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.
Last month we ran an article with a virtually identical title to this one saying that £275 economy flights to the US were back for the first time since the pandemic.
Norse has now pushed the bar much lower, with October flights from £237 return from Gatwick to the US East Coast.
Norse Atlantic, the low cost carrier operating out of London Gatwick, has launched a short flash sale until Monday.
Remember that Norse flies from London Gatwick to Boston, New York JFK, Washington, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Barbados, Los Angeles, Montego Bay and Kingston.
Pay £237 return to Boston
I had no trouble finding Boston at £237 return for September and October:
As well as the US routes, it is also worth looking at the Caribbean. You can easily find Barbados at £329 for next Spring, which isn’t to be scoffed at.
The bad news ….
…. is that Norse is a true low cost carrier, in the Ryanair mould.
Take a look at the screenshot above.
£237 gets you a seat and a SMALL underseat bag. That’s it.
You do NOT get:
- seat selection (and Norse will, in my experience, deliberately give you the worst seat on the aircraft if you don’t pay – read this article)
- a carry-on bag, except for the small underseat bag (if you have a handbag, this takes up your underseat allowance)
- checked luggage
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.
Barbados, next spring, is £632 in Premium which I consider very reasonable and includes a full size cabin bag. You need to factor in food and a suitcase though.
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.
You can have a look around the sale fares on the Norse Atlantic website here. The flash sale is running until Monday.