Having flown with Norwegian air once before and having to turn right towards economy when boarding I jumped at the chance to try out the premium option on a recent trade mission to New York with UKTi that the airline was sponsoring.
With Norwegian Air still being relative newcomers to the market people are always surprised when I suggest they check their prices before they book else where. So with that in mind I decided to check out a flight from London Gatwick to New York City.
What you need to know about Norwegian:
- Voted Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe and Worlds best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline in 2015.
- The only airline to offer direct low-cost flights from the UK to the US
- Fly from Gatwick to New York, LA, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale from £149
Now first things first, Norwegian is not your standard budget airline. Whilst the prices are low, in fact they are really low, the service is not budget. From checking in Norwegian were fantastic, the service great and uniforms super snazzy!
Having launched in July 2014, the planes are shiny new Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s, and you can tell. The windows are substantially bigger, in both economy and premium you will find USB ports and plug sockets for your gadgets and the air filtered and cleaned to help battle jetlag.
Having read the stats before I boarded I wasn’t convinced that planes could reduce my jetlag. The cabin pressure of the of the 787 Dreamliner is set to 1,800m rather than the standard 2,400. According to Norwegian, this reduces the typical symptoms associated with jet lag such as headaches and muscle pain.
As a contact lenses / glasses wearer I normally want to claw my eyes out at the end of a flight due to the re-circulated air, and I dread the germs that will inevitably leave me feeling rubbish for the rest of the trip. However, having stayed awake through the flight to check out the films I found that my eyes were not only fine but I didn’t feel groggy in the slightest.
My flight left Gatwick at 17:10 and landed at 20:30, a slightly awkward time. I always try to fit in with the time zone of the country I’m travelling to and decided to make the most of the inflight entertainment system. I sometimes find myself wishing that I could have a marathon TV or film day, but it’s on long haul flights I realize that there are only so many films that a girl can watch without going a little mad, luckily the selection was good, and with a few games of solitaire and the ability to work (thanks to the plugs and ports) I made it through the flight having not slept a wink and ready to hit my bed in NYC.
As with all budget airlines I’ve flown with meals are extra. Norwegian has the same policy for economy and in premium flyers receive two meals, in my case, a dinner (beef and rice), and a snack (cheese and salad). I’m not a huge fan or plane food, I think there are limitations to what you can do that high in the sky and Norwegian are no different. For plane food it was OK, but even in premium don’t expect Michelin stars. However, the service was excellent. The cabin crew was on hand to provide bottled water, tea, coffee, juices, wine and beer.
Having now flown in both economy and premium with Norwegian would I recommend them? Yes! With more routes being launched and the mentality and service of a startup in the air I wouldn’t hesitate, in fact I’m already looking for flights in Europe to put the free Wi-Fi to the test!
If you’ve flown with Norwegian air before or another great airline that’s worth checking out let me know in the comments below.