Norwegian Air is changing the scene of long-haul flights to Europe from the US. Their competitive prices and comfortable planes are helping make dreams trips a reality for many Americans – including me! In this post, I will share about my experience as a budget passenger and explain the Norwegian Air hack that will help you get the lowest prices possible on long-haul tickets.
Flying with Norwegian Air
Unlike many other budget airlines, Norwegian uses Boeing 787 Dreamliners for most long-haul flights. These planes feel spacious, have unique window dimming technology, mood lighting and air pressure standards that help combat jet lag.
To avoid frustration and extra fees, be sure to read the ticket options carefully. In summary:
The LowFare offers NOTHING extra. No water, no meals, no pillows, no blankets, no checked baggage, no seat assignment. You CAN watch movies for free! You can also order food and drinks from the screens while onboard and pay right there with your credit card.
LowFare+ allows you to choose your own seat, check a bag and have two meals on the flight. Still no pillows or blankets.
Flex allows you to change your ticket or get a refund.
You CAN buy two one way tickets to get exactly what you need. For example, I chose the LowFare ticket for my flight from the US to London and brought my own water and food with me on board. I also brought ear plugs, and eye mask and inflatable pillow. For the flight home from Oslo, I chose the LowFare+ ticket, which allowed me to take my small backpack out of my suitcase, fill it with gifts and bring it as my carry-on, while checking my suitcase. It also worked out great to not have to worry about bringing food and snacks for the trip home.
The biggest thing to be aware of is that the Norwegian attendants weighed my carry-on suitcase at the ticket counter. Always read the baggage rules carefully! I was prepared to wear my jacket and hiking shoes if necessary to get under the weight limit but the attendant was pleasant and just asked me to have my bag lighter next time.
My experience with Norwegian is that the customer service is good, all attendants in the plane and on the ground spoke good English, the seats were as comfortable as plane seats go, the entertainment options were adequate but not plentiful, the planes felt clean and the food was decent.
How to get the best deals
Norwegian Air’s famously low fare ads reflect the LowFare ticket prices. As mentioned above, those prices may have too Spartan of an offering for many travelers. The earlier you book, the better deal you will get with Norwegian Air. From what I can tell, the ticket price raises in relation to how many seats have been sold. So if you are are able to plan in advance enough, you can sometimes snag a great deal even with the LowFare+ tickets.
Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy 2 one-way tickets rather than a round trip ticket. Or maybe it’s not cheaper, but will save you travel time to get back to where you started and you will save just by flying home from a different airport.
Norwegian only flies to a select few European cities from the US. You can still snag great deals by booking a Norwegian flight to one of their hubs, like London, and then separately purchasing a European budget airline fare to the city of your choice. This method of buying tickets in two separate transactions can save $100s, but be careful to plan enough time between flights to account for delays or long customs lines.
The Norwegian Air Hack
Once you have found a route and ticket that would work for you, you can often save $60+ dollars round trip by booking your ticket in Norwegian Kroner (nok) through the Norwegian version of the website. You should use a debit card with no foreign transactions fees for this hack. This is how it’s done:
- Go to www.norwegian.no
- In the “Fly fra” box type the city you plan to leave from in the US, in the “fly til” box put the city you plan to fly in to.
- Choose dates on the calendar or click “Vis Lavpriskalender” to show the low fare calendar. Click the red button to search.
- The calendar starts on Monday. Once you know that, it’s easy to figure out what the days/dates are in Norwegian.
- Pick the dates you want. You can check the prices by searching “nok to usd” on Google, where you can easily find a conversion calculator that will tell you how much the prices will end up being in US dollars.
- You can have a separate tab open with the American site and prices in dollars if you want. Check to be sure nok prices are $20 or more lower than dollar prices.
- Check the American site to be sure you understand what’s included in the different fare levels and the baggage rules.
- Open up Google Translate on another tab to help you navigate as you move forward on the Norwegian site, or use the Google translate extension on your browser.
- Once you have ensured all you dates, times, fare levels are correct, click the red button to proceed
- You can create an account (easiest to do on American site first) or check out as a guest.
- Carefully go through the steps, using Google translate to help you understand what they are asking. You will need your passport info to complete booking!
Note: Norwegian charges a 1.99% fee for credit cards, no fee for debit cards.
You will receive your booking documents in the Norwegian language, but otherwise should not have any trouble using a Norwegian ticket. Your flights will show up in your account on the American site. I did not have any trouble with check in at the airport because of that.
Note: I am not receiving compensation for this review, nor am affiliated with Norwegian Air Shuttle in any way.