Flying Norwegian Airlines with kids

It’s time to make an updated review of Norwegian Airlines. In the winter time I was having a difficult time booking Markus a seat without all the extras – and it did cause me a little bit of a headache that Norwegian didn’t have a better system in place. Well, that’s water under the bridge now.
This last trip to Denmark was also with Norwegian and I must say I’m very happy with them. (Following is a lengthy and several slightly boring paragraphs about the trip. You can skip to the bottom for the recap! ;))

It made me feel so good leading up to the day of departure that I would have that seat for him!

On the day of departure, I got my “get-up” to the airport. I had bought a ‘Traveling with Toddler’ thing-y that strapped his car seat to my carry-on and it really was a breeze taking him through airport like that. I’ll write about that another time.

Upon checking in, I could not use the check-in monitors as it appeared that I was traveling with two children named Markus. Though I had gotten a refund for the infant part of my own ticket, they had not removed it from the ticket. So, upon scanning our passports – well, let’s just say we’re ONLY two but the system insisted that we were three traveling.
I thought I had been smart only traveling with carry-on, but I still had to get in the long queue in JFK to get us checked in and our boarding passes printed.

The lady at the desk was having some issues with the above problem, but nothing a supervisor couldn’t fix and before I knew it we were on our way.
I had expected the same problem to occur when leaving Copenhagen, but nope – there was absolutely no issues what so ever, and in fact the Norwegian personnel, Joseph, was absolutely amazingly sweet while caring for our check-in in Copenhagen. but that’s a whole other story.

Going through security was a mess but that’s obviously not on Norwegian.

I waited on the Premium line, though we were not premium ticket holders. However, we were a solo mother with a toddler sitting in one of the rows at the end of the plane. Naturally we should rightly be some of the first people onboard.

The flight attendants helped me with my carry-on luggage and I installed the car seat upon finding our row.
Markus was in a good mood, and the music playing before take-off on the Dreamliner was cozy.

There was many available seats so though we did initally have a person sitting on the aisle seat – those persons were moved and we got the row for ourselves both going and coming back. When traveling with a car seat you will always get the window seat – so I didn’t feel the need to “pay” for the services of selecting my own seat. It was a given – car seat goes by the window, and mommy goes right not to the car seat with baby.

The flight to Denmark was nice. Markus didn’t make too much of a hassle for me. Flight was on time. I had not booked a ticket with food but since the flight was 11PM it wasn’t needed. I did buy myself a muffin and coffee from their in-flight “minibar” on the screen. It was surprisingly good.

Going back from Copenhagen to New York was a different story. Check-in in Copenhagen Airport was great. Thanks, Joseph.
Security a breeze. Extra passport control and questioning not an issue.

But Norwegian was delayed. And Markus got a fit. And the flight was more delayed and I started to have a headache. We didn’t leave until more than an hour after our initial departure time and we didn’t save any time flying, and upon arriving in JFK there was not available gate for us.

Markus did not want to sleep. He must have fallen a sleep 3-4 times but kept waking up again and crying, and just feeling uncomfortable. I was having a major headache and nothing I tried to do helped the poor baby.

I had bought a ticket going back to NY that included luggage and meal remembering how nice I thought the meals were the last time we flew Norwegian I was OVERLY disappointed. I rarely complain about plane food – but that’s what it was: PLAIN FOOD. And the “morning” sandwich was wet. Nasty.

So though we had the entire row for ourselves the delays and poor in-flight meals just made the trip almost unbearable. Not entirely on Norwegian … but if only they didn’t have those delays I guess my migraine-like headache and my sleepy toddler would have maybe felt a little better.

Will I fly Norwegian again? Yes. I loved how easy it was to call and make the changes to my initial ticket and purchase a child ticket without all the extra. I liked the total price I had to pay for a some-what last minute ticket (well, three weeks in advance ticket)
Did I like the delays, that often happens to Norwegian? No. Did I like the fact that I got a whole row to myself both of the flights? Yes. Will I ever pay for their food again? No.

Thanks for being cool about the cranky baby from CPH-JFK though.

Traveling to Denmark – with toddler!

Can you believe it? This Danish woman who didn’t travel to Denmark for over 5 years after she moved to NYC is now going to travel to Denmark for the 2nd time within 8 months!!???

As you may be aware – I took my son to Denmark back in March. Then back to NYC in May to take care of business … but am now heading back to Denmark on November 30th!

I’m excited – though I ended up spending more money on the ticket that what I though I was going to. See, what happened was I had been looking for a cheap ticket for a long time. I remember the days of paying a minimum of 3500 DKK (about $560) for “a cheap ticket” but often more than 4000 DKK (equivalent to $640). That would be tix with a stop-over somewhere.
Now with low-budget airlines such as Norwegian I know I can get something for less than $500 and that’s what I was looking for. So when I finally found a ticket just below the 500 mark I didn’t even think twice. I bought it. It included the fare for my son, who is still under the age of 2 and therefor travel at about 10% of the base fare of an adult ticket.
I decided not to bring luggage TO Denmark, but I wanted to be able to bring a suitcase of clothes that I left in Denmark on my way back to NYC. Ergo, one regular LowFare – and one LowFare+ coming back. Just under $500. (We should all book via the website as it’ll get us the cheapest fare!)

Now …. the next morning I felt guilty! I literally woke up panicking – what had I done? Bought a ticket with seat for myself and expected my 15-month old son to be super cool with being on my lap during the 8 hour flight? NO!!!  — So I called Norwegian customer service and they were awesome! I said: “I have to get a seat for my son. How much? …. <<hold on one moment, miss>> …. 2600 NOK …. Me: Yes, okay here’s my credit card number. Make it happen! <clickity-click> … Yes, mam, your confirmation number is … blah blah bla!”

Big sigh… I had done what I was suppose to do. Secure my son a seat, and give myself some peace of mind. I know traveling with a lap child is a hectic job  with the ultimate risk of hurting your child in the case of heavy turbulence. But, my son is also a big boy already (81 cm (32″) 12.3 kg (27lbs)) and I was just picturing the nightmare it could eventually become. But safety first. Then ‘mommy sanity’! I felt proud  – this will be his 8th and 9th flight, all with a seat except that one time flying home from Palm Springs last year.

Now … you’d think it would all be over right? Well. Then I started thinking about car seat when I come to Denmark, and how to make sure that my son will be secure in this seat during flight. And how should I transport him through the airport as I will not bring our stroller (there’s one in DK for us). Long story short …. after much researching — I bought the super duper lightweight Cosco Scenera Next off at around $40. I used the ibotta app and got some cash back through there. I already have a great – but heavy car seat – so this was somewhat of a necessity. At the current moment in time I am trying to determine whether I should get a car seat transporter cart or try a car seat travel buckle accessory.

Anyways … I love to travel, and though traveling with a toddler is more expensive and will cost me 2-3 extra headaches it’s definitely worth it. Because in two weeks time we get to see ‘mormor’ and ‘moster’ (grandma and aunties) and there’s no way you can add a price tag to that …

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Markus enjoying his new Cosco Scenera NEXT car seat