Flying a low cost carrier to Europe may be the only way some families can see the continent. Norwegian Airlines has a twist – a lower cost premium class, which may be the only way those of us not in the top 1% will ever get to experience the front of the plane.
I recently had the opportunity to fly 787 Dreamliner’s premium economy class, a luxury though less than first class experience, from New York City to Copenhagen.
And the incredibly low prices to Scandinavia mean you can visit Norway or Sweden, generally expensive countries, without blowing your budget on airfare. Norwegian Air even has low cost flights to London.
The Dreamliner has special amenities available to all passengers, including large tinted windows with an automatic dimming function (which we could not stop playing with). The planes also boast LED lighting to simulate sunrise and technology that lowers the air pressure in the cabin and adds more moisture. Though I was skeptical of its benefits, I experienced no jet lag so I think it worked!
The air circulation is also improved in the Dreamliner fleet, so no worries if that guy next to you sneezes on your arm rest; fresh, filtered air promises fewer respiratory ailments.
For those of us concerned about our carbon footprint, the Dreamliner is the most fuel-efficient commercial aircraft, using 20% less fuel.
Noise and vibration rarely affect me on planes, but if these are concerns, you will be happy with the improved noise control. This would have been great when my kids were little, and if you are traveling with young children whose ears are affected, the lower air pressure and quieter cabin are great family friendly amenities.
The 2-3-2 configuration of the premium economy seats meant no one was stuck by a window (admittedly oversized) with 2 strangers to climb over. BUT with my seat and my neighbor’s seat leaned back it was very difficult to squeeze out into the aisle. A large man would find it nearly impossible.
The 19-inch wide premium economy seats, with a pitch of 46 inches, also have a footrest, so you can really sleep comfortably on a long-haul flight. For anyone on the Dreamliner, the 9 inch touchscreen is another way to pass the time; there were plenty of free movies and TV shows. And with a power adapter at every seat, those of us who want to consume our own media don’t have to worry about running out of juice.
Speaking of Juice…and Food
The premium economy meals were tasty and plentiful. There was real salad, not the pale greens that often pass for salad, plus good chicken. My son loved the scalloped potatoes and beef. The desserts were excellent. There was also a snack bar where you could buy extra food.
Well rested, well fed, no cold – we were ready to explore Copenhagen!
Note: I was a guest of Norwegian Air. Opinions expressed are my own.