I booked this trip on two separate tickets (obviously), outbound with Delta SkyMiles, inbound with $$. This is my first flight on Norwegian as well as my first flight on a 787, so I wasn't sure what to expect! I purchased a "Low Fare +" ticket. This includes a checked bag, seat assignment, and food onboard. The fare difference was about $60 (the services separately are $75 I think).
We arrived at the South Terminal around 14:55. There are lots of signs directing you where to go.
British Airways branding everywhere - I like it!
Follow the signs for DY!
Upon arrival to the DY area, there were about 20 machines like this one to check in and print out boarding passes/luggage tags. According to the DY website, you can't check in online for flights to NYC - not sure why. The first run at the machine prompted for passport info, then baggage info, and a few other questions. The tags for the checked bags printed out, but no boarding passes came out, so I had to go through the entire process again, at which time the boarding passes printed without issue. Not sure what went wrong.
You then have to "drop" your own bags (there are various staff members to assist). This process took about 10 minutes total.
Next was security. Gatwick has the best security system I've experienced. Everything is very organized, staff members assisting, and despite a decent length line, it only took 5 minutes.
After security - a sign of things to come?
Through the obligatory duty-free snake.
Big FIDS. Gatwick is another one of those airports with a giant departure lounge and nothing at the actual gate area. I'm personally not a fan of this model.
We found a Starbucks and settled in until the gate info was posted.
There's a FIDS inside too - smart!
As promised, the gate info was posted at exactly 15:50 - off to gate 21. The main departure area.
When we arrived, there was already a very long line to get into the cordoned off area. I don't get this, as we had left the departure lounge as soon as the gate was posted.
Today's plane was 787-9 LN-LNI, delivered to Norwegian just over a year before.
Up to this point, I want to add that the Gatwick South Terminal experience is MILES better than T3 at Heathrow. In terms of security and departure lounge, Gatwick is so much easier and more pleasurable.
Things then started going downhill. DY's 787-9s seat 344 people, and there was nowhere near enough space for that many people. It got very hot and very crowded very quickly.
It was clear by the lack of organization that boarding was going to be a mess. It finally started at 16:30 with the 'premium' cabin. After that, they called the back 10 rows and everyone just shot for the boarding door - it was chaos. To make matters worse, nobody was checking boarding passes at the boarding door, so it was basically a free for all.
Fifteen minutes after boarding started, I was on board.
Hello, seat 20A! Preplaced on the seat was…nothing.
It was a tight squeeze - I'm 5'10" and quite slim - I don't often find airplane seats to be tight.
Typical English weather out the window.
A comparison of the window 'open' versus 'closed'.
A nice screen with a USB port (same screen that DL uses on some of its longhaul planes). Contradictory to everything I read online, there was not a power outlet between the seats.
Prior to pushback, an intro video played explaining the IFE, buy on board program, how to operate the windows, etc.
This was followed by the safety video, featuring the same registration (LN-LNI) I was flying on.
We pushed back at 17:18 - more or less on time. That's a big 787!
We taxied to runway 26L and took off at 17:38 - 28 minutes behind schedule.
Ah yes - natural IFE!
I put on Shawshank Redemption to pass the time before the meal. The selection of movies was very good - about 10 new releases and 30 "classics" (DY's words) aka movies not from 2016/17.
The crew started working on the buy on board option as soon as the seatbelt sign went off. I didn't take any pictures, but the selection was limited and pretty expensive. If you don't purchase a meal before the flight, EVERYTHING is for $, including drinks. Soda/water was $3.50, snacks (cashews, chips, etc.) were $4, and 'meals' (sandwiches, salad, etc) were about $10. The system is very slow, as each seat's individual order is delivered by a crew member on a tray. There was obvious confusion from the people who had preordered meals as to where their food was and whether the had to reorder meals on the TV, etc.
The prepurchased meals finally rolled around at about 19:00. The options were chicken or fish. I always find airplane fish to be eh, so I went for the chicken. The meal was delivered in a cardboard tray.
The main consisted of chicken in an unknown sauce, mashed potatoes, and some mixed vegetables. The chicken was pretty rubbery and tasted pretty weird. The vegetables tasted straight out of a can, but the mashed potatoes were actually pretty good. I finished the whole thing, but it was 'meh' at best.
The pasta salad didn't really taste like anything.
Despite their bad reputation, this packaged dessert was probably the best part of the meal.
And a glass of Sprite against a nicely dimmed window!
By the end of the meal, we'd made it to here. Norwegian's moving map is awesome.
I paused my movie and utilized the very minimal recline to get some sleep. When I woke up, we were approaching land again.
When I woke up, I was feeling quite thirsty. I flagged down a crewmember to ask for some water. The conversation went something like this:
Me "Can I get a bottle of water?" Crew "You have to order it on your screen" Me "Even though I have the LowFare + ticket, which includes food and drink?" Crew "That's only for meals. You have to pay extra for water."
I don't get this at all, but not seeing any other option, I forked over $3.50.
Trying to pass the time, I put on American Sniper, which I'd already seen.
The last of the light was fading.
The second 'meal' was delivered in a paper bag around 23:30 (UK time).
Inside was a sandwich, a cookie, and apple juice. Not a bad offering at this stage of the flight - definitely a lot better than the main meal.
Wrapping up this flight - a few notes on things I haven't discussed yet. The seat definitely receives a low score. In addition to tight pitch and width, there was very little padding on the seat, making it uncomfortable for a longhaul flight. Would it have been fine for 2-3 hours? Yes. For 5+ hours? No. The crew was also pretty meh. There was nothing wrong with them, but none of them really stood out to me. In terms of the actual dreamliner itself, I do like the big, dimmable windows, and the mood lighting, but if I'm honest, I didn't really notice a difference with the air quality. Can anyone else attest or discredit this?
Almost to JFK!
We touched down on runway 31R at 20:51 local time - 39 minutes ahead of schedule.
Taxi to T1 was quick. Luckily, our gate was available (T1 is notorious at JFK for running out of gates - airplanes are forced to sit on the tarmac for 30-60 minutes waiting for a gate quite frequently).
Immigration and customs were very speedy, and we were out of the airport very quickly.
That wraps up this report, thanks for reading! I'm not sure when or where I'll be travelling next, but there'll always somewhere!
London - LGW
New York - JFK
Gatwick South Terminal - Super efficient
Seat - Pretty uncomfortable and very tight
Food - Not impressive at all
Crew - No complaints, but not 'wow' either
IFE - Excellent system with a good selection
JFK T1 - Very efficient
10 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
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