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Has anyone flown Norwegian Air from USA to Europe/UK/Ireland on 737-800?

I took advantage of the inexpensive flights from Newburgh/NY-USA to Ireland this August but wondering if I will regret this. I have read some terrible reviews about this airline with regard to cancelling flights and offering poor customer service and now have found out there is no in-flight entertainment on long haul 737-800 flights except a poorly working wifi (and no place to plug in your device to charge it). I have read that the 737 Dreamliner is OK and that the premium seats are fine but I will not have that advantage in my situation.

Has anyone on these forums flown one of these flights? Is it really as bad as I have read? Any comfort advice to offer? I am a larger woman that usually books premium or comfort seats on International or East-West Coast flights. Booked an aisle seat so I can get up and stand. Not physically confident operating equipment in an Exit row.

I am not able to take any sedatives, including Benadryl, and I do not want to drink much wine on the plane as I will want to be alert when I arrive in Dublin.

Appreciate any advice and thanks in advance.

Posted by
6767 posts

My Mom has, although I have no idea which plane model (does it matter?). She flew from Los Angeles to Olso and then onto Warsaw, and had nothing bad to report except they were sticklers about luggage weight (and she tends to overpack). The plane was brand new and really modern, not sure about seats. My advice: don't read reviews of airlines after you have already bought the ticket, don't worry in advance (wasted energy on something that may not come to pass), wear comfortable loose clothing during the flight, and bring a book or (better yet) try to actually sleep on the flight so that you can minimize jet lag. Also, read the fine print about what you'll have to pay for in terms of food, checked-in luggage, etc. Even if you don't have a stellar experience, they will get you there and at least you've saved money which you can spend on the ground to make your trip more enjoyable.

Posted by
2016 posts

Look at www.seatguru.com to preview the cabin layout and seating arrangement. Might help you select the best seating location based upon your preferences. Seating on the Norwegian Shuttle, especially on the 737, can be tight but you can usually find something tolerable by reviewing their seat maps in advance.,

Posted by
3296 posts

Mon dieu, a 737 transatlantic? Better be cheap for that! Of the single aisle planes I have flown an extended 757 transatlantic many times but those had personal entertainment screens.

Posted by
8055 posts

I have two friends who have flown Norwegian several times and were very happy with the plane, seat, service and entertainment. One is also a poster here, hopefully she'll see this post and respond.

Posted by
14 posts

Took Norwegian in 2015 from Oakland, CA to Oslo non stop en route to Munich, Salzburg,Paris and back with my husband. We were happy with the Dreamliner ( at that time, the interior smelled like a brand new car), seat and service. Wi Fi was good. Did not experience any delays. Good you booked an aisle seat, gives you more room. We are planning a trip and will use this airline again.

Posted by
238 posts

Thank you all for your replies. The plane I was scheduled to be on was a 737-Max. Apparently, it might be a 737-800 instead. I have read things online about people saying they did not even get water unless they paid for it on board. Once we are past Security, can't we buy a bottle of water and take it on a plane or has that changed?

By the way...before I purchased my tickets I did read good reviews for this airline but I did not realize that I would be flying in a 737-800. I thought I would be on a Dreamliner with the option to upgrade to a premium seat. Also...I am the type that likes to keep logging in to my airline booking and will keep changing my seat assignment based on the latest map, but they are not allowing this at this time. I like to try to get an empty seat between me and another traveler if possible. Sometimes if a flight is not sold out, this is possible.

Posted by
6767 posts

I think it would be wise to buy your own water and take it onboard...I think they do charge even for that. You also have to pre-order a meal online if you plan on using their onboard catering service.

Posted by
1202 posts

Purchases made post security are still allowed onboard including liquids larger than 3 ounces.

According to seatguru Norwegian premium economy seats are only available on 787 aircraft. As the Dreamliner has a greater range vs. the 737 it's likely that the are being used on their longer flights from Europe to the west coast US.

Posted by
3477 posts

The 737-MAX is approved for commercial service finally, but there are very few actually in service, so you most likely won't see that plane. But it is no different on the inside as far as space goes than any other 737 -- 6 seats across with the same legroom restrictions of the 737-800 and -900. The improvements making it a MAX are lighter weight construction similar to the 787 Dreamliner which give it longer range and better fuel economy.

The 737 planes that Norwegian use have only standard economy, no premium.

Good luck.

