Norwegian Is Adding Flights From London To Austin & Chicago

A few weeks ago I wrote about how it seems Norwegian is announcing new long-haul routes every few weeks. That was no exaggeration. Singapore, Buenos Aires, Seattle, and Denver will all be launching from Norwegian’s London Gatwick base in the coming year.

Now the airline has announced two destinations that will result in 13 long-haul routes from London Gatwick. In March 2018, Norwegian will start flying their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Chicago and Austin. Incredibly enough, just three years after launching their hub in London, Norwegian will now be the second largest long-haul carrier at Gatwick.

The flights will operate on the following schedule, per AirlineRoute:

London to Chicago as of March 25, 2018:

DY7151 London to Chicago departing 10:00AM arriving 12:35PM [Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun]
DY7152 Chicago to London departing 3:15PM arriving 05:00AM (+1 day) [Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun]

London to Austin as of March 27, 2018:

DY7181 London to Austin departing 10:00AM arriving 2:05PM [Tues, Thur, Sat]
DY7182 Austin to London departing 4:20PM arriving 7:25AM (+1 day) [Tues, Thur, Sat]

Fares are low to start out as usual, with one-way flights from just £179. Keep in mind that Norwegian charges extra for everything from check-in luggage to meals, though they’re a lot more generous than WOW Air. For example, all their 787s feature seatback entertainment.

Norwegian’s entertainment system.

This is great news for Chicago, given how little love the city has received from low-cost carriers relative to other US destinations. Regarding Austin, it’s quite surprising they’d invest in flights there when British Airways just launched their London to Austin relatively recently. You’d think Houston or Dallas would be logical first choices in Texas. Then again, Austin is supposed to be beautiful so I assume they expect a lot of tourism demand.

Are you excited to see more new routes from Norwegian? If you live around Austin or Chicago, will you give Norwegian a try? 

Comments

  1. I like Daniel’s reviews but Lucky needs to toughen up and review Norwegian once and for all. Within 5 years they’ll own the TATL market and are a MUCH bigger threat than the ME3 will ever be.

  2. Norwegian shall rename their name quite soon 🙂
    It has sort of lost its true meaning, when most of the flights are operating from outside of Norway

  3. Lucky, I’m happy (maybe) that Norwegian is finally coming to Chicago, but do you have any idea what has made it a less attractive destination for low cost carriers ?

  4. Austin is ok but it’s mostly just traffic and hipsters. I doubt Austin will be able to support the lift without the hub traffic of any of the Houston or Dallas airports.

  5. Lucky. Houston and Dallas have TONS of competition. Austin has 1 flight to Europe and a very fast growing population and has a HUGE millennial crowd (low cost Carrier to Europe) . It was an obvious choice.

  6. This is great news for residents of Central Texas.

    Austin also has a _lot_ of technology and video-game workers, as well as a university with almost 50K students. I hope Norwegian finds success here.

  7. Great news! Austin has a huge startup scene and is home to some very large and new campuses for the big boys like google and fb, plus of course the University of Texas. It’s where we started with our InstantLocal app too 🙂

  8. Re: the choice of AUS over DFW or IAH – both DFW and IAH are brutally competitive already as Ryan says. There’s really nothing to be gained apart from inciting unwinnable fare wars with AA and UA. AUS actually makes sense for a sub-daily frequency. Keep in mind San Antonio (2nd largest city in Texas) is only 80 miles away, so there’s a decent market to pull from to support 3x flights a week. Also bear in mind, if you’re a cheapskate living in DFW or Houston, AUS is a very easy connecting point. Just a short hop on Southwest with like a dozen flights a day to both. Heck, I’d even be willing to make the drive from Dallas if the price is right.

  9. I wonder at what point will Norwegian have to update its hard product. The seats are tolerable for a quick East Coast to Europe flight, but I couldn’t imagine flying to/from Singapore or to/from West Coast even in its premium seat. Those are long flights.

    I wonder if Hawaii is next. Surely, there’s enough Europe to Hawaii in-season demand for weekly or thrice weekly flights.

    Personally, I would rather fly Norwegian and get what you pay for as opposed to spending a lot more on an inferior British Airways product.

