Regular readers will know that I have given some coverage to budget airline Norwegian and its attempts to launch low-cost economy services from London Gatwick to the USA.
My last article is here, comparing the prices being charged and questioning whether Norwegian was really low cost at all.
That article did not touch of Norwegian’s service issues. Flying the incident-prone Boeing 787 and running only a handful of flights per week always seemed like a recipe for disaster.
Starting in May 2015, according to airlineroute.net and reported by Business Traveller:
London Gatwick to New York JFK goes from 3 to 6 flights per week
London Gatwick to Los Angeles goes from 2 to 4 flights per week
However, the Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale service drops to just one flight per week. Good luck if that gets cancelled due to another Boeing 787 issue being found.
What is pricing like?
Looking at March 2015 – the airline is not taking bookings beyond March 28th – the cheapest one-way seats I can find to New York are £179 outbound.
Coming back, the cheapest fare is £150 for a total return cost of £329. The cheapest British Airways fare according to the BA low fare finder is £399 in March.
Remember, though, that Norwegian gives you NO free food and no free baggage. The flight times to New York are also more inconvenient with the outbound not landing until 9.20pm.
- a few pounds for a meal and non-water drinks on-board,
- the cost of a checking in a suitcase,
- the late arrival time into NYC (which probably means an expensive taxi into the city unless you want to take a late-night subway train),
- the loss of half a day of sightseeing compared to taking a morning BA departure, and
- the loss of 6,000 Avios points
….. and the £70 saving for flying Norwegian doesn’t seem worth it. And that is BEFORE you factor in the risk of taking an airline which (in March) is only flying to New York three times per week using an aircraft with known reliability issues.