After years of planning and negotiations with the US government, Norwegian Air has launched direct low cost American flights to and from Shannon, Dublin, Cork and Belfast. The flights are priced at $99 one way.
The starting fares are low. But there are some fundamental differences between Norwegians budget service and a full service transatlantic flights from Aer Lingus, BA or Delta. Including their destinations, Boston and New York. Norwegian uses smaller airports further from the destination city. Newburgh 60 miles from New York and Providence 90 miles from Boston, a $200 taxi ride. For comparison, Dublin Airport is 98 miles from Belfast.
Norwegian charges for booking with certain cards and reserving your seat. Does this remind you of a well known Irish carrier? On board you are seated in a 32 inch by 17 inch seat, practically identical to Ryanair. There is a fee to pay for headphones €3 so you can watch recent (but not new) films in your personal seat back screen. A blanket is €5, full amenity kits including toothpaste and a toothbrush cost a hefty €18.
Food & Drink
Food and drink cost a good bit extra too, A sandwich is €7 and a soft drink €3. If you would like meals like you get on a normal long haul service, they will set you back €32. Given that the flights are 7 hours + and you cant bring liquids through airport security, your flight bill could easily cost more than the flight.
With Norwegian Airlines you can bring 1 carry on cabin bag for free, with dimensions practically the same as Ryanair.
- 1 carry-on bag: max. 55x40x23 cm
- Plus 1 small personal item: max. 25x33x20 cm
- Max. combined weight: 10 kg
Check in Baggage
If you would like to check a bag in, it will cost €30 each way on a direct flight and €60 on a flight with one stop.
- Up to 20 kg included in €30 pre booked fee. Over 20 kg charged as excess baggage, see below.
- Max weight 32 kg
- Each bag must not exceed 250 x 79 x 112 cm in any single dimension (L x H x W) with max circumference of 300 cm
Excess Baggage & Airport Bag fees
- Excess baggage charges apply to any items over the 2 baggage limit, and to items over 20 kg – 11 EUR per kilo, per leg (Expensive)
- Forgetting to pay for your cabin bag in advance will result in a double charge at the airport. 1 Check in bag is €60 at the check in desk.
Children and infants
We wouldn’t recommend flying Norwegian with babies, there is a lot of comfort a full service airline can provide and they often charge a tiny fee for allowing your bundle of joy on board. Around 10% of an Adult fare. But if you do fly Norwegian with your baby…
The amount of baggage you can bring will depend on the age of your child and the type of ticket you’ve purchased for them.
Infant (under 2 years)
- 5 kg of checked baggage included (packed in your bag, or their own separate bag, like a cute Trunki)
- One car seat and one stroller included. Make sure you pack it well.
Children (2 to 11 years)
- You can bring the amount of checked baggage that your child’s fare type allows (possibly no checked in allowance)
- One car seat and one stroller included
Low Fares (Sometimes)
The starting fare of $99 is good if you can fly without adding all the extras, which quickly add up. But the biggest problem is finding a returning fare for $99, when we checked. We struggled to return for less than $300. And that doesn’t include baggage, food, drink or other comforts.
What is flying Norwegian Air to USA from Ireland like?
Unless you like a little fifty shades style light abuse, flying full service may well be cheaper, and a lot more comfortable than a return flight with Norwegian Air. But if you need a cheap 1 way fare, or you are actually heading to the odd out of town airports they use. You wont beat Norwegians no frills transatlantic 1 way fares.
How to book the cheapest Ireland USA flights
Book direct with Norwegian but do check Budget Air for a big discount on full service, return USA flights, especially if you intend on bringing a bag and want to travel in comfort. The extra discount often brings the price under Norwegians budget offering.