My friends and family know that I am a frequent flyer of Delta. That is my airline choice for all of my travels. Yes, Delta and other major airlines can be pricey. However, I like the perks, such as: free checked bags, priority boarding, and free meals/drinks on international flights.
So when the opportunity presented itself for me to go to Paris for 3 days/2 nights during the holiday and at the last minute, Delta was not an option (too pricey), I opted for a budget airline – Norwegian. You are probably wondering what is a budget airline? Well, the proper terminology is “low-cost airline”. Per Wikipedia, “is an airline that offers generally low fares in exchange for eliminating many traditional passenger services”.
Now that you are in the in the “know” 😉 Allow me to tell you my experience on Norwegian. However, before I start telling my story, I must tell you that I detest budget airlines. Before Norwegian, I’ve flown once with a budget airline and that was Transavia from Amsterdam to Casablanca this past summer. I am still in therapy because of that experience.
Any who, back to Norwegian. I purchased the “Low Fare” option which basically gives you one free item – hand baggage (i.e. carryon).
Carry On Bag Requirement
So a day before my trip, I started looking at my arsenal of luggage (don’t ask) and what would pass Norwegian requirement. Oh, this little cute bag was hiding in the closet. I found it in Brussels in one of the touristy areas.
This little bag had 3 pairs of jeans, 3 thick sweaters, unmentionables, toiletries, makeup bag, electronics, my Jenny Craig meals (don’t ask again), scarf, knit cap, and my winter coat (mammoth). Can you imagine what I can pack during the spring and summer? Mind Boggling!
Exhibit A – Mammoth
And I was able to zip my carry-on without sitting on it. Hallelujah!
So I arrived at Fort Lauderdale airport earlier than I normally would because I knew nothing about their process. The customer service rep asked me to put my bag on the scale and it weighed 12kg. She proceeded to tell me that it needs to weigh 10kg. In my mind, I am thinking 10lbs??? Mmmmm…. I then tell her that my winter coat is inside the bag. She said take it out. Okay! I passed weigh-in. I had no idea that mammoth is almost 2kg. Mind you I am still thinking of pounds rather than kilograms.
Blog Break: 1kg = 2.2lbs, so multiply 12kg by 2 (easy math)
Note: There is no online check-in for international flights to and from the U.S. ever!
Time for TSA Check-in
After passing my weigh-in, I head over to TSA. I look at my boarding pass and I don’t see TSA pre-check. I am ready to head back to the counter for them to correct my boarding pass until the agent told me that Norwegian does not participate in TSA Pre-Check. Excuse me!
Do not participate in TSA Pre-Check! I have to wait in this line, take out the electronics, and take off my shoes. Strike One!
Timeliness and Boarding Process
However, it was more than an hour delayed. Furthermore, the boarding process is somewhat chaotic. I am glad that they have a process (which the other budget airline did not have) which is boarding the flight from higher to lower rows. This is another disclaimer, I am so used to priority boarding that I don’t normally see this process.
The majority of the Norwegian fleets are Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I am saying that like I know what a Dreamliner is lol. To me, a plane is a plane as long as it gets me to my destination safely. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an American long-haul, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical three-class seating configurations.
My favorite features on this airline are:
- USB Charging capabilities
- Window shade capabilities
- Television Screen-size
The downside is they don’t offer you any complimentary cup of water. I understand that I am flying a budget airline, but give me/us at least a cup of water especially during an international flight.
Overall, I did enjoy Norwegian from ticketing, boarding, and arrival. I found the flight uneventful and the flight attendants friendly and attentive. Would I fly Norwegian again? Yes, I would! Especially if I can get a quick weekend getaway abroad. It was truly a great experience.