Norse Atlantic 787-9 Premium Class wasn’t supposed to be this good

Norse Atlantic 787-9 Premium Class wasn’t supposed to be this good

I’m surprised that I enjoyed my recent Norse Atlantic 787-9 Premium Cabin experience as much as I did. It was supposed to be a sub par experience. Something I could use as an example when explaining why it’s often worth paying more for premium economy on a “real” airline.

What I learned is that Norse Premium Class is about as real as it gets. Legroom is excellent, seat width is better than what other airlines are offering, and the food is pretty darn good.

In an unexpected turn of events, what you’re about to read is a detailed explanation of why it’s often worth paying less for premium economy on a “riff raff” airline. Go figure.

London, UK (LGW) – New York, NY (JFK)
Monday, January 22, 2024
Aircraft: 787-9
Registration: G-CKWP
Duration: 7 hours 44 minutes
Seat: 4D (Premium Cabin)

Norse Atlantic 787-9 side view
Norse Atlantic 787-9 side view illustration by
NO701 flight track
Our route from London Gatwick to New York (Kennedy) today as NO701.

My full review of Norse 787-9 Premium Class from London (Gatwick) to New York (JFK)

This flight from LGW to JFK was the first time that I knew exactly what to expect before flying on a new-to-me airline. Even though Norse Atlantic began operations in 2022, they’re essentially a rebirth of Norwegian Air UK (which went out of business in 2020). 

Other than the names (and their liveries), everything about these two airlines is the same. If you flew on a Norwegian Air 787-9 in 2019, what I’m about to show you will look no different. It’s the same airline (same seats and all) with a different name.

My arrival at the London Gatwick South Terminal

Getting to LGW from central London proved to be a challenge this particular morning. A strong winter storm had suspended operation of the Gatwick Express train, but I still managed to arrive well before scheduled departure time of this flight to JFK.

Honestly? Running late wouldn’t have been all that big of a deal. Gatwick (especially the South Terminal) isn’t exactly the pinnacle of user-friendly airport design IMHO.

Entrance to theSouth terminal at London Gatwick airport
Welcome to the South Terminal at London Gatwick Airport! I have no idea if Norse Atlantic operates out of this terminal, but I’m starting here anyway because this is where the train from London dropped me off at.
Norse Atlantic premium check in London Gatwick airport
Disco! Norse does indeed operate out of the South Terminal. They even have a priority check in queue for Premium passengers. Don’t mind if I do.
SANspotter walking through South terminal Gatwick airport
Boarding pass obtained. Judging by how ‘unmotivated’ the guy who checked me in was, I’m surprised he didn’t tell me to “f**k off and never come back.” Which, oddly enough, wouldn’t have been the first time I’ve heard that from a complete stranger.
Gatwick airport south terminal shops
I’m in! Those of you who have been to the Gatwick South Terminal before know (just as much as I do) that this is where the struggle begins.
Shops and restaurants south terminal London Gatwick airport
This is essentially the “holding area” where you’re supposed to wait until they announce the gate for your flight (which usually happens 30-45 minutes before departure). There’s no place to sit, which (again) gives off a “f**k off and never come back” kind of vibe.
SANspotter waiting for Norse Atlantic flight London Gatwick airport
They don’t need to worry about me. I’m scheduled to f**k off in approximately one hour from now.
Walking to gate south terminal LGW airport
FYI, this is what F’ing off looks like at LGW. They just announced the gate for our flight to JFK, and we are on our way!

The boarding process for NO710 to New York (JFK)

Strolling up to the gate roughly 10 minutes before the scheduled boarding time it’s not normally how I like to do things. That’s how it’s done at LGW though, so I had no choice but to do it their way.

Seeing how empty the gate area was did feel me with hope for a wide open flight. Yes, having an empty seat next to me wouldn’t have been all that big of a deal since I was booked in the Premium Cabin. I’m just a little antisocial, OK?

