There was a recent launch of cheap flights to the USA from Dublin by the airline Norwegian. With headlines such as ” €99 flights” – we wondered if there was a catch, so we took a closer look at their prices and the cost of any extras and compared them to similar flights from Aer Lingus.
Firstly – the flights from Norwegian land at an airport called New York – Newburgh- Stewart . While it does have the words “NEW YORK” in it’s name , Newburgh Stewart airport it is about 60 miles north of Manhattan . There is a bus available to the New York City Port Authority bus terminal which costs $40 dollars for a return ticket when booked online. The bus journey is expected to take 1 hour 20 minutes.
For comparison – getting from JFK airport to Manhattan by cab costs about $70 one way , going by bus from JFK would be $34 return to Manhattan with one airport bus company and takes about 90 minutes. Subway to Manhattan is even cheaper.
Norwegian Flight Prices: When we searched on Skyscanner back in June for flights from Dublin to Newburgh Stewart we found quite a few seats available for €99 and some at €92.30 one way . When searching again on July 3rd – the cheapest flight out of Dublin was €129 and the lowest priced flight back was €103.30 . So it was possible to get a return flight for €231.30 in October 2017 flying out on 23rd and back on Sun 29th. (Searched July 3rd 2017)
Baggage – the Norwegian basic ticket price only includes hand luggage of up to 10kg . If you want to bring a suitcase of up to 20kg too – it will cost €50 each leg of the trip – a total of €100. Many people have become used to travelling with just hand luggage – so paying €100 to bring some extra clothes can probably be easily avoided. (Coats can be worn and carried on the plane.)
Meals : No meals are included on the cheapest priced seats. That might suit a lot of people because to be honest, those airline meals are usually not very good. You can always eat a good meal before you fly or just buy a sandwich before you board.
If you want to include a suitcase and a meal and a reserved seat , the all in return price with Norwegian rises to €361.30 . (€130 more)
Timing – sometimes cheaper flights can mean departure or arrival times at inconvenient hours of the day – but the Norwegian flights leave Dublin at 2.3opm and arrive in the USA at 5.50pm local time. Add on the bus transfer – and you should be in Manhattan for cocktails by 8pm. Not too bad at all.
Prices Compared to Aer Lingus – the lowest price we found for Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to New York JFK in October was €407 . This price includes one suitcase of up to 20kg and a meal. This works out at €176 more expensive than Norwegian’s cheapest deal .
If you like the idea of half price flights to New York – then we think Norwegian looks good. As long as you can manage with hand luggage only. For short trips less than a week , hand luggage is probably fine for some people. If we did want to bring a suitcase – the price only worked out at €45 cheaper with Norwegian . The 60 mile transfer distance from Stewart Airport to Manhattan might put some people off – but at $40 dollars return on a bus and taking 1hr 20 – it isnt’ a very big difference compared to the journey from JFK. On busy days – it could even be quicker !
Tips for budget New York Hotels :
If you want to also save money on New York hotels – the Jane Hotel is cheap and cheerful , with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. They have rooms for 2 people at €100 a night . Probably not good for romantic break – but for friends or family trips it should be fine.
Another NYC hotel , not so cheap – but less pricey than most, is the Heritage Hotel in the Flatiron district , not far from the Empire State building . Breakfast included.