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Boeing Sky interior in B737-800 plane
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Norwegian operates short-haul routes mainly with B737-800 planes. The cabin looks fresh and bright above the clouds.

Review: Norwegian Air Shuttle

Table of Contents

  1. Norwegian Air: One of Our Favourite Airlines
    1. Norwegian Isn't a Single Company
  2. Young and Fast-growing Airline from Norway
  3. Low-cost Business Model
  4. Norwegian Air's Financial Issues
    1. Company Reorganisation
  5. Onboard Norwegian Air
    1. Short-haul Fleet
  6. Wifi Makes Customers Annoyed
  7. Rating Based on Our Experiences
    1. Cabin
    2. Customer Service and Professional Skills
    3. Onboard Service
    4. Price Level
    5. Price to Quality Ratio
    6. Overall Rating
  8. Is Norwegian Air a Good Airline?
    1. Other Norwegian Air Reviews

Norwegian Air: One of Our Favourite Airlines

Norwegian Air is a fast growing low-cost airline having many European leisure routes and a few long-distance destinations around the globe. The airline has been expanding rapidly throughout the years and now they are regarded as the fourth largest low-cost carrier in Europe. Because Norwegian Air has high-frequency domestic and international flights from Finland, Finnoy Travel flies often flown with them. Simply, Norwegian Air is one of our favourite airlines. We combined our flight experiences with them to this Norwegian Airlines review.

People boarding Norwegian B737-800 at Helsinki Airport

The sky is dark at Helsinki Airport where people are boarding Norwegian's B737-800 going to Dubai. Helsinki - Dubai route is really long for B737-800 and sometimes refueling is needed on the way.

Norwegian Isn't a Single Company

Norwegian Air works under a single brand but in the background there are multiple companies. The main company is called Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA that is registered to Norway. Travellers inside Europe are often flying with the Norwegian Air International that is an Irish company flying many intra-European flights. There is also a company called Norwegian Air UK.

Young and Fast-growing Airline from Norway

Founded 24 years ago, Norwegian's fleet has over 160 aircraft including Boeing 737-800s, Boeing 737-800 MAXes and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline has both short and long-haul flights to more than 150 destinations in the world from hubs throughout Europe. The company has acquired consistently new aircraft for its rapid expansion. Unfortunately, the financial issues have forced the airline to sell some of its fleet lately.

Because we are living in Helsinki, we are mainly using Norwegian's Helsinki hub. In addition to Helsinki, Norwegian has many other hubs, just to mention Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Madrid, London, Malaga and many more. Norwegian is a true European airline flying almost to everywhere in Europe. However, in Eastern Europe their competitor Wizzair has a better route network. Norwegian has also a few destinations in Asia and in Africa and an increasing number of destinations in the US. With these brisk expansions by Norwegian, it is indeed one among the fastest growing global airline offering cheaper flights but committed to high quality services.

Norwegian Boeing 737-800 plane at Helsinki Airport

Many of our holidays have been flown by a Norwegian's Boeing 737-800 plane from Helsinki Airport.

Low-cost Business Model

Norwegian boosts themselves for operating with some of the newest and greenest fleets in the world. Having that said, their aircraft has high fuel-efficiency which is environmental friendly because of reduced emissions, likewise it is good for passenger's wallet.

Norwegian has not just copied the low-cost model but they have improved it a lot. A good example is their loyalty program Norwegian Reward. Rarely do low-cost airlines have loyalty programs and Norwegian is one from the short lists. Norwegian's loyalty program is not a typical miles program rather it is based on payback model with some extra rewards.

Norwegian Air's Financial Issues

Perhaps no one has missed the news about Norwegian Air's turbulent financial status during the last years. There have even been rumours about approaching bankruptcy but luckily, this thing remains fiction up to this date. Norwegian's management has been optimistic and one of their heads claimed that everything is under the control.

