Norwegian Baggage Fees Guide (Carry-on, Checked, LowFare) [2019]

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Norwegian is famously known for low fares, but their LowFare doesn’t include any free checked bags in the ticket price. So, you might be stuck with paying Norwegian’s high baggage fees for checked bags.

In this article, I go over personal items, carry-ons, checked baggage, sports equipment, musical instruments, and ways to avoid Norwegian baggage fees.


What are Norwegian baggage fees?

Norwegian baggage fees are interesting in the sense that you can only check a max of two bags per passenger and they charge for connecting flights. Fees can range from $13 to $100 for the first checked bag. If you want a second checked bag, the fee can be as high as $180.

Thank goodness for carry-on and personal items being free for all passengers.

Keep reading down below for more details.


How can I avoid Norwegian baggage fees?

Here are a few tips to avoid Norwegian baggage fees.

Fare options

Norweigan has five different fares. There is LowFare, LowFare+, Flex, Premium, and PremiumFlex. There is only one fare that doesn’t have a free baggage allowance and it’s LowFare. LowFare is the fare that will require you to pay for your first checked bag while all other fares include a free baggage allowance. 

The free baggage allowance for the fares are:

  • LowFare+: 1 bag (20kg/44lbs)
  • Flex: 2 bags (20kg/44lbs)
  • Premium: 2 bags (20kg/44lbs)
  • PremiumFlex: 2 bags (20kg/44lbs)

So, if you wanted a baggage allowance included in your fare, you must avoid LowFare.

If you know you will check a bag flying LowFare, you must take into account that 1st bag that you check can cost you as much as $100 on a connecting itinerary one-way. I highly suggest only select the LowFare if you know you won’t check a bag.

Norwegian CashPoints

Yes, Norwegian has a loyalty program. While it doesn’t offer any status, it does allow you to earn CashPoints on flights, hotels, car rentals, and more that were all booked via Norwegian. 

Each CashPoint is worth 10 cents. So, it’s 10 CashPoints for a $1. Not a bad ratio. You can earn 2% CashPoints on LowFare tickets and 10% CashPoints on Flex tickets. Earning 10% CashPoints on a Flex ticket isn’t a bad deal either. 

You can then use these CashPoints for various things like baggage, flight tickets, cancellation insurance, seat reservations, and ticket changes. So, you could save virtually $100s of dollars if you use CashPoints for baggage.

Credit Cards

You can utilize individual credit cards to reduce or eliminate your baggage fees on Norwegian.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the hottest travel rewards credit cards. You should get it because of the 3X points on dining and travel. It has many valuable benefits, one of which is an annual $300 travel credit that can be used on anything that codes as travel, including your baggage fees.

So all you have to do is use the card to pay for baggage, and any remaining travel credit will be used erasing the charges you made with Norwegian.

Plus, you also have travel insurance built into the card, which includes baggage insurance.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

One of my favorite cards to use to cover miscellaneous travel purchases is the Capital One Venture card. It’s a popular credit card that comes with an early spending bonus of $500 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

It earns 2% cashback on everything travel. The cashback you earn can erase anything that codes for travel like airfare, baggage, lodging, car rental, etc. For example, if I purchased a Norwegian ticket or paid by baggage fees with this card, I can erase the charges from my statement with the cashback.


Norwegian personal item and carry-on restrictions

When flying Norwegian, you are allowed to bring up to one personal item and up to one carry-on in all classes and for every fare. 

Personal item

Each passenger on any fare in any class can bring up to one personal item. The dimensions shouldn’t exceed 33 x 25 x 20cm / 13 x 10 x 7.5in. The total weight of your personal item and carry-on together should not exceed:

  • LowFare, LowFare+, Flex, Premium: 10kg/22
  • PremiumFlex: 15kg/33lbs
  • Dubai flights: 8kg/17lbs (due to onboard weight restrictions)

So, if you bring a personal item, you must make sure it can fit under the seat in front of you. If not, you can put your personal item in the overhead bin, but do note that space can be limited. Some examples of personal items would be a briefcase, purse, laptop, travel blanket, and a small backpack.

