Transatlantic fliers, we have some good news (and a caveat).
Norwegian Airline's $69 fares to the Europe are coming — as early as June.
We've seen glimmers of light in transatlantic fares given the success of, for example, Iceland's Wow Air, which offers similar tickets to Iceland. Those seats, though, came with an asterisk — for example, $69 fares were available from the West Coast to Europe (via Reykjavik) but only in one direction, pushing the total spend for a round trip north of $200 (still a bargain, but not $140). Amenities (like bags) are extra. And Wow necessitates a stop in the Icelandic capital, which is great the first time around but less so the second, third and fourth time.
What Norwegian is offering, then, really is new. We'll see if the fares are valid on the way home as well as the trip out, but we do know that the carrier will fly direct to European capitals. They'll also fly from secondary airports — great news for, say, residents of Westchester, New York: Their Stewart airport is a lock for a route to Edinburgh. T.F. Green Airport, near Providence, is another lock.
Norwegian's plans aren't free of controversy: Two unions representing nearly 70,000 American Airline pilots are petitioning the White House to stop Norwegian's plans for U.S. expansion, arguing that U.S. airlines can't compete. We might feel bad for them, if not for those billions of dollars in profits last year and ever-more-restricted amenities for passengers.