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787 Discovery trip to Denmark with DY (Y+ & Y)

787 Discovery trip to Denmark with DY (Y+ & Y)

Old Aug 8, 13, 12:36 pm
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787 Discovery trip to Denmark with DY (Y+ & Y)


OSL-CPH: DY Y+ Destination Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Previous trip reports:
Easter trip to Asia with LX,LH,MU(F) and SK,OZ,TG,CA,LH(C) and Korean KTX(Y)
Winter trip to Australia - New Zealand - Fiji with LH,EK,TG(F) and LH,QF,NZ(C%M)

Last edited by JamesBond_ppk; Aug 9, 13 at 2:03 am Reason: Added links!
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Old Aug 8, 13, 12:47 pm
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When Norwegian Air Shuttle announced their plans of launching their long haul operation, I was a bit in disbelief. Having worked (a long time ago) and flown SAS for many years, I could not help but feeling sad and concerned for my main airline.

I will admit it; I've never been a huge Norwegian fan. I hate the low cost concept in general and hate the way Norwegian's CEO is communicating. He's very provocative, pretentious and, to me, annoying, even though he is not as bad as O'Leary.

One must concede though that Norwegian has succeeded, on their short haul operation. They have innovated constantly when SAS was just sleeping and swimming in their administration, IT and union issues. The least one can say is that SAS has been very very conservative over the years and never took the Norwegian threat until it was too late. Because it is indeed too late. Norwegian is now almost as big as Scandinavian Airlines and will probably soon carry more passengers than the legacy airline. They are also a major player in Northern Europe and are only getting bigger and bigger, with vast fleet expansion plans (100x 737Max and 100x A320Neo are on order).

Gone also are the early problems of Norwegian, with numerous delays, lost or damaged luggages, bad customer service. Today their punctuality and regularity statistics are on par with SAS, and service on board is polished as it can be in Scandinavia (meaning; not much... but at least there isn't much difference with SAS).

Still, as a low cost, most services cost an additional extra. Luggages, seat reservation, credit card payment are all charged at a premium making the total cost of travel much different than the original airfare.

One exception to that though is when the tickets are booked through a travel agency. Indeed, some have specific agreements, like the one we use at my work, which include seat reservation and 2 pieces of checked luggage in the fare price. With SAS lacking fast track and lounge on their domestic flights in Norway; there is today only the status qualifying points as a difference for norwegians domestic flights. In addition, Norwegian has newer planes, often with Sky Interior and free WiFi, than SAS, so for my part; as soon I'll have requalified for Eurobonus *G, I will not mind flying Norwegian at all.

But today Norwegian is not only a short haul carrier; they also operate long haul flights. The delays in the introduction of the 787 has led to Norwegian wet leasing some A340 for a few months. These have not been well received in the press though; with many service issues on board. Norwegian has since then re-adjusted its long haul service procedure but more importantly received their first 787-800 Dreamliner.

This first out of 8 in order is baptised after the norwegian olympic champion Sonja Henje. For the phasing in of this aircraft in its fleet, Norwegian planned to train their flight and cabin crew as well as ground services on shorter european routes before putting the aircraft on its dedicated long haul routes. Therefore the 787 has been flying a few routes from OSL to amongst other LGW, NCE, ARN and these days CPH.

When phasing in is completed, Norwegian will operate flights from OSL/ARN/CPH to JFK/FLL/BKK to start with (check their website for exact details). Flights will not be operated on a daily basis, at least at first. Norwegian CEO is pretty ambitious regarding its long haul plans and has mentionned many other Asian cities as possible new destinations. He has also mentionned the 789 as a possibility for their fleet expansion in the future. Will they succeed as well on long haul than on short haul? Time will tell...

Anyway, as soon as I found a date that worked for me I decided to book a return flight to experience the "Dream" for the first time, and see what the big deal is all about. My choice felt on a short return flight to CPH:

Norwegian offers 2 cabins in their 787. Economy in a 3-3-3 configuration and Premium Economy in a 2-3-2 setup. I booked standard economy both ways and paid for a seat selection by the window and by the emergency exit for the return flight.

The total fare was: 970 NOK (around 160 USD).

Norwegian Air Shuttle is a relatively unknown airline here on FT, so here is my Trip Report; luxury travellers and First Class lovers, pass on this one!

