Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
InsideFlyer was recently invited to review the Norwegian Airlines Premium Cabin on two round trips to the US: LGW-JFK and LGW-SEA. As much as everyone loves travelling in business or first class, it’s not always a good use of limited miles/money. Norwegian Premium is an interesting product, because it’s more comfortable than the vast majority of Premium Economy cabins offered by other airlines, but much more affordable than Business Class (unless you manage to bag a great sales fare!).
The Premium Cabin
- Comfortable seat – with 109 to 177 cm seat pitch: 140 cm of legroom. It’s certainly not a flat bed but you can put the seat back far enough to sleep in. There’s an adaptable foot-rest.
- Touch screen entertainment system – also use to order from the bar or shop
- USB charger and power outlet by your seat (bring your converter adapter though)
You also receive..
- 3-course dinner
- Complimentary drinks throughout the flight
- Premium breakfast or light evening meal
- Seat reservation
- 2 checked bags x 20 KG
- Fast track (if available)
- Lounge access at selected airports. For a limited time only, you can now upgrade your lounge experience at Gatwick Airport to ‘Clubrooms’ for no additional fee, when booking lounge entry via the Norwegian Reward booking page.
The seats are comfortable and quite roomy. You can adjust the headrest and form it to your liking. The touchscreen works just fine and although you don’t need a Degree to make it work properly, if you’ve never used one before, it might take you a few seconds to figure out. Once up and running, it’s very easy to navigate through the different menus and find your favourite movie or order a snack/drink. If you are getting anything outside of the complimentary offering, you can slide your credit card through the bottom and open a tab.
One does need some strength to use some of the chair functions, such as leaning back and for the footrests, so this is one point of improvement that could be made. However, in the new Premium Cabin that was tested by our Danish colleagues, this was already improved.
Upon entering the Dreamliner, there are friendly and sometimes funny (but still professional) staff waiting for you. It’s service with a smile and a wink – at least on these flights. We were greeted by 2 men in chequered jackets and on the LGW-SEA return, we saw the same crew as on the outbound flight, who immediately recognized us.
After a laugh and a joke, it’s back to business and as soon as you sit down you get offered your first beverage whilst you wait for the rest of the passengers to board the aircraft. One point of improvement is the music that’s playing “in the background” (it’s pretty loud), as it was a slightly weird choice of songs – varying from Katy Perry to something oddly dramatic. We somehow got to talking about the music with one of the stewards and he mentioned that they were soon going to have some changes in the “background” boarding music – problem solved.
Anything we ordered arrived at our seats within 5 minutes, though there was one instance where something I ordered got delivered to the seat across the aisle from me. Part of the problem here was that the person took the drink as if he indeed had ordered it (why not!?). After ordering again, the steward immediately figured out the issue and apologised.
Food & Drinks
When you fly Premium you receive two meals: one bigger meal that serves as dinner and one lighter meal as lunch/breakfast (depending on the timezone). Every drink is complimentary: non-alcoholic and alcoholic. They offer a range of cocktails inspired by the destinations – and I can tell you from personal experience that they are not economical with the hard liquor they put in there!
The quality of the food was pretty good – the bread was served warm and seemed fresh. The meat was tender and the meals were properly hot. The taste was better than the presentation. An impression of our meals:
The system was pretty good, easy to navigate through the menu and handy to order drinks & snacks from as well. There’s a variety of games, TV series and movies, that weren’t too outdated. I watched Wonder Women and played a game with a spooky cat. The headphones aren’t great quality, but could be worse.
The windows of the 787 Dreamliner are 65% bigger than normal and have a dimming function, allowing you to let through as much light as you want. I liked this, but some people do miss having the old-school shutters.
One of my favourite features of the 787 Dreamliner! It really makes a difference. I’m not easily jetlagged but one issue I do have when flying is that I’m completely dried out at the end of the ride, no matter how much water I drink. 10 rounds of lip balm normally does not cover up the dryness of my lips. Headaches are also not uncommon and I seem to swell in every way possible (sorry for the image). However, with the improved air filtration on this aircraft, these problems are a thing of the past.
Overhead luggage compartments
Plenty of room and the design helps the aircraft feel bigger as well. The steward told us all about their secret sleeping spots in there. We did not notice any staff falling out when opening them though.
Flying in Norwegian’s Premium cabin means you’ll have a comfortable flight. The crew was friendly and professional. Food was pretty good. The seats could do with some improvement: a little more flexibility and maybe just a few inches more to kick back – but it’s important to bear in mind that this isn’t Business Class and the prices reflect that. Overall we had a great experience and the value versus the price is usually more than worth it on long-haul flights.
A full 360 of the Premium cabin:
Have you tried the Norwegian Premium cabin yet? What was your experience like?
Please note that InsideFlyer was Norwegian’s guest on these flights, but we were extremely clear that we would be reviewing the product (good and bad) in exactly the same way we normally would.