US Lawmakers Want to Block Norwegian Air Flights!

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Folks in the US have been enjoying budget airline Norwegian Air’s cheap tickets to Europe and seasonal flights to the Caribbean.  They fly new planes, have free Wi-Fi, and often have amazing fare sales!

But a group of lawmakers in the US House of Representatives introduced legislation attempting to block Norwegian Air from continuing to operate in the US because of safety and labor concerns.

US Lawmakers Want To Block Norwegian Air Flights

Norwegian Air Operates Modern Boeing 787 Dreamliners on Routes Between the US and Europe & the Caribbean

I’ll explain why lawmakers are concerned and how this could affect Norwegian Air in the US.

What the Lawmakers Say

Norwegian Air started flying to and from the US in 2014.  And their fares are often much cheaper than US airlines on the same routes (but you’ll pay extra fees for just about everything!)

Lawmakers are concerned that the Norwegian Air subsidiary that operates US routes works around US safety and labor rules while paying foreign pilots below-market rates.

This is NOT the first time US legislators have attempted to block Norwegian Air.  In 2014, a bill was also introduced attempting to deny approval of Norwegian Air.  But the bill did not move forward because the US Senate did not act on the legislation.

So the Department of Transportation granted tentative approval to Norwegian Air.  However, the Department of Transportation is now accepting comments through May 13, 2016, before giving their final approval.

What Norwegian Air Says

Norwegian Air currently flies from 8 US airports to 6 international destinations.

With Norwegian Air’s proposed new routes for 2016, the airline would operate 38 non-stop routes from the US including:

Boston to:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Oslo, Norway

Fort Lauderdale to:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Las Vegas to:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Los Angeles to:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Paris, France
  • Stockholm, Sweden

New York (JFK) to:

  • Bergen, Norway
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Paris, France
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Oakland to:

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Orlando to:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Oslo, Norway

Norwegian Air has responded to the proposed legislation with a public statement opposing the proposed bill, citing their support of US jobs by flying Boeing airplanes and hiring US-based flight crews.

They have also released information countering any misinformation.  Since flying to the US, Norwegian says they’ve created hundreds of airline and tourism jobs in the US.

All employees are employed by labor laws in the country in which they are based.  The airline also meets the requirements established by US and European airline regulations.  And it has a safety record in line with many US airlines.

My Thoughts on the News and Norwegian Air

I like more airline options because it keeps airfare prices low, encourages competition, and gives folks more choices for Big Travel with Small Money to great destinations!

Some folks think the legislation is aimed to prevent new competition for US airlines.  New routes with cheaper fares would cause many US airlines to have to reduce airfare prices or offer improved service.

My friend flew on Norwegian Air from New York to Martinique this past winter.  He had a pleasant experience and the airfare was very cheap!

Bottom Line

There’s proposed legislation to block Norwegian Air from operating to and from the US, even though they’ve been flying here since 2014!

They say Norwegian Air bypasses US safety and labor laws by hiring lower paid, foreign crewmembers.  But many of these claims have NOT been proven.  Folks like Norwegian Air because they have cheap flights to terrific destinations in Europe and the Caribbean!

I hope this legislation doesn’t go through.  Because more routes and airlines mean more competition and lower fares!

Have you flown Norwegian Air?  Please share your experiences in the comments!

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8 responses to “US Lawmakers Want to Block Norwegian Air Flights!

  1. You forgot to mention that they will be flying starting in August from FLL to CDG once per week as well although I’m hoping they’ll increase this frequency to two or three times per week (fingers crossed)
    This should help to deal with the unreasonably high fares is that American Air France are charging from MIA its just a total monopoly and abuse on their part and I’ll give you an example
    I want to go from MIA or FLL to CDG on May 12 through May 18 the prices are $1623 on American airlines and air France on a straight flightsust of MIÁ
    The AA flight is flight # 62; however, if I start my journey in Cancun the price is only $765 round-trip for the same dates and the connecting flight is in Miami on the same flight AA 62 which is the same nonstop flight which was 1623 round-trip!!!
    So basically I have to buy a one way jet blue flight FLL to CUN at 8 am for $89.
    Then start my round trip from CUN to CDG at 3:00 pm on AA
    Thank god on the way back its CDG to MIÁ to CUN and I’m just doing carry on so ill just leave after arriving to Miami The total cost will be 865 even with the jet blue leg so a 762 difference. Crazy !!! For the 2 of us will be over 1500 difference. I know I’ll have to spend five hours in Cancun waiting for my AA flight but I don’t make that much money to justify such a difference in price.

    Where do I sign up to complain about the abuse from US airlines
    They are trying to curb competition and keep prices artificially hight. You can rarely find RT to Europe for less than 1000

  2. Also if Norwegian saturates the market with flights they will have no option but to lower the flights and offer one way flights as well.

  3. This is nothing more than the U.S. and European Transatlantic carriers trying to block competition. I flew Norwegian from LAX to CPH and it was a great experience. The accusations of them using underpaid, foreign workers is completely false. They use a crew native to the destination. We had a Danish crew on the way over and an American crew for the ride home.

  4. Please educate yourself on how Norwegian is trying to game the system. It is ridiculous that company has pilots based in Thailand and Singapore with airplanes registered in Ireland, while not flying to any of these destinations!

  5. Mike,
    Why don’t you also ask the crew how much they were paid? A Norwegian 787 international pilot makes almost the same as regional pilot in the US.

  6. The major airlines should not see low cost carriers as competitors. When customers make choices, they would also consider miles, elite programs and the cost of baggage which is something Norwegian is not good at. Norwegian has its up and down side, I would only fly with it if I have one small carry on.

  7. $90 for checked baggage, meal and seat reservation is a great price !!!
    +
    $181 for one way Ft.Lauderdale-Stockholm

    $271 Total price…

    On a Dreamliner !!! What a deal !!!

  8. Aaron J Becker

    We are delighted with our very convenient, comfortable and much less expensive flights on Norwegian Air and hope it provides some needed competition in a highly concentrated industry. I’d like to believe that congress acts in the best interest of all citizens rather than those of industry lobbiests. Norwegian seems to have answered all the objections and for the sake of the American people hope the approvals are given and we are allowed to benefit from this great new airline.