Low-cost carrier Norwegian is continuing its inroads into the UK market with some very enticing fares to the Caribbean next winter. As of last year the airline has a major base at London’s Gatwick airport and it has been using that to good effect to offer long-haul fares across the Atlantic that can be hard to beat.
This month Norwegian will commence operations from London Gatwick to Los Angeles and New York JFK and with planed services to Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Oakland also coming online this year the airline is rapidly providing stiff competition to the more traditional legacy carriers flying the trans-Atlantic routes.
Norwegian is also making a play for the UK-Caribbean market and, this winter, is offering some very good fares for anyone looking to catch a few rays of sun.
From 2 November Norwegian has scheduled one of its new, larger, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to fly between London Gatwick and San Juan, Puerto Rico:
The route will only operate twice per week and will run from 2 November through to 22 March next year but the opportunities for money savings are significant. First, the schedule:
DY7127 LGW 09:45 – 15:00 SJU (Wednesdays)
DY7127 LGW 10:35 – 15:50 SJU (Saturdays)
DY7128 SJU 17:00 – 05:05+1 day LGW (Wednesdays)
DY7128 SJU 17:55 – 06:00+1 day LGW (Saturdays)
I’m usually quite critical of fares published by low-cost carriers because they’re often all about looking low-cost rather than actually being low-cost once you work out what you’re finally going to end up paying….but in this case things are looking very good indeed.
The press-release from Norwegian mentions one-way fares to Puerto Rico from £159 but I can’t find any of those so I’m going to concentrate on what is actually available to book as I type.
Outbound fares are readily available from £179…..
…while I’ve seen return fares are as low as £89.60!
That low fare is a bit of an outlier but fares for a week in the sun are still readily available at £179 outbound and £110 inbound:
If you can travel without checking a bag things aren’t too bad but, if you decide that you can’t do without a suitcase, you’ll pay a further £25 each way to take one with you:
This being a low-cost airline seat selection comes at a price too….but I suspect more people will be happy to forgo seat selection than will be happy to do a week (or more) in the Caribbean without a suitcase.
Seat selection will cost a further £25 in either direction although, somewhat surprisingly, Norwegian appears to charge the same amount for selecting a regular Economy Class seat or for selecting one with extra leg room. That’s definitely an incentive to book sooner rather than later and before all the good seats go.
You’re not going to get too many creature comforts onboard and you’ll have to pay for food and drinks during the flight (or you could just bring some which you), but the interior of the Dreamliner cabin doesn’t look too bad…..
….and all seats come with their own personal IFE screens:
The amount of seat room each passenger gets isn’t great by any means but it’s no less than you get with some major full-service airlines across the Atlantic.
….although if you go down this route you can forget all the fares I mentioned earlier!
I had a quick search on the ITA Matrix tool to see what other fares I could find to San Juan in the same period that Norwegian is operating this route and the best I came up with was in excess of £600. That makes Norwegian’s offering very good indeed.
You could take a suitcase, select seats and have a few drinks on Norwegian and still come out considerably better off than by booking on a full-service airline….and I don’t find myself typing that too often.
If you’re thinking that you may want to escape the UK weather for somewhere warm next winter then this could be a very good budget option to go with….in the name of research, if nothing else, I’m tempted to try one of these flights out.