CHICAGO TO LONDON GATWICK ON NORWEGIAN
Norwegian Air will continue its aggressive expansion in the U