Posted by
2788 posts

I have never heard of a 737 Dreamliner. Most of the time a Dreamliner is a 777 or maybe even a 787. I have found NA's prices very attractive but when flying from Seattle non-stop to Europe yearly, a 9 1/2 hour flight, I would never choose a 737 since that is not an option anyway since it only has one isle. I just flew from Seattle to the East Coast on an Alaskan Airlines 737. a 5 1/2 flight with no free food and no entertainment devices. I booked an Economy Extra seat for both ways and got one outbound but was told that my flight home from Boston had a plane change that had no EE seats and that flight was delayed for 7 hours. My last flight on Alaskan Airlines. You are lucky to be flying from the East Coast with its much shorter and cheaper flights.

Posted by
238 posts

Thank you all. I am wondering if I can get a refund since I honestly thought I was going to be on a Dreamliner with possible upgrade to Premium available when I first booked. Then I heard 737 Max. Now it is 737 800. UGH! I mistakenly typed 737 Dreamliner when I meant to just type Dreamliner ;-)

By the way...why does the one aisle thing bother so many people? I get up and walk around on flights a lot but I usually stay in "my" aisle and I have never seen people walking around the planes much. I always feel like I am the only one that gets up and walks every 1-2 hours. Is it poor etiquette to get up and walk every hour on a single aisle plane? I have to do this as I do not want my legs to swell up or to get a a blood clot. I also have to keep the joints lubricated by moving around.

Posted by
6767 posts

I am wondering if I can get a refund since I honestly thought I was
going to be on a Dreamliner with possible upgrade to Premium available
when I first booked.

What exactly happened when you booked? Was the plane type and seating arrangement indicated (or not)? I'm sorry to say this, but I don't think you'll be able to get out of this penalty-free on a non-refundable ticket. It doesn't hurt to check, but I would keep expectations low.

I don't think anyone has objections for someone to get up as many times as they need....did someone gave you that impression? Some people simply don't need/want to get up - that doesn't mean that it's not a good idea. You obviously should do what's good for your health no matter what others do or think.

Posted by
8959 posts

I wouldn't get hung-up the type of aircraft, it personally never matters to me as long as I get an aisle seat. FWIW I once flew on a 787 to Australia on United and it was a miserable experience. The plane was freezing cold. I asked one of the FAs if the heat could be turned up or something, and she explained to me that since the dreamliners are built with "lightweight" material they are less insulated and colder than most other jets, and pointed to all the other FAs who were wearing heavy clothing:) I won't avoid 787s in the future, I'll just wear long johns next time.

Posted by
238 posts

The equipment/plane type showed up after I booked. It was 737-Max. I looked that up and had some anxiety about it after reading about the recalled engines, etc.

However, a couple pilot friends told me this was not a bad thing in that this would assure the plane was well tested and ready plus that it could fly longer/farther. Then, suddenly, the seat map went off the website for my booking. I called to ask why because I like to keep switching seats (online) and they said my plane was still scheduled to be 737 Max but that I was not allowed to see the seat map. Then, I read somewhere that it was 737 800s going to Dublin from Newburgh instead of 737 Max.

I am not afraid to fly, as I travel often, but I do have serious health anxiety (documented). I keep reading how people would never take a 737 across the Atlantic. That is making me more anxious! I want to enjoy this trip!

Posted by
238 posts

About getting up and walking...no one on these forums has given me the impression that this is a bad thing. I have read so many things online about people who would "never fly a single aisle plane" on a long haul flight. I was wondering why and what they meant. If I am on a 2-4-2 plane I stick to the aisle I am in. I walk all the way to the bulkhead in front and then all the way to the back and then back to my seat. I always warn the flight attendants in advance.

Posted by
6767 posts

You have to keep in mind that there is a lot of drivel on the internet, and negativity and complaints about everything under the sun. It's probably better not to read negative anonymous reviews if they just end up inducing unnecessary stress without adding anything valuable to your knowledge base. It sounds like you're in an anxiety spiral that more and more reviews and opinions just won't cure, so just try to step away from it all for at least a week or two until you can get more emotionally detached. Don't "keep reading"...just try to stop altogether for a while. I hope that it can help.

Posted by
3477 posts

The one aisle bothers people because it reduces the opportunity to move about the cabin when the flight attendants have the carts out. Usually with two aisles only one is blocked at a time. Now how you get from the blocked aisle to the clear one can be difficult. Larger (two aisle) planes also have more toilets which reduce the wait. They also usually have better in flight entertainment systems. Smaller planes can also feel like the ride is rougher to some people.

But don't worry about the dependability of the plane, they would not allow one to be used for the trip if there was any doubt of the capability of that type of plane to cover the distance. And even a single aisle plane can fly quite a distance with only one engine running.

