Norwegian Air

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Oct 11, 2017
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#1
We are flying overseas for the first time in August. Norwegian has one direct flight a day to Copenhagen from Orlando. My agent says they have no service and they often cancel flights so she is unable to book and I am on my own. This is my only option for a nonstop flight. Any advice?
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#2
@Dkolett Norwegian is a whole risk vs reward calculation. The upside is that its cheap and in this case direct. Here's all the downsides... You'll pay an additional amount for EVERYTHING (seats, checked bag, food etc) plan on absolutely nothing being included and not sitting together. If they cancel, it might be days or longer before they can get you to where you're going so you might have to pay for a last minute, insanely expensive fare to get home.

It all depends on how much risk you're willing to take with your vacation vs your budget. I would definitely purchase a highly rate travel insurance policy if you go this route. I, personally, would not and it sounds like your TA wouldn't either.
 
Oct 11, 2017
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#3
Those are good points, but I would buy the premium seats which include 2 bags, assigned seats and meals. It doesn’t make sense to me to spend the day flying to NY and then fly over. I wish I could find out how often they cancel. That is the only thing I am worried about.
 
Likes: bill_the_cat

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#4
Listen to your travel agent. Your agent is absolutely right. If Norwegian cancels your flight, you may not be able to be put you on another one for days. If you have to buy another ticket at the airport on another airline if will cost you a lot for a walk up ticket.

They are a highly discounted airline where you will
pay extra for almost everything.

Plug in the flights you are looking at in FlightAware
and see their on time performance:
 
Likes: AMA and jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
Looking at the schedule for next August it seems that Norwegian flies the non stop only once a week. So if there are any problems with the flight you may have to be booked on another Norwegian flight (ie transit through London) and it may take days until that happens particularly in peak travel times.

There are a lot of risks with using a low cost carrier — if things go okay it can be fine — but if there are mechanical problems, weather, etc you can be stranded for days.

Are you somewhat flexible and can wait? Are you meeting a cruise or tour or something that will leave without you?

Also booking 10 months in advance means that the schedule may change and they substitute a flight with a transfer.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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#7
Unless you have no prepaid hotel/car or other reservations you probably should not risk flying Norwegian, as you may not arrive for several days or a week after your scheduled departure. You can fly with one stop on many mainstream airlines that will get you to Copenhagen within hours of your planned arrival. You can fly from Orlando to a major hub of Delta/United/American/Air Canada and then have a non-stop to Copenhagen. If you choose to take a flight from Orlando to an airline hub, fly early in the day for an overnight flight to Copenhagen. Do not risk an afternoon flight to connect with your Copenhagen flight.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
My colleagues are correct. Book your trip on a real airline. Making a connection is annoying, but not the end of the world. Sitting around an airport for 4 days waiting to board a flight is the end of the world. I'm happy you've contacted us now instead of when you're in trouble. Cheap airlines are cheap because they don't have any customer service. You need CS in case of problems.
 
Jul 2, 2018
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#10
Also, if you look at some recent news items about Norwegian Airlines, you will see that they have already cancelled some recently announced routes that had only just started (from Edinburgh to the USA and from Belfast to the USA from memory, plus others). There is a lot of discussion about how they are losing money on their long-haul routes and also their bad financial state.

I would certainly not book a long-distance flight with them, given their financial position. There is similar talk about WOW Air, so again, I would not book with them. And Primera Air, which had also just started flying to the USA, has recently gone bankrupt. Which airline will be next ??

So if you book with Norwegian Airlines, then be aware of their financial situation.

Jerry
 
Oct 10, 2018
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#11
Please please listen to this advice to avoid Norwegian. Last year a torrent of Norwegian Air direct flight ads (PVD RI to Oslo) prompted us to book a summer trip - premium seats. Less than a month later Norwegian cancelled all direct flights from PVD and replaced ours with a Boston flight. Less convenient for us but OK; it irked me that Norwegian was still running ads for direct flights! From Jan - May Norwegian cancelled our flights 5 times and rescheduled, including selecting a 2 day earlier flight. When I said "not acceptable", Norwegian booked us 1 day earlier - still a pain to have to re-negotiate Norwway apartment rental contracts b/c of Norwegian Air's poor planning. My fav reschedule: our original 7 hr flight became an 18 hr flight with long London layover; not acceptable. So 2-3 months out from US departure we chose a different airline for return flight and paid through the nose. The irony after all this - my spouse's illness forced us to cancel. What happened to us didn't involve safety or security issues but it certainly dissolved our belief that Norwegian is reliable. We will never do business with them again.

