Even as a travel hacker I pay to fly coach. There are situations when I can’t find award availability, or find a really good deal on the direct flight I want. Recently, we paid to fly Norwegian Airlines from Paris to Los Angeles direct. The airplane we flew was a Boeing 787-8, also known as the Dreamliner. We’ve flown them before and have always had a good experience on their international product. They can also be ridiculously cheap. On our most recent flight we paid under $300 for a direct flight from Paris to LAX. This included seat selection, meals and a checked bag.
Now onto what I’m going to call my favorite 2 seats on Norwegian Air. The standard seat arrangement in coach on the Dreamliner is a 3-3-3, which is not my favorite arrangement as we usually just fly just the 2 of us. There’s nothing usually wrong with sitting next to a random person, but for a 10+ hour flight, I'd prefer not to. Before booking seats on a flight I usually do research on Seat Guru to find the best possible seats. Since we booked our tickets about 6 months in advance, almost every seat was still open. As I was looking at the seating map, I noticed that there were 2 rows in the back of the plane that offered a 2 seat configuration, SCORE! I read the reviews on both of these rows and saw that the last row had limited seat recline, YUCK. That one was out and ROW 34 was in. Seats C & A to be exact.
(Row 34, Seats A&C)
Norwegian boards the back of the plane first, a strategy that always made sense to me. Since we were one of the first to board we had plenty of room to store our minimalist carry on bags. I grabbed the seat closest to the window as Michaela usually likes the aisle seat. The benefit to the “window” seat is that it is positioned as a middle seat with no seat next to it. This allowed me to stretch my legs out to my left, which was amazing.
(Extra leg room is always appreciated)
The entertainment system on Norwegian Airlines was great. As a budget airline you might think they would charge for movies, but it was all free and they had a nice selection movies and shows to watch. We watched The Girl on the Train which we both enjoyed. Note that they don’t offer headphones for free, so make sure to bring your favorite set or be prepared to purchase on the plane. My only real ask from Norwegian is that they offer Wifi on flights between USA and Europe. For some reason, they only offer it on their intra-Europe flights and some flights to the Caribbean. It would have been nice to have had connectivity on such a long flight.
(Norwegian offers ton's of free content to watch)
We both pre-ordered our meals, something that you have to pay extra for on Norwegian, but worth it in my opinion. Both of our dinner dishes were good, but nothing special. Breakfast however, was a cheese sandwich that was poor. Yes, we pre-ordered our food and it was mediocre, the dishes for order while on the plane looked much worse.
(Beef or Fish was offered, red wine was included!)
While it wasn’t as glamorous as our SAS Business Class flight, we’ll fly Norwegian again. They offer competitive prices, a hidden gem 2 seat spot in the back of the plane, and lots of direct flights from LAX to Europe.