Norwegian has cut down on the amount of hand luggage passengers can take into the cabin for free. Much like fellow budget airline Ryanair, Norwegian now only allows fliers to take one underseat bag onto to the plane for free. This comes when customers purchase a “LowFare” ticket type.
The one item of hand luggage must measure no more than 30 x 20 x 38cm and weigh no more than 10kg.
The new hand luggage restrictions came into force yesterday and will apply to anyone buying a Norwegian ticket from now on.
Norwegian previously allowed travellers to bring two bags into the cabin for free.
Those now hoping to bring a second item of carry on luggage will need to buy a “LowFare+” ticket.
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Norwegian flights: Norwegian now only allows fliers to take one underseat bag
Norwegian flights: “LowFare” ticket type gets you one item of underseat hand luggage
This will get you the underseat bag plus one overhead cabin bag.
The latter must measure no more than 55 x 40 x 23cm and the combined weight of the bags must not exceed 10kg.
Eagle-eyed travellers will note this the weight allowance is the same whether you’re on “LowFare” or “LowFare+”.
However, for the former, free option, everything must be in the one bag.
Norwegian’s website explains: “Avoid charges at the gate! Limited cabin storage means your hand baggage may be weighed and measured at the gate.
“If it exceeds our limits, we’ll transfer it to the aircraft hold at a charge per leg.”
Those after even more hand luggage must splurge for Flex, Premium or PremiumFlex fares.
This gets you one underseat bag and one cabin bag, however, the weight limit is a slightly more generous 15kg.
Everyone can also bring one airport shopping bag in addition to their ticket type allowance.
Norwegian flights: Norwegian previously allowed travellers to bring two bags into the cabin for free
Norwegian hope that the new hand luggage rules will help the aircraft leave on time, the airline said on Twitter.
Not everyone is happy about the new hand luggage restrictions, however. Disgruntled travellers shared their thoughts on the news on social media.
“Punctuality is just an excuse to charge more for the same service. At least be honest about it!” one person tweeted.
“Used to love flying Norwegian, now they are turning into Ryanair,” another posted, with an angry red face emoji.
“This new baggage policy is disgustingly cheap of you… Are you going to start charging for the restroom next?” a third wrote.
Adam Ewart, CEO and Founder of SendMyBag, an international luggage delivery company, commented on the news: “It’s disappointing but unsurprising to see Norwegian jump on the bandwagon and introduce cabin baggage charges. One of the last bastions of fair air travel has buckled and prioritised profit over customer experience.
“Until now, Norwegian has been one of the most popular low-cost long-haul airlines for passengers. As hand luggage was previously offered as standard across all ticket types, it’ll be interesting to see how its customers will react to paying for the ‘privilege’ of bringing their personal items on board.
“It’s sad that it’s now standard for flyers to fork out for hand luggage. It begs the question: what’s left to monetise? Will 2020 be the year that we’re charged for using the toilets onboard “budget” airlines?
“First airlines slapped on costs for bags, then sitting next to friends and family, and now even British Airways charges for water on some short haul flights. What previously seemed laughable is, unfortunately, looking increasingly likely at thirty thousand feet.”
“Norwegian’s business model is based on giving our customers freedom of choice and that is also the basis of this new policy,’ said Cecilie Nybø Carlsen, VP Product Management at Norwegian.
All customers, regardless of ticket type, can bring one underseat bag to be stored under the seat in front of them. If customers don’t need any additional hand baggage, they can choose our LowFare ticket at no additional costs. Those who wish to bring an additional overhead cabin bag can do so at a small additional cost prior to departure or choose a different ticket type when booking their ticket.
“It’s important for us that everyone has a good travel experience when they fly Norwegian. It is a common misperception that there is enough room in the cabin for all passengers to bring an overhead cabin bag. However, most of our aircraft carry 186 passengers and has space for around 80 overhead cabin bags.
“Now, with the new policy in place, our goal is that boarding will be smoother for our passengers, we can avoid spending time rearranging carry-on baggage in the overhead lockers and help ensure that our aircraft depart on time.”