Norwegian Air

If you haven’t already seen the vlog I made detailing my personal experience with Norwegian Air, you can watch it below, or keep reading to see my full airline review.

I’ve read countless news articles and blog posts on people’s personal experiences with Norwegian Air, and they did not give me the best overall impression of the airline if I’m being honest. As I’ve said in the video above, as I lived in Europe my entire life until earlier this year, I’m pretty well versed in the ins and outs of travelling with budget airlines. I’ve written full reviews on easyJet and Ryanair, which I have used on a yearly basis for over a decade, and on AirAsia, our budget airline of choice when backpacking across Southeast Asia. If you have experience in travelling with short-haul budget airlines like this, just imagine Norwegian to be the exact same but on a long haul scale: no meals, no checked luggage, and no frills at all.

On the other hand, if you’re not used to flying budget, then it is without a shadow of a doubt that flying with Norwegian Air will be a shock to you. Like I just stated, standard ticket prices include your seat and a carry on bag measuring 55 x 40 x 23cm and weighing no more than 10kg. Soft drinks and water are offered to passengers who purchase these basic package tickets one time over the course of a long haul flight, and anything that is requested beyond that will be charged.

While this may seem absurd to some, when comparing the price of Nowegian’s flights with their competitors, you can begin to understand why people opt to fly budget. On the very day that I flew from Dublin to Stewart International, I also had the option of flying with Aer Lingus from Dublin to Newark. The LowFare ticket cost just £306.70, whereas flights from Aer Lingus the same day would have cost me at least triple that for a one way flight. As I had to travel on to South Korea (read why here), I had to check a bag. Upgrading my flight to include seat reservation, one checked bag at 20kg, and one meal on board ended up costing me £403 in total, which was still significantly cheaper than flying with any other airline at that time of year.

In terms of where you can fly from in the UK, Norwegian Air only departs from three airports: London Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh. If you live in Northern Ireland, they also operate out of Dublin Airport which can be accessible via public transportation in a few hours.

When it comes to customer service, which I believe to be what most people scrutinize about the airline, I think I had a relatively pleasant experience. I’ve read horror story upon horror story of people having flights cancelled the night before without explanation, then the airline refusing to reimburse them or move them onto a flight with another airline. I know that the staff at the airport can be extremely stringent when it comes to measuring and weighing luggage, but again I was slightly over on both for both of my cases and was allowed through with no issue. I’m not sure if this is because I had already paid for an upgrade, was travelling alone or if the man checking me in was just in a good mood. I cannot recommend enough ensuring your luggage is within the restrictions the airline outlines or you will be charged an arm and a leg in baggage fees.

Overall, I would only recommend Norwegian Air to those who would be happy to fly long haul on an extremely basic service. The service was not the best, but it got me from A to B. I would highly recommend investing in some sort of travel insurance if you do choose to book with them, purely based on the amount of feedback I’ve read online that flights have been cancelled last minute. Have you ever flown with Norwegian? I’d really like to hear about your personal experiences in the comments below.

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12 thoughts on “Norwegian Air

  1. Hi Caitlin,
    I’m one of those with horror stories with Norwegian, almost every time I’ve flown with them… If my case was 10.5kg, I was hauled to one side, shouted at like a child, made to throw away my lunch, not allowed to put on my jacket. I mean, the behaviour of staff out of Oslo in particular can be horrific. On the other hand, I’ve flown out of Stewart to Dublin and had a pleasant experience. As you suggest, the best way to minimise the pain we seem to pay for low fares is to stick rigidly within their guidelines, keep your expectations low and hope for the best.

    Patrick

    1. Hi Patrick, I actually have flown with them from Oslo to Edinburgh and the service was not so good. I never even realised I’d already travelled with them until you said that.

      Totally agree. Thanks for reading!

  2. Interesting post, Caitlin. I’ve flown with Norwegian Air long haul (to Puerto Rico, route now canned) and to Stockholm and Oslo (both significantly delayed, one by 8 hours as the replacement crew had to be flown over from Norway). I’m giving them a wide berth at the moment while they go through a period of restructuring to get their finances back on track. According to a recent article in the FT, the airline is currently over $6bn in debt. They’ve just announced they’ve cut long haul flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm as they weren’t profitable enough. In the past, such restructuring and borrowing has led to the collapse of airlines, though others turn things around. I just don’t think it’s wise to take the risk right now until the airline is in a better position financially.

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