Norwegian’s Now Charging Extra for First Class Suites on Hi Fly’s A380
Norwegian's Boeing 787s are having engine trouble, like many other airlines', which is forcing a grounding of some of the Dreamliners equipped with a certain version of the Rolls Royce Trent turbines. To avoid canceling flights, Norwegian's been wet-leasing planes from various charter companies, including an ancient Wamos Air 747. However, it's currently borrowing a plane that's unlike any other: Hi Fly's new A380 featuring Singapore's old first class suites.
Up until now, rather than be able to book a suite seat outright or pay to upgrade, premium passengers on the A380 were randomly assigned a premium seat — either a suite or the lie-flat business-class product. That's changing, however. Starting today, premium passengers will be able buy up to the suites during airport check-in on a first come first basis at the following rates:
- 400 USD
- 2500 NOK (~$303)
- 2500 SEK (~$279)
- 2500 DKK (~$388)
- 300 EUR (~$348)
- 250 GBP (~$322)
As you can see, the fee varies greatly based on the currency, but unfortunately, you can't choose which to pay in — you'll be charged the fee based on the local currency of the country you are departing from. Economy passengers could upgrade to the suites, but would need to pay the applicable fee to upgrade to Premium Class first.
I flew in a suite on Norwegian's inaugural A380 flight from New York (JFK) to London (LGW) and thought it was the most comfortable way to get between the two cities. However, the soft product in "first class" isn't any different from Norwegian's usual premium service so I was still served a mediocre boxed meal and wasn't provided any bedding besides a blanket.
That said, I was seated in one of the lie-flat business class seats for my return and found it to be extremely spacious as well.
You'll need to act quick if you want to take one of these unique A380 flights. The superjumbo is only flying for Norwegian through August 23, and is being used to operate flights DI 7015 (LGW-JFK) and DI 7016 (JFK-LGW). The plane will then go to Air Austral which will fly the superjumbo between Paris (CDG) and the French island of Réunion (RUN) from August 24 through September 9.
All images by the author.