Do note: Norwegian will most likely weigh your bags. So, be aware of the weight of your carry-on and personal item.

Carry-on

Each passenger on any fare in any class can bring up to one carry-on. The dimensions shouldn’t exceed 55 x 40 x 23cm / 21.5 x 15.5 x 9in.

The total weight of your personal item and carry-on together should not exceed:

  • LowFare, LowFare+, Flex, Premium: 10kg/22
  • PremiumFlex: 15kg/33lbs
  • Dubai flights: 8kg/17lbs (due to onboard weight restrictions)

Remember, the max weight is for your personal item and carry-on being weighed together.

For your carry-on item, you can bring a suitcase, bag, garment bag, carrycot, pushchair, or child seat for infants, and any required mobility aids, such as a wheelchair. Some items will be gate checked for free. As long as it doesn’t exceed the dimensions above, you will be fine.

Liquids

The same TSA standards still apply to Norwegian flights arriving or departing from the US. You can review a list provided by the TSA of permitted and prohibited items, which may be included in carry-on baggage, including the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.


Norwegian checked baggage fees

There are different prices for checked baggage fees for at the airport and online.

Pay at the airport

If you decide to add your checked luggage at the airport, you need to be aware the prices are higher than pre-paying online.

Direct flights

  • Domestic: 65 USD
  • International: 100 USD

Connecting flights

  • Domestic/domestic: 130 USD
  • Domestic/international: 165 USD
  • International/international: 200 USD

Purchasing checked bags at the airport is only doable four hours or less prior to the flight.

Pre-pay online

If you want to save money checking bags with Norwegian, pre-paying for baggage online is the way to go. You can pre-pay online for checked bags four hours or more prior to departure.

If you want to check bags outside of the Norwegian baggage allowance, you can do so for a fee. Baggage fees depend on your origin city, direct, connection, and destination city. 

Norwegian classifies cities with a zone. There is A, B, C, D, E, and F zones. These zones are relevant because once you have an origin and destination city, they create a city pair, which in turns creates a city pair. Once you have the city pair, you then can calculate the fee for checked baggage for your routing based on the zone(s) that are given to the cities.

When flying direct, you only need one city pair. If you are flying with a connecting you will then have two city pair zones.

For example, Orlando to London would be a city pair with a zone F making it $50 for the first bag on a direct flight. Then if you had a connection from Orland to Berlin via London, you would have to find the city pair for London and Berlin. In this case, London and Berlin would be a zone E city pair, you would pay $89 for Orlando to Berlin via London as it’s a connection.

You can find Norwegian’s city pair list here. The city-pair list will give you every city’s zone that Norwegian has assigned.

Here are the online prices for the zones:
Prices are displayed as first checked bag = (1) and second checked bag = (2)

 ABCDEF
Direct flights13 (1) 20 (1) 22 (1) 31 (1) 39 (1) 50 (1) 
22 (2) 33 (2) 37 (2) 51 (2) 65 (2) 90 (2) 
A26 (1) 33 (1) 35 (1) 44 (1) 52 (1) 63 (1) 
44 (2) 55 (2) 59 (2) 73 (2) 87 (2) 112 (2) 
B33 (1) 40 (1) 42 (1) 51 (1) 59 (1) 70 (1) 
55 (2) 66 (2) 70 (2) 84 (2) 98 (2) 123 (2) 
C35 (1) 42 (1) 44 (1) 53 (1) 61 (1) 72 (1) 
59 (2) 70 (2) 74 (2) 88 (2) 102 (2) 127 (2) 
D44 (1) 51 (1) 53 (1) 62 (1) 70 (1) 81 (1) 
73 (2) 84 (2) 88 (2) 102 (2) 116 (2) 141 (2) 
E52 (1) 59 (1) 61 (1) 70 (1) 78 (1) 89 (1) 
87 (2) 98 (2) 102 (2) 116 (2) 130 (2) 155 (2) 
F63 (1) 70 (1) 72 (1) 81 (1) 89 (1) 100 (1) 
112 (2) 123 (2) 127 (2) 141 (2) 155 (2) 180 (2)

These fees are for one direction of your trip. So, if you are flying roundtrip, you will have to pay these fees on your return section as well.