Gate 34 South terminal London Gatwick airport
Looks like it’s going to be gate 34 today. It’s also looking like it’s going to be an extremely light load. 
Norse Atlantic 787-9 parked at 8:30 for London Gatwick airport
That’s a good lookin’ Norse 787-9! I’m really looking forward to it.
Norse Atlantic LGW-JFK premium boarding pass
Don’t worry. I won’t force you to look at my boarding pass (but I’m including anyway for the sake of completeness).
Boarding Norse Atlantic 787-9 at London Gatwick airport
Well, that was easy. After announcing families with small children to board first (of which there were no takers), they went straight to the Premium Cabin passengers. It’s been a while since I’ve been one of the first to board a long haul flight!
Norse Atlantic 787-9 forward boarding door
Nobody to greet me at the door? No worries. It’s all part of the long haul low-cost carrier (LLC) experience I guess.

The seats

Stepping onto a Norse 787 is like taking a nostalgic step back to 2019. These are the old Norwegian Air aircraft, and Norse did absolutely nothing to the interior of these planes after the transition. The Premium Class seats we all knew (and loved) back in 2019 are exactly the same today as they were back then.

Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium cabin
If this were 2019, I’d be welcoming you to the Norwegian Air 787-9 premium cabin. Here in 2024, it’s Norse Atlantic. Same difference.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium cabin seats
The Premium Cabin is configured in a 2-3-2 layout, which (believe it or not) is one of the most spacious transatlantic premium economy products at the moment.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium cabin blankets, pillows, and bottled water
Blankets, pillows, and bottled water at every seat. Tell me again how this is considered “low cost” premium economy?
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium cabin leg room
The moment I remembered that I paid $802.44 for this. Maybe it’s not exactly “low cost” after all? At least the legroom kicks a**.
Sitting in a norse atlantic 787-9 premium seat
I do believe that I have developed a school-boy crush on a certain airline that rhymes with “horse.” This is nice!
Norse atlantic 787-9 premium seat headrest
Giddyup, ya’ll.
Norse atlantic 787-9 premium seat release levers for video screens
I didn’t know it at the time, but these are actually the release levers for the video screens. The fact that my crush was as strong as it was without even knowing that these seats had video screens should tell you everything you need to know about how weird I am impressive this experience has been so far.
Norse atlantic 787-9 premium seat seat recline and leg rest levers
The levers for seat recline and leg rest extension or on the other armrest. I’m still looking for the throttles (and yoke).
Norse atlantic 787-9 premium seat remote control for in-flight entertainment system
Here’s the integrated remote control for the in-flight entertainment system built into the armrest. I can only assume that the “HH” on the display stands for “holla holla” (because why wouldn’t it).
Norse atlantic 787-9 premium class seat coat hook
A coat hook I think? I know I asked the same question every time I fly European airline, but I’ve never received confirmation on what these do hickeys really are.
Norse atlantic 787-9 premium class bottled spring water
I know good marketing when I see it though. This water may come from Harrogate – but how do we really know this isn’t actually tap water from the seediest pub in town?
Norse atlantic 787-9 premium class power outlets
Full-size electrical outlets are located between the seats too. This is like *real* premium economy!
SANspotter in Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any more premium, they announced the closing of the boarding door with the two other seats in my row completely (totally) vacant. I say again: giddyup mofos!
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class row 4
The load factor here in Premium Class today couldn’t have been more than 40%. I was too lazy to do the actual math, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Crossing legs in Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class aisle seat
I still didn’t even realize that there were video screens yet, and I was already thinking about how I was going to announce that this beats the ever living snot out of Air France A350-900 premium economy. There just isn’t any way to say it without sounding condescending IMHO.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class aisle
Who woulda thunk that I would be so impressed by this? At the very least, this has got me thinking that I should at least *try* the cheap (20 rolls for $5) toilet paper down at my local gas station. What if…it’s actually good stuff?

The departure out of LGW

It’s kind of funny how long the boarding process seems to take when the seat next to you remains vacant. It felt like it was taking forever, when (in reality) they shut the boarding door early. Like, a lot early. Early departures FTW!

Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class pushing off the gate at LGW
12. Minutes. Early. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been on a long haul international flight that pushed off the gate ahead of schedule. I think they just got tired of waiting (and hoping) that more people would show up.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class dimmed windows
They didn’t waste any time when it came to dimming the windows did they? Perhaps they’re feeling ashamed about the food they’re about serve?
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class amenity kit
Nope! Seems like they were trying to hide the fact that the “amenity kit” is à la carte (take only the items you need – and don’t complain about the cardboard packaging). I’m not exactly sure why they’re so self-conscious about this, because I actually quite like it.

