Why Airlines Cutting Free Food & Drinks On Longhaul Flights Isn’t A Bad Thing

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Yesterday I wrote about how British Airways is considering cutting free food & drinks in economy on longhaul flights. This follows them having recently cut free food & drinks on shorthaul flights, which had people up in arms.

On one hand it’s tough to imagine a day where most airlines charge for food and drinks on longhaul flights. At the same time, a decade ago it would have probably been hard to imagine that the “big three” US carriers would charge for carry-ons for some domestic fares. Even Emirates, which is known for being as full service as they come, sees a future where they unbundle business class. However, it would have probably also been hard to imagine that there would be an airline offering $65 transatlantic fares. It goes both ways.

Unbundling is the future of the industry, and I think there are two ways to look at it. One way is to view airfare being unbundled as a negative development. The other option is to view it as being positive, given that it makes travel more accessible than ever before. Nowadays you can fly across the ocean for the same price you’d otherwise pay for an hour-long cab ride in some cities.

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Norwegian Is Adding Flights To Denver And Seattle (From London)


Norwegian has been shaking up the transatlantic market with low fares, which is great for consumers, regardless of whether or not you actually fly Norwegian (since other airlines are forced to compete).

Today Norwegian announced that they’ll be adding flights from London Gatwick to both Denver and Seattle as of later this year. The details of the flights are as follows:

The London to Denver flight will be operated 2x weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) with the following schedule:

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Norwegian Is Shaking Up The Transatlantic Market With The 737-MAX


Norwegian has been growing their transatlantic presence significantly over the past several years, and up until now all their transatlantic flights have been operated by 787s. However, soon Norwegian will be taking their transatlantic expansion to the next level, as they start taking delivery of their first Boeing 737-MAX aircraft, of which they have 108 on order.

This is a plane that has the potential to shake up the transatlantic market, especially for low cost carriers.

Norwegian has announced their intentions to set up transatlantic bases at Stewart Airport (SWF), Hartford (BDL), and Providence (PVD). From there they plan on launching all kinds of transatlantic flights. Their immediate plans are to operate the following flights between the U.S. and U.K./Ireland:

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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


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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