Aircraft: Boeing 787-900
Departure: Los Angeles, California (LAX) 1:00 PM
Arrival: London, England (LGW) 5:00 AM + 1 Day
Distance: 5,480 miles
Norwegian has long been touted as the “World’s Best Long-Haul, Low-Cost Airline.” Most low-cost airlines typically operate under the same business model: only pay for what you need. This typically means things like carry-on luggage, seat assignments, and meals aren’t included with the price of your ticket. If you plan to fly with Norwegian make sure to do your homework before you book your ticket.
Elizabeth and I arrived at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) just 90 minutes before our scheduled departure time due to horrendous Los Angeles traffic. I didn’t expect Sunday afternoon to be that busy, but the security queues were about as slow and long as the traffic was, so we ended up getting through right as boarding commenced. I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to spend any time inside the beautiful TBIT, but that just means I’ll just have to schedule another flight out of there sometime.
Norwegian’s 787-900 economy cabin has a total of 288 seats spread across three rows in a 3-3-3 configuration. I had assigned Elizabeth and I seats 17A & 17C with the hope that no one would book the middle seat. The economy cabin only ended up being about 1/2 full anyways so we had plenty of room.
The first thing I noticed when I boarded was the lack of amenities waiting for us at our seats. Even when I flew Delta’s A350 economy to Beijing there was at least a pillow, blanket, and some slippers. Each seat did come equipped with its own inflight entertainment screen, tray table, individual air nozzle, and 110V outlet.
Prior to take off I had a chance to browse the inflight entertainment selection. Norwegian had a decent selection of movies, tv shows, and games to choose from all at no extra charge.
If you needed any amenities they had blankets and headphones for sale. Elizabeth and I actually forgot our headphones so we both ordered a pair. For $3.00 they came with a nice carrying case and had decent sound quality.
Our plane departed LAX right on schedule and reached cruising altitude shortly thereafter. Typically at this point the crew begins the meal service, but since there were a limited number of passengers with meals they waited about another hour to start.
The meal service didn’t consist of any menus, but we were offered our choice between the beef or the chicken entree. Both entrees came served with a side salad and a brownie. Elizabeth and I both chose the beef and it came with some mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes. I thought the food itself was fine, but the meal as a whole seemed a little sparse with the lack of choices and service.
After our meals were cleared I went to the lavatory to change out of my jeans and get comfortable for the flight. The economy cabin had a total of five lavatories, all of which were standard in size and amenities.
When I arrived back at my seat I plugged in my headphones and started watching some movies. About half way through the flight Elizabeth and I got a little hungry, so we decided to check out the snack selection. Norwegian offered a nice variety of snacks with reasonable prices compared to what I’ve seen on some US domestic carriers. We ended up ordering a Twix bar and some potato chips.
I did manage to squeeze in a couple hours of sleep during the flight and woke up with a little less than two hours until our arrival.
At this point the crew was passing out the pre-arrival meal which consisted of a turkey sandwich, brownie and an apple juice. The sandwich was decent, but I thought it was an odd meal choice considering we were scheduled to land around 5:00 AM local time.
We landed at London Gatwick a few minutes after our scheduled arrival and were off the plane in no time at all. Elizabeth and I cleared immigration, changed terminals, and then settled in for our eight hour layover…
I think Norwegian is exactly what they market themselves to be. They offer a quality product that’s tailored to fit any traveler’s budget. For the right price I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Norwegian’s long haul economy again.
Have you flown Norwegian economy? How was your experience?