In-flight entertainment

In-flight entertainment in Norse 787-9 Premium Class comes in the form of video screens that extend out from the center armrests. Is the catalog of content as extensive as what you might find on other airlines? Hell no. The fact that there were even movies and TV shows to watch at all is what impressed me. This is something I would not normally expect on a long haul low-cost carrier.

Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class video screen
Free advice to any airline hoping to get me to say something nice about your in-flight entertainment system: make it so that I’ll find the video screen by total accident. That way, even if your catalog of content sucks (which this kind of does), the novelty of a screen unexpectedly popping out of the armrest will prevent me from saying anything bad.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class movies menu
Perhaps “sucks” was too strong of a word (and I’m sorry). “Limited” is more like it. The only other time that I’ve seen a catalog of in-flight entertainment this thin limited was in Aeromexico 787-8 business class.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class in-flight entertainment screens
Considering that I wasn’t expecting any video entertainment at all, it’s hard to be critical of this. Anyone who can’t help but to be critical should maybe (and I’m totally spitballin’ here) fly Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy instead.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class headphones
Don’t go flyin’ Lufthansa thinking you’ll get better headphones though. These are just as poopy as what you’ll get over there.
SANspotter watching in-flight entertainment in Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class
I take that back. I like these better because they actually work. #buuuurn
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class USB-A charging port and a 3.5 mm audio jack
A USB-A charging port and a 3.5 mm audio jack are integrated into the retractable video screen (as they damn well better be).

The first meal service

As if the in-flight entertainment wasn’t enough to impress me, the lunch service sealed the deal. Served approximately one hour after takeoff, it consisted of a full tray of food that wouldn’t have been out of place in other long haul premium economy class products.

Norse 787-9 premium cabin drink service
Drinks were served before they came down the aisle with the meal cart. Figured it was wise to go with something with a little burn to it (such as this Coke Zero).
Norse 787-9 premium cabin meal tray
I mean, this is an LLC after all, so there’s no telling how digestible this food is going to be. A fizzy drink might actually help cut through the grizzle and bone shards!
Norse 787-9 premium cabin chicken lunch entrée
Well then. This is definitely more substantial (and somewhat prettier) than what I was expecting. I don’t even need to tell you this is chicken (because it’s obvious). Right? Well done Norse!
Norse 787-9 premium cabin lunch salad
I don’t even know what I was expecting, but certainly wasn’t this. The salad almost looks fancy.
Norse 787-9 premium cabin lunch dessert
The jury is still out on this dessert, but I’m not overly concerned based on everything else that I’m seeing so far. They’ve earned the right to screw one thing up IMHO.
Norse 787-9 premium cabin biodegradable utensils
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for these biodegradable utensils, for which I will use to enjoy this beautiful meal you have most graciously provided. If it’s not too much to ask, can you please provide real (metal) utensils next time? I don’t think these are going to be a match for grizzle and bone shards. Amen.”
Norse 787-9 premium cabin meal service
Maybe it’s not the bone shards I have to worry about. A rogue splinter could end this review real quick!
SANspotter eating lunch in Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class
It’s kind of hard to enjoy a meal when all you can think about is getting stabbed through the roof of your mouth with something sharp.

Despite my stupid jokes, the quality of the food was excellent. I’d place it well below typical business class food (of course), but easily on par with what you would get in premium economy on most other airlines.

Seat (and cabin) comfort

If I haven’t made it obvious by now, these Premium Class seats are legit (and well worth the cost of the upgrade). The generous leg room – combined with an extendable leg rest – makes sleeping relatively easy. 

Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class retractable leg rests
So yeah. About those retractable leg rests. They a’ight.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class retractable leg rest comfort
Unfortunately, I am not of the body type which would benefit from such a retractable leg rest. You gotta be really short in order to make this work IMHO.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class blanket
I am, however, of the body type which will reap the benefits of this very thick blanket. We scrawny mofos tend to run ice cold 24/7.
SANspotter unfolding blanket in Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class
“Come to papa!”

