WOW AIR A320’s TF-MOM & TF-DAD Phoenix 11145 & 11144 July 2015

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As long as you only see it from the starboard side, you’d never know the left wing was missing would you?

These arrived just before I went off on holiday. Icelandic low cost carrier based at Reykjavik, WOW is a fast growing airline with a mission. Not only does it aim to connect Iceland with North America and Europe, it is pushing every boundary to make itself the go-to one-stop carrier from major European airports to the US and later Canada.  It’s embarked on a process of buying A321’s to enable it to transit in less that 1hr 30 minutes through it’s hub and on to Washington and Boston with plans to expand elsewhere.

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TF-MOM (white out of pink) and TF-DAD (pink out of white) are in theory a pretty smart release and I was looking forward to them enormously. They were part of a large order I made in Europe, just to be sure that if UK Phoenix deliveries were not always the finest, that randomly it happens everywhere else too. What are the odds of my delivery always being the worst? Minuscule, at best. If this lot wasn’t good then it proves conclusively Phoenix have dropped the quality ball and fallen asleep.

I loathe to report it, but it is unquestionably what has indeed happened. These two, TF-MOM particularly, are far from acceptable.

Doesn't need much explanation does it?
Doesn’t need much explanation does it?

You always have to worry when the box rattles. You may be aware how many problems there have been on left wings of late. from A330’s to A346’s, the left wing is either loose, fitted poorly, unglued or whatever other cock-up Phoenix think they can get away with this month. Both of these had their left wings completely detached.

While TF-DAD could reasonably be said to have it’s wing put back in with a touch of glue (the factory glue seems to have gone everywhere but in the wing joint), TF-MOM was a write off.

Aviation Megastore, one of the largest retailers on the planet were not sympathetic, stating that it was simply transit damage and it was up to me to fix them! Yeah, right! Clearly they had changed their tune of late, presumably because of so many complaints, before this they would just have replaced them. Problems with Phoenix are clearly an issue on a much wider scale.

Most of the time I am reasonable with suppliers who make an effort to meet me half way. They may not have made the models but they are selling them and in European law, that makes them liable. If it isn’t perfect they are responsible, trying to get away with telling me to sort it myself is simply unacceptable; the days of caveat emptor –buyer beware, are long gone.

I fixed TF-DAD although frankly it isn’t as good as it should be. I sent some more photographs of TF-MOM and they changed their attitude – offering a full refund. And this is why:

just look at it! And that got out of a factory like that? Don't even look at the print quality!
just look at it! And that got out of a factory like that? Don’t even look at the print quality!

Not pretty is it?

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The most interesting part of this is, if that had happened in transit in the box, the paint would have been in the cradle. It wasn’t. This happened in the factory.

So two more models from Phoenix, sourced completely separately, along with the less than perfect JAL 787-9. So far out of that order it’s a 60% fail rate.

The really annoying thing is they are in essence good models – this A321 Phoenix make is pretty sound in general and when it’s made properly, is just about worth the high prices Phoenix charge on smaller models. These were not worth the best part of $40 each!

I can’t keep buying Phoenix models only to find so many are so bad. Of course not all of them are, “only” 60%. Men are far less likely to moan publicly about a bad product, younger collectors often don’t even know how to go about it and they don’t make it easy for you. Phoenix sit in China immune to anything that can be done, the retailers don’t want to upset the apple cart and their income stream and unless it’s constantly challenged nothing will get done.

I’ve put some photos in this “review”, but I refuse to score it because they are simply, so bad. Phoenix, once again should be ashamed of themselves for making such abysmal crap.  

It may not bother them in the slightest, but I’ve cut my orders down by 75% for August. I just will not buy this rubbish.

Feel free to use this images and spread them about if you want to. Maybe, just maybe, Phoenix will pay some attention.

Taken from the good side, it all looks so very nice...
Taken from the good side, it all looks so very nice…

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