Back in June I wrote that discount carrier Norwegian – which offers cheap flights between the US and Europe – would start flying from the US to the Caribbean as well.
By flying between French Caribbean islands and the US they’re able to take advantage of US-Europe Open Skies agreements. I’m seeing fares as long as $69 one-way from the US to the Caribbean.
They’re flying brand new Boeing 737s with free wifi, streaming entertainment, and buy on board snacks on all the flights. They’re a low cost carrier, so it’s not a premium flight, but the inaugurals are historic ones in their own right.
These flights aren’t going to be big money makers, but the concept is an important one. My preferred solution to competition in the US airline industry is removing foreign ownership restrictions on US airlines. The next best thing is opening up US markets to more airlines competing for passengers. These flights are something Norwegian can do now, without changes in law.
Inside Flyer is giving away 20 tickets on each of the inaugural flights.
The inaugurals are:
- New York JFK – Fort De France Martinique, December 3, 1:20pm – 7:15pm
- Boston – Pointe-à-Pitre Guadeloupe, December 3, 1:00pm – 6:15pm
- Baltimore – Fort De France Martinique, December 4, 1:00pm – 6:25pm
Don’t worry, the winners also get to come home! In fact, they’ll get to take any return they want to Baltimore, New York JFK, or Boston as long as there’s space available on the flight. (When claiming the prize will need to specify the return desired. You’re on your own for hotels and meals, and any flights to other islands. Check Norwegian’s website for your preferred return schedule.)
Here are the contest rules. In brief:
- Post in the contest entry thread on Inside Flyer for each individual inaugural:
- You can post multiple times, and win multiple times (more tickets means bringing people with you). Every post needs to include #Fly4Unicef
- Winners will be drawn at noon Mountain time on Monday November 9th. They’ll be contacted via Private message on Insideflyer.com and will need to respond if they want the ticket by 6pm Mountain time that night, including their desired return flight. That way there’s enough time for any unclaimed tickets to be awarded to someone else.
- Each winner will make a donation to Norwegian’s preferred charity Unicef in any amount.
Seems like a cool opportunity, made more so because there will be at least 20 enthusiasts on each of the inaugural flights — and likely more, because I’ve heard rumblings of some bloggers having purchased tickets themselves.