Gatwick bits: £1 Premium Security offer, Norwegian to increase routes and add Premium seats

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News in brief:

Get Gatwick Premium Security for just £1

We have written about MyGatwick, the official discount portal for anyone flying through the airport, a few times. This was our last in-depth look at MyGatwick with examples of the deals on offer.

If you log in to MyGatwick here you will be offered passes for the Premium Security channel for just £1. This is a saving of £4 on the usual price.

Premium Security is open from 4am to 8.45pm. You need to book by 31st March but you can select any travel date up to 31st March 2019.

You also get free access to Premium Security if you pay £5 to guarantee a spot in the No 1 Lounge in the South or North terminals. If you are planning to visit No 1 using a Priority Pass or Lounge Club, this is often necessary at peak times due to high demand – mainly from airlines who are using the No 1 Lounges for their own passengers and who get first priority. The link to pre-book No 1 Lounge access at Gatwick is here.

Norwegian to increase Gatwick frequencies and add more Premium seats

Norwegian has big plans to expand out of Gatwick, and the airport will be the first to experience an expanded Premium cabin.

In a clear bid to attract business travellers, Norwegian is pulling back from an exclusive focus on opening new routes and will instead focus on increasing frequencies to existing cities.

Gatwick will be the home for the 10 brand new 787 Dreamliners which will enter the Norwegian fleet this year.  These feature 56 seats in the Premium cabin which is 21 more than the current planes.

The medium term plan is to increase Gatwick – Los Angeles to 11 flights per week, Gatwick – Fort Lauderdale to 4 flights per week and eventually launch a third daily flight on the Gatwick – New York route.

It has also announced plans to fly from London to South America and Asia, with possible flights to Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing, once the airline receives access to the Siberian flight corridor.

In 2019 eight brand-new single-aisle Airbus A321neo LR will be added to Norwegian’s fleet with plans to serve the US East Coast and Midwest.  These are the same aircraft that Aer Lingus is buying to also use on the US East Coast.

The press release about the changes is here.  My review of Norwegian’s Premium seat is here.

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  1. As premium economy becomes more And more of a thing for the reimbursement departments of businesses Norwegian have excellent potential. And the ability to get an exit row if booking reasonably far out for leisure is rather nice too.

    • I am trying to book some Norwegian long haul flights for March and the Premium cabin is sold out. I can see why they are adding more of these seats. They are exceptional value compared to their rivals.

  2. A few weeks back I suffered the poor No 1 Lounge at Gatwick south before a flight in Norwegian premium.

    Last week we avoided it and went to Grain Store Cafe where my family and I were greeted politely, treated like valued guests, had four wonderful meals with drinks, and “paid” for it all with £60 worth of Priority Pass credit from Amex plat. Much better!

    • travelbear38 says:

      We went to Gordon Ramsey’s plane food in T5 instead of the priority pass lounge.20 people in front of us to get into the lounge for cheap bacon, sausage and crap coffee. Returning to the lounge in the evening on a return flight the offerings were the cheapest pasta dish that could be made. Really not worth it.

      • I am intrigued to see if Plaza Premium intend to permanently keep PPass out of T5 ….

        • Was very quiet there this week. It must be effecting the bottom line.

        • Priority Pass actually owns 50% of the Aspire lounge in T5. I suppose it is possible that they are purposely blocking Plaza Premium – but given the permanent queues at Aspire that would appear self-defeating.

  3. It’s worth knowing also that premium security is free for kids. So for a family of four with just the one silver/gold card, you can book two free kid passes and you all can get through for free.

  4. My wife has a trip to Tokyo in February 2019. Is there much likelihood that Norwegian would be operating that route by then? I had an
    excellent experience recently flying their premium cabin to Oakland.

    • They are reliant on the Russian Government to give them overfly rights so who knows …..!

