Norwegian Airlines flies Boeing 787 Dreamliners for its long-haul transatlantic routes and offers a Business Class that is better than the Premium Economy offered by the likes of British Airways (read my review of British Airways Premium Economy), but that is not as good as the Business Class (or Club World) products offered by the major carriers. This intermediate product, described by Norwegian as “Business Class in the 1990s” (and which is similar to domestic first within the US), offers larger seats in a separate cabin from economy but not lie flat seats.
What I like about Norwegian is the age of their planes. Norwegian’s fleet consists of more than 100 aircraft including Boeing 737-800s for its short-haul operation and Boeing 787 Dreamliners for its long-haul operation. With an average fleet age of just 3.6 years, Norwegian has one of the youngest and greenest fleets in the world. This means that their Premium product is consistent across the fleet and you can enjoy flying transatlantic in the newest planes.
What Do You Get If You Fly In Norwegian’s Premium Cabin?
- Lounge access at selected airports (from a partnership with No1 lounges)
- Priority Boarding
- Fast Track through security where available
- Comfortable seat in the Premium cabin with 46 inch legroom (compares with 38 inches on BA World Traveller Plus)
- 2 checked bags x 20 kg included (compares to 2x23kg luggage on BA World Traveller Plus)
- Seat reservation
- Complimentary drinks before departure
- Pre-dinner drinks
- 3-course dinner including drinks
- USB charger and power outlet by your seat
- State-of-the-art touch screen entertainment system
Norwegian Airlines Premium Menu
- A cold pasta/salad starter
- For the main course you have the choice between either a meat or fish dish served with vegetables and potatoes or rice, accompanied by a bread roll and butter
- The meal is rounded off with pudding for dessert
- Coffee/tea is served after the meal, as well as an after dinner drink where you can choose between Bailey’s or a cognac
- A light meal such as a salad or cold cuts with a bread roll and butter, or a sandwich
- A sweet or savoury treat
Norwegian Airlines Premium Cabin
The Premium cabin is at the front of the plane and seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration with 5 rows of seats at the sides and 4 in the middle. The best seats are the window and aisle seats in the 2’s to each side of the plane, the worst is seat E which is in the centre of the 3 in the middle of the plane. There is plenty of luggage storage space in the Dreamliner’s overhead bins. Norwegian does not provide amenity kits but they do have a mesh bag with a thick blanket, and they also pass out headphones in nice little cases.
Norwegian Airlines Economy Cabin
Norwegian’s economy cabin has seats arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration with 31-32 inches of pitch which feels quite tight. It is worth paying to reserve a seat if you can book into seats A, B or C in row 6 which are in front of an exit door and are easily the best seats in the cabin with loads of leg space. D, E or F in row 6 are also a good choice and then G, H or J in row 7. It is also worth paying to reserve a seat to avoid being in the middle of a 3 set of seats.
Each seat includes an Android-powered on-demand entertainment system in the seat back in economy and on an arm in Premium. They have a good picture and offer free entertainment.
Food on Norwegian Airlines in Premium
If you’re traveling in economy, you’ll need to pay for your meal but can order the Premium meal. It is worth noting that economy passengers can only order meals before departure but you can purchase snacks on board. If you’re travelling in Premium, you only need to pre-order if you want a vegetarian or other special meal.
On Norwegian you get a meal after takeoff and another before landing. On overnight flights you are offered soft drinks, wine or beer before your meal and are then served a three-course dinner in an airline box (usually with a beef or salmon type choice). Breakfast will be served around 90 minutes before landing and is usually something like a warm bagel with a generous selection of fillings such as salmon or cream cheese with salad bits.
What makes the Norwegian Premium product interesting is the price. The cost of travelling Norwegian in their Premium cabin comes in at a similar cost to standard Premium Economy offerings and often cheaper, but the Norwegian Premium seats are larger and more spacious than similarly priced Premium Economy offerings.
There are also many advantages of travelling on a Dreamliner, particularly the larger windows, which are nice for views and light, and the higher air pressure and humidity which means you should arrive at your destination feeling less like a dried up raisin with a headache.
From 31 October, Norwegian will launch brand new twice weekly low-cost flights to Las Vegas where Premium is available from £499. The US city becomes Norwegian’s eighth long-haul route from Gatwick in addition to New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Oakland-San Francisco, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Puerto Rico.
Given the price, I would not hesitate to book Norwegian’s 787 Dreamliner in Premium.