A big thank you to Norse Atlantic Airways for providing complimentary airfare so I could write this detailed review of my experience. 

Norse Atlantic Airways inaugural flight from LAX to CDG.
On May 1, I was fortunate to fly Norse Atlantic Airways on their inaugural LAX to CDG route. Their PR firm reached out to JohnnyJet.com and offered up a seat in Premium Economy and a stay in a hotel in the middle of Paris. Because of the upcoming Olympic Games, there is so much global interest in the city I personally consider the Center of the Universe. A Johnny Jet reader myself, I like to be aware of all the little things that can help make a trip better, even when things go sideways. Here’s what my experience aboard Norse Atlantic from Los Angeles to Paris was like.

Norse Atlantic Airways, 787 Dreamliner.


Norse Atlantic is a newcomer, with a fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners purchased post-pandemic from Norwegian Airlines (Norwegian still flies intra-Europe on Boeing 737s.) At the time of this writing, Norse has neither online check-in nor a mobile app.

Norse check-in at LAX.
Flying from LAX, the check-in and boarding process is in two different terminals, but the Norse agents and LAX security folks will help point the way. Upon arriving at the airport, you must go in person to the check in desk at LAX Terminal 2. After checking into Premium Economy at the Norse Priority Desk and getting my underseat backpack approved and tagged, I went to Terminal 1.5, as the friendly LAX security guard called it. That means going up the escalator to the third floor, a beautiful, new, clean space with lots of art and light. The TSA in this area is not fully Pre-Check compliant, so although I could leave my jacket and shoes on, I had to take my laptop out of my backpack and leave it in a separate tray. Thankfully, I did get to go through a PreCheck security scanner, because there were crowds for Condor and Volaris flights.

A bus to the Bradley West Gates at LAX.
After security, we boarded a bus to the Bradley West Gates. On the bus, I met Mark and Eleanor from Irvine. Mark is a Johnny Jet fan, as he has heard Johnny on the radio. Mark and Eleanor went to Paris on the Norse flight too, starting an epic journey of 42 nights in Europe. With two carry on roller bags and two backpacks. Way to go, Mark and Eleanor!

West Bradley gates at LAX.
LAX gate area

Once in the Bradley West terminal, I walked around admiring the gorgeous, spacious, and clean concourse and wonderful ladies room. Tatiana, a delightful woman working at duty free, said she is looking forward to when the airline lounges on the second and third levels will open, and when her permanent store will open – right now it’s a cute pop-up. The guy at the TMZ store gave me a great tip: The Lego store has complementary passports and will stamp them! I got two, for Johnny and Natalie’s kids.

The Norse gate area is spacious, so I posted up at the work table, plugged in, started uploading, then noticed the outlets were not yet connected and thus not charging my laptop and phone. However, many of the seats have functional outlets – look for the glowing blue lights.

Norse Atlantic flight information.
Boarding procedure

About 15 minutes prior to the official boarding, the inaugural launch party started. This was the first time I’d ever experienced such an event, and it was really cool. Norse laid out a table with cupcakes, cookies and water to take on board, and executives from Norse and LAX made welcome speeches, thanking us for flying Norse to Paris. With the Paris Olympics this summer, and the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, everyone is hoping for this route to blossom. Prior to boarding, I chatted with Bjørn Larsen, the Norse Founder/CEO, and Kristen Berthelsen, Norse Chief Culture Officer, who were so gracious. They had just flown in on the plane from Paris and must have been tired, yet both of them were pumped to see the crowd. It’s not often you see corporate types with so much invested in their own company.

Norse Atlantic cabin interior.
Premium economy seats

As a Premium ticket holder, I had an early boarding group, but I stayed behind to talk to the Norse executives and boarded with the crowd. It sure was fun to turn left into the pointy end of the plane. The Norse Premium Economy cabin is a 2-3-2 layout, and I was smack dab in the middle – seat 6E, which had a nice thick blanket and a pillow laid out. I knocked over a cup of juice sitting on the armrest of the seat to my left, which turned out to be a conversation starter with the lovely woman who came back to her seat. She was gracious about losing her pre-flight juice, and we noticed that we both had on those sailor striped shirts that us tourist types love to wear in France.

I learned that Alda is a retired teacher from San Francisco who has traveled all over the world. Her husband Ian was sitting back in Economy, but she needed the extra space due to a spinal condition, which illustrates a point – Norse Premium Economy costs considerably less than business class at most airlines. Based on my experience with this flight, it’s because the seat offers an elevated footrest and reclining seat, but it’s not lie-flat. It reminds me of traveling in first class in Amtrak or European trains. The food and service are good, but not as exclusive as what Americans think of as business class. We did have a wonderful cabin crew of two, meals are included in the price for Premium, and included a checked bag.

The amenity kit was a pair of ear plugs and a sleep mask in recycled paper packaging. All passengers, including those in economy, received a cute gift bag with a Norse water bottle and keychain as inaugural flight swag.

