Norwegian Airlines - Low cost does not mean low quality
11th July 2017 - 11:30am
Shane Cullen (Senior Reporter Travelbiz) reports: Norwegian Airlines launched their very first direct low-cost carrier route from Ireland to Stewart International in New York State. I had little prior experience of Norwegian Airlines. I had a little dig around and I have to say this is not like any other low-cost carrier I’ve experienced. The airline has won the Skytrax award for “Best Low-Cost Carrier” an impressive 5 years straight and “World’s Best Low Cost, Long Haul Airline” in 2016 and 2017. After flying with the airline to NY State, it is easy to see why. They have one of the most modern fleets of any airline, making it economical to for long haul flights given the fuel efficiency and also good for the environment. Not as wide as your usual plane to the US, it has 3-3 formation, though the plane isn’t cramped and I fit comfortably in the seats (at 6’2’’) helped by the more modern seat design. In addition, the cabin crew is very knowledgeable, attentive and polite.
Prices are much lower than typical flights in the market and the customer can decide the optional extras (luggage, food & drinks and seat selection are not included in the basic LowFare fare). If you pay an extra €65 per flight, you can select the great value LowFare+ option. This includes 20kg checked bag, in-flight hot meal and seat selection.
The onboard hot meal service is an optional extra that you pre-order on the website and is as its title suggests - “nice and tasty”. I opted for the succulent beef roast dinner (another option was chicken) with a side salad and a treat of Lilly O’Brien chocolates. Also, when you order a hot meal, it includes a drink of choice (mineral, water, wine or beer) and a tea or coffee. Sandwiches, salads, snack boxes, cakes, confectionary and drinks are available to purchase in flight. Sandwiches $7, muffins $3, soft drinks $3 and a beer at $4.50.
When it comes to onboard entertainment there is an excellent selection of classic movies and recent releases you can stream to your phone or tablet for only $5 per movie. There is also a large selection of TV shows that are free to watch. What has to be the biggest plus of this airline, for me at least, was FREE WIFI! (not fully supported until Feb-18 but was working on our flight). Ok, streaming your favourite movies and TV shows from Netflix may be a challenge but it works with light social media (Twitter/What’s App/email/etc…) like a charm. This is something that can really make the time pass quickly.
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