When an airline has financial issues, people tend easily to avoid buying new tickets from the concerned airline. This will consequently increase the risk of the bankruptcy. Norwegian is an important player in Europe's low-cost market and it would be sad to see it disappearing. Consumers would be the ones to suffer. That is why it is not wise to stop using Norwegian's services even though risk level has been increased. To be safe, whenever you book a flight, you should pay it with a credit card. By transacting with a credit card, you will most likely get your money back in case of worst situations.

Company Reorganisation

Norwegian's financial status has got so bad that Norwegian has now applied for a company reorganisation to avoid bankcrupt. This is the only to continue operations. The company needs more cash from the investors.

We expect Norwegian to be able to continue flying. Norway's goverment will most likely support them. Now, we recommend our readers to buy all Norwegian's tickets with a credit card to be safe in a case of a bankcrupt. Please do not stop considering Norwegian Air as an option because they need support also from customers.

Onboard Norwegian Air

Norwegian is a low-cost airline and that is why the ticket includes only the flight. You have to pay extra for assigned seats, luggage and onboard food. However, Norwegian has many benefits compared to other low-cost airlines. For example, choosing the seat is free when you check-in thru the check-in machine at the airport. Some of the planes are equipped with WiFi which is totally free to use.

We would say Norwegian is a mixing of a traditional and low-cost airline. The prices are moderately low but the ticket classes are similar to traditional airlines' economy tickets. Norwegian offers three ticket categories: Lowfare, Lowfare+ and Flexible Ticket. Lowfare+ includes a free seat selection and luggage. Flexible ticket is, as the word says, flexible with the changes.

There is no business class on Norwegian's planes. On economy routes, all seats are similar except some seats have a little more legroom which means comfort for every single passenger. On long-haul flights, Norwegian has a Premium Class.

Short-haul Fleet

Norwegian's short-haul fleet consists mainly of Boeing 737-800 planes. Norwegian has acquired a few B737 MAX planes. A regular passenger may not notice any difference between these plane types but MAX is just a little bigger and it has a longer range. That means, MAX can do trans-Atlantic flights without a need of refueling on the way.

Norwegian B737-800 plane at Prague Airport

It was a great surprise to see Jean Sibelius painted to the tail of this Boeing 737 at Prague Airport. But do you know who he is?

Norwegian's Boeing 737-800 planes have new Boeing Sky Interior cabin. The cabin looks spacious with colour changing lights. Seats are thin and comfortable enough for short-haul travelling. Since the planes are new, they are also really neat looking. But remember that Norwegian is a low-cost airline and you should not expect much space around the seat. Even though there is not much legroom, we have never felt seats would have been too small.

Norwegian Sky Interior cabin

Norwegian operates short-haul routes mainly with B737-800 planes. The planes are equipped with a nice looking Boeing Sky Interior.

Wifi Makes Customers Annoyed

Norwegian has widely advertised about their free WiFi onboard which has been often criticized by the public in social platforms due to its frequent unavailability during flights. From several flights we had with Norwegian whereas the aircraft was expected to have WiFi onboard, we have the same sentiment for not able to use it. Oftentimes, the crew has explained WiFi is not working due to technical issues.

We understand that when the service is free, you can not complain a lot. However, when the airline actively advertises free WiFi, it must ensure that such service is available for the customers. Otherwise, it will just be a source of disappointment.

Norwegian has now introduced a paid WiFi service in addition to the free one. By making the service chargeable, there are less concurrent users and the quality stays better. As always, quality has its price.

Rating Based on Our Experiences

Our Norwegian Airlines review is based on multiple flights we have flown by Norwegian. For example, we have travelled from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, many cities in Spain and Dubai. We have also flown Norwegian's domestic flights in Spain. However, we have never tried Norwegian's long-haul fleet and therefore this review pertains to short-haul flights.

The reason for multiple Norwegian's flight is they have a good route network from Helsinki and cheaper prices. They are one of the most competitive airlines flying from Helsinki and their price level is often very affordable.

Cabin

The cabin of Norwegian Boeing 737-800 is clean and comfortable. Seats are slim and modern. Boeing Sky Interior makes the cabin to look fresh and modern.