During the preflight safety instructions, I tried to find instructions for the tray table and the entertainment screen, which stow into the armrests. Alda and I put our heads together and figured out how the screen pulls up and out, and one of our two flight attendants showed us how to pull the tray tables up and unfold them. We stowed everything away, buckled up, and left a little bit late due to runway construction going on at LAX. The original departure time was supposed to be 9:10pm, but we left closer to 10pm.

In-flight meal on Norse Atlantic flight from LAX to CDG.
In-flight meal

When we got up to cruising altitude and the flight attendants came around with our dinner, it was close to 11pm. The meal was good – I had salmon, served over pasta, with veggies and my choice of white or pretzel bread roll. I chose the pretzel roll, and my neighbor Alda had a white roll with her ravioli vegetarian meal. The food was served in compostable paper containers with bamboo cutlery. And both of us remarked that we don’t usually eat dessert, but the lemon cheesecake square with berry swirl looked tempting. I disclosed my journalist status on the flight, and Alda and I agreed that we needed to eat the cheesecake in order to be of service to Johnny Jet readers. It was really good, so I can definitely recommend the cheesecake when you fly Norse Atlantic.

Drinks are served aboard Norse Atlantic.
The seats

Our wonderful Purser, Leike, offered up drinks, including a nice Prosecco. He had to go back and open more bottles as it was a popular choice. Meanwhile, Alda and I also puzzled over the seats – the levers to pull out the footrest and move the seat back were difficult to pull. What was even more difficult, we discovered later in the flight, is moving the footrest back into place. Alda had a medical condition in her back that made her experience some leg swelling and weakness, so she just left the footrest extended the entire flight. This made me have to kind of crawl over her to use the lavatory, but she was a great sport. And I’m sure now that all you readers are pulling out tiny violins, because who complains about this stuff when they have a comp trip in Premium to Paris? But I want to be accurate in describing any challenges with this seating – a traveler who is elderly, has a disability, and buys the seat because it’s a good price for the extra room should be able to get help from the flight attendants. When my right-hand side neighbor finally woke up prior to landing, she had the same problem with the footrest being very hard to stow and close. There must be a way to adjust the tension and make it easier.

Overall, the Premium cabin was quiet, clean and spacious. 787 Dreamliners have purple and blue lighting around the windows and ceiling that make it easy to keep the cabin dim on the overnight flight. I managed to sleep for about four to five hours, which is very good compared to the times I have flown to France in economy. I probably would have slept more but I drink a lot of water on flights and had to get up to use the lavatory twice. The lavatories were clean, one each on port and starboard just aft of the Premium galley area. They are not especially big, and I don’t think the Norse Atlantic 787s have any accessible lavatories like the ones I’ve seen on United.

Cupcakes on board our Norse Atlantic flight.
About an hour prior to landing, after a nice, smooth uneventful flight over the Atlantic, a light meal was served, kind of a mash up of breakfast foods and a salad. The cold chicken salad with arugula, tiny tomatoes and mozzarella was to my liking, and I did not eat the strawberry yogurt or bread roll. Then a surprise – more cupcakes. They must have grabbed them from the LAX gate party and brought them back onto the plane.

Selfies with the flight crew.
As I went up to the lavatory area near the gallery, I spotted our two cabin attendants and asked for a selfie. Those guys were so funny – they both went to get their uniform jackets on and straightened their ties. I’m starting to like my power as a journalist.

Deplaning Norse Atlantic in Paris.
Landing at CDG and transportation to Paris

We landed on time at 5pm, having made up the delay en route. It was raining. Apparently, the day prior, rainstorms had pounded the Paris region, so we fortunately did not have any bumps or delays due to the local conditions. Norse is based at CDG Terminal 3, a lightly used terminal that I had never been to before.

Norse does not have jetbridges; we deplaned on stairs brought to the front of the plane, and our Premium cabin went first. My seatmate Alda needed help getting to the terminal for several reasons: She had been sitting for almost 11 hours, and her baggage was stowed overhead because Norse has a Premium Light option with a free carry-on bag and a free personal underseat bag. A very kind fellow passenger took her carry-on bag and I took her personal bag, and she slowly made her way down the wet stairway as the handrails were not on every section. Also, because her husband Ian was back in Economy, she ended up walking in the rain with us to the bus that pulled up. As the bus filled with Premium cabin passengers and our bags, Ian still was not in view and I waited with Alda until a CDG ground staffer asked Alda to come back and wait next to the stairway again. Alda insisted I get on the bus. Because she told me she has traveled all around the world by all imaginable means of transportation during her 82 years and she has more energy than me, I complied. As our bus drove the very short distance to the terminal, I saw the additional buses pull up for the rest of the passengers, so I figured Alda and Ian must be on the next bus.

Terminal 3 at CDG

The way CDG is laid out, Terminal 1 is for almost all airlines other than Air France, and Terminal 2 is the Air France mothership, with the CDGVal train to the different sections of Terminal 2, and connections to long distance SNCF trains. If you fly in on Norse, the pleasant part is that Terminal 3 is very lightly populated, and the Border Control station looks to be newly installed technology including facial recognition. There was no wait at all to passport control. After getting my passport stamped, I went into bag claim, which was practically deserted. Maybe the majority of the Norse passengers were so thrifty they all used carry on bags? They were the smart ones, because the screen said there was a delay and so I waited quite a while for my bag to appear. I never did spot Alda and Ian again – those two had it all figured out with the carry ons. Ditto for Eleanor and Mark.