Last edited by JamesBond_ppk; Oct 27, 13 at 12:59 pm Reason: Added links! Corrections.
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Old Aug 8, 13, 1:13 pm
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Duration: 1:15 (1:05, but 20 minutes late)
787-800: EI-LNA "Sonja Henie" (Norwegian ice skating olympic champion)
Y+ / Premium Economy
Seat 2E

I arrived in OSL about one and a half hour before scheduled departure time. I had my boarding card stored on the "Norwegian" app which despite not offering Passbook functionnality is pretty nice and easy to use.

Norwegian app

My reservation:

Boarding card to CPH

Still, and just by curiosity, I thought I'd try the check-in machine out, just for the fun of it. After all; everyone needing to send a luggage must print their luggage tag on one of these so I might as well give it a go.

Norwegian Check in counters in OSL

Check-In machine home screen. Common for several Airlines.

Norwegian homepage

To my surprise, I was able to select a seat in the forward; premium part of the cabin. As I had not paid for a seat assigment on this flight and did not pay either for a flex ticket; I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to check the Premium Economy product

Seat 30D was originaly assigned to me, but I was able to change it to 2E

After selecting seat 2E (only 2 seats in the middle of the middle row were left), the machine printed a new boarding card for me and I proceeded towards security control which was packed. Of course no priority lane here, though Norwegian offers Fast Track for owner of fully flex tickets.

Paper boarding card

Security control

14 minutes is a long waiting time in OSL, it usually is much shorter than that!

At the gate; a few people were, as I was, taking picture of this beautiful Aircraft. Frankly it's quite a headturner!

Part 2 coming up!
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Old Aug 8, 13, 1:46 pm
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Part 2:

I boarded amongst the first and discovered the Premium Economy cabin almost for myself. 2 flight engineers from Boeing were also there; going back and forth to the flightdeck. I snapped a few shots and a peak in the cockpit, which sadly I could not take pictures of. There was no interaction with the FAs at this time; neither was I welcomed on board, as I found my seat by myself.


Premium Economy cabin

View from the front, note the Sonja Henie poster

Right pair of seats. One of these was reserved for a flight engineer from Boeing

Cabin views

Overhead bins with mood lightning

Middle row seats and my seat in the middle; 2E

Seat 2F

Boarding was completed on time but for some reason we stayed at the Apron another 30 minutes. Slides were armed, disarmed and re-armed during the interval.

Nonetheless my first impressions of the cabin were extremely positive. The cabin is spacious, has of course a modern feel partially because it's new but also because of the Sky Interior. The windows also let a considerable amount of light inside the cabin, helping lift the overall atmosphere.

Norwegian's colour scheme is pleasant but slightly clinical. It reminded me of Air China somehow, and they're not exactly a reference. Compared to the beautiful outside livery, this is a slight disappointment.

While others were slowly joining me on board I played with the windowshade in 2A. First of all, yes the window is really big. It is very very nice indeed. The feeling of watching outside this way is very pleasant. Second of all, the shade activation is slow, and it really takes a few minutes before it's completely dark.

Playing around with the electrochromatic windowshade

I also went to check out the restrooms.
Restroom, with a changing table


Toilets, not as fancy as on ANA!

I also took a quick look at the safety on board brochure before looking further into the seats.

Safety brochure

Part 3 soon
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Old Aug 8, 13, 3:25 pm
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Part 3:

The Timco Premium Economy leather seat is rather comfortable. Of course it is not fully lie flat, it's "just" a recliner. It must be noted though that the middle seat also has its elbow rest on both sides, that's a detail but it felt very good.

These seats are not part of a shell and thus, the person in front of you, reclines onto your space. It would therefore be advisable to choose row 1 to avoid this.

Seat privacy is however close to none, nothing unusual for this class of service if one excepts Air New Zealand. The headrest is adjustable up and down and has small "flaps" on the sides. The foot rest and back rest are operated through the nobs, manually. They are easy to operate but a bit disconcerting at first, as they seem to be touch buttons.

All in all the seat is quite good and it compares with older Business Class products out there, like, again, Air New Zealand on their B767-300 for example.

A few additional comments:

- The ventilation nobs over the middle seat row are too high to be reached while seating. One has to stand.
- There are no luggage compartment over the middle seats D,E,F in rows 1 and 2 for some reason.
- There are no windows on rows 5.

Seat 2F with footrest

Seat 2E fully reclined

IFE controls

Seat controls

Contrary to what SeatGuru shows, Premium Economy seats each have a power outlet

Overhead light and ventilation

The overhead bins are very large indeed, just as demonstrated by Boeing on the mock ups. Luggages can be placed on their smaller side.

