The deal with low cost carrier tickets on airlines like Norwegian, TAP Portugal and WOW are add-on fees must be considered in determining your actual final ticket price. Norwegian and TAP Portugal both offer low one-way ticket prices to Paris and many cities around Europe for $180 to $250 one way. Both airlines charge around $45 for seat assignments.
Sample one way fares Miami to Europe on TAP Portugal Friday Feb 3:
Sample one way fares Fort Lauderdale to Europe on Norwegian Friday Feb 3:
Paris $149 nonstop
London $179 nonstop
TAP Portugal seat fees to self-select seat at time of booking is $30 for Miami-Lisbon to some destinations like Paris and $40 for other cities like London. Intra-Europe seat assignment is $15 to $20.
Norwegian charges $45 for self-select seats..
Of course, you don’t have to pay for a self-selected seat assignment with TAP Portugal or Norwegian, if you don’t mind luck of the draw with airline assigned seat.
In my examples tickets below, both airlines charge $45 to Paris.
Checked Bag Fees
TAP Portugal is one checked bag free. Norwegian charges $45 for one checked bag. Both airlines allow free carry-on within size and weight limits.
TAP Portugal has free meals. Norwegian charges $45 one way for meals and drinks.
Norwegian $90 bundled fare upgrade
Norwegian LowFare+ bundles seat, checked bag and meals for $90 one way. This is essentially free meal service since seat and checked bag are $90 separately as fee items.
Norwegian Fort Lauderdale to Paris Charles de Gaulle CDG = $239 all-in for LowFare+ ticket.
TAP Portugal Miami – Paris Orly ORY = $251.90 with $45 for seat assignments on two flights.
Basically the low, low fares of both airlines are really comparable. It comes down to what you want with your ticket.
- Norwegian flies nonstop. TAP Portugal means a layover in Lisbon. There is a possibility you can arrange a long layover in Lisbon to get an extra city visit with your trip.
- TAP Portugal earns 10% miles in some Star Alliance frequent flyer programs, a little over 400 miles or 25% miles in Miles & More. Norwegian earns about a 1% rebate credit for a future flight. I generally redeem my credit from each paid flight on my next Norwegian ticket purchase, since there is no advantage to saving up cash credit.
- Fort Lauderdale or Miami might be the more convenient airport for your travels.
- Paris CDG or Paris ORY might be preferable for your travels. I think it is easier to get from Orly to city center, but both airports offer airport bus transportation into city center.
- Your dates will often determine the airline for the lower fare. In my searches there are often lower fares from Europe to USA with Norwegian than the USA-Europe ticket price. Especially for the bundled LowFare+ tickets. The $90 fee for USA-Europe tickets often drops to about $65 when booking Europe-USA on a Norwegian European website. TAP Portugal tends to be a more expensive ticket for the Europe-USA flights than the ccost for USA-Europe.
In my frequent airfare searches, I find Norwegian is often the cheaper ticket for northern Europe destinations and TAP Portugal is less for southern Europe.
Of course, this all relative to the price of tickets on the major alliance airlines with free checked bag, no seat assignment fee and economy class free meals. Plus you can pick up 25% to 100% frequent flyer miles in an alliance frequent flyer program, even on deep discount tickets.
Miami to Paris Friday February 3 – Sunday February 12
Air France / Delta $512 round trip nonstop flights
American $512 round trip nonstop flights
Regardless of your choice of airline, the real winners here are flyers who pick up these low cost deals.