Review of Norwegian flight London Helsinki in Economy

Airline Norwegian
Flight D82767
Class Economy
Seat 7A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 03:00
Take-off 14 Feb 23, 11:00
Arrival at 14 Feb 23, 16:00
DY 90 reviews
Jett Tyler
By GOLD 333
Published on 23rd February 2023

Norwegian: The Pheonix of Scandinavia!

The last few years have not been easy on Norwegian Air Shuttle to put it politely.

The airline was offering budget friendly services across Europe using subsidiary airlines in Sweden, Ireland, UK and Norway. The Boeing 787 and Boeing 737-MAX fleets had been introduced alongside their Boeing 737-800 fleet to introduce the future and provide the potential for a solid model on "long-haul low-cost" flying. However the Boeing 787 was the root of much hassle in the early years (2013-14) and the 2019 World-Wide Groundings of the Boeing 737-MAX didn't help much either.

Then came the pandemic!

The airline was on the verge of total collapse, but a rescue operation was put in place by the management team and slowly but surly the airline began the long road back to profitability and a resurrection, but it (ironically) came at many a cost.

Norwegian scaled its operation back to its initial business model in the mid-2000s. Focusing on short-haul European services from Scandinavia and the Nordic regions. The UK and Irish spin offs were closed down, also dispatching of a large base at London Gatwick. The long-haul operation which the airline had proudly tried to pioneer in the 21st Century was shut down for good. All Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Boeing 737-MAX were retired and a huge order for Airbus A320-neo family aircraft was also put down for good. 

Norwegian only has two versions of the airline: the Norwegian original airline and a Swedish branch which operates their EU bases in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Latvia. Whether a UK spin-off is resurrected for a new London Gatwick base, that will remain to be seen.

Norwegian rose from the ashes, out living a new start up FLYR (June 2021-January 2023) and their former Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet being acquired mostly by Norse Atlantic Airways, which is another story in its own right. Wizzair (another major player in the European LCC scene) appears to have jumped into the space Norwegian vacated at London Gatwick for the most part.

So with the history lesson over, let's see what Norwegian is like today in February 2023. I last flew their Boeing 737-800 short haul product in August 2016, so a catch up at this stage was more than overdue!!!

Norwegian Air Shuttle D8767

One thing that hasn't changed is that Norwegian operates out of the South Terminal at London Gatwick.

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Doing the usual "song and dance" which is Airport security, I made my way to my favourite restaurant in London Gatwick given that I couldn't use an Airport Lounge on this trip… WONDERTREE!

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Aside from the good food, the Wondertree has great Airport views, which today was a bit of a downer as there was a bit of fog…

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The flight I was on was scheduled to leave at 11am, but my flight was delayed by what would eventually turn out to be 90 minutes. When we went to our Gate, it was still occupied by a Wizzair Airbus A321, which eventually moved off and was replaced by our Boeing 737-800, which ironically had arrived on time from Helsinki.

It was a bit frustrating, but not the end of the world. Luckily I wasn't connecting to another flight that day. Unfortunately we can't control the weather and obviously the aviation sector has to air on the side of caution as there have been plenty of fatal disasters involving aircraft and foul weather conditions.

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Eventually boarding the aircraft began and the Boeing 737 was eventually ready to depart, we had a bit of a wait to get out of London Gatwick as there was a bit of a build up of delayed departures as the airport had limited its departures due to the fog. Which by now had cleared giving us a clear winter day to enjoy for our eventual departure.

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I was seated towards the front of the Boeing 737-800 in Row 9, Seat A. Giving me a nice all around view as well as a solid wing/engine view for the flight. Norwegian's Boeing 737s all contain the Boeing Sky Interior and slimline seats with a smart black leather material as well as a white plastic backing.

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The seat contents contain the Safety card with some oddly looking CGI people, a copy of the Norwegian in-flight magazine, a card with Wi-Fi instructions and an inflight menu for the snacks and drinks for purchase. For those who don't know (but noticed in the pic) the Boeing 737-MAX is listed on the Norwegian safety card as they're due to make a comeback into the fleet.

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We finally pushed back, taxied and finally got underway. We skipped ahead of some easyJet A320s & a TUI B787, but I assume this was down to us being very late and getting an arrival slot at Helsinki Vantaa. Either way we took a slight intersection at the runway and the pilots sent us into a rolling take off for the three hours of flight time to Finland.

