In a 90-minute debate on consumer rights post-Brexit, Labour MP Darren Jones shamed Icelandic airline WOW for high additional charges and poor customer service. On a recent trip to Iceland, Jones and his wife were charged GBP 75 (ISK 10,300/USD 100) at the departure gate for their carry-on baggage, which he stated was “more than the price of the ticket itself.”
Jones, who was previously a legal counsel at BT responsible for consumer law compliance, paid the fee at the departure gate, believing he could protest it later. “However, I faced a bit of a problem. It transpired that the acceptable size for on-board baggage on Wow airlines is significantly smaller than for other budget airlines, but the online order journey did not make that clear.”
Jones contacted the airline after his trip “but the customer service was awful. I had copy and paste responses to my question. Clearly, other customers had challenged it because the company gave copy and paste answers. When I challenged the detail of the answer, I was told that the company would no longer speak to me.”
Jones did not back down and complained instead to the consumer ombudsman, a voluntary organization, which approached the airline but was unable to get their cooperation. He then sent a letter to WOW’s CEO, but did not receive a response.
Business Minister Margot James responded that Jones’ complain was “very justifiable” and added “Post-Brexit we must make sure that our consumer protection is fit for the future.”