After a lovely stay at Bloc, I checked out at 10:30 am to make the short walk to the check in desk at Gatwick’s south terminal. Check in was a breeze and was surprisingly quick considering the lengthy line. After a quick meal at Nando’s which consisted of their quinoa salad and a FREE tea (courtesy of Bloc), I strolled to the gate I would be leaving from.
The boarding experience was a far cry from check in. There was a rush and crowding to get ones passport checked without any orderly queue or organisation of any kind. As I sat waiting for my boarding group to be called, I started to realise how much I loved proper lines and waiting your turn; surely a sign of having lived in Japan and England for quite a while.
I quietly celebrated getting to my seat in one piece and finding room in the overhead space for my carry on. As I booked my seat back in October, I was able to snag a seat in the front of economy, ensuring I had plenty of leg room. Andd then I sat down to a very narrow seat, and possibly the narrowest I’ve experienced. To be fair, I was in row 11 which is a bulkhead row, if sat in the middle or right sided three. So, it meant both the food tray and video screen is tucked into the side. So, OK, it’s just one of those things that comes with the territory.
Then the food came, which was both a pro and con. First the cons. This was their idea of a 3 course meal. The tiny salad, sans dressing was my starter, the hot food selection was the actual meal, and the tiny portion of fruit was the dessert. I had to remind myself that I DID book a budget carrier for a long haul flight, so I’ll just file this one away for future reference. That said, here comes the pro… the salad and fruit were very fresh and my vegetarian main was delicious. I couldn’t fault the flavorful spiciness of the roasted aubergine dish which had smoky accents and a savory sauce. I just wish I had more of it.
We weren’t served anything else until 2 hours before landing. The vegetarian option consisted of a juice smoothie, fruit (2 apple slices & 4 grapes), and a hummus/harissa vegetable wrap. Again, the food was good, just wish I had more fruit. The other option was a chicken roll and brownie.
Now, comes another con… They don’t recycle any of their plastic cups!!! I noticed the flight attendants filling up more plastic cups with drinks, even after some of us already had a plastic cup. I politely asked if they recycled them, to which the flight attendant regretfully shook her head no. So I decided to take my clear plastics with me and will dispose of them in the first recycling bin I come across.
They did allow me to use my ecoffee cup for my tea. I take my cup whenever I travel as it’s super lightweight and totally cute! It’s a small gesture, but every time I utilize one of my reusables, it is one less piece of plastic or trash to worry about.
Entertainment wise, the pull out screen was small and the video selection was not vast. I did get the chance to watch Crazy Rich Asians which was a plus. They also had Friends and Modern Family (3 and 1 episode, respectively) which I love, but I wish they featured more episodes and seasons of the shows on selection.
So, the final verdict…. Would I fly with Norwegian Airlines again?? For a long haul flight to the states, probably not. I know it’s a budget airline so I knew ahead of time there weren’t going to be any frills, as it really was just a seat in the sky. For short European hops, that’s not a problem for me as I often use budget carriers out of Bristol. But for a longer flight, I think I just need a bit more comfort. I’m not sure I would pay more for their premium economyservice either. For one, those rows didn’t have video screens in the seat in front of them. To me, that’s not a good sign, especially since the premium economy offerings with other airlines, for the same price, offer ALOT more. But to be honest, I think people will continue to purchase budget long haul flights, because getting a £215 one way ticket to sunshine is usually worth it when you live in Ol’ Blighty. And right now with all the Brexit mess, we can all use a sunny getaway. Keep an eye out for my next plane review taking me back to England – I can promise it will be drastically different!! Thanks for reading and Happy Traveling!