Flying with Norwegian Air

I still remember the day we booked the Norwegian Air flights. I had just arrived in Sonoma for a bachelorette party in April after a long, 4 hour drive. Somehow, this deal came to my attention and I scrambled to search for details on my phone. Roundtrip Oakland to Stockholm for $400?!

Later I found out November is not exactly the hottest (literally) time to visit, hence the cheaper flights. However, I was pleased we landed a multi-city itinerary over Thanksgiving week for $460pp. We later bought an additional Bergen > Oslo leg for another $80.

Norwegian Air has been around since 2013 and I knew my coworker had done a quick 4-day trip to Stockholm with a similar deal. Just so you know, these prices stayed as they were for another few months so I really didn’t need to rush. Melissa and Alex ended up joining me on this itinerary for $550 about a month before the trip.

Back to the airline experience….

Buying the tickets
I can’t actually speak to this portion because Robin ended up booking on my behalf using a computer. In general, I find these discount airline websites to be pretty glitchy so it’s better to be sitting at a computer. There is always a wait to make sure your reservation goes through and some double checking you need to do on your end.

As is usually the case with discount airlines, is the option to pay extra to pick your seat, check-in baggage or pre-pay for meals since none are provided. We decided against all of them.

Checking in
There’s no point in checking in online since you won’t get your boarding pass anyway. I’m not sure how this affects seat assignments, but we didn’t check in until we arrived at the airport. Without bag drop, the kiosks are super fast and simple – just scan your passport or enter your booking number. You have the option to change your seats here but we found, with 2 people, that we got good seats. Both there and back, we were placed in the middle section so we had at least 1 aisle seat.

Boarding/Carry-on Luggage
Travelers always worry whether the airline will ACTUALLY enforce the 20kg weight limit rule. I was particularly careless in this case and completely forgot to pack to the weight limit. They did not check baggage at all on my flight and I walked on with my carry-on luggage and a purse.

On this particular flight, the staff at OAK were actually yelling a bit to get everyone in line and organized to board. They were running ~20 minutes behind boarding schedule and likely are kept to an on-time metric. All passengers were huddled together around the gate but they urged people to step aside and boarded by row number. Sitting in a later row helps here because there is plenty of space to put your luggage in the overhead bins. Overall, there does not seem to be luggage space issues on Norwegian Air flights, given their heavy weight and quantity rules.

The Plane
New Boeing Dreamliner 787. I don’t know much about planes so I can’t tell you much beyond that, but it felt new and was very enjoyable.

Entertainment/Food
The screens in front of your seat are just like Level Airlines and others that provide a screen with USB outlet for charging right in front of you. There is a very smooth and easy-to-use touch screen to swipe through video selections or view a Flight Map.

They have about 30-40 movies and TV shows available to watch, though noticeably none of them have subtitles. I only know this because I didn’t bring earphones on this trip and could not even watch something in silence. Earphones are $3 to purchase on the plane. However, on my flight back to Oakland they did not even have any available. Definitely come prepared.

Where I was prepared, was with 2 foot long Subway sandwiches that I carried on to the plane. I was really surprised to find that several people paid for the meals on the plane. A beverage cart comes through and only serves those with trays in front of them. If you didn’t pre-pay for your meal, you can order from your seat. Sandwiches are ~$7 which is not bad at all. If you did not want to stink up the plan with Subway like me, this would not be a terrible option!

If you have any other questions about flying with Norwegian Air, don’t hesitate to give me a holler at giraffetheory1@gmail.com

 

 

 

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