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HIGH ALTITUDE, LOW BUDGET

There’s a right way and a wrong way to fly long-haul on budget airlines

Low cost carrier Norwegian Air
Reuters/TT News Agency
Norwegian is showing no signs of slowing down.
  • Rosie Spinks
By Rosie Spinks

Quartzy Reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

If you’ve looked into flying transatlantic recently, chances are you’ve come across the seemingly too-good-to-be-true fares of Norwegian Air. I know this because I often get texts from American friends planning trips to Europe asking: “Hey have you flown Norwegian? Should I do it?”

My answer, in short, is yes—but with some caveats.

But first, it’s worth knowing just how Norwegian—recently named the “world’s best long-haul low-cost airline,” a thoroughly post-recessionary distinction—manages to offer flights so cheap. Contrary to the assumptions of some less-frequent travelers, cheap flights do not necessarily mean they are less safe. In fact, Norwegian ranks ahead of both American Airlines and United Airlines on the safety index of JacDec, an independent source for aviation safety.

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