Overhead bins

Once we were ready for departure, two videos were played on the overhead screens. First a presentation of the aircraft's features. The language used in the video was very funky, la "Moods of Norway" the uniforms designer, with expressions such as "super duper"! Fun at first, I imagine it will get boring soon enough. Further on, the safety video was played. Both videos were played in english.

Take off finally happened with about a 30 minutes delay. My main impression there was how unbelievably quiet this aircraft is. Simply amazing! It really is so quiet that noisy neighbours will really be annoying!

The flight went very quickly. Service was minimal, with BOB snacks and drinks. Sandwiches and other meal alternatives were not available on this short flight.

I played around with the IFE and went about in the forward part of the cabin. The IFE seems to be pretty good. It is Android based and very reactive. The maps functions were pretty nice, but sadly, they were not showed on the overhead screens during take off and landing.

In the Premium Economy cabin the screen is folded in the seat, and one has to take it out manually. No headphones were given for this flight, so you had to have your own.

IFE Screen with USB port

IFE menus

I even had time to put one of my favorite movies on!

After watching a bit of "Gentlemen prefer blondes" I checked the rest of the cabin out. The galley is nice and well litted also with Sky Interior features. I started to chat a bit with the FAs who have uniforms designed by Moods of Norway as I mentionned previously. These clothes have nice details such as "coffee" and "tea" written on the left and right side of their shirts, or "Come fly with me" on the jacket's collar. The jacket's lining is also prety cool! The FAs were very proud of their new baby. Not surprising, they were from all origins. I chatted with a Thai, a British and a Dane.


Uniform detail

The captain (with a spanish or italian name) only took the microphone at the end of the flight, to welcome us on board the aircraft and in Copenhagen! we landed at the end with a 20 minutes delay.

That was a fairly nice flight. The hard product is of course phenomenal for such a short route, but in the end, I could really see myself crossing the Atlantic in this class of service. 7hours to JFK would be ok. Comparing to Business Class though, I am not exactly sure about doing the same to Asia. And here we come to the point which I don't understand about Low Cost as they're not being exactly low cost. A return flight OSL-BKK will set you back about 11000 NOK (about 1800 USD) in Premium Eco if booked a long time in advance. And that's the best case scenario. In the same time legacy airline have been very agressive on Business Class fares. The last of them being Swiss which ran a promotion for about 11000 NOK in C. Against 1 stopover, Swiss offers a fully lie flat and good catering. If the choice was mine I would not hesitate and fly LX anyday. But again that's just me. Let's watch and see how Norwegian will do in the next few months / years.

On a final note, I was very hapy to meet Tommy777 on board, it was a funny coincidence and I'm looking forward to next time.

Last edited by JamesBond_ppk; Aug 9, 13 at 1:59 am Reason: Corrections.
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Old Aug 8, 13, 8:52 pm
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How does the 11000NOK fare to BKK compare against the Middle Eastern carriers?
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Old Aug 8, 13, 11:31 pm
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
How does the 11000NOK fare to BKK compare against the Middle Eastern carriers?
Hard to say in detail, because I don't follow all of them. But I recently saw a campaign from Qatar Airways to BKK for a little bit over 12000 NOK in C (about 2000 USD). And Qatar's Business product on the 787 (which will be operating the OSL route from September 1st) is phenomenal in comparison!
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Old Aug 8, 13, 11:51 pm
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A very interesting and detailed report, thank you for posting!
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Old Aug 9, 13, 1:19 am
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
A very interesting and detailed report, thank you for posting!
Thanks! Last part coming in a few minutes.
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Old Aug 9, 13, 1:56 am
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Duration: 1:15 (1:10, but 20 minutes late)
787-800: EI-LNA "Sonja Henie" (Norwegian ice skating olympic champion)
Y / Economy
Seat 7J, pre-selected and paid at time of booking

After picking a few items at the Duty Free, I came back to the gate where we had just parked. Norwegian has very ambitious turn arount plans for their future operation, though today it seems everyone was still in learning mode. One nice thing in CPH, is that they are doing pre-boarding for some of their long haul gates. This was the case over here and there is in any case no priority boarding, this worked quite well.

