Why Norwegian Premium Flex Fares are Brilliant for Business Travellers

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Ok, so the title might sound like an advertorial (and for full disclosure we do have a partnership with Norwegian), but this is something I just noticed myself and thought was worth sharing. We write quite frequently about Norwegian’s very low Economy fares, but I haven’t previously really paid much attention to the Premium fares, and scarcely noticed the ‘Premium Flex’ fares at all. This was an error, as for some travellers, Norwegian Premium Flex tickets could be extremely useful.

What is ‘Norwegian Premium’?

Premium is essentially Norwegian’s hybrid Premium Economy/Business Class product. You get a lot more legroom than you do with most other Premium Economy products, as well as perks usually associated with Business Class like Lounge access and 2 checked bags, but the seat doesn’t turn into a bed.

Premium includes:

  • Comfortable seat in the Premium cabin with 140 centimetres (55 inches) legroom
  • 3-course Premium dinner
  • Complimentary drinks throughout the flight
  • A Premium breakfast or light evening meal
  • State-of-the-art touch screen entertainment system – choose from hundreds of hours of movies, documentaries, news and games
  • Seat reservation
  • 2 checked bags x 20 kg included
  • USB charger and power outlet by your seat
  • Fast Track where available
  • Lounge access at selected airports

What are ‘Flex’ fares?

Norwegian’s Flex fare rules are extremely generous in my opinion:

  • Refundable: Fully refundable
  • Name change: Free
  • Rebooking: Free

Let’s look at each of those a bit more closely.

The most obvious benefit of a flexible fare is that you can cancel it for free and get a full refund. With Norwegian, the only condition is that you must cancel at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Being able to change the name for free is great too, particularly for business people, if you’re not quite sure which members of your team are going to be needed.

Perhaps the most interesting feature here though is the ability to rebook for free:

  • Changes to date, time, destination and name allowed up to 30 minutes before scheduled departure. Changes can only be made to another flight where there is availability within the same ticket type.
  • Changes are free of charge, price difference must be paid if changing the destination or from a direct to a connecting flight.

Note that you can change to other flights without paying anything more, so long as the destination remains the same, you’re not switching from a direct to a connecting flight, and there is availability within the same ticket type. I’m still in the process of confirming exactly how Norwegian defines “the same ticket type”, as it seems to me that the implication here is that you could potentially book a Flex fare for a relatively cheap date and then switch it to a more expensive date, without paying more.

Even if the reality isn’t quite as generous as that, being able to change or cancel tickets until 30 minutes before departure is clearly useful and there’s another bonus to Flex tickets too – you earn 20% back in CashPoints, rather than the 2% you get for non-flex tickets.

Why is this good for business travellers?

It’s actually good for anyone who travels on flexible fares, but I don’t know many leisure travellers who do, whereas many business travellers need to.

Now that many companies have adopted ‘Premium Economy or below’ policies for most employees, Norwegian Premium might be the best quality product you can get past the expenses department – at the same time as saving the company money and earning 20% back in CashPoints for yourself.

Let’s look at a precise comparison between Norwegian and British Airways in a key business market as an example – London Gatwick to New York JFK, direct flights for a Tuesday – Friday trip.

Norwegian Premium Flex: £1,080.30 Return

British Airways Economy Flex: £2,207.80

Yep, BA is charging more than twice as much for Economy as Norwegian is for Premium, for flights on the exact same dates to/from the same airports.

For reference, BA Premium Economy was another ~£500 more expensive and Business Class started at over £4,000 for a flexible ticket.

Anything else?

It’s worth bearing in mind that all Norwegian fares are available as one-ways, whereas the legacy carriers like BA still tend to charge astronomical amounts if you want to just book a one-way flight. The lowest one-way flexible Premium Economy flight from London to New York with BA I saw was over £1,700, whereas with Norwegian the Premium Flex fare would usually be under £600.

I’ve concentrated specifically on Premium Flex tickets here, rather than Economy Flex or non flexible Premium fares, and there’s a good reason for that.

Economy Flex fares are usually nearly as expensive as Premium Flex fares (sometimes there’s as little as £15 difference!), so opting for Premium is normally much better value in my opinion.

Non flexible Premium fares tend to be a little bit cheaper than Premium Flex fares, but not substantially so – it’s usually roughly about 10%. Remember that by booking a Flex fare though, you get 20% back in Norwegian CashPoints rather than just 2% for non flex Premium.

As long as you are likely to be flying with Norwegian again at some point and the cost difference between Premium and Premium Flex is less than ~18%, you’ll likely be better off overall opting for Premium Flex.

Bottom line

If you need a flexible ticket, Norwegian Premium Flex fares are fantastic value and provide lot of flexibility for far less cash than what the traditional airlines charge.


  1. Tom says

    100% ! I switched from BA to Norwegian for these premium flex fares. I can sleep just fine on Norwegian, so for 25% of the cost of a BA ticket I’m getting a fully flex ticket with 20% back in credit to spend on any flights (i.e. not tied to avios availability!)..and a great route network without availability issues to worry about.

    Perfect for NYC hops..

  2. Julie Jeffery says

    I have just booked with NORWEIGAN Air to fly to California. I am in Premium Flex and wonder if as I am a first time flyer with them, do I automatically get included in the 20% refund on future flights.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Julie,

      Yep! – after the flight, when you login to your norwegian account you should see the cashpoints there.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Good question – I’ve only personally done the relatively short flights between Europe and the East Coast of the USA so far. In Premium, I think 10 hours would be fine (particularly if daytime flights), but 10 hours in any Economy product is a bit long if I have a choice (particularly if overnight). We’ll be reviewing Norwegian (in Economy one way and Premium the other) between London and Singapore (~13 hour flights) in late October/early November, so look out for that!

    • Tim says

      Yes. Twice. Once from Oakland -> LGW (10 hrs) , another time from LGW->SIngpaore (12 hrs – sadly this route is discontinued).Both times I opted to pay the extra £50 for a bag+seat+meal

      On the first flight I had a standard seat in the middle of the middle section. To Singapore an exit row seat.
      Both were very positive experiences. Even the worst seat on the plane wasn’t all that bad, and the exit row seat was just excellent. The service on both flights and over all degree of comfort was very good. The food on both flights was very good. Better than food I had had in economy on full service airlines.

      If I was flying between Europe and the Americas, I would *always* see what Norwegian’s offerings were first, then I would see what specials the legacy carriers are offering. I prefer Norwegian.

      *HOWEVER* you need to have a back up plan in case something goes wrong. If Norwegian’s plane cant fly for whatever reason, they don’t have a spare one to russle up to get you where you are going. It doesn’t matter whose “fault” it is, you will be stuck on the ground for a day waiting or you will have to pay someone else to get where you are going. This doesn’t bother me because the chances are low enough (1 in 50) and if it did happen I would deal with it.

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