Norse Atlantic Airways is on its way to dominating the bargain basement fares market between the U.S. and Europe. Taking its cues from Norwegian Air Shuttle and others that left the no-frills, transatlantic flights market during the pandemic, the Arendal, Norway-based carrier recently announced a robust summer schedule that will make Norse Atlantic the top airline for flights between the U.S. and London Gatwick (LGW).
Norse Atlantic’s Summer 2023 Schedule
The airline is opening routes from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO) directly to England’s capital and also unveiled a summer schedule with flights to London on sale from four other U.S. gateways:
- London to Washington, D.C., will launch on June 1, operating up to six weekly flights with return lead-in fares in Economy from $517, including taxes.
- London to Los Angeles will launch on June 30, operating daily with return promotional fares in Economy from $517, including taxes.
- London to San Francisco will launch on July 1, operating three times a week with return launch fares in Economy from $492, including taxes.
- London to Boston will launch on September 2, operating five times a week with return fare deals in Economy from $445, including taxes.
(Fares initially quoted in British Pounds reflect current currency exchange rates)
“The new services mean Gatwick and Norse will provide an increasingly competitive offering, which is great news for passengers across London and the South East, as well as businesses in the region,” said Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport.
“The Norse team are disruptors. We look forward to making our unbeatable product available to even more customers this summer as we build the industry’s first successful low-cost long-haul airline.”
The first flight from Orlando is set to take off on May 25, and tickets can be booked for as low as $187 (one-way) for those who want to spend their savings on a stay at The Ritz.
The new routes add to the current daily New York to London service. Flights from Orlando will operate four times a week in May and June and then a daily service in the height of the summer peak season, with fares starting from $187 (one-way), including taxes.
Flights from Fort Lauderdale will operate three times a week in May and June and then four times a week for the rest of the summer season, with fares starting from $192 (one-way), including taxes.
Norse Atlantic Cabin Options
Norse Atlantic flies these routes on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with two cabin choices: Economy and Premium Economy. In addition, passengers can choose from a simple range of fares: Light, Classic, and Plus.
Light fares represent Norse’s value option, while Plus fares include the maximum baggage allowance, two meal services, an enhanced airport and onboard experience, as well as increased ticket flexibility.
The Premium cabin offers a 43-inch seat pitch and a 12-inch recline for a dose of flight comfort in an industry where such options are fast disappearing.
Most of Norse Atlantic’s passengers are budget travelers, with 83.4 percent (282 of 338) of the seats on its Boeing 787-9s located in the airline’s back area economy cabins. However, for travelers looking to go across the pond on a proverbial dime, these are the flights to take because the airline offers some of the lowest transatlantic tickets available.
But a universal pricing system does not apply to all Economy Class tickets. Instead, there are three different rates, with Economy Lite as the most affordable.
The 31-32 inch pitch seats allow only a single under-seat bag to be brought on the flight. Additional baggage privileges must be purchased. Naturally, meals are not included, and there are harsh penalties for ticket changes.
Next up: Economy Classic. These tickets permit travelers to bring a second piece of hand luggage and one checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs. Transatlantic flights also feature a meal service (a cost that can add up quickly) for these seats and softer restrictions on ticket changes.
One small notch above Classic is Economy Plus, which offers priority boarding and free ticket change options.
Premium Plus Tickets
The most expensive of Norse Atlantic’s tickets are under the Premium Plus category. This tariff does not charge any additional fees for ticket changes or seat selection (that means more legroom at the front of the plane for that 43-inch pitch), and it is the only ticket fare that includes two checked bags and two meals. The range of rates on a recent check for roundtrip service between JFK and LGW dates at the end of March ran $406 to $1064.
Personalization at a Cost
For most passengers, everything about the trip comes as a choice and a cost. Carry-on luggage (not a front-of-the-seat backpack) runs $25 to $85 extra, depending on when it is purchased. A checked bag will run $70 to $225. Seat choices will cost $7 to $45 (for an aisle or window) to $120 for that premium cabin with extra legroom.
Confused? Don’t expect to be able to call the airline for clarity. While phone support is unavailable, a support email address is.
The company was founded by CEO and major shareholder Bjørn Tore Larsen in March 2021 and now operates a fleet of 15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners that serve destinations including New York, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Oslo, London, Berlin, and Paris.
The company’s first flight took off from Oslo to New York on June 14, 2022. Last November, Norse Atlantic announced the launch of a new daily route connecting Paris (CDG) and New York (JFK).
That first flight is set to take off from New York to Paris later this month — March 26. One-way fares have been available for as low as $159. With that new route system in motion, Norse Atlantic is entering another major international market, connecting New York to 4 European destinations – Berlin, London, Oslo, and Paris.