Regardless of which Boeing 737-NG I'm flying on, I do enjoy a decent bit of mood lighting. I would even go as far as to rate the Boeing 737 "Sky Interior" as being far better than the standard Airbus A320 cabin.

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I killed sometime on the flight by playing with the Norwegian Wi-Fi. There is a free website you can use, but you also get free internet access for 30 minutes for general surfing and social media activity. Prices to continue do vary, I thought it was a good price if you fancied using it, though I personally opted to save my money for my trip.

One new thing I've found on Norwegian is that they now offer the chance to pre-order inflight meals, which is something that seems to be popular with Scandinavian and Nordic airlines in the post-pandemic world. This was also a provided service on Norwegian Long-Haul, however they seem to have kept it going. I do wish other European airlines that cater with Buy on Board would offer proper meals for purchase. I paid for a "Classic Meal" which didn't tell me what the contents would be… put I soon found out when it was delivered. 

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It turned out to be a creamy chicken meal with rice and vegetables. It came with a chocolate mouse. No drinks were offered in the meal offering, so I added for extra a Capri-Sun and a Norwegian craft beer. Overall it was really nice and a good hearty choice for a flight of 3 hours. I would even recommend this on a flight from London to either Oslo or Stockholm.

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The cabin mood lighting during the flight was changed from a calming blue tone to a rather chilled red/orange hue as we approached the late-afternoon and early evening. The sun was going down quite early in the Nordic regions due to them being GMT +1/+2 as well as their notoriously shorter days in Winter- by way of contrast to their insanely long summer days!

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We began our decent into Helsinki as the flight passed through Europe, as we began to fly over Finland bellow the cloud cover it was a beautiful sight seeing all the laying snow around the rural areas outside the major cities/towns.

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Despite being 90 minutes late, we did however make some of that time up as we had a good tail-wind on our flight. We only arrived about 50 minutes later than we should have. We landed uneventfully and made a bit of a prolong taxi around Helsinki Vantaa, passing a massive sea of Finnair planes as we parked up on a remote stand, ready for us to disembark using a bus. 

This was probably used as its cheaper for Norwegian to facilitate, but it also was ideal as they had to send the plane on a intra-Schengen service over to Stockholm next. As UK arrivals have never been a Schengen affair, it made it easier. We could be bussed to the international section, whilst the Stockholm flight could be dealt with in the domestic/Schengen area.

After the plane parked up, we all started to leave the plane, I wasn't in a rush to leave, so I waited for a gap from a less organised passenger and I slipped out straight to the bus, giving the cabin crew a thank you for a good flight and wishing them a nice evening. I don't know if they continued with the following Stockholm flight or let another crew take over. 

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So how was Norwegian in 2023?

Well I personally found the experience quite nice for a budget airline, I can see a lot of improvements on the service since 2016. The extra charges don't worry me too much as I only ever really require the window seat, so I have some options on where I can go, as for inflight food, I can keep it as basic as a hot coffee or can of cola and I don't feel a need to go for the full meal again, unless there is a wider convenience for it. I can't knock Norwegian for the delays as it was a London Gatwick issue and not the airline. The wifi was a good deal for me personally however I think some people would find it less appealing, but I'll leave that to the opinion of the individual.

One thing is certain, I will fly Norwegian again- and I won't "dilly-dally" for 7 years before my next one!

See more



Cabin crew9.0
Buy-on-board menu7.0

London - LGW


Helsinki - HEL



Norwegian- If you want a good deal on a short haul flight to Scandinavia/Nordics and don't want to fly Ryanair or Wizzair- then Norwegian has you covered. The service was nice for a low cost type airline and I'm glad to see them back on their feet.

London Gatwick- Another good experience. Security didn't take long and was well oiled. Solid start at the Wondertree (which I am bias towards) and now there is a direct service from Bournemouth, I am hoping it opens up more opportunity for me.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 622130 by
    Pilpintu TEAM BRONZE 935 Comments

    Hi Jett!

    A history lesson worth reading! Norwegian also folded in Argentina, and I think I have seen some of those A321 parked at SCL. Latam bought them, I believe.

    Let's hope they will experience a comeback in 2023! I like what I see in this report. Pre-ordering a meal? I wish some of the LCCs in Chile had that! On my last flight I decided to sneak in my own meal rather than being ripped off with a terrible BOB menu!

    Thanks for sharing, and best wishes to Norwegian!

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