Posted by
238 posts

Good advice, Agnes. This was such a spontaneous trip, meeting a longtime friend at Dublin Airport who is traveling from Amsterdam. I normally do a LOT more research but when I saw that I could get round trip for $500 I jumped at the chance.

Posted by
6767 posts

Lisa,
There's no need to do a lot of research (and overanalyzing) when the airfare is $500 round trip. You did very well for yourself and everything will turn out fine. Good luck to you and have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
238 posts

Thanks for explaining this, Mark. I have often told the FAs about my concerns and they have usually been nice. On one Alitalia flight, they told me to walk back to their "hangout" in back of the plane to get whatever I need and stand around and talk to them, which I did. At other times, I have stood in that spot where there is a porthole type window near the door and done a few calf raises and knee bends. I think that letting the FAs know ahead of time is the key.

Posted by
1093 posts

Hi Lisa --
The Norwegian Air planes that fly from the West Coast are the larger and modern 787s. They are nice and clean and reasonably comfortable with individual entertainment screens and phone/tablet plug but no wifi.
I believe that all the planes from the East Coast (or at least the North East) are the smaller 737s.
Unless you purchased cancellation insurance it is unlikely that you will get your money back from NA.
I agree with the other posters who recommend that you stop reading about the planes and just plan to have a wonderful time with your friend.

Posted by
1202 posts

Another reason that people don't like single aisle aircraft is that they can feel confining or claustrophobic. Wide body jets feel more spacious. I know given the choice for an 11 hour flight I'd prefer the wide body plane.

In case readers don't know, seat pitch or leg room is controlled by the airline that's why it's advisable to check on seat guru even if the flights you're looking at are on the same type of plane.

I've flown the 787 long haul twice. British Air and Virgin Atlantic. Both times there was no issue with the aircraft being cold. YMMV.

You got a great fare, enjoy your trip!

Oh, forgot to add the MAX has already entered service with foreign airlines in Asia.

Posted by
12773 posts

You are lucky to be flying from the East Coast with its much shorter
and cheaper flights.

That's what I'm thinking as well PLUS you got your flight for $500?!! Wow. It's just not as far or as expensive as those of us in Central or West Coast U.S. have to fork over. In-flight entertainment is not a deal-breaker: I've never been able to enjoy the movies on screens over the center aisle (too short) and our last experience with that was on Alitalia (Chicago to Rome) just a few years ago! Wifi? Something else we've really never had so haven't missed.

I don't think there's any reason to worry about your plane being safe, and it shouldn't be too tough to keep yourself busy from NY to Ireland. Bring a book (maybe one about Irish history?); bring crossword puzzles; bring a deck of cards and play solitaire; spend some extra time with your Ireland guidebook; get up and walk around; eat something fun you bought at the airport; listen to music on your device (you should have plenty of charge for some of that); nap... All sorts of ways to pass time!

Posted by
3296 posts

FWIW: There was a summer about 10 years ago that a 737 flew Minneapolis to London (about 8 hours flying time). This wasn't the extended version so there was a refueling stop in Newfoundland. I know someone who took and he said it was fine. Also, Westjet flies 737s transatlantic from Halifax NS to Glasgow.

Posted by
8055 posts

You don't need to buy water after going through security. Bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it up in the restroom or at a water fountain.

Glad that Sharyn did respond.

I walk the aisles every 1-2 hrs as well. Lots of people do. I've never told a FA and they never seem to even notice. I used to fly United, and hanging out at the back with the FAs was always enjoyable. Last flight on WOW didn't have a back area where TAs hang out. I save People Magazines to flip through while flying, then give them to the FAs who always seem very happy to get them. Always good to make friends with FAs... : )

Posted by
7809 posts

The Norwegian site indicates they have 2 ( two) 737 MAX-8 planes in the fleet. Received them in June

And if you bought this FA story about the plane temp, I have some gold plated muffler bearings for sale at 50% off

"""-I wouldn't get hung-up the type of aircraft, it personally never matters to me as long as I get an aisle seat. FWIW I once flew on a 787 to Australia on United and it was a miserable experience. The plane was freezing cold. I asked one of the FAs if the heat could be turned up or something, and she explained to me that since the dreamliners are built with "lightweight" material they are less insulated and colder than most other jets,""""

Posted by
247 posts

The FA who thinks a lightweight material loses more heat is simply covering for the boss's cheapness. Lightweight materials can be excellent insulators. At 35,000 feet it is about -70F outside and the the real thing that keeps the occupants from freezing is burning more fuel for heat (=$). In general there's no technical reason one type of aircraft has to be cooler on the inside than another. Fly with a carrier that cares more about your comfort.