Norwegian

How A Weekend in Barcelona Earned Me Enough Points For A Norwegian Ticket To New York

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A few days ago I posted about Norwegian Reward and what makes the program so special. In this post, I’ll show how I leveraged Norwegian Reward and its partners to earn a return equivalent to $300 (2605 Cashpoints) on a $1200 weekend in Barcelona. This return doesn’t even account for possible credit card earnings.

Norwegian Reward is a unique airline loyalty scheme in the way that it’s essentially a cash back program. On all Norwegian tickets, basic Norwegian Reward members earn 2% CashPoints. 1 CashPoint = 1 Norwegian Krona = approximately $0.1. With a 1% return, a $1 spend produces a return of just around 1 cent. These rewards can easily be stacked with regular credit card earnings, i.e. double or triple points on airfare, so there is no opportunity cost to collecting them.

I wanted to fly from London to Barcelona, as opposed to flying from my home town Gothenburg. Although Norwegian serve that route as well, I’d already planned a trip to Fort Lauderdale the week before and saw this as a great opportunity to merge two trips. Looking at flight options, I saw Norwegian had one daily flight from Gatwick, departing at 7:20pm and landing at 10:20pm.

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Why You Should Join Norwegian’s Loyalty Program

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I recently tried Norwegian Air Long Haul from London to Fort Lauderdale and enjoyed my experience. Right now they’re having a Thanksgiving special, where all long haul flights are 20% off and short haul flights are 30% off. The airline is rapidly expanding their transatlantic network, as well as their intra-European operations.

Not many low cost carriers have loyalty programs outside the US, and the ones that do tend to have negligible returns. Norwegian, on the other hand, have a unique cash back loyalty program that can be incredibly lucrative if you use it right. Unlike most loyalty schemes that reward you in miles, Norwegian rewards you in a tangible currency called Cashpoints. One Cashpoint is worth one Norwegian Krona, which roughly converts to $0.12 or £0.09. An easy way to think about it is that 10 Cashpoints = approx. $1 or £1.

Firstly, there are the obvious benefits of earning returns on all flights. The program is revenue based like those of the big three US carriers, but far more logical. For every dollar spent on Low Fare tickets, you receive 2% Cashpoints, while you can get up to 20% Cashpoints on Flex Fares.

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Review: Norwegian Premium Class 787-9 London To Fort Lauderdale

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I touched down in London at 9:30am for my five hour layover before continuing on to Florida. All Norwegian’s flights depart from the South terminal at Gatwick, which is decent (in the main departures hall at least). I was excited to fly Norwegian to Fort Lauderdale given that it’s a city that is generally not served by large international carriers. This flight is only once weekly right now, but will be increasing to 3x weekly next month thanks to Norwegian’s 90% average load factor on flights from Gatwick to the US. Norwegian also fly from Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Paris to Fort Lauderdale.

As a Premium passenger with Norwegian you get complimentary access to the No1 Lounge at Gatwick South, which would normally cost £28 per person. I’ll be posting a full review of the lounge next week, but in short, it was an extremely pleasant place to spend my layover and it made time fly.

At around 2:30pm I left the lounge, since boarding was scheduled for 2:50pm according to my boarding pass. A word of caution – Gatwick uses holding pens for passengers to optimize the boarding process. There are also no toilets or windows, so try to minimize your time in there – as I did not.

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Norwegian 787-9 Premium Class In 10 Pictures!

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Ben often shares his initial thoughts on the flights he takes in 10 pictures. Since I just flew Norwegian Premium Class from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale yesterday, both a route and an airline that have previously been untested on the blog, I figured it would be fun to share my initial impressions.

There are often incredible fares on Norwegian, in both economy and premium. This makes them one of the best value airlines out there, and after my experience, I would certainly recommend them. In the US, Norwegian serves New York, Newark, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oakland, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Boston on direct flights from Europe. What blows my mind is the growing number of Norwegian hubs. While you could originally fly to the US from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, this has now expanded to include Trondheim, London, Paris and Barcelona.

There is a lot more to come on Norwegian, but for now, here are my initial thoughts on DY7045 from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale.

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Norwegian Wants To Offer $69 Transatlantic Flights

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There are some ultra low cost carriers which are doing what they can to shake up the transatlantic market. While we have low cost carriers like JetBlue and Southwest in the US, their fares often aren’t actually lower than what you’d pay on a legacy airline. Instead they just have a lower cost structure, with savings often not passed on to the consumer.

Outside the US there are quite a few ultra-low cost carriers, which have outrageously low base fares, and then they charge for every add-on imaginable.

One such airline is WOW Air, which operates a hub out of Reykjavik. They fly to the US (both Baltimore and Boston), and you can book them either just to Iceland, or book a connecting flight on them to Europe. Fares start at just $99 one-way, which is sort of insane.

As of now the only ultra low cost carrier operating direct nonstop flights between the US and continental Europe is Norwegian Air Shuttle.

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