    • Lady London says:

      Is the “Siberian corridor” where that innocent passenger plane got shot down as part of an armed conflict on the ground… was that 2 or 3 years ago? Does using it means planes don’t have to re-route over the Pole?

  5. Pawel Siewko says:

    I login and sorry don’t see 1 Pound offer, only normal 5 GBP/Person

    • I’ll see if I can find a way of forcing the link.

      • Cuchlainn says:

        Working now Rob – purchased, many thanks.

        Not sure if it deflected I was using Android from Arrecife originally, whereas now back in UK on ever dependable iPad !!

    • Cuchlainn says:

      Premium security still £5 per pax unfortunately via link.

    • Lady London says:

      Wondering if you have to be signed up into MyGatwick for the link to work?

  6. I am pretty much tempted to give Norwegian a try especially their premium economy service. How does that compare to BA’s economy class?

    • A million miles better. Spacious, edible food and a great rewards programme. The seat has a great recline. I rate their premium cabin as between premium economy and club world.

    • The Norwegian Premium seat is miles better than BA Economy. I also thought I had more space than BA or Virgin Premium Economy. The food was okay, IFE wasn’t great.

    • Think Waitrose Essential range rather than Tesco Value. Plus you get cash back to use against future flights.

    • I would even say Norwegian long haul economy compares favourably to BA WT. My only complaint is that the food is overpriced, and i don’t like feeling my [non-alcoholic] drinks are being rationed on an LH flight. Service comfort and quality are no different to/from east coast US. If I didn’t maintain BA status from other travel to pre-reserve exit does, etc when in WT, I would be indifferent, after adjusting for price and time (and often, the need for an onwards connection). Norwegian CashPoints is also simple. It lacks the ‘Wow’ factor of redeeming for a long-haul business class seat, but I have happily redeemed my meagre balance for £ off checked bag fees (It’s like using Clubcard points for £ off your shopping).

      • I think PE seats attract economy passengers who want a bit more room on a long flight rather than people who typically fly in business/first class. As much as I like Norwegian and some other carriers for short hops I wouldn’t consider PE as a viable alternative to business class.

        • The Norwegian premium service is a cut above PE on other carriers. More spacious seats with excellent recline.

        • Well I’m not sure that’s quite right – you get separate check in and lounge access with Norwegian Premium, and not all business class seats have true flat seats even now. In some ways the product is similar to regional business on CX….

  7. pixielott46 says:

    Nobody ever mentions a big perk of Norwegian flights, which is free wifi that works pretty well for the entire duration of the flight.

    How many years have BA been struggling to come up with a wifi solution?

    • Quark999 says:

      People consistently mix up the short haul and long haul on this, so IMHO it gets mentioned far too OFTEN. AFAIK there is still no Wi-fi on the long hauls, although it is supposedly coming. A bit like BA right now really. As this was about the long haul flights I was glad NOT to read about the “free Wi-fi” that doesn’t exist.

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Correct no wifi on the long haul routes, only on short routes. G/F was out Premium and back economy with Norwegian. She really liked the outbound flight, no so much the in bound, was to/from Fort Lauderdale. They also operate a bidding system like Virgin to upgrade from Economy to PE. She had paid for a 2nd bag and when won the bid to upgrade, they deducted the cost of the 2nd bag, as it’s included in PE.

  8. Roger I* says:

    I’d love to see a Norwegian link from LGW to Cape Town.

    Conventional wisdom – i.e. BA – suggests the flight length would be unsustainable, too much time on the ground at CPT. Yet they are happy to fly from LGW to Buenos Aires.

  9. Roger I* says:

    I’d love to see a Norwegian link from LGW to Cape Town.

    Conventional wisdom – i.e. BA – suggests the flight length would be unsustainable, too much time on the ground at CPT. Yet Noregian are happy to fly from LGW to Buenos Aires.

  10. Roger I* says:

    (Gulp) typo. NorWegian.

