For less than the cost of dinner for two, a Transatlantic trip is pretty cool…
When you see $188 round trips to Europe or the U.S., it’s impossible to look away. Surely there’s a catch- surely it’s going to be awful and somehow you just can’t stop thinking about actually doing it. While most of our travels are up front (thanks to points and great deals) we couldn’t pass up on $69 one way fares to Europe. Here’s everything you should think about if you’re in the same boat.
Let’s be clear – it’s not New York City, but at just 1.5 hours by bus from Manhattan, it’s not all that much worse than the delights of a JFK or La Guardia commute, which are generally just under an hour. There’s a “Newburgh Airport Express” bus, which leaves from 42nd street, and it runs $20 each way. A ride to JFK can be between $3-12.
This isn’t complaining, but rather just fair warning. You are allowed 10kg for your carry on. Practically speaking: that’s a couple pair of jeans, shirts, socks, undies and a pair of shoes or two. No more than that really. If you want to keep your fare at $69, wear any heavy clothes to the airport and layer up. You are also entitled to a small personal item, so be discrete and you can probably sneak an extra kilo or two onto the plane with you, including an iPad.
Having just touched down in lovely Dublin town a mere hour ago, I can attest that at 6’2” I had more than enough legroom. That’s because we paid an extra $30 per person to reserve a seat. So yeah, no more $69 fare, but rather a $99 fare. Could we have managed alright without the extra legroom? Sure. But I’ll tell you something- that $30 made a lot of difference. Scoring an exit row far in advance, allowing my wife and I to sit next to each other with (relative) comfort made this a very palatable way to fly. This is NOT one of the best economy seats, but for the price (hello! $99!) and relatively short duration – it’s solid… literally and figuratively.
To be fair- this isn’t unique to Norwegian. Many airlines are moving to new generation “slim line” seats which weigh far less than their clunky (comfortable) predecesors. The aim of these new slimline seats is to improve the airlines bottom line – but unfortunately it comes at the cost of our bottoms. The slim line seats barely feature any padding for your rear end; and the seat itself, is not very long to sit on. Slouching is hard, almost as hard as the padding. Again, this is just an increasingly common feature in modern economy flying, not just Norwegian.
While Los Angeles, New York JFK, Miami and other mainline Norwegian destinations are served by Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s, with seat back entertainment- many of the wowing $69 routes are not. Cities such as Providence, Newburgh, Hartford and other East Coast hubs are served by 737 MAX aircraft. The planes are generally new and sharp, but there’s no entertainment system. If you want to MAX out your experience, be sure to load up your iPad with binge worthy TV in advance. There is wifi, just in case you need some browsing therapy.
It’s just hard to justify spending hundreds more for a short overnight flight. Our flight time from New York to Dublin was under 6 hours, which really equates to about 4 hours of usable sleep time. Even in a bed, it’s not a proper nights sleep. Our opinion: bring an eye mask, bring ear plugs, load your iPad, have a glass of something soothing before take off and enjoy the savings. Travel becoming affordable for all is truly exciting, and at less than 6 hours, even the fanciest of travelers can stomach it. Hey, it’s $69 bucks after all- and Europe is pretty cool.