Posted on 11/02/2016
Norwegian Airlines – who are they and what are they like?
Many of you won’t know much about Norwegian Airlines and many might not think that they are likely to fly anywhere you’ll want to go. Get ready to be surprised!
As the name may imply this airline began life on Scandinavia, wanting to expand they have set up hubs all over Europe, one of their biggest is here in the UK, moreover they have actually registered their UK operations as a UK business so technically they are a UK carrier for some of the flights that begin in the UK.
They have been flying as a UK carrier for about two or three years now and we have been actively selling them for more than a year.
We like to test the flight we put our clients on and I was able to do this just recently when I took a trip to Los Angeles to check out both the airline and the destination. It was the first time I had been there and of course the first time we flew Norwegian Airlines.
Maybe I’ll talk about Los Angeles another time, in this blog I’m concentrating on the flight with Norwegian Airlines.
The first thing to tell you is that they have a fleet of the newest Boeing 787’s, these are lovely aircrafts to fly on, new aeroplanes always are. The IFE (In Flight Entertainment) is the latest available touch screen affair with more than enough films, TV and music to keep you entertained for the duration of the flight.
There was loads of space in the overhead bins to put your “stuff”, sometimes, especially if you are one of the last ones on, the bins can get filled and you’re the one that the cabin attendant takes the bag from to store somewhere else on the plane – don’t you just hate that, you’re worried about your bag the whole flight! As I said not a problem with Norwegian’s new B787’s.
Window shades are a thing of the past on this new aircraft, instead they have photochromic glass which darken at the touch of a button and the windows themselves are bigger than the usual port hole we’re all accustomed to. The cabin has mood lighting which is supposed to help you adjust to jet-lag, I confess it didn’t work for me but it did make for a very comfortable cabin.
Norwegian Airlines professes to be a “low cost carrier”, bringing the cost savings of their new lighter aircraft to you but you’d not know that from the overall service, when you book through a travel agent, your meals and two pieces of luggage at 20 Kg each are included in the cost, not always so if you book online, you have to check the specific conditions of your ticket.
When I travelled I couldn’t check-in online which I was dis-pleased about but at least I could choose my seat at the time of booking, something other carriers are taking away – so I got the seats I wanted. Some people may not be too happy about the 3,3,3 seat configuration, mostly because the odd number means people travelling in two’s or four’s can’t get the optimum seating for their party.
As I said when booked with us, your meals are included, one hot meal with a choice of drinks and tea or coffee and one cold meal with a drink and a choice of tea or coffee. If you needed anything else you could order it from the comfort of your seat using the IFE system, they have a choice of meals, snacks and drinks available as well as duty free options, expect aircraft prices through!
Headphones and blankets are available to purchase, but as with most people these days, we all had our own headphones which worked fine on their IFE system.
The seats were as comfortable as could be expected in the economy cabin, the seat pitch was a little more than you would get on BA at 31-32 inches and sensibly toilets both in the middle and rear of the aircraft. The recline is no better than you’d get on any other carrier and I think that’s the message I’d send out to our clients, it’s as good as BA or American in many respects and better in some. It is better value overall and with the extra baggage, that’s just a bonus.
For those who want more room, Norwegian offer a premium economy product, the seats are wider, there is much more legroom and each seat reclines to about 40 degrees. The leg rest supports your legs and feet well and is reminiscent of the old Air Jamaica Business Class seats were it just a little wider.
All in all Norwegian get a thumbs up from us at Club Caribbee/Travelshop.