A critical review of various airlines as experienced first-hand by editorial members of The Business Travel Magazine team.
THE FLIGHT: Flight DY7016 from New York JFK Terminal 1 to London Gatwick, travelling in the low-cost carrier's Premium cabin. The flight was operated by a B787 Dreamliner. THE CHECK-IN: Norwegian's checkin area at T1 was quiet for this late evening departure and I walked straight up to the premium counter. The member of staff that checked me in was unsure if I could use fast-track security (I couldn't, it transpired) but did highlight that Norwegian's Premium passengers can access the Korean Air lounge. Security was pleasantly swift and I was soon at home in the lounge. It was dimly lit and stocked with basic snacks and a limited range of soft and alcoholic drinks, and I made the most of the shower facilities and wifi access. Passengers travelling in the opposite direction can use the No.1 Traveller lounge at Gatwick's South Terminal. THE SEAT: The low-cost carrier's Premium cabin is comparable to other airline's premium economy product, with 32 large grey leather seats in a 2-3-2 configuration at the front of the plane. Seat width is 19 inches and the pitch is 46 inches. The generous recline is both a blessing – enabling me to get a good few hours shut-eye – and a curse: when both seats in front of me were fully reclined it was a bit of a struggle to get out of my window seat. On the plus side, the aisle seat next to me was vacant. Tables and IFE screens lift out of the seat's arms and the latter provided a good selection of contemporary and classic film and TV choices. Basic headphones were offered but I used my own. There were also useful USB and power sockets. The airline's European flights have (free) wifi access but this does not extend to transatlantic flights. THE SERVICE: Cabin crew on the flight were perfectly pleasant and, with the cabin roughly half full, were rarely hurried. Pre-take-off soft drinks were offered, followed by full drinks service, three-course meal (with choices) and, shortly before landing, a reasonable breakfast offering. THE VERDICT: The combination of modern Dreamliner aircraft and Norwegian's Premium product make this a good value option for business travellers heading across the Atlantic either by day or by night when a few hours sleep are required. THE DETAILS: Norwegian has increased its service between Gatwick's South Terminal and New York JFK to a daily departure. Lead-in fares start from £149 one way. For more information see: www.norwegian.com.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2015)