Norwegian Air Offers One-Way Fares to Europe for $190

Travel to the Old World with old-school prices

While checking the feeds of my travel-themed Facebook groups, I read some chatter about fares from JFK to Europe for less than $200 on Norwegian Air. As a skeptic, my automatic response was to fact check. I immediately went to Norwegian's website to try out a few combinations of dates and destinations to see for myself. Here's what I discovered:

In December, you can fly one-way on Norwegian from JFK to Copenhagen for $190, to Oslo for $160 and to London-Gatwick for $198. At the same time, Angelenos can fly one-way from LAX to Stockholm-Arlanda for $290, to Oslo for $175, to Rome-Fiumicino for $312 and to Barcelona for $339.


How does that even cover the cost of fuel?

Is this some sort of glitch? 

Some correspondence with Norwegian's U.S. PR manager Andrea Holden set the record straight. These are not promotional fares, but rather standard seasonal fares quoted for a one-way ticket.

"At Norwegian, we believe everyone should be able to afford to fly, and our unique pay-for-what-you-want model allows customers to choose between a basic low fare or a more comprehensive package including comfort amenities," Holden told me. "This allows us to offer fares for 1/3 of competitors." 

Expect to see more deals from Norwegian in the coming months: 

On Nov. 10, the carrier will start weekly service between Las Vegas and Copenhagen. One-way tickets start at $190. 

Starting on Oct. 31, Norwegian will fly between Las Vegas and Stockholm on Saturdays. Flights start at $210. 

Come May, Norwegian will launch service from Boston to Copenhagen ($226), Oslo ($210) and to London ( $245).

The return ticket, while still affordable in comparison to other carriers, is always going to cost a bit more. However, if you are looking to explore several destinations in Europe this winter, Norwegian could be a cost-cutting solution to get you there. Then, you could country-hop by using other low-cost European carriers such as Ryanair or Aer Lingus.

I flew Norwegian nonstop from LAX to Copenhagen this summer, and it was far from luxurious. To be fair, I didn't make the booking myself nor was I aware that flying Norwegian was going to be such a radically unbundled experience. In other words, the sparse amenities were a bit of a shocker to me. 

Feeling cold and need a blanket for your 11-hour flight to Europe? No problem. That will be $5 please. Need something to wash down that Ambien? A bottle of water (and all other beverages) can be purchased through your in-flight entertainment system. Thank you. 

The other thing that caught me off guard was the meal situation. Apparently, you're supposed to pre-order and pre-pay for your meal online and in advance. If you don't take care of business beforehand, you could end up watching everyone else eat, drink and pass out—a good hour or two before your food arrives.

But hey, as long as you keep reminding yourself that you're going to Europe for 200 bucks, you'll manage, won't you?