On my recent trip to New York I was lucky enough to fly with Norwegian Air in their Premium Cabin. More comfortable than economy but less luxurious than first class, Norwegian Air’s Premium class offers an affordable upgrade on standard economy cabins.
With a range of added benefits such as access to Gatwick’s No.1 Premium Lounge and 2 checked-in cases, flying Premium can enhance your entire flight experience. So if you’re ready to stretch your legs (and your budget), you might just be ready to fly in Premium too. Here’s my review of Norwegian Air’s Premium experience.
The Airport Experience
The benefits of flying in Premium were clear as soon as we arrived at Gatwick airport. The priority check-in lane meant that there was no hanging around and after a couple of minutes we had checked in and waved goodbye to our luggage. As Premium passengers we could check in 2 suitcases each, both weighing up to 20kg (40kg in total). The extra baggage allowance was a huge benefit on this trip in particular as I had packed way more clothes than usual for our trip to New York! I also knew it would come in particularly handy after all the shopping...
The check-in staff added a little silver sticker to our tickets, which granted us fast-track security and complimentary access to the No.1 Lounge at Gatwick Airport. Available to First, Premium and Business Class travellers only, the No.1 Lounge definitely enhances your flying experience. A bar, formal restaurant and lounge area serves complimentary food and drink which can all be made to order. We kicked our journey off in style with a glass of prosseco and a light dinner from the a la carte menu.
As a Premium traveller, we also received priority boarding onto the Norwegian Air 787 Dreamliner. A complimentary welcome drink of apple juice or orange juice was offered around as we settled into our seats. I was really impressed by the 55 inches of leg room, which made it feel a far cry from the often claustrophobic conditions of economy. Whilst the seat didn’t go completely flat, the recline was generous and again, went much further back than Economy.
Dining in The Sky
I read on the Norwegian Air website that Premium offers a 3-course dinner as part of the flight service. In all honesty, I would say that this is a bit misleading. Whilst there is the equivalent of a starter, main and desert, it is served all at once in a paper box, so it didn’t feel like a 3-course meal. The food itself however, was tasty, healthy and fresh. I opted for the king prawns with vegetables and rice which was served with tabbouleh salad and an apple tart. Wine was offered alongside dinner as well as a post-dinner aperitif. I treated myself to some Baileys on ice.
Norwegian Air’s fleet of 787 Dreamliners have entertainment screens for all passengers in both Economy and Premium, showing an extensive range of movies, tv programmes and games. Whilst I didn’t end up watching any films, I was definitely glad to have the entertainment there as an option. However, I was surprised to find that no headsets were given out to Premium or Economy passengers. When asked about the headsets, the stewards explained they didn’t have any on board and that we could use our own earphones.
Top Tip: If you’re flying with Norwegian Air, be sure to take your own earphones and headsets with a ‘pin’ style plug in. iPhone 6+ headphones are not compatible with the 787 Dreamliner.
Getting 40 Winks
As a frequent traveller I am used to sleeping on planes, so drifting off in Premium felt like a piece of cake. We were given a blanket and pillow for extra comfort, but no eye mask or earplugs. If you’re a light sleeper, I would definitely advise bringing your own. I always do.
Flying in Premium with Norwegian Air made my journey to New York infinitely more comfortable and enjoyable. Whilst the Premium cabin is not quite on par with the Business Classes I have flown in, it is head and shoulders better than Economy. I definitely appreciated all of the special benefits and the generous check-in baggage allowance definitely came in handy for me. I stepped off the plane feeling rested and ready to conquer New York City.
If you're travelling for a special occasion or simply want to enjoy a bit more comfort in the sky, Norwegian Air's Premium Class offers a more affordable way to travel in style.
Norwegian Air has recently launched a double daily service to New York from Gatwick Airport. Norwegian Air operate a fleet of brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners with cabins for Premium and Economy. Fares start from £149 one-way in economy and £499 one way in Premium including all taxes and charges.
Read my First Timer's Guide to New York
What do you think about my Norwegian flight experience? Have you flown with Norwegian before or are you considering them? I'd love to hear what you think! Jess x
My flight to New York with Norwegian was provided complimentary in exchange for this review. As always, all thoughts, opinions and images remain my own.
Lee Pare says
Are the restrooms on the Norwegian 787 in premium class bigger than economy or the same size?
