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Norwegian Air

Hi I’m looking for reviews for Norwegian Air. I’m planning a trip from NYC to London and am on a very tight budget. I can book round trip on Norwegian for about $300. Yes I’m
Aware that it’s a budget airline and everything is an added expense and I’m fine with that considering all other nonstop flights are hundreds more. Spending hundreds more would be the difference between being able to afford this trip and not so not a lot of options.
Finnair and virgin are somewhat in the ballpark but problem is departure and return have to be a full week apart which I can’t do.

That being said my fear with Norwegian is reliability. Once I book I want to feel confident my flights won’t be cancelled.

Can someone tell me if Norwegian is a big risk?

Posted by
1268 posts

There is a risk certainly. They are not in a great financial shape, although at the moment the situation is at least a bit better than it was a couple of months ago. And they have been cutting routes to try to become profitable. If that is your only way of being able to make the flight, then book it. But my recommendation is that you make sure you have some kind of travel insurance just in case the worst thing happens.

Also, when do you plan to travel? If it is not in the next few weeks you could also see if other airlines have any sales. New York is a large hub so most European airlines fly there, maybe some of them have good rates on your travel dates?

Posted by
7288 posts

I love Norwegian Air. They are financially sound through 2020.
Here’s a recent thread re: NA on this forum:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/norwegian-air-flight-from-jfk-to-barcelona-too-good-to-be-true

And here’s financial info / article re: NA:

https://m.sfgate.com/travel/article/Low-fare-Norwegian-Air-cancel-routes-sfo-oak-14814211.php

My son and i just flew NA r/t SF-Paris this past Sept/Oct.
Friends have recently bought tickets on NA for next May.
I’d have no hesitation buying tickets again .
Very good airline, exceptional prices, and i lovvvve flying their Dreamliner.

Posted by
106 posts

Norwegian is my favorite airline for USA to Europe. We use them every year. No problems. Most flights are on 787 Dreamliner planes which are more comfortable than other budget airlines. Every seat has a wide selection of movies and TV shows with no extra charge. We bring bottles of water and snacks since their food is expensive and unappetizing.

I really like being able to buy one way tickets. In January we are flying Norwegian from Ft. Lauderdale to Krabi, Thailand with just a short layover in Oslo, Norway for under $600.

Posted by
6543 posts

We've flown on Norwegian 5 times to and from Europe, and are completely aware of their financial position and their terms.
And we're not above picnicing to save $1,000 per round trip.
Go for it for March, 2020.
I see where some of the big legacy airlines are also getting more competitive in pricing. At one point, I expect some of them will lower prices to put a nail in the coffin of budget international airlines like Norwegian Air Shuttle. We badly need budget air carriers to keep prices down to where we can travel internationally often.

Posted by
1268 posts

I’m not flying till mid March.

That is still a few months away, but not that far away so I guess it should be reasonably safe to book the flight. At least if you have some kind of travel insurance just in case the flight is cancelled.

They are financially sound through 2020.

*They claim to be financially sound through 2020.

Posted by
675 posts

I love Norwegian. Love the dreamliner planes. Love the prices.

My only hesitation with them is that they often only have one flight a day from my airport to where ever I'm going, sometimes only one every other day. So if a flight is cancelled for whatever reason (could be their fault, or weather or something else) then they don't have multiple other options to re book you on like some of the larger carriers. If for example, my flight on a Thursday is cancelled, and their next flight to my destination is Saturday and that one is full, then how long could it take to get me where I want to go.

I almost booked them for a trip in March to London but then found British Airways had almost the same price ($320 vs $300 RT) so I went with BA since they have 4 flights a day vs NA's one. But when I can save substantial money I take the small risk and go with NA. In fact now that I'm booked on BA I'm worried the flight itself won't be as pleasant as the one's on NA.

Posted by
212 posts

Another testimony for Norwegian. I've flown them twice including to London at about the price you are reporting and I had no issues whatsoever. I also found the food for sale onboard (sandwiches) to be reasonably priced. Have a great trip!
Cynthia

Posted by
5910 posts

Flying Norwegian the end of the week, first time. Glad to read positive reports. Usually fly British Air or Virgin to London but Norwegian is so much less expensive. Not a long flight from NYC anyway.

Posted by
75 posts

We fly Norwegian Air as first choice if available. We love Norwegian and have never had any problems.
Their planes are clean and the staff is so helpful.

All of the previous comments reflect our experiences, with a few additional comments:
* Have a plan in place in case your flight is cancelled. As mentioned previously, for example, if flights only run Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, make sure you have travel insurance and a back up plan. Never happened to us but did to my best friend—-flight cancelled due to snowstorm.
* Play by their luggage rules. Just like IcelandAir, you never know if you will be picked as a lucky winner of the We Decided To Measure and Weight Your Carryon lottery. Happened to me once but my bag passed. Norwegian’s overhead and under seat carry on storage always seems small compared to other airlines (just my opinion, no proof of this). I always have to use the smaller of my North Face messenger bags for this airline for under seat storage.
* In person staff exceptional but the online and call Customer Service can be somewhat challenging.

* Recommend loading the app onto your phone. Helpful for return flight notices if you are not near WiFi day before return. Example: we received flight updates and boarding passes directly to app day before returning home while finishing a tour. One less thing to think about last day of trip.

We love Norwegian and hope you have good experiences using this airline.

Posted by
7288 posts

“Norwegian’s overhead and under seat carry on storage always seems small compared to other airlines (just my opinion, no proof of this).”

I have the opposite opinion. The Dreamliner overhead bins are much bigger than other planes i’ve flown.

I fly SF to Paris. Both in SF and in Paris there is no in-person staff. NA contracts out the check-in staff and they are useless if you have any question or problem. They just say we can’t help you, we are not NA, we only check-in bags. This is my only criticism of NA. As i said above, i love Norwegian Air - except for no in-person staff at these two airports.

Posted by
411 posts

My hubby and I just returned from London on Norwegian Air. In September we flew Norwegian round trip Orlando/Paris. We have flown with them every year for the last several years and are booked again for September, 2020. We always book far enough in advance so we get the bulkhead seats.

Love the Dreamliner. Flight crew always friendly. No complaints. Their low airfares are what keep us traveling. Sure hope they keep flying!

Posted by
994 posts

I’ve flown them out of London to LAX before without an issue. They canceled my next. September flight out of Madrid because they are reducing their flights to LAX to one a week. I don’t know if that is a year round decision or just seasonal. My travel insurance only gave me a credit toward a feature policy.
I’d go for it! Good luck.