Premium vs economy on the new cheap way to fly from London to New York: Travel experts find out if it’s worth upgrading on a Norse Atlantic Airways Dreamliner


Norse Atlantic Airways last appeared on this website when we reported how it landed a Dreamliner on a glacial ‘blue ice runway’ in Antarctica.

Now the new low-cost carrier is back, but this time we’re revealing how two travel experts from The Points Guy have subjected its cabins to their ice-cold analysis on one of the world’s most prestigious routes – London to New York.

Norse offers some of the best-value fares between the UK and the U.S and offers two cabins – economy and premium economy.

The Points Guy globetrotters film their experiences in both to answer the age-old question – is an upgrade worth it?

Read on for the verdicts.

ECONOMY – 3-3-3 CONFIGURATION

Putting the Norse economy cabin to the test is senior marketing manager Liam Spencer

Liam paid £360 ($457) for his ticket from London Gatwick to JFK

Liam paid £360 ($457) for his ticket from London Gatwick to JFK

Putting the economy cabin to the test is senior marketing manager Liam Spencer, who paid £360 ($457) for his ticket from London Gatwick to JFK.

On the video, he remarks that the cabin ‘feels absolutely pristine’ and that the seats ‘look pretty damn good’.

He confirmed in an email to MailOnline Travel that the cabin impressed.

He said: ‘The economy cabin on the Norse Atlantic Airways flight was extremely clean, fresh, and spacious.

‘I was particularly impressed with the comfort of my seat, which offered a surprisingly premium feel for a low-cost carrier.’

Liam is quite taken, too, with the entertainment screen – ‘a perfectly good size and pretty damn quick’ – and the recline, which he concludes on the video is ‘reasonable’.

The food, too, is met with a nod of approval.

The economy food is met with a nod of approval, with Liam opting for a 'delicious prawn risotto in tomato sauce'

The economy food is met with a nod of approval, with Liam opting for a ‘delicious prawn risotto in tomato sauce’

'The economy cabin on the Norse Atlantic Airways flight was extremely clean, fresh, and spacious,' said Liam, who here is making use of a 'poor man's business class' set-up

‘The economy cabin on the Norse Atlantic Airways flight was extremely clean, fresh, and spacious,’ said Liam, who here is making use of a ‘poor man’s business class’ set-up

The 'pretty damn quick' entertainment screen

The ‘pretty damn quick’ entertainment screen

Liam said: ‘The food served on board was very tasty and exceeded my expectations. For lunch, I opted for a delicious prawn risotto in tomato sauce.’

Any downsides? A few.

Liam said: ‘A significant downside was the lack of Wi-Fi on the flight. For a 2024 long-haul journey, particularly with a modern airline like Norse Atlantic Airways, this was an impractical omission.

‘And Norse follows the low-cost model of charging for additional amenities. I had to pay $6 (£4.73) for a thin blanket and $6.50 (£5.12) for a basic pair of headphones.’

The downsides don’t quite end there.

‘It took nearly 12 minutes for the Norse crew to respond to my call bell,’ said Liam. ‘This was frustratingly slow given how attentive and friendly the service had been up to that point.’

PREMIUM ECONOMY – 2-3-2 CONFIGURATION

Maz is surprised by the sheer swankiness of the premium cabin when she boards, commenting: 'I'm not going to lie, I thought I was in business when they ushered me into this section'

Maz is surprised by the sheer swankiness of the premium cabin when she boards, commenting: ‘I’m not going to lie, I thought I was in business when they ushered me into this section’

Maz told MailOnline Travel: 'The key stand out for me was the size and comfort of the seat'

Maz told MailOnline Travel: ‘The key stand out for me was the size and comfort of the seat’

Putting premium economy to the test? Guest reviewer and travel content creator Maz Green (www.instagram.com/where.to.find.me), who paid £540 ($685) for her JFK-bound adventure.

She is surprised by the sheer swankiness of the premium cabin when she boards, commenting: ‘I’m not going to lie, I thought I was in business when they ushered me into this section of the plane [premium economy].’

The ups overall for Maz?

She told MailOnline Travel: ‘The key stand out for me was the size and comfort of the seat. With the industry standard for a premium economy seat pitch being 38 inches, Norse’s 43 inches of seat space was impressive. In addition to the abundance of legroom, the seat’s 12 inches of recline was the cherry on top of a wonderful premium experience.’

'With the industry standard for a premium economy seat pitch being 38 inches, Norse's 43 inches of seat space was impressive,' said Maz

‘With the industry standard for a premium economy seat pitch being 38 inches, Norse’s 43 inches of seat space was impressive,’ said Maz

Maz demonstrates some the at-seat premium economy buttons on Norse

Maz demonstrates some the at-seat premium economy buttons on Norse

Maz was 'really happy with Norse's gluten-free meal'

Maz was ‘really happy with Norse’s gluten-free meal’

Air smiles: Maz declares that Norse is now her transatlantic carrier of choice

Air smiles: Maz declares that Norse is now her transatlantic carrier of choice

Maz, who needs a gluten-free diet, also approved of the food offering.

She said: ‘Ordering a special meal onboard can, at times, be limiting but I was really happy with Norse’s gluten-free meal. Paired with the warm and attentive service, I left the flight with complete confidence that I had found my new airline for any future trips to New York from London.’

Any downsides?

Maz mentioned only one, adding: ‘The only con to my Norse Atlantic flight experience was the lack of a loyalty program. There is currently no way to redeem traditional frequent flyer points or miles, but hopefully that will change in the future.’

For more from The Points Guy visit thepointsguy.com/uk-travel. To see the original TPG Norse Atlantic Airways premium vs economy video click here. 

Norse sells some of the best-value fares between the UK and the U.S and offers two cabins – economy and premium economy

Norse sells some of the best-value fares between the UK and the U.S and offers two cabins – economy and premium economy





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