberate – which I thought was crazy given you could both book seats for free/ use the lounge etc. Seems I wasn’t alone in that thought – which, to me at least, was always common sense.

    • Neily says:

      I was told when group boarding launched that it was an IT constraint rather than a policy decision. In any case it’s never been an issue , we have always boarded together.

    • Shoestring says:

      @Reeferman: Group 1 on the BP doesn’t in itself give access to the lounge or allow somebody to book seats.

      And it was always BA’s published policy that if somebody in the booking group was boarding group 1, then all the others on the same booking could board with that person.

      • Lady London says:

        same thing works for luggage allowance with BA. Not always, with other airlines.

      • Reeferman says:

        I think you misunderstood me. I said if you were travelling with a Gold card holder you would both be able to access the lounge etc.
        It might have always been BA’s policy – but it was never stated as such on the boarding pass – hence the change clarifies things.

  • Chris says:

    Is there a way to register a card for Amex shop small without logging in to an account? I know this existed in previous years.

    My additional account card is not appearing on my online account and I can’t register a new account as when I enter the card details it defaults to my existing online account.

    • Genghis says:

      I have this for one card. It appears on the app but not on the “PC” online account. So I suggest looking on the app?

      • GRIMZ says:

        Do you have a link to a map that actually works? I have tried loads of different ones and even though I know the merchant is in ‘shop small’ it is not showing. Thanks in advance.

    • Mark2 says:

      There is a choice o ‘open a new account’