Norwegian Air guide and review

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Travelers who kept watch for low-cost flights on Norwegian Air were dealt a harsh blow in January when the airline discontinued their international long-haul routes. Norwegian, whose tagline is “affordable fares for all,” announced that this would be a permanent change, even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and air travel goes back to normal. 

At one time, Norwegian was one of the most widely used low-cost international airlines. Now that we know the carrier’s international service is over, when does it make sense to book on Norwegian Air? And what else should you consider when booking a flight? 

(Photo by  Peter Krocka/Shutterstock)

Norwegian Air review

Let’s start with a general review of the airline. In the past, Norwegian received a lot of positive recognition for their long-haul operations. They won Skytrax awards for being the “World’s Best Low Cost Long HaulLow-Cost” multiple years in a row. Norwegian Air also snagged the Freddie Award for its loyalty program in recent years. 

Just a few years ago, they were actually the largest low-cost international airline in New York. But with their shift to tightening operations and a focus solely on their European flight network, what can we expect for Norwegian Air’s future? 

Fare types

One of the features that travelers love about Norwegian Air that hasn’t changed is the affordable tiers of ticket pricing. Norwegian offers three affordable tiers on most flights. These include:

  • LowFare
  • LowFare+
  • Flex

Even the most affordable LowFare tickets offer some nice benefits that other budget airlines often don’t include. 

For example, most flights will provide free Wi-fi regardless of fare. LowFare ticketholders can also bring one bag on the plane, as long as it fits under the seat in front of you. Change fees are relatively low as well, just $78 plus any additional difference in fares. 

Additional in-flight fees

With most budget airlines, it’s always helpful to understand hidden costs before you travel. That way, there will be no surprises when you attempt to squeeze into a seat that is smaller than you expected or when you ask for a cup of water and learn that will cost you an extra $5. 

Negative reviews of low-cost airlines often center around the premise that all of the add-ons make the ticket price not so low-cost after all. 

Here is a list of some of the more unusual extra fees that might catch you by surprise on Norwegian Air: 

  • Connecting flights – $10 per person, per connection
  • Phone or in-person booking at the airport: $26
  • Name change on a ticket: $78 per person, each way (on non-Flex tickets)
  • Unaccompanied minor: $59 per child, each way
  • Snacks and drinks: range from $2 to $13 depending on the item

Where does Norwegian Air fly?

After Norwegian Air officially canceled all of their long-haul international routes last month, we started to wonder – where does Norwegian actually still fly? Although Norwegian Air was operating with a limited number of domestic flights within Norway, they have recently opened many additional flights throughout Europe due to increased demand. Their route page allows you to book travel across many different destinations within the EU.

How much does Norwegian air charge for baggage?

As you might expect with a low-cost carrier, some of the lower fares require an extra charge for baggage, while the higher fares often have baggage included in the ticket price. Here is a breakdown of the baggage fees:

Carryon baggage

  • One personal item (10 kg or less) is allowed with all fare types 
  • Flex, Premium, Premium flex fare allowance: one standard carry on item (15kg combined with one personal item)
  • LowFare+: One standard carry on item (10kg combined with one personal item)
  • LoweFare: No standard carry on included, available for purchase ($5.50 – $10)

Size restrictions for baggage

  • Personal item: 15 x 11.8 x 7.9 inches (38 x 30 x 20 cm)
  • Carry-on: 21.6 x 15.7 x 9 inches (55 x 40 x 23 cm)

Checked baggage 

Norwegian Air indicates that a checked bag shouldn’t exceed a max linear dimension of 118 inches (300 cm) L + W + H, but one side can measure up to 98.4 inches (250 cm).

Size and weight restrictions

These apply on all flights.

Flex: 2 bags included (50 pounds/23 kg each)

Infant: 1 bag (11 pounds/5 kg)

Lowfare+: 1 bag included (50 pounds/23 kg)

LowFare: 0 bags included

How often does Norwegian Air have delayed or canceled flights?

Canceled and delayed flights are a reality for anyone who is familiar with international travel. Receiving a notification in advance can make all of the difference and allow you to reschedule your flight or plan for the change as quickly as possible. 

Norwegian is really transparent about their flight delays. They make it easy for everyone to track their flight status to anticipate any changes in the schedule. They have a notification bar on their homepage that links to information on flight status and what to do if your flight is delayed or canceled. 

If Norwegian Air cancels a flight, they will attempt to give you as much advance notice as possible by sending either an SMS or email to passengers who will be affected by the flight change. 

When it comes to On-Time Performance (OTP) statistics, Norwegian Air ranks pretty high compared to other airlines in their class. In 2020, Norwegian Air ranked 59th in the Punctuality League Report published by OAG, with 84.6% of flights arriving on time. 

Norwegian Air rewards loyalty program

You can sign up for the rewards program for free by simply entering your email address. Whenever you fly on Norwegian Air, rent a partner rental car or stay at a partner hotel with your linked Norwegian Air rewards account, you’ll earn “cash points” that you can use to book rewards flights. You can also redeem these points for other expenses like checked bags and seat reservations. 

How to Earn Norwegian Air Cash Points and Rewards

One of the unique features of this rewards loyalty program is that you’ll have the ability to earn rewards on more than just flights. You’ll earn them for seat reservations, baggage fees, and more. Earn cash points on:

  • All Norwegian Air flights
  • Car rentals
  • Hotels with participating partners
  • Online shopping
  • Offers from Norwegian Air partners

Additionally, members will receive a bonus for every sixth flight that they book with Norwegian. This could include your choice of: 

  • Free seat reservation
  • Free checked bag
  • Free fast-track 
  • 2% cash boost 

This reward will be available for 12 months from the time that you receive it. 

Cashing In for Rewards 

You can redeem your CashPoints for various rewards on Norwegian Air, including flights, baggage fees, and more. 

Keep track of when you earned your rewards points to make sure that you redeem them before they expire. Your CashPoints will expire:

  • Every 24 months for Norwegian Reward members
  • Every 48 months for Norwegian Rewards Card cardholders

Check your Account Activity 

When you want to check your account activity to see how many CashPoints you’ve earned, you’ll start by logging into your account. This is an easy process:

  1. Login to your account 
  2. Select “menu” at the top of the page
  3. Click on “my travels:
  4. Go to “view transactions”

You’ll see a list of all of your CashPoints and can track how close you are to receiving a reward. 

Bottom line

I’m not going to beat around the bush; losing the long-haul international flights on Norwegian Air was tough. Norwegian is one of the most popular economic carriers and has consistently received positive reviews in the travel industry. That said, it’s still worth checking out their continental European flights if you are looking to travel within the EU. They’re affordable, reliable, and you know what to expect with Norwegian. 

Erin Lizzo is a contributor for Million Mile Secrets where she covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in the Matador Network.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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