We were recently flying out of OAK (Oakland, CA) and saw a billboard advertising NONSTOP flights to Oslo, Norway for $199 from an airline I’d never heard of in the US, Norwegian Air. You’re thinking, “WTF?!” Right? Yeah, me too. So the next logical thing to do, was obviously to book a flight to Oslo (Check out our Norway travel tips here).
Being one of the first transatlantic ‘budget’ airlines has put them under the microscope. Can they pull it off without a ‘budget’ experience? Here’s the breakdown on our findings:
- We flew non-stop from Oakland, CA to Oslo, Norway. Then from Bergen, Norway to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Then we did the reverse home.
- They fly all new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. They’re beautiful, quiet, fuel efficient, modern and comfortable.
- They do charge for checked baggage, meals and seat selections. Most international flights include these things… and by ‘include’ I mean charge you an absorbent amount within your ticket price for them.Similar to the Spirit Airlines model, with Norwegian Air, you can choose if you’d like to buy a meal or pack your own. You can decide if you’d prefer to carry on your bag, or pay to check. (Read about why you should always carry on your bag) Also, if you do decide to pick a seat, and buy a meal they offer a package that cost me about $30 additional, so no big deal anyhow and the meal was pretty decent and included beer and wine.
- Budget airfare doesn’t come with a ‘budget’ experience on Norwegian Air. We had wonderful service, a clean and comfortable flight, and the inflight entertainment screens were very modern, touchscreen and easy to use.
Overall, we think they’ve pulled it off. Though there’s some controversy over their international business practices and a slight uncertainty of the sustainability of prices, we really think Norwegian Air has a great thing going for them. We really had no complaints and can’t wait to fly Norwegian Air again soon. We hope they stay around (and cheap) for a long time to come.0