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£275 economy flights to the USA are back for the first time since the pandemic

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We have been saying for a few weeks now that there are definite signs of nervousness in the travel industry about forward flight bookings after the Summer 2023 peak has passed.

We saw it in the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic sales, with business class tickets to the USA back around the £1,300 mark. JetBlue has been offering sub-£1,300 business class from Gatwick to the US for some time now, for Autumn travel. Yesterday we covered an SAS flash sale offering £1,225 business class flights to New York which did NOT require a Saturday night stay.

Down at the back of the aircraft, we now have the return of sub-£300 flights to the US East Coast.

Norse Atlantic, the low cost carrier operating out of London Gatwick, has launched a sale to celebrate one year of transatlantic flying.

Here are the headline fares, which are lower than anything we have seen for a long time:

  • London Gatwick to Boston from £275 return
  • London Gatwick to New York JFK from £295 return
  • London Gatwick to Washington DC from £309 return
  • London Gatwick to Miami from £319 return
  • London Gatwick to Orlando from £319 return
  • London Gatwick to San Francisco from £335 return
  • London Gatwick to Barbados from £349 return
  • London Gatwick to Los Angeles from £365 return
  • London Gatwick to Montego Bay from £419 return
  • London Gatwick to Kingston from £419 return

The good news ….

…. is that these fares are easy to find. In fact, they are a little lower than the headline numbers above.

I had no trouble finding New York at £289 return for September:

The bad news ….

…. is that Norse is a true low cost carrier, in the Ryanair mould.

Take a look at the screenshot above.

£289 gets you a seat and a SMALL underseat bag. That’s it.

You do NOT get:

Here is evidence from my last Norse Atlantic trip that – if you refuse to pay – you are likely to be given the worst seat available even if the cabin is empty:

The lack of luggage allowance is the biggest issue. For a short weekend break in New York or Boston I think most people could actually manage with a small underseat bag, assuming handbags are left at home.

Clearly if you’re heading to Barbados for a week then the costs are going to add up – you’re going to want to eat on the way, you will have a suitcase, you may want to ensure you have decent seats. You’re probably into British Airways or Virgin Atlantic pricing territory by that point and they may have better flight times or more resilience if your aircraft develops issues.

Why you should fly Premium instead

The real bargain with Norse Atlantic is its Premium cabin. Pound for pound, this is the best value premium product in the air, at least flying from the UK.

Do you know that Norse’s Premium seat has EIGHT extra inches of pitch vs BA and Virgin Atlantic? Here is our comparison of the Norse Atlantic premium seat vs British Airways World Traveller Plus and Virgin Atlantic Premium.

Rhys reviewed Norse Atlantic’s Premium seat to the US here.

You can have a look around the sale fares on the Norse Atlantic website here. The promotion is running for a week.

Comments (54)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Matarredonda says:

    Fares to/from Europe are still at a ridiculous level compared to pre pandemic and factoring in inflation, etc.
    I wonder if airlines had so many vouchers in the system they deliberately set high to ensure some new money came in?

    • JDB says:

      @Matarredonda – you are obviously quite young! European fares today are massively cheaper, even in absolute terms, than they were 20 years ago. That is also why EC261 compensation is still wholly disproportionate although fixed since 2004.

      • Rob says:

        I went to Japan for the first time around 2000 (not really a long time ago). I was delighted to get a £1750 ex-Budapest BA Club fare, which meant travelling to Budapest the day before (at extra cost) and doing an immediate turnaround, then going home, then going back to Heathrow the next day. You would never have got close to this fare by any other route in 2000. This is £3,750 in todays money – £4k if you add what I spent getting to Budapest – and of course it was the old Club World seat (admittedly still going on some planes).

      • Richie says:

        I agree, compensation needs to increased.

      • Matarredonda says:

        Thank you for being so authoritive but you are wrong. Have done dozens of flights in last 20 years between UK and Europe. Current levels are way up.

    • Track says:

      This is a function of demand for European flights, and BA not putting on any extra flights despite costs being 400-600 in Economy for very common destinations, eg BCN, LIS.

  • AlanC says:

    Did Edinburgh to Newark last week on United. 2nd cheapest economy £580 return less £250 Amex offer. Went to change seat after check in and offered Polaris seat for $599. Took it instantly.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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