Ceasar standing in the empty cabin of B737-800

Welcome to the red cabin of Norwegian Air B737-800.

Customer Service and Professional Skills

In our opinion, Norwegian's crew are not the best in their friendliness. They are doing their job well but expecting a paint of smile on their faces may sometimes be too much. We have got a feeling that they are somehow stressed and work-overloaded.

To be honest, we have nothing to complain about their work quality. They know what they are doing and we have always got what we have asked and payed for. Especially, pilots' announcements have always been made really well. From our several flights with them, Norwegian pilots have always made a smooth landing.

Onboard Service

Tickets do not include any onboard service. Menus are distributed in the beginning of flights and people may buy small snacks and drinks during the flight. The selection isn't that good. As other airlines, Norwegian sells peanuts, chips, chocolate and noodles. They have also a few warm options but the selection could be much better. So prepare to have your own food with you if you fly a longer route.

On short flights, there is one serving. During longer flights. you have two chances to buy snacks and drinks. Between servings you may, of course, visit the galley to buy more food stuffs and/or drinks.

Price Level

Even though Norwegian is a low-cost airline, its quality is as good as many traditional airlines, like Finnair can offer. Norwegian is a truly modern airline.

In contrast to regular airlines, Norwegian ticket prices are far cheaper. Norwegian has especially great offers and the luckiest people may find really cheap tickets. But do not expect as cheap tickets as Ryanair offers. That is because Norwegian concentrates more on quality compared to other low-cost airlines such as Ryanair.

Price to Quality Ratio

As we have told, Norwegian tickets are often really cheap. We also have emphasized that the quality is surprisingly good for a low-cost airline.

These two things together make Norwegian's price-to-quality ratio high.

Overall Rating

Norwegian is surely the best low-cost airline we know. There are things to be improved like onboard shop selection and crew friendliness. But so far, we really like this airline. It gives good value for your money.

Norwegian B737-800 plane at Prague Airport

Ceasar boarding but who is the lady painted at the tail of this Norwegian B737-800 plane?

It is important to compare flight prices because they vary a lot. Find the best flight deals on Momondo.

Is Norwegian Air a Good Airline?

We from Finnoy Travel say yes, but Norwegian is not a perfect airline. They should especially fix the really annoying WiFi issue. In the low-cost class, they are still doing really well and reflecting Scandinavian quality.

Other Norwegian Air Reviews

We recommend you to read our Norwegian WiFi review. Or check out this Norwegian Air review.

Have you flown with Norwegian? Comment below about your experiences?

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Destination : Norway

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Readers' Comments (4)

  1. 09-15-2020 at 4:56pm EEST by Christine Cullen :

    I can't complain about refunds from Norwegian Airlines, our flights were cancelled due to covid 19, we had our money refunded within days. Excellent customer service.

  2. 08-14-2020 at 3:02am EEST by Steven L Hardison :

    We have flown Norwegian several times from LAX to Europe and found it to be a good airline. The flights were cramped for such a long flight, but we were willing to give up some comfort in exchange for the lowfare. The service was good and the on time rating was a bit dicey.
    Having said all of that, currently I can't say we'd travel with them again. We had a flight scheduled for September to Rome. Early on Norwegian stated publicly that they were ceasing flights from the U.S., effectively canceling our flight. Yet almost 6 months later we have received no word from them regarding a refund that was applied for. The customer service number rings without being answered and email is futile. All in all this is the absolute worst customer service imaginable.
    I would warn potential travelers to stay away from Norwegian u til they can come up with a better response to their customers needs.

    1. 08-14-2020 at 12:48pm EEST by Finnoy Travel :

      Sounds awful customer service. Norwegian's flight product is good but the customer service requires improvements.

      We agree that the refund should be paid in weeks, not in months.

  3. 05-09-2020 at 10:52pm EEST by Priscilla :

    We have used Norwegian airlines for many of our trips from California to Europe using premium economy. It is the best priced, good service airline around. Due to the problem with the "max" airplane and the covid 19 situation the had to cancel our flight.
    I love this airline. I hope it will survive this situation.

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