#940291 by Sealink
21 Dec 2017, 05:27
So, a trip to my favourite city in America, Boston (although that crown is about to pass to Chicago, which is fabulous) without a weekend stay…

Virgin Atlantic was charging £1500 in Y, £2500 in PE and don’t even ask about Upper Class.
Enter Norwegian, the low-cost airline shaking up long-haul travel. As they price per sector, no weekend stay was not an issue, and their prices were decent. They offer a two-class service - Economy and Premium Economy.

Looking at the options, it all fell into place.

A decent departure from Gatwick - 4.15pm. 
Non-stop flights.
Operated by a brand new Dreamliner.
Fastrack security***
Lounge access. 

All for £799 return. I thought that was good value.

That was the reason I decided to try them, what would the experience be like? 

To save you reading further, it was OK. If you want to know why I say that, read on…

*** A few days before departure I contacted Norwegian, as their website indicated (and continues to indicate) that fast track was only available at selected Scandinavian airports. They actually confirmed this on Twitter too, so, as there was a party of five, I arranged Fastrack security direct at Gatwick at £5 per person.

So it was slightly annoying when the Norwegian staff happily explained that as we were travelling in Premium Economy we would receive Fastrack security for free.

It was more annoying when they told my pal that his passport might not be valid for the USA, despite him having an ESTA. This was totally inaccurate, but what a cloud to put on someone before a flight. Even as we landed in Boston we had this awful sense that one of us might be sent back home. Not nice at all. Of course, we rationalised. When you apply for an ESTA, the expiry date of the passport is provided - and this was approved. The US Immigration website said that the passport should be valid for six months after your US departure date, but that there were exceptions for most EU countries. So again, this put our minds slightly at rest. The fact that Norwegian issued a boarding pass at all also indicated that the passport was valid. 
So that was the cloud over our outbound flight to Boston. Like Fastrack security info, the information provided by Norwegian was inaccurate.

Overall, the check-in staff were very pleasant, and being handed lounge passes was nice.

Security was fast enough and before long we were at the Number One Lounge. 

If you have Priority Pass, you are supposedly permitted to use this lounge. However, in recent years, this has been made very difficult, as the staff keep insisting the lounge is full. Indeed, there was a queue of disgruntled looking people waiting outside. 

We were given immediate entry with our Norwegian pass and found seats easily as the place was fairly empty. Staff again were nice, took some food and drink orders and it was a nice place to wait for the flight.

Our flight was boarding, so we headed to the gate. 

I can’t actually remember if Priority Boarding was in place…!

Our Dreamliner.

The plane smelt new. Really new, and indeed it was spotless.

The cabin config in PE is 2-3-2. The flight was fully booked.


Premium Economy Seat

Obligatory legroom shot

Headphones provided free.

During the flight the lights were dimmed.
Does this colour look familiar?

Inflight entertainment was poor, with no movies loaded. This was a fault, which could not be rectified so there was about two hours of entertainment available for the flight.

Norwegian were also obsessed with people standing by the loos and galleys, stating that it was Federal Law that passengers must not stand there. Indeed, at one point I lost my phone (don’t ask) and thought it might have been in my dinner tray. As I helped one of the stewards look through them I was asked to go back to my seat “because passengers must not stand in the galley”. Anyway… small fish I guess.

Before long, dinner was served. This was probably the weakest part of the experience.
There just wasn’t enough served. I was with four other people and we all agreed that the portions were tiny.



I took this picture to show the size of the fork compared to the tray.


Tea and coffee was served in tiny cups. 

Alcoholic drinks were free, and I couldn’t really complain about them!

A few hours later, more food was served.
It was awful. The sandwiches were wet.


And that was Norwegian. 
They departed more or less on time.
The seat was comfy enough. 
And for the price, I couldn’t really complain.

The weather in Boston was stunningly good - very hot and sunny. Which for October was great!
Norwegian are in for a tough winter, filling seats in the summer is easy. But they have added a lot of capacity to the US, rumours are that financially they are stretched and I hope that is not the case. It’s great to have an alternative offer where no weekend stay is required to get a bargain.
Last edited by Sealink on 21 Dec 2017, 13:30, edited 1 time in total.
#940292 by buns
21 Dec 2017, 07:47

Thanks for such an informative TR

As you set at the start, Norwegian pricing is one reason why they are making inroads into the U.K. market - the fact they do fly to Florida is making some consider it a viable alternative to VS.

For the price I think you got a good deal, if if some bits did leave you wondering

#940320 by pjh
22 Dec 2017, 20:12
Taking of the team here, so thank you. At least the leg room looks decent.

As someone who relies on Priority Pass I guess I've been lucky in the past year in having only been denied access twice in using lounges twice a week for the last year. Once it was a 5 minute wait, so no bother, but the other ticked me off royally. On trying to get into the Aspire lounge in AMS on about the 25th visit - same time, same day every week - I was told "we have numerous high capacity flights and cannot let you in". Managing to use the reason that my wife was already in - as she was travelling with me that week - I got in...to find it almost deserted. On,y happened that week...

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