Note: Norwegian only allows a total of two checked bags per passenger. Hence the pricing only going up to two checked bags.

As a reminder, here are the fares that have a free checked baggage allowance:

  • LowFare+: 1 bag (20kg/44lbs)
  • Flex: 2 bags (20kg/44lbs)
  • Premium: 2 bags (20kg/44lbs)
  • PremiumFlex: 2 bags (20kg/44lbs) 

When comparing other international airlines, United charges the following rates for checked baggage:

  • $30 for the first checked bag
  • $40 for the second checked bag
  • $150 to $200 for the third checked bag

Norwegian checked baggage allowance

Each checked bag has a max linear dimension of 300cm/118in, but one of the sides cannot exceed 250cm/98in.

No matter what fare, the max weight of a checked bag is 20kg/44lbs. If you exceed 20kg/44lbs you will have to pay overweight baggage fees.


Norwegian excess baggage fees

Norwegian allows overweight bags, but oversized bags aren’t allowed and will be denied at check-in. So, make sure all your bags are no more than a linear dimension of 300cm/118in, but one of the sides cannot exceed 250cm/98in.

Overweight bag fee for Norwegian

If your bag is over 20kg/44lbs, you will have to pay the overweight baggage fee. Norwegian does a unique per kilo overweight fee, very few international airlines charge overweight baggage fees per kilo.

  • $15 per 1kg/2.2lbs

The very max weight Norwegian will allow for an overweight bag is 32kg/70lbs.


Sports equipment on Norwegian

If you are checking sports equipment, you might have to pay for checking the sports equipment as it’s considered specialty baggage.

You can either pre-pay or pay at the airport for checked sports equipment. If you pre-pay, you would be saving slightly more money than paying at the airport.

You can find out the prices and types of sports equipment you can check into the cargo hold along with guidelines here.

Each checked sports equipment has a max linear dimension of 300cm/118in, but one of the sides cannot exceed 250cm/98in. Your sports equipment shouldn’t exceed 32kg/70lbs. As long as it doesn’t exceed those limitations, you can check in your sports equipment.

Here are some sports equipment you can check:

  • Skis and snowboard
  • Golfing equipment
  • Surfboards and kite equipment
  • Bikes
  • Fishing rods
  • Diving equipment
  • Sports weapons and ammunition

Musical instruments traveling Norwegian

You have three choices for your musical instrument to fly with you on Norwegian: carry-on, purchasing an extra seat, or checked.

As a carry-on, musical instruments will be free and count towards your free carry-on allowance. It must fit in the overhead bin by not exceeding 90 x 35 x 20cm / 35 x 13.5 x 7.5in.

If your musical instrument cannot fit in the overhead bin, you can purchase it a seat. It must not exceed 140 x 46 x 30cm / 55 x 18 x 11.5in. A Norwegian flight attendant will help you fasten the instrument into the seat. You must contact Norwegian reservations 48 hours prior to departure to purchase your instrument a seat.

If you want to check your musical instrument as checked baggage, it will be an extra fee and cannot count towards your free baggage allowance not exceeding a linear dimension of 300cm/118in, but one of the sides cannot exceed 250cm/98in. If your musical instrument exceeds 20kg/44lbs, you will pay standard overweight fees. 

The checked instrument fees would be:

  • All flights (excl. long haul): 54 – 92 USD per item, each way
  • International long haul: 83 – 92 USD per item, each way

The only musical instrument that is exempt from the size limit is a double bass. If you end up checking a double bass, you don’t have to worry about the size limitations mentioned above. To check a double bass, you have to call Norwegian 48 hours prior to departure.

