Welcome to this new trip report of my flight back home from London in May 2015 with Norwegian Air Shuttle. This will be one of my "Retro-reports" for which I don't have too many photos, yet I'll try to make it as informative and entertaining as possible. If you missed the report for onward journey, on an older Boding 737-800 without Sky Interior, you can find it here.
Thanks for joining me today! And Enjoy ;)
Flight number: DY2872
Route: London Gatwick - Warsaw Chopin
Flight date: 31st May 2015 (Sunday)
Scheduled flight time: 2:25 (2010 - 2335)
Aircraft model: Boeing 737-800 (Sky Interior)
Aircraft registration: EI-FHI (Carl Nielsen livery, later G-NRWY, LV-HOQ, LN-NGM)
Seating configuration: Y186
Aircraft age (at the time of flight): 1.8 years
Seat number: 1E
Originally we got 26B&C assigned but we later swapped to row 1 at the airport. Great upgrade! The seat didn't update automatically, whereas I'm pretty sure it does nowadays.
As I mentioned in my previous Norwegian report (WAW-LGW), in 2015 I flew to London with my dad for a may weekend. We stayed in one of the recognisable Premier Inn hotels which I find a relatively good value for money, when it comes to London. The weather turned out to be fabulous with clear skies and warm breeze. During this weekend we didn't really bother to do any intense sightseeing, we just took a stroll along London's streets (the centre, Notting Hill, South Bank & Waterloo etc.), went to the National Gallery and did some shopping. And soon it was time to head back to Gatwick, as the lovely weekend in London was over. Below, I post a few pictures from the city break. Even though I didn't intend that, it turns out that most of the photos I took of London, include an airplane or helicopter on them - so try to spot them!
The Shard with what I believe, was an Emirates or Qantas A380, next to it :)
River Thames with all those buildings on its both banks, always impresses me, come rain or shine. Especially when you can see airplanes approaching or taking off from LCY (like the bird in the background).
Monumental Big Ben, which I think is now covered for renovation :(
The famous Coca-cola London Eye which gives you a fantastic view over London, provided the weather is good.
The Buckingham Palace, with its always elegant and well-maintained green areas.
The National Gallery, which has an immense collection of Impressionist paintings. Lovely.
And some window shopping :D This was the year, when the Apple Watch was introduced for the first time. But it still wasn't available in Poland so we could at least take a glimpse of it on our trip to London.
(Un)fortunately, after some shopping on Regent Street, it was already time to go back home. So we picked up our bags from the hotel in Southwark and proceeded to the Blackfriars station (on foot!). From there, we took a really convenient connection to Gatwick by Thameslink, which is frequent, fast and relatively cheap.
Our flight, DY2872 was departing from terminal South this evening. From Thameslink station we went to the check in area, even though we checked in online and had only had luggage. However, I decided to try and change our assigned seats (26BC). I was actually able to do that free of charge in the self check-in machines. It turned out that 1DE were available so I didn't think twice and took those two seats straight away, to get the advantage of extra legroom and fast disembarkment. Meanwhile, I got a text from Norwegian saying "Welcome on board DY2872 31. May" - I think it's really nice of them to send those texts - they make you feel more welcome!
The airside at Gatwick South was extremely busy this evening but fortunately we didn't have too much to spare. We obligatorily passed the duty free area (with some very helpful sales associates), then ate something and it was soon time for PRE-boarding. I find the pre-boarding practice at LGW very very very annoying as they keep passengers in small, suffocating "rooms" where sometimes you have to wait up to 30 mins for departure. Needless to say, there are no toilets, only a small vending machine with water - which actually exacerbate the situation of the lack of toilets ?.
Our today's aircraft turned out to be EI-FHI (Carl Nielsen livery) which arrived slightly late from Aalborg (Denmark). It made a really good impression on boarding: fresh sky interior, warm welcome from the crew, blue mood lighting, chilled boarding music, some spots from places around the world played on the screens, nice design of the front bulkhead (picture above). Good job Norwegian ?
After a short taxi and a bit of waiting, we departed "towards West", then made a U turn and we were soon on our way home. Before the service started, I decided to take a picture of this fantastic Sky Interior cabin. It really makes a difference, comparing to the old interior (see my previous report on Norwegian)
The cabin looks nice. Warm and welcoming, especially thanks to the sand-coloured LED light and red antimacassars on the headrests. The flight was quite full, yet the LF was not 100%, as you see.
Somewhere over the English Channel, the on board service started. The crew seemed really happy and satisfied with what they're doing. They were also chatty so I managed to ask some avgeek questions later in the galley. The service went fast even though quite a few passengers ordered a drink and some food for themselves. We only took drinks :D The BoB menu was fine, but I have already seen better (and cheaper) ones - but I understand they need to keep up Norwegian prices ;)
Soon in was time to try out their FREE on board WiFi (which wasn't working on the previous flight). It was actually working well this time! And I managed to send some emails, messages as well as browse some websites. All in all, the entertainment options on this flight were fabulous. The WiFi, overhead monitors with some Kids movies and clips from places around the world, N magazine and chatty crew justify my high mark in this category, I hope.
A screenshot from the WiFi connection page. Although the moving map is not the best one, it is by far satisfactory. We are somewhere over Germany and will soon be starting our descent into Warsaw. 56 mins to go!
Once the service finished, the lights were dimmed and changed to blue, so I decided to take another picture! Still beautiful, in my opinion.
I didn't take any specific photos of the seats. But I have to say, I enjoy those older Recaro seats on Norwegian airplanes. They are very comfortable as for a cheap airline.
The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful and the conditions were smooth. We landed in Warsaw on time and taxied to our gate promptly. We actually docked next to a jet bridge so my hope was we'll deboard through a jetty but… no way. 2 busses came to pick us up and transfer the tired crowd to the terminal :(
Our lovely aircraft during disembarkement.
And our patron, Carl Nielsen - a Danish Composer. I didn't know of him before so it was a nice opportunity to learn something new. Especially that I like classical music.
From the stand, the busses transported us in no time to the "Bus Non-Schengen arrivals" which is the worst place of arrival when in Warsaw, especially late in the evening. When you're already tired but there is still a huge queue to the border control (as quite a few aircrafts from outside Schengen arrive at that time). After waiting 20 mins in the queue we could finally pass through the control (conducted by an extremely impolite and grumpy officer) and leave the airport to get home for a nights sleep.
Thank you for stopping by, and apologies for quite a low content of this retro-report.
Gatwick: Not the best airport, I've been to. Especially south terminal, during busy times (but I think Gatwick is always busy). The pre-boarding practice is awful, in my opinion, and disrespectful. Big plus for helpful staff in the duty free shop.
Norwegian: Honestly, a perfect flight, for a low cost airline. Beautiful cabin, comfortable Recaro seats, good legroom in row 1 (which we got for free), amazing cabin crew and extensive entertainment. This is why my overall rating for this flight is so high! The only thing is that maybe BoB could have better choice and prices.
Warsaw: The experience was OK, except for the long queue to immigration and impolite agents.