Hi Lee, I’m really sorry but I am not totally sure as I only used the toilets at the very front of the plane in the premium section and they were fairly spacious and a bit larger than your average plane toilet. https://thetravelista.net/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form
Jen K. says
Norwegian is starling a new route from Chicago to London soon. We’ll be traveling to London in July and considering Norwegian’s Premium cabin. Long haul flights make my husband a bit nervous so the “complimentary drinks throughout the flight” seemed like a good way to keep his nerves at ease. However, some reviews I’ve read infer that the complimentary drinks are served with meals and all others are for purchase. Can you clarify? Thanks so much for your great review!
Hi Jen! Thanks for your comment. All of the drinks in premium are complimentary and I believe you can request them at any time. Hope that helps and eases your husbands nerves. I felt in safe hands 🙂
Adam Stoffski says
I did several trips across the pond the last few years in economy until this summer when I started to explore various “premium” or “plus” options on different airlines. It’s MILES better then regular economy especially for a “rather big boned” gent like myself. Not to mention the extra with fast track security, ,lounge etc. Going to OSLO-NYC-LONDON with Norwegian in premium next week. It was a no brainer with the extra legroom and recline. They may not serve drinks in glassware and serve food on bone china but they airfares are kept at minimum. Great write up. Quick question though. Noticed you sat in the last row. Seatguru has a warning flag for that seat. Was the seat reclining all the way? Did you get disturbed by the economy class lavatories? (I’m currently locked in for a row 1window seat on both flights the coming week bus was considering picking a seat in the middle section as well)
Hi Adam! Thanks for your comment. Totally agree it’s a far cry from Economy, but as you say they sort of cut corners to keep the prices low which is understandable. If you don’t mind not eating from a China plate or sipping from glassware I don’t think there would be many complaints! The chairs don’t recline all the way back but they do go quite far back to give you a much better chance of sleeping. I was on the back row which did feel quite close to Economy. If I had the choice I would have been further down the cabin. Happy flying!
I’m fascinated by airline food, for some reason. It’s interesting to me how different foods count as fancy or not on different airlines.
Thanks Terra! Airline food can vary so much but it’s amazing what they can do with the limited preparation options that they have. The food was quite premium but it would have felt more special if it came on a plate as opposed to a cardboard box x
I’ve heard bad things about Norweigan so this went someway to alleviate that, although the screens for transatlantic flights are not standard across all their planes which I expect these days. I love the security pass, that would be great. Thanks for this un-biased review – I would still rather fly with anyone else since premium is essentially economy on a better airline but if I see it for cheap I will take a closer look so this was helpful.
Hi Jet! Interesting that you’ve heard bad things. I think the transatlantic screens are only on their new Dreamliner fleet. I would say that Premium is definitely better than economy on any other airline in terms of space and comfort. Happy Travels for 2018! XX
Treasured Travels says
Sounds like a good option for a long-haul flight!
I actually flew Thomson Premium to Cuba this summer and it far exceeded my expectations. It was similar with the fast track through the airport, plenty of legroom etc. We also got a glass of bubbly once boarded, noise-cancelling headphones, a Rituals amenity kit complete with eye mask and ear plugs, plus tons of tasty food and snacks throughout the flight! Maybe one to give a go in future 🙂 x
Hi Treasured Travels! It was definitely a great option for getting to New York. I’ve never flown Premium with Thomson, but sounds like it made a huge difference to the flight experience! Little extras really do go a long way. I am definitely going to look into Thomson x
Definitely a step up from economy, especially when you are flying long haul.
Absolutely! It does make such a difference to how you feel after the flight. And it’s fairly reasonable price wise too x
Katie Leask says
where is your jumper from, lovely!? i am in LOVE ♥♥♥
I absolutely LOVE Premium with Norwegian, I honestly haven’t stopped raving about it since I flew to NYC and paid to upgrade Ben as a surprise as I knew he would love it! It’s such amazing value for money! Great post lady!
Ahh that’s such a nice thing to do to surprise Ben! I bet he loved it. It really was fab and so much better than economy, the best thing was the extra space I think. I will definitely
Go premium again xx
Hey Jess! Such a helpful post, thank you! Will definitely consider Norwegian for my next NYC trip 🙂 New blog looks fab by the way!
Thanks Harriet! Glad it came in handy and that you like the redesign! Have a lovely Xmas xx