My family (myself, wife, and 4 kids ages 6, 5, 4 and 8 months) just got back from a trip to the UK. This trip was possible for all of us to go due to the low cost tickets provided by Norwegian.
The morning of our flight we received a text that our flight was going to be delayed due to the incoming aircraft leaving London late. The text was sent easy enough for us to make some changes to our day and not have to sit around the airport all day. Norwegian also offered us dinner since the plane was late. We received 6 $15 vouchers for use at a restaurant in the airport. We all ate at Chili's in the Oakland Airport at no cost. We even had an extra voucher to buy snacks and water for the plane. Great customer service on their part. To be honest, I was a little surprised after some of the reviews I had read.
Check in was easy. We used the self check-in kiosk then only had to drop of bags off at the counter. I had read that they were sticklers about weight, so we found and empty scaled and moved things around before checking in, but they seemed to not be too concerned about the weight of the bags. They also did not check our carry-on bags.
Boarding was fine, we were able to pre-board since we were traveling with small children. One frustrating thing was that they had people line up very early, then we stood around. Eventually there was an announcement that we would not be boarding for at least another 15 minutes so people went to sit down, about a minute after that they said that boarding was starting - confusing!
We did not preselect seats, but they made sure that the six of us were together. We received row 37 seats D-J. Seats were great. I am a tall guy and I felt like there was sufficient room. We got to our seats, got our carry on items stored, and were ready for the long flight.
Shortly after takeoff they started the drink and meal service. We did not order anything extra but since our flight was delayed they did offer drinks to everyone during the first round of service. After that you only got drinks if you had purchased a meal. We knew going into it that there would be no included food or drink on the flight, but we planned for that. We brought bottled water and muffins for breakfast. To be honest, I was okay with this because I read a lot about how bad the food was.
During the flight we slept most of the way. For the time that we were awake there was sufficient entertainment on their system, definitely enough to fill the time of the flight if so desired. Flight was uneventful and we got to Gatwick just fine.
Customs/immigration at Gatwick was 1,000 times better than coming back to the US at Oakland. Everything went smooth until we got to baggage claim. one of our bags was missing. This was not to the fault of the airline, rather someone who grabbed our bag. Luckily while we were at the baggage counter they brought it back - thank goodness!
An amazing and wet week in London followed.
Flight home was great. Check in was smooth, and one of our bags was about 3KG over the limit but they did not say anything about it. One thing I did not like about boarding, not Norwegian's fault, is that everyone has to get crammed into this room, then you board from there. It was weird, but it worked. Again, all of our seats were together, this time row 23, seats A-F. We did not purchase a meal for this flight, but we loaded up with a lunch and snacks from Pret a Manger - best place for quick meals in London, and they are everywhere. We also had lots of snacks.
This flight was harder for the kids as it was daylight on the plane the whole time. We just had lots of snacks for the flight and let them watch as much TV as they wanted. At one point we were getting low on water, and I asked for some to make some baby bottles and they filled my water bottle all the way up!!
Customs at Oakland is AWFUL - be prepared. There were people from a flight that arrived before ours that had been in line for over two-and-a-half hours. Luckily, we were there for about an hour. One plus side to the wait is that our bags were all ready for us to grab and go immediately after getting our of customs.
All-in-all we ill definitely fly Norwegian again. This is a great alternative for those that do not need all the frills of airlines like British Airways, or Air France. Norwegian made it affordable for our entire family to take a trip to Europe that we will remember forever! I am already looking into book our next trip to Rome since they now offer a nonstop service to Rome from Oakland. The only think I am not looking forward to is coming back through customs at OAK!!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!