  10. It amazes me how Phoenix keeps getting overlooked with long haul low cost airlines or even legacy carriers. Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the US. While it does not have a big high yield market it has a big population. Previous posts mentioned Austin’s university population but Phoenix / Tempe has ASU with 100,000 students (largest in the country). The daily BA 747 flight has a very high load factor. In fact this summer BA added a second 747 flight to LHR 3 days a week. BA is Phoenix’s only nonstop connection to Europe. Even thou we are close to LAX most would prefer to avoid LAX. You would think Norwegian would notice BA adding capacity and try to grab a slice. BA award availability is very poor And fares are much higher even in economy to LHR or even connection to other European destinations from Phoenix than say LAX or even DEN. I believe Phoenix is a wide open market for LLC long haul carriers to Europe or even a long haul to Asia or China with people trying to avoid LAX. Many mid size cities in the midwest would prefer to connect in Phoenix rather than LAX to Asia.

  11. I live in Austin and couldn’t be more excited for another non-stop transatlantic flight. Only BA has been flying there so now we have another option! When flying abroad, I def will consider Norwegian.

  12. One additional factor that might have affected Norwegian’s decision to serve Austin relates to Southwest Airlines. The issue is that Austinites, San Antonians and other Central Texans cannot take an inexpensive short hop on SWA to either DFW or IAH in order to catch a flight from there to London or wherever.

    Southwest flies to DAL, not DFW, and to HOU, not IAH. IIRC, there aren’t any simple transfers between the city pairs (I haven’t checked recently).

    I wish Norwegian the best of luck on this new route.

  13. Tom, Condor announced a new nonstop seasonal route from Frankfurt to Phoenix! The flights are slowly coming in. If (or when) Hainan joins OneWorld, I’m sure a PHX-PEK will follow.

  14. @Tom, it’s just a matter of time that Phoenix gets more international flights as more 787s and A350s become available. Right now it seems that LCCs are focused on European leisure travel, where Phoenix seems to be more of a destination for N. American snowbirds.

  15. I dont like low cost carriers i try to avoid them like the plague. everythings low quality and they charge for air to breathe. no thanksssssss

  16. I dont like low cost carriers at allll. everythings low quality and they charge you for the air you breathe. no thankssssss

  17. I live in between Austin and San Antonio. We fly out of Austin all the time. Austin is a much more pleasant airport and easier to get to for me. Love that Norwegian has chosen Austin. I think they will get all the business they can handle from the young professionals there.

  18. Chatting with crew on a BA flight recently I asked about Austin and availability on flights. They told me — all in agreement — that flights to/from Austin were always full. One referred to the flight as one of their “most dependable money-makers.”
    Look at a map, it is surprising how close together Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston are by Western standards, one and a half to two or three hours driving on good flat highways.

  19. @ Louie
    I Purchased a one way MAD-FRA-AUS Business Class on Condor (DE) last February (travel on 04 April 2017) for $900 +/-. MAD-FRA leg was LH Economy but was a considerable dollar savings when compared to any other carrier and FRA-AUS meant I was home. DE is only Business Class on DE metal. If Norwegian is allowed to operate flights to US, I may have to give their “business class” a try, even though ALPA is actively opposing Norwegian’s entry into the US market. Not having to go through LHR, DFW, IAH, ORD or JFK is in itself a good reason to give it a go. Throw in a major dollar savings and it’s tempting . . . but not in Economy! I’m too old for that sh*t.

  20. BA and AA split the revenue on transatlantic flights, so BA doesn’t get to keep all that Austin-London money.

  21. @SAS – The Norwegian brand is doing well across Europe now. I know in the UK it’s normal to just plainly mention flying Norwegian to anywhere on the continent – back when they first started people would always add in the caveat “but we’re not going to Norway” etc.

    It seems a bit odd to keep a Norwegian brand for a mostly non-Norwegian airline, but I don’t think there’s any major reason to change it. Particularly as Norway has a pretty good reputation as a country.

  22. I live in Austin and am originally British so this can only be good news.

    Whilst these fares look great, if you’re taking bags (more than likely) it seems to be around $380 one way. For anyone with Avios, BA has great cash+points fares AUS-LHR (7,000+$250) – more preferable, imo.

  23. Very recently Buenos Aires and now Austin out of London. What do both have in common? BA monopolies until now.

    I would guess that Norwegian has taken a look at BA and scented blood….so they’re going after them.

    Given that Norwegian offers a generous handbaggage allowance (by low cost flyer standards) this is really good news for U.K./European flyers.

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