  11. Roger I* says:

    Sorry about the duplication, Rob. Windows problematical for me today.

    • This only reiterates the fact that we need a more developed platform for the forum which allows editing of the comments and notifications of replies. The current platform is a dog honestly. In aviation terms it’s a LCC while people deserve at least PE or even Business. Any plans to upgrade, Rob?

      • Even if it was possible I would not allow the editing of comments after the fact as it just leads to mischief.

        I haven’t actually discussed what we may change on comments with the people doing the redesign. I am not hugely keen to bring back notifications either.

        • Graham Walsh says:

          Notifications would be super handy, also the ability to search the comments. wpDiscuz looks a good option as there is a fair but of control with it.

        • I agree on mischief.

          Re searching comments, a reasonably effective approach on Google is to follow the sought words with

        • I do that to find old articles sometimes due to the inadequacies of the inbuilt search box 🙂

        • I got your point about mischief (Facebook made all the previous edits visible ‘on demand’ exactly for that reason), but at least people should be able to delete their comments and resubmit if they see a typo or press ‘Submit’ accidentally before they actually finished writing. In some service it’s time-limited (like first 30 minutes after posting), plenty of options to make user experience better!
          But notifications (if managed properly) will make people’s lives so so much easier. What is any other real alternative for tracking comments? One can keep X number of tabs open and refresh the pages but this is crazy. Or users can just let it go and miss people’s replies to their comments – this is what people mostly do now, I suspect

      • ‘ The current platform is a dog honestly’ @Alex Sm

        Ouch that’s harsh. This website is aimed primarily at business users, we don’t need to be spoon fed.

        • + 1 re how useful it would be to be able to search comments.

        • I was just trying to mimic Rob who calls various things – from B787 Dreamliners to Virgin’s A330 Upper Class – ‘dogs’ in his reviews from time to time. Things which are bad but not that bad.
          Anyway, would be good to have more options about managing comments – that was my point.

  12. OT – Anyone managed to get the Black Friday avios bonus from Avis on Iberia or BA?

  13. Chelseafi says:

    OT. If I refer OH to nectar amex from my Plat amex do I get 18k MP? Plus do Nectar run any bonuses for new cards or not likely now?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yep 18k.

      And yes they do but it’s usually targeted via a nectar card portal so would you still get a referral bonus?

      honestly 18k MR or 20k nectar I know what I’d rather have.

  14. Graham Walsh says:

    Re the Gatwick security offer, how busy will it actually be at 6:30am on the 22nd August? Took advantage of some cheap BA tickets with some Avios to Menorca for a summer holiday. As kids are free, the £2 fee is probably a no brainer to walk through.

    I was very lucky at STN this week as they opened a new security queue as I walked up. It took longer to zig zag around the queuing system. However on the way back, using standard passport control (no egates as with the kids) was not a pleasant wait!!

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Booked, now any recommendations on hotels at Gatwick for overnight and parking for a week. HI is coming out at £30 for the night (difference between parking and hotel night). Hilton seems crazy pricing!

      • Have you tried Travelodge at Povey cross? They’ve recently refurbished and transport to/from LGW North and South (5m-10ins). Parking not undercover if that’s important.

  15. I will eat my hat if Norwegian start flights to Tokyo – the bilateral treaties with Japan are so restrictive it’s almost impossible for it to happen without a major invitation from the Japanese government (which won’t happen). China/HK are a distinct possibility though – if, of course, they decide they can afford the Russian overflight fees (which itself is questionable as they’re rather high!)

  16. wally1976 says:

    I thought the £5 for guaranteed No1 Lounge Access stopped including the premium security on 31/8/17?

  17. What are your views Rob on the ‘security’ of buying a Norwegian flight at the moment? Their full year results for 2017 looked absolutely terrible, any risk going forward?

    • We have one for March, put it that way. Financially you are ok anyway via your credit card so the risk is only failure to find an alternative for similar cost.

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