The only thing that could make these seats more comfortable as if they laid fully flat. But for an 8 hour daytime flight between London and New York? They were just about perfect.

Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class dimmed windows
There’s always at least one inconsiderate a**hole person who refuses to comply with the window shade policy on long-haul flights. “It’s my window and I can do whatever the hell I want with it!!
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class food on demand menu
Those of you who read my Norwegian Airlines 787-9 economy review will no doubt recognize this on-demand food ordering system (accessed via the video screens). Considering how many people I saw taking advantage of this feature on that flight, it’s shocking to me that Norwegian Air went out of business. They made mad cash that day!
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class lavatory
I looked everywhere, and I couldn’t even find a single “Norse” reference anywhere in the lavatory. Maybe that was on purpose? It’ll certainly make things easier when this airline goes bankrupt and this aircraft gets sold off to someone else.

The second (pre-landing) meal service

Believe it or not, the second meal was far more substantial than what I’ve received in any other long haul premium economy product over the past few years. It was a full meal – which was very much appreciated, since I wasn’t expecting anything more than a light snack.

Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class drink cart
Here we go with the second meal service! Judging by how predominately that Coca-Cola is displayed, it’s safe to assume that I wasn’t the only one worried about rouge grizzle and bone shards.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class pre-landing meal tray
Once again, they have presented (and surprised) me with a tray of food far more substantial than I was expecting. The hell is going on?
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium class pre-landing meal
No menus were provided (so I can’t tell you exactly what this is), but it was borderline delicious AF. I say again: the hell?!

The descent and arrival into JFK

Not only did we push off the gate 12 minutes early back at LGW, it resulted in us arriving into JFK 12 minutes early as well. The weather was just about perfect for our descent and landing, and there were absolutely zero issues all the way in. Except for the fact that I was seated in the middle section and I couldn’t see squat.

Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium cabin mood lighting
Trippy pre-landing mood lighting too. I know it’s fun to make bets about when Norse will file for bankruptcy, but make no mistake about it: it would be a real shame to see this airline go wheels up.
Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium cabin window
I wonder how many people down there on Rockaway Beach are looking up and wondering what the hell a “norse” is?
seat 4D Norse Atlantic 787-9 premium cabin
Come to think of it, that’s something I’d like to know as well. Maybe it’s a half newt / half man sort of thing? I have no idea.
Norse 787-9 approaching runway 31L at JFK
“Norse seven zero one heavy, you’re cleared to land on runway thirty one left. Please advise on the meaning of norse before we can give you gate instructions.”
Collecting carry-on luggage at the end of Norse 787-9 premium class flight
It must’ve been a fascinating definition, because we’ve arrived at the gate 12 minutes early.
SANspotter walking up jet bridge at JFK after Norse Atlantic flight
Who cares if I wasn’t able to credit this flight to any of my frequent flyer programs? That was fun!
Norse 787-9 parked at terminal 7 JFK
One last look at the ‘ol gal parked at Terminal 7 before hopping on the AirTrain over to the TWA Hotel. Can y’all do me a favor? Give Norse Atlantic a try. Pretty please. I’d really hate to see them go out of business prematurely.

Pros and cons of the Norse Atlantic Premium Class experience

It’s been a while since I’ve walked out of a flight feeling so enlightened. I had no idea that Norse Atlantic Premium Class is every bit as competitive as premium economy on any other full service airline. Assuming they can find a way to stay out of bankruptcy over the coming years, this is something I will absolutely do again.


  • Wide seats! Most other airlines utilize a condensed 2-4-2 layout for their premium economy products, but Norse is a very spacious 2-3-2.
  • Food quality is good (and relatively substantial). Combine this with the snack on demand service, and it’s highly unlikely that you will go hungry.
  • The in-flight entertainment is decent. I’m just happy that it exists at all.


  • You’ll probably be disappointed if in-flight entertainment is what you care about most. The catalog of continent is somewhat limited.
  • The pre-flight ground experience at London Gatwick Airport is abysmal.

Comments (8)

  1. Peter

    March 18, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 19, 2024
  2. Alex

    March 20, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 20, 2024
  3. Hayden

    May 3, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      May 4, 2024
  4. James

    June 3, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      June 3, 2024

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