I highly recommend traveling with your musical instrument in a hard-shell protective case. The stronger it is, the less likely your musical instrument will be damaged during your travels.

You can call Norwegian at +1-800-357-4159.


Norwegian military baggage policy

As Norwegian is an international airline, they don’t give US military personnel or veterans any benefits for flying their metal. Therefore, Norwegian won’t allow US military personnel to check bags for free or other benefits. Only US airlines will give benefits to US military personnel and veterans.

If you wish to learn more about military benefits for other airlines, I suggest reading our master article about military benefits when flying. It goes over the type of benefits and discounts military personnel have when flying certain airlines.


Norwegian pet policy

Traveling with a pet via Norwegian is very limited as country laws and the airline don’t want to be responsible. 

Pets in the cabin

Traveling with your pet (cat or dog) in the cabin is usually the best as you can always keep an eye on your pet. However, there aren’t many destinations you can fly to and from with your pet in the cabin.

Therefore, if you want to travel with your pet in the cabin you are limited to flights within:

  • Domestic flights within Argentina
  • Flights within Schengen and/or EU (excluding UK and Ireland)

The prices for pets in the cabin would be 67-80 USD (online) 83-95 USD (airport), per animal, each way. You can book and find out more here.

Norwegian does not allow more than two pets in the cabin on one flight. So, reserving in advance is key if you wish to travel with your pet. (You could have three very small puppies or kittens traveling in the same container.)

Pets in the cargo

Pets traveling in the cargo hold has a little bit more options.

Cats and dogs can travel in the cargo hold on the following flights:

  • Flights to/from Svalbard (dogs only)
  • Flights within Schengen and/or EU (UK and Ireland excluded)
  • Domestic flights within Argentina

The prices for pets in the cabin would be 80 – 105 USD (online) 100 – 120 USD (airport), per animal, each way. You can book and find out more here.

Connecting flights with cats or dogs is only in Norway. Cats and dogs can travel in the cargo hold on connecting flights within Norway (excluding to/from Svalbard) via Oslo Gardermoen, Bergen Flesland and Trondheim Værnes.

Your transfer time between flights must be longer than 1 hour and shorter than 2 hours.


What if my bags are lost or damaged by Norwegian?

If you have a lost, delayed, or damaged bag from your Norwegian flight, you must report it to a Norwegian representative right away. 

Once you have reported your claim with Norwegian, you will be given a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). You must keep this safe as this will help you get the bag back. You can then track your claim online here.

If you prefer reporting any claims about your baggage online, you can do so here

You can read more at Norwegian’s page about the process of delayed or lost bags along with claiming missing or damaged items.

Don’t forget, most credit cards will have a baggage delay insurance. So, if your bag is delayed or lost, you can make a claim with your credit card issuer to buy new items that were in the bag. The Chase Reserve has a good travel insurance policy helping out relieve the stress of buying baggage insurance. 


Norwegian lost and found

Norwegian doesn’t make it super easy to locate lost and found on their website. They mainly list their hub airports with links to their contact information.

For non-hub airports, you will be stuck with a third-party service for searching lost and found items.

If you are still at the airport, I highly suggest finding a Norwegian employee and hopefully, they can help you out finding the item you left behind on the aircraft. If you end up not finding the item, the airport lost and found should have the item you left behind.


When can I check-in bags for Norwegian?

Check-in and bag drops close 60 minutes prior to international flights. For domestic flights, counters will close 45 minutes prior to departure.

You can check-in as early as three hours for outpost stations or most day at a Norwegian hub.

I suggest arriving at the airport two hours prior to the flight departure for international flights. This prevents long lines at security and check-in making you miss your flight.

Remember to arrive at your gate 20 minutes prior to departure, or you will not be allowed onto the aircraft.


Final word

Norwegian isn’t the cheapest when it comes to baggage fees, but if you grab a cheap LowFare ticket and can handle carry-on only, you will be golden.

I do hope this article helped you out figuring out how Norwegian handles baggage fees. 

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