So now we're hearing Norwegian ads for direct flights from PVD and we wonder how many people will experience the unnecessary chaos that we had. Definitely now looking for alternative airlines........ Thanks for listening to my rant.
 
Sep 20, 2015
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#12
Those are good points, but I would buy the premium seats which include 2 bags, assigned seats and meals. It doesn’t make sense to me to spend the day flying to NY and then fly over. I wish I could find out how often they cancel. That is the only thing I am worried about.
If you don't want to connect in NY or anywhere else on the east coast, consider flying directly to Europe and connecting there. Booking with Norwegian is a crap shoot--they change schedules, cancel flights, and I certainly would not trust them 10 months out--they may not even exist in 10 months, in which case you're out all of your money.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#13
If you don't want to connect in NY or anywhere else on the east coast, consider flying directly to Europe and connecting there. Booking with Norwegian is a crap shoot--they change schedules, cancel flights, and I certainly would not trust them 10 months out--they may not even exist in 10 months, in which case you're out all of your money.
Agreed. You for MCO-CPH, you can readily connect through Amsterdam or Frankfurt.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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#15
While I can't speak with any accuracy to Norwegian's financial situation, I would like to share my experience with them, since 2015 I have made 13 flights with Norwegian, both transatlantic and intracontinental in Europe. Of those, two were significantly late (ie 30 mins plus) departing the US but both arrived within 15 minutes of schedule. Because I am picky about where I sit, I always pay for seat assignment. I never travel with more than a carry on. I bring my own snacks. I've flown from FLL, JFK , SWF, LGW, CDG, OSL, STK, BER and AMS. Perhaps I have been unusually fortunate in never encountering a major snafu, but I will not hesitate to fly with Norwegian again.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#16
Lizard my impression is that Norwegian has changed a lot in the past year — to me the biggest mistake they did was overexpansion and stretched themselves thin. Then came the 787 problems which grounded a large portion of the fleet. So they canceled flights, delayed, leased aircrafts from charters and many people were unhappy.

I do know people that have not had problems on Norwegian — these were people flying routes where there were many more Norwegian options (ie London to New York several daily flights) and they were visiting family/friends— so no money lost on hotels and not in summer.

The OP is taking their first trip abroad and the main positive for the airline is the non stop flight — (which makes a lot of sense) and will be flying in peak season — August 2019. Norwegian is ok when everything goes close to plan but when there is a problem that is when they fail. It is certainly a risk tolerance issue.

The financial soothsayers put a Norwegian bankruptcy filing in the next year around 50%.

In my younger student days I was a lot more flexible and really flew some sketchy airlines (anyone remember Tower Air?) but now I am less tolerant.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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#17
You are not flying for almost a year, so first of all, I would not stress much about this. It's way too early to book, and while a nonstop flight is a convenience, it's not the only option (some Norwegian flights are at horrible times, so it may or may not be an advantage in your case). Also be aware that many airlines (not just Norwegian) change their flight schedules over the course of a year. While Norwegian is a real airline, it is undergoing a lot of change right now, and I think the caution everyone is advising about locking yourself into a specific itinerary so far in advance is well taken. I don't think it's sketchy, but it has cancelled some recently introduced service, and Orlando to Copenhagen isn't exactly a high-traffic route. If you really want to book so far in advance, then look to a long-established carrier like Lufthansa that will have many different options to change your flight if their schedules change, and accept a connection in Frankfurt or Munich. Also, if you are joining a tour or a cruise that departs on a specific day, I'd strongly advise planning to arrive a day early just in case something does happen (weather, strikes, illness, something (or anything) else. And since planning so far in advance carries some risk, definitely (absolutely) buy insurance, preferably a policy that will allow you to cancel for any reason.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#18
Thank you for posting this, PMaine. The more often that we can call travellers' attention to the really awful airlines, the better off the world will be. I know that many trips operate without issues, but the normal traveller is not ready for the problems when they do arise. It's a risk/reward thing ... lots of people love their discount airlines because they can travel more often. They're willing to be flexible and creative. But the rest of us need some more robust customer service when we're travelling.