I boarded amongst the first again and this time headed towards the economy cabin section. I had pre-selected a window seat by the emergency exit. I tried to snap a few shots but was constantly pushed by incoming passengers, so they're a bit blurry. Sorry for that!

Despite having a mobile boarding card I was given a new paper one, during pre-boarding

Blurry cabin, sorry for that, I was being pushed around!

View from the back, note the PTVs

Mood lightning


Pitch trying in the back of the cabin. Not bad but tight for 12 hours for my part!

After a few minutes I settled down in my seat 7J. Being the emergency exit, there was plenty of room, but the curvature of the aircraft reduces slightly your personal space. If one is not interested in the outside view, an aisle seat would be advisable. For my part, I was happy looking at the tarmac, the wing and the huge fan.

Row 7, First emergency exit row (there's another one further back)

Outside views, old and new?

After playing the two same videos than earlier, we pushed back again late, following an incomprehensible explanation by the captain. Once the air I checked the onboard magazine that was missing from my previous seat. They have of course a double page on the 787 features. 5 Days for produce one this bird is quite an achievement... Once they will reach that level.


Note that Norwegian has Free WiFi on most of their short haul aircrafts (738s), but that there was no WiFi this time around. So, I also played again with the IFE. It seems quite advanced (Android based), the touch screen is very reactive and it offers a decent amount of choices (There was about 50-60 movies to choose from, and about the same for TV Shows. this might increase in the future). Videos, Music, Games are some of the features of this IFE, and they are all free for now (they're not on their short haul operations). I personally played a bit with the 3D map and all its views, it was pretty detailed!

IFE details, in the inflight magazine

IFE controls on the seat, the rest is done via the touch screen

3D Map, notice the details on the aircraft's tale, corresponding to the actual livery of the plane

Service onboard was exactly the same than previously mentionned. Snacks and beverages for purchase. Instead of that, I decided on a small walk towards the back of the cabin. The galley is big and seems well equipped. I chatted with some of the crew (Norwegian this time), and was shown the crew rest entrance. Sadly the entrance only..! After a while we were ready for landing so I returned to my seat.

Crew rest entrance

In the air

Touch down

De-boarding was a pain, as it seems gate 48 in OSL is not yet properly configured for the 787s. There was a gap on a step down towards the bridge on exit... Furthermore, the crew requested than the 9 persons connecting on a domestic flight get out first. I let you imagine the mess.

Gate view upon arrival

Despite the delay, that was another decent flight by Norwegian. I'm happy to have experienced the economy product on the 787. Not sure I'll do that again soon, so happy it's done! The 787 is a great plane, everybody agrees on that. It's a milestone not only for Norwegian but for the whole industry, and I'm very happy to have experienced it. Let's hope the worst is over for Boeing and that they can focus on delivering these birds from now on. Norwegian will soon get their second 787 and long haul operations are due to start from ARN in just a few days, gradually replacing the leased A340s.

That's it for this trip report, I hope you enjoyed reading this, and as usual please free to ask questions and comment.
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Old Aug 9, 13, 2:28 am
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Very interesting, thanks! I have also looked at the long-haul Premium Econ offerings by Norwegian, but the prices are a bit too high. Or, they are quite close to cheaper business class fares for many other carriers.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by SPBanker View Post
Very interesting, thanks!

Originally Posted by SPBanker View Post
I have also looked at the long-haul Premium Econ offerings by Norwegian, but the prices are a bit too high. Or, they are quite close to cheaper business class fares for many other carriers.
Exactly right? If they are counting on the sole fact that people will want to fly direct, I think they are wrong. Sure some will try it, but personally for that kind of money, I'd rather buy a C fare, even if slightly more expensive, and get a better product. Even also if that means stopping somewhere.
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Old Aug 12, 13, 9:20 pm
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Are they the only airline in the world not installing J on their 787?!
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Old Aug 16, 13, 4:14 am
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Originally Posted by smit0847 View Post
Are they the only airline in the world not installing J on their 787?!
No, I don't think so. There are charter airlines who have ordered the same configuration as Norwegian. Thomas Cook / Thompson is one.

Also, the domestic configuration used by ANA is pretty similar to Norwegian's even though one is calling it Business and the other one premium economy.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 2:56 pm
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Thank's for sharing

Originally Posted by JamesBond_ppk View Post
A few additional comments:
- There are no luggage compartment over the middle seats D,E,F in rows 1 and 2 for some reason.

Not 100% sure, but my bet is that the crew-rest is in the attic.
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