Old Apr 11, 19, 8:36 am
  #10  
4sallypat
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Sunny So Cal
Programs: SPG, HH, IHG, BA, DL
Posts: 115
Just flew LAX-MAD and CDG-LAX on LowFare

Just returned and have to say the Norwegian flight was perfect!

​​​​​​Excellent airline done very well in European standards.

NOTE: This is NOT an US carrier - they are not: Delta, AA, United, etc - so if you are expecting full American service - I say go fly on a full cost carrier and you will be happier.

TIP: Do your homework BEFORE you book this European Low Cost Carrier airline and you will have a great flight.

WARNING: those of you who don't care to do any research on this European LCC (low cost carrier) will be in for a big surprise!

We booked a family of 4 on the lowest cost fare (Low Fare) and did not get meals or seats.
$400 R/T cost per ticket made it possible for 4 of us to get to Europe in a short notice 2 weeks prior to departure - can't do that on any other carrier even for 3 or 4 times that price on such short notice.

We weighed all our bags prior to departure and made sure our carry ons were under 22lbs (10kg).
We did however pre-pay for 2 checked luggages ($40 each) and did not get gouged at the terminal checkin counters like others were screaming about.

There were people at LAX and on the return leg from CDG (Paris) - obvious Americans who were loud and belligerent towards the checkin staff because they were having to pay $100 (LAX) and 100 ($110) in Paris for checkin luggage that exceeded size or weight.
Very embarrassing to see Americans putting on a show of their uneducated ignorance....

We knew exactly how much we were going to and how much we were returning with - we saved lots of money by doing our homework in advance learning about European style of flying.

At LAX, the checkin counter had us place all our carry on together and weighed a total one time - we were able to sum our group of 4 (22lbs times 4 = 88 lbs max) and we were under by 20 lbs to spare!
Our pre paid check in luggage ($40 each) was also group (lump) weighed together and we were under the max (44lbs x 2 = 88 lbs).

NOTE: This does NOT apply to the return Norwegian leg from Europe - read below...

As for food, we did not want to pay $45 per person for an economy meal that was very a basic hot meal.

We instead opted to fill up prior to boarding at the airport lounges to tide us over.

At LAX we first used our Priority Pass to gain entry into the KAL lounge and grabbed free water bottles, sodas, beers, snacks and instant noodles for the trip.

Then we had time to spare so we had a huge $150 meal at the PF Chang restaurant using our Priority Pass. The Priority Pass saved us $120 for 4 of us ($30 per person credit). We ended up paying $30 for the food plus $25 tip to the restaurant and server.

The biggest worry was that our family of 4 would be separated as we did not pay for the $45 per seat. Luckily, when you book a group on one payment, they will assign seats together automatically - both legs were automatically assigned as we all sat together in the same row - WHOO HOOO!

Our flight was an hour late but that time was made up during flight to Madrid due to the tailwind / jetstream.

On board, we were able to consume our beverages and snacks during the 10 hour flight. We bought our own headsets / earphone sets to plug into their IFE and watched movies. We also brought our own travel pillows & blankets. $0 spent on board.

The airplane was a very modern, super efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Very clean and the plane's design made our flight very comfortable.

The 787 Dreamliner (along with the Airbus A350/A380 & upcoming Boeing 797) are pressurized at higher levels (5000' elevation), warmer cabin temperatures, and have increased humidity to prevent you from drying out. As such when you land after a long trans oceanic journey, you don't feel tired, red eyes, or jet lagged.

As a frequent flier for over 40 years, I have noticed planes of yesteryear (DC-10, 737, 747, A319, A320, A330) are not very nice to travelers because of the cabin pressure (low) at 8000' elevation equivalent, temperatures (cold), and dry air (no humidity). Those older planes are not my choice and I will go to great extent to avoid them unless they are for short domestic trips.

As for our return leg from Paris, we found out that they do NOT lump weigh our group's carry ons. They weighed each item separately so we had to shuffle items to comply with the weight limit. Since we also pre-paid for 2 checked luggages, they also weighed each item and had to shuffle items in order to comply - this was way different than flying from the US side....

Again, we stocked up before our flight at the lounges at CDG airport using Priority Pass.

This time, the flight was 2 hours late due to plane switched out and we made it back an hour late...

Overall, a very good experience if you change your "American" mentality to European.
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