Roissy bus from CDG into Paris.
I was tired from the flight and when I finally got my bag off the carousel, it was about 6:30pm, still quite light out at this time of the year (Paris is about the same latitude as Seattle). Terminal 3 does have signage saying CDGVal/RER/Roissypole, but what to do? Then I spotted the pilots from our flight. I chased down the hot Scandi one and asked him if there was a van or bus taking the crew to a Parisian hotel maybe? He said no because he was actually going to nap in a lounge for a few hours, then fly home to Oslo, Norway that evening as a passenger. I knew that my hotel was near the famous Paris Opéra, and I saw the Roissy Bus sign. That bus is 14 euros and is direct to the city stop across from Opéra plaza. However, Terminal 3 is its origin and then the bus drives around all of Terminal 2 (multiple stops) and a stop at Terminal 1 before going to the city. It was definitely the warmest and driest option for me. Traffic on the freeway was light but the exit at St. Ouen and subsequent city streets was awful. There are so many construction sites I wonder how Paris is going to finish it all in time for the Olympics. Many of the famous sites, including the Opéra, are covered by scaffolding and sheeting. But finally the bus stopped, and a two-block walk brought me to the Galeries Lafayette Food Hall. Heaven!


I’m rooting for Norse Atlantic to succeed because my experience was quite good and the employees all seem to love their jobs. Their fare structure is definitely something you need to consider carefully – it’s the first time I have seen Premium with Light, Classic, and “Flextra”. I had a comped Premium flight and did not have to make any decisions. What fellow travelers told me about their own situations makes me think that Norse may not be a great idea for those with mobility issues, because of the need to use buses at both LAX and CDG, and the mobile stairs at CDG. People on tight business trip schedules may want to opt for Air France/Delta or United as both have multiple daily flights to Paris from LAX and SFO, with online check-in and mobile device apps. All the readers who are saving their mileage from credit cards and flights for a Paris trip will need to fly United or Delta/Air France, because Norse has informal agreements with Spirit and EasyJet for flight connections but no code-shares. It must be so hard to start an airline, that guy Bjørn has guts! And it’s a good airline, I’m looking forward to my return trip with them.

The return flight on Norse Atlantic: Paris to Los Angeles

Norse Atlantic uses the CDG Terminal 3, which I’m now a big fan of. The RER B line train from Paris stops at Terminal 1, where it’s a 10-minute walk to Terminal 3. It’s so nice, it reminds me of DC National Airport, with walkways and landscaping in between the train and bus stations.

VAT at Charles de Gaulle International Airport.
Pre-flight tax refund

I stopped for a coffee in between them, as there are several chain hotels with Starbucks and lunch options. It felt relaxing, almost like going to a small airport like Burbank and taking a flight on Southwest. The only glitch was trying to find the PABLO tax refund kiosk. If you have more than 100 euros in purchases, the stores will help you fill out forms to claim back the VAT on departure from the EU. Note I say Departure. Inexplicably, the PABLO kiosk to scan the bar code is next to Customs in the Arrivals section of Terminal 3. There are signs on the walkway saying Tax Refund, but it makes no sense to have it in Arrivals. The customs guy told me that Terminals 1 and 2 at CDG are in a normal layout with the tax refund at the Departures areas. Oh well, I scanned my bar code in about five seconds and got confirmation that the tax will be refunded to my credit card soon. Easy peasy.

Going through security at CDG.
Security and passport control

Security and passport control areas were similarly uncrowded. The staff at security was really nice and joked around with many of the passengers, making me wish it could be like this at all terminals. If you have ever flown from Terminal 2 at CDG, the Air France mothership, you will love and appreciate Terminal 3. I did also discover a travel hack to overcome Norse’s lack of online check-in and an app: The Paris Airport has an official app, where it’s possible to create a personal account and add in your flight information. You still have to check-in to Norse in person, but the Paris Airport app did send me gate information and alerts about the flight.


As a Premium ticket holder, I had an early boarding group, but we still waited around on the bus on the tarmac because our flight crew was prepping the plane for us. I spoke to a great guy who had just spent eight weeks touring as a guitarist for heavy metal bands in Finland, Germany, Japan and Thailand. You can’t make this stuff up. Once up the stairs and on board, we saw Purser Leike. Wonderful!

In-flight meal on Norse Atlantic.
The food on this return leg was more to my liking, as the catering was in Paris. We had chicken and veggies for dinner, and in a classy move, Valrhona chocolates in a teeny box for dessert. The flight was peaceful and smooth the whole way.

Baggage claim at LAX.
Landing at LAX

We landed early, about 6:30pm. As I have Global Entry, all I had to do was look into the camera and wait for my name to be called. My passport stayed in my backpack. Amazing! Checked bags were prompt off the luggage carousel, so I was home by 8pm.

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