SOMEWHERE OVER GREENLAND — Let me get right to it: Norwegian rocks.
1. Norwegian Air Shuttle is a low-cost long haul carrier and the first to fly non-stop between the U.S. and Scandinavia, having launched that service in 2013. And they put a lot of consideration into it.
This likeable airline is in growth mode, with a fleet of the most efficient and modern long-haul aircraft on the market. With the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, they’re getting you up and away with panache. The Dreamliners are generating high marks while the airline itself holds fast to lower than expected fares. I won’t cite specific fares as they are naturally subject to change, but if you price out a few trips on Norwegian’s Low Fare Calendar who knows, you might even be in for a $69-esque jolt or two…
2. We can agree – can’t we? – that a new airline with global reach that gets stuff right is cause to rejoice. So on to the second thing to get you up where the air is clear with Norwegian…that quirky mood of Norway this particular product offering puts you in. Is that Greta Garbo painted on the tailfin? Might be. Cool. And, is that a Moods of Norway jacket draping elegantly from the shoulders of a friendly cosmopolitan flight attendant? Sure is. I want one, too!
3. Only connect. Supposing a Scandinavian holiday isn’t in your deck of travel cards. No problem. Norwegian’s already flying some 439 routes to 132 destinations, meaning you no longer have to tangle with a Franken-airport like Frankfurt (yes! I hate it! and you know you do, too!) to get yourself to the European gateway or other destination of your choice. And not only Oslo: Stockholm and Copenhagen are also turning into major connection points for Norwegian. Plus, now that you can buy a one-way ticket to Europe without paying through the nose as is still the case with many American carriers, your travel options just multiply. Again, check out the Low Fare Calendar and see for yourself.
4. Did somebody say Premium? Yes, I just did…and I flew in Norwegian’s Premium cabin from Oslo to New York’s JFK last month. Wider seat, more recline. There was a great in-flight entertainment system which I gleefully did not use, so entranced was I by the larger-than-normal 787 Dreamliner photo-sensitive windows that dispense with shades, and so happy was I to sit back in a very comfortable seat and chat with my one seatmate, we’ll call him Thor because he was certainly no Steven, about trends in global maritime shipping. Riding high on my free baggage allowance for up to two suitcases, I was even happier to tuck into my Premium class meal of Norwegian grilled salmon and trimmings, neatly boxed with complimentary beverages to boot. All served solicitously.
They served another meal, lighter, closer to landing. This consisted of a Scandinavian meat salad, quite tasty, as well as some other treats. And another beverage service.
5. Here’s a sample view from one of them fancy new 787 windows (with thanks to Thor for letting me lean in)
If you look hard enough you might see Bjork or one of her reindeers on the horizon..
6. Hubba hubba…New York is a major North American hub for Norwegian, but long-hauls to Oslo and Stockholm depart from LAX, too. More non-stops, from Las Vegas to Oslo, CPH and Stockholm, are kicking off Oct. 31, and from Dec. 3, direct service from JFK to the French Caribbean (specifically, the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique) will put more winter vacation destinations within reach. Clearly, Norwegian is going places.
6b. Also, regarding Oslo and Premium…your slightly higher fare ticket grants you access to the Norwegian airport lounge, but not having time to check it out (tight connection from BCN) I had to content myself with stocking up on bizarre-cool Scandi treats like these raspberry Rox taffies that are almost guaranteed to pull your teeth out and that I also highly recommend.
6c. So in conclusion…