I’ve finally done it! I’m now in Stockholm Sweden, after a ten-hour flight from the Bay Area, California. Everyone has been asking me “why Stockholm?” Well, I purchased my plane ticket through a flight deal one year ago. If you remember my tips on finding affordable airfare, I noted two things: 1. It can be cheaper to fly into one country of the same continent and move around within the continent 2. Let the deal take you. And what I mean by that is, don’t wait for your friends to ask you to travel. Just book your flights whenever you come across an irresistible promotion!
For me, this promotion was a $190 flight to Stockholm through Norwegian Airlines. Yes, you read that right – $190! I initially booked this for March, but ended up paying an extra $100 to move it back to May (because I was afraid of Stockholm’s cold weather). Still, a flight to Europe for $290 is a huge steal.
I’ve realized that both Norwegian Air and Wow Air offer crazy prices like these on the regular. (Use Google Flights and browse around if you don’t believe me!)
Now, I’ve never flown with a budget airline long distance so I was a bit worried. However, Norwegian Air actually exceeded my expectations. I’m going to share my experience below so you know what to expect and understand how to prepare when flying with Norwegian.
Lol so serious
Norwegian Airlines Review
1. Baggage Limitations / Fees
I didn’t realize that baggage rules were strict like those of RyanAir. The limitations for carry-ons are as follows:
Suitcase: 10 kg – 55 x 40 x 23 cm
Personal Item: Not really specified, but they still weighed my bag.
The cost of checking in a bag is:
Domestic: 20 GBP
International: 40 GBP
Domestic/domestic: 40 GBP
Domestic/international: 60 GBP
International/international: 80 GBP
These rates are for 1 way, 1 trip (as of June 1, 2016).
After learning that most nomads travel with merely a carry-on suitcase and personal bag, I was determined to do the same. The employees didn’t check the size of my bags, but they did check the weight. I accidentally exceeded the 10 kg restrictions with an 11 kg suitcase. Fortunately, the worker was nice enough to let me pass, but in the future, I’ll need to downsize even further while abroad.
2. Comfort / Leg Space
The Norwegian Air seats were surprisingly comfortable with sufficient leg room for me to stretch around. I have zero complaints about this – the inside of the plane looks like any other plane flying internationally.
Unfortunately, economy class trips do not include meals. However, you can add just the meal package for about $35 I believe, or pay an additional $60 to get a seat reservation, one piece of checked luggage, and a meal included in your ticket.
Here is the economy class meal menu:
- A cold pasta/salad
- Main course of meat or fish dish with vegetables and potatoes/rice
- Sandwich, a treat and a juice box
I have heard that the food is good. I ended up eating my Vietnamese sandwich on the plane so I didn’t have to worry about meals (also don’t worry cups of water on the plane = free). You can also purchase food from the snack bar – so if you didn’t bring food or get the meal plan, you won’t starve as long as you have your credit card!
For economy class tickets, the snack bar is only open after meals have been served. I was surprised because the food and drinks cost less than I expected:
Daily Sandwich: $7
Hot snacks: $7
Salad selection: $9
Noodle Pot (basically Cup Noodles): $4
Small bottles of hard liquor: $7-8
33cl Heineken beer: $6
Glass of wine: $7
Orange juice: $3.50
For the full menu, click here.
5. In-Flight Entertainment
Again, exceeded expectations! They had movies like Star Wars, Hangover Part II, Rush Hour, and Juno, and TV shows like New Girl, Fresh off the Boat, and Modern Family. They had about 40 movies and 44 TV shows, which is not as extensive as that of Emirates (around 500 movies!) but obviously it was enough to last me through my flight. I ended up watching “Big”, “This Means War”, and “The Intern”.
Didn’t get a picture of the flight entertainment oops
6. Travel Blankets / Headphones
Unfortunately, you have to pay for blankets and headsets. Blankets are $5 and headsets are $3. I brought my own so I didn’t have to worry.
7. The Temperature?
I’m mentioning temperature because the last time I flew with Emirates, I was FREEZING. I felt very comfortable on the Norwegian Air flight because it was warm inside.
8. The Crowd…
Obviously this isn’t going to apply for all Norwegian Air flights, but I was pretty stoked because I saw tons of backpackers. I met a cool person sitting next to me, another fellow solo traveler who had recently graduated from college. She’s a passionate writer who didn’t want to take a job right away, so she’s going to live out in Spain for a while (before she goes home and takes the LSATs – what!). Being among a sea of explorers, I’m getting more and more pumped about my trip ;).
Overall Tips / Conclusion
Some quick tips if you want to beat the Norwegian Air restrictions:
- Follow the size and weight guidelines for carry-ons.
- Eat beforehand and/or bring a meal to eat on the plane.
- Dress warm and bring your own headphones so you don’t need to buy blankets or headsets.
I recommend traveling with Norwegian Air because the money you can save on flights is insane. I would say on average, USA to Europe roundtrip flights can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500. With the $500-1,000 you would save with Norwegian Air, you could treat yourself to fancy steak dinners upon landing!