Is Norse Airways Blowing Smoke with their $149 Fares?
Updated: 6 days ago
When I saw the flight deal cross my inbox last March, I knew this introductory round trip fare sounded too good to be true. “You get what you pay for”, my brain thought. “There’s a reason things are cheap”, my husband said. We paid $318 round trip per passenger to fly from Orlando to Oslo nonstop. Flying on a new airline is always a gamble though - will they go broke or go under before we get to fly? Will I ever see my money again? Do I really want to be one of the first to fly this route? For $300 a person, you bet your britches I do.
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The Check-In Experience
The booking experience on Norse Airways was easy, but fast forwarding to travel time, online check-in was not. Advertised to be $10 per person to check in at the airport, we stressed the day before our flight, and even hours before leaving for the airport – we couldn’t get the online check-in to work. We raided twitter and reddit for others who may have had the same experience with the check-in process, but ultimately found that Norse Air has no phone number or customer service to call, so we were S.O.L. or forced to just figure it out at the airport. As it turns out, this was not an issue at all. We did NOT have to pay the in person check-in fee at either Orlando OR Oslo, and no one even mentioned fees, bag sizes, or any of the other threatening add on pricing information from their website. Win!
At the airport we were met with an empty check-in line, with a smooth experience operated by local airport personnel instead of Norse Air employees.
To avoid further fees for a cabin bag, I had packed the whole family in one underseat bag per person. I was so thrilled with my feat and even more thrilled with the check-in folks didn’t even give a second glance to our baggage. We were all sat together and met no delays or trouble whatsoever. I will add, however, that Norse Airways does not participate in TSA Precheck, so we did have to wait in the long line for regular security check. Orlando International Airport security check wait times are notoriously long, so I dreaded this, but we lucked out and that line too was empty.
The Onboard Experience
Upon boarding the flight we found that again, the seats were empty. Had no one else seen the amazing deal I got? The seats were standard, spacious enough and clean. All seats had buttons to recline and seatback entertainment to fill hours of grueling flight time.
Meals could be pre-ordered or ignored (as was my case), and they often came around with carts offering pay options for sandwiches and drinks. I brought my own snacks and water and was happy with that choice, even though some of their offerings seemed reasonable.
Pillows and blankets were not provided, so I used my sweater instead. Something to consider if you run cold on airplanes. They do sell ‘comfort packages’, which include a blanket and eye mask, should you need one.
The Return Trip Experience
On the return trip from Oslo we were met with a similar breezy check-in experience at the airport and friendly staff at the gate and on the plane. Seats were filled by only maybe 100 souls, as it usually is on return from Europe. I always wonder why that is. I’d really love to have the empty seats on the way to Europe, so I can slouch across a whole row to myself. Oh well.
The flight each way clocks in around 8-10 hours depending on weather and wind speeds, and once in Oslo you have the rest of Europe at your fingertips. Airlines like Vueling, Ryan Air and Easy Jet offer cheap options from traversing elsewhere, as well as the super fun DFDS ferry to Copenhagen.
Norse Airways - Worth It?
All the Norse Airways flights come with a sense of pride, as they share in their seat back screen about the Viking longships being the inspiration for their Boeing 787 fleet. Their vision is to be the “explorer’s airline”. I’ll tell you what, after my positive experience, they definitely have a repeat explorer out of me. The only question is, when will I go next?
Book flights at Norse Atlantic Airways website: flynorse.com
Also, check out who posted a similar (and much longer) post the day after me! My favorite - The Points Guy - https://thepointsguy.com/reviews/norse-atlantic-premium-787/