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Europe Scandinavia

Norwegian Airlines – The Secret Portal Into Europe

By on January 14, 2016
Europe Scandinavia

Long haul flights from the US to Europe are cheaper than they’ve ever been, thanks greatly in part to Norwegian Airlines, the world’s best kept secret in terms of low cost transatlantic flights. Norwegian is Europe’s #1 low cost airline, and they’ve recently expanded into the long haul category with new routes throughout the U.S., departing from and arriving to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston and Las Vegas. From Europe – they fly to Bangkok dirt cheap – a great jumpoff spot for a Southeast Asia trip. To major cities within Europe – even cheaper. It’s a great airline to follow, and at the very least – join their mailing list.

Norwegian Airlines Destinations

So, why aren’t more people talking about Norwegian? Probably because the word “Norwegian” is something that doesn’t cross your mind very often. We typically stick to Kayak.com or similar when the urge hits to buy a ticket, but this practice ignores the email driven sales that airlines typically dew every other month or so, featuring destinations for low prices during certain date periods.

If you love to travel and you love saving money, it’s time to get hip to Norwegian. Their transparency, and low cost of long haul flights from the US to most major cities in Europe is truly refreshing.

norweigian-route-map

In addition to weekly direct flights from LA, SF, NYC, LV, and MIA to Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, and others, they also boast the newest fleet of 787 Dreamliners, with their average aircraft being only 2.5 years old – the entire experience a pleasant one.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner isn't perfect, but it's close.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner isn’t perfect, but it’s close.

The 787 Dreamliner flies higher and quieter than other aircraft, uses less fuel, has bigger windows, and a modern electronics / menu and bar set up in the seat back of every seat.

IMG_7194

Living in Oslo for the last 2 years has provided me the opportunity to fly on Norwegian both on long haul flights and shorter flights throughout Europe upwards of 10 times, so I’m an experienced Norwegian traveler. Having brought many friends and family to visit me over the past year in my new second home of Oslo, I’ve also been tracking prices and trends and booking tickets for friends through Norwegian exclusively.

This year I flew my mom from LAX to Oslo round trip for around $370 (a direct 11 hour flight) on a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Seems too good to be true, right?

SWEET TIP: If you browse the Norwegian version of their website (norwegian.no) you can usually save around $100 or more on the total fare.

How do they do it? Let’s break down the up and coming “low cost airline” model which is taking over the airline industry.

This model of airline pricing basically means – checked bags, meals, and seat reservations are not included in the price of the ticket, but are rather available as ‘upgrades’ to standard airfare.

Norwegian’s base fare includes one checked bag and one carryon item, but excludes a meal (snacks can be bought periodically throughout the flight) and excludes the option to pick your seat. The meal and seat can be added a-la carte for an additional fee.

The “Flex” level includes the meal and seat selection at a price slightly lower than if you were to choose them both a-la-carte using the base fare option. Smart

The “Premium” level offers slightly bigger seats which recline as well as complimentary drinks and a slightly better meal. You can usually upgrade to Premium at the gate for around $300 if there are seats available as well.

While some deem this model as nickel-and-diming the customer, low cost airlines prefer to phrase it in the vicinity of “you only pay for what you need.”

So – if you could fly anywhere in Europe round trip for under $500, where would you go?

Leave a comment below, and let me know if you have had a good or bad experience flying Norwegian!

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Rick Robbins
Oslo, Norway

Instagram: @apirateslife
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I left California in 2011 to find the perfect beer.
This is where I choose to discuss life, gear, electronics, music, travel & more in search
of a more colorful human experience.
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