Norwegian has taken their low-cost carrier business model internationally with outstanding success. Skytrax not only named them “Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline” but “The World’s Best Low-Cost Long Haul Airline” as well. The business model for Norwegian (and other low-cost carriers) is simple: only pay for what you need. Instead of wrapping up all of their costs into one ticket price, they break them out individually and let the customer decide if they want to spend the money or not.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be flying Norwegian’s long haul economy product on their Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Los Angeles (LAX) to London Gatwick (LGW) en route to Budapest, Hungary. Since I haven’t flown with Norwegian before I wanted to do some research to find out exactly what is covered in the cost of my ticket. I checked into Norwegian’s carry-on allowance, seat assignment policy, food and drink prices, and in-flight entertainment options to see what sort of extra charges I could possibly incur.
Norwegian allows each passenger one free carry-on bag and one personal item on all of their long haul flights, but your ticket type determines the combined weight restrictions.
I booked a LowFare+ ticket, so I’m allowed to bring on 10 kg or roughly 22 lbs in combined baggage weight.
Unless you booked a LowFare ticket, there is no extra cost to reserve your seat. If you are a LowFare ticket holder on an international long haul flight it costs $45 per passenger, per leg, to reserve a seat ahead of time.
As I mentioned above, my LowFare+ ticket allowed me to reserve my seats at no extra cost. My flight actually looks pretty empty, so Elizabeth and I picked seats 17A & 17C to hopefully avoid having to share a row with anyone.
Food & Drinks
If I’m going to be flying for over 10 hours I definitely need something to eat and drink. I’m not too worried about alcoholic beverages, but at least one meal and some regular drinks are a must. Luckily, Norwegian serves a three course meal on all of their international long haul flights. I’m not sure if there’s much of a selection, but at least they offer something.
Norwegian’s “Award-winning” in-flight entertainment is also included on all international long haul flights. You can choose from a selection of movies, TV shows, games, or a 3D interactive map. Once again, I don’t know what sort of variety they’ll have.
I wanted to make sure I did my homework before my first flight with Norwegian. For a low-cost, long haul carrier they provide quite a few amenities with the purchase of their LowFare+ tickets. I’m sure there will be a couple things that are unique to Norwegian, but for the most part I think it’s going to be an enjoyable flight. Stay tuned for a full review of Norwegian’s 787 economy product in a couple of weeks.
Have you flow Norwegian’s long haul economy? How was your experience?