I’m not sure what is up, but today Frontier’s crazy deals as well as what is becoming a regular occurrence with Norwegian Air Shuttle, are all over the blogosphere.
I won’t go over the deals, many folks have them, such as The Miles Professor, Mommy Points on Frontier, and The Reward Boss on Norwegian Air Shuttle. To summarize it for you though, Frontier is offering $15 fares for Houston to San Francisco, and Norwegian Air Shuttle is offering fares from $347 round trip from New York (JFK) to Europe.
Disclaimer – I have no first had experience
I’ll be the first, to admit, I’ve never flown on Frontier Airlines, or Norwegian Air Shuttles. My folks will be flying on the “crazy deal” that Frontier offered when they announced flights out of Dulles, but, that’s not for over a month, but I’ll be sure to ask their thoughts. It doesn’t look all that bad, according to Wandering Aramean’s inaugural flights post.
As far as Norwegian, I think they have, in theory, a cool business model as a low cost long haul carrier. The problem is, that others have tried it and failed. Norwegian’s secret weapon so to speak, was the ultra-efficient (my words) 787 Dreamliner, coupled with high aircraft utilization. I recall reading (and verified it seeing this article), that they are aiming for using aircraft as much as 18 hours a day. Unfortunately, its an occasional joke on twitter as to whether all of Norwegian’s flights into JFK will actually be 787’s, as reliability has been an issue for Norwegian (I haven’t seen any reports from other airlines of similar troubles, but I haven’t looked terribly hard either). For the onboard experience, it doesn’t look that bad, based on this trip report on FlyerTalk.
Both airlines however, have fees for various things, such as selecting a seat, having a little extra space (the same can be said for the legacy carriers though). I have heard that Norwegian charges for water, which is pretty extreme in my opinion.
So really, from a brief look at a couple of trip reports, flying Frontier or Norwegian don’t look terrible. Personally, I prefer Southwest or American Airlines, where I know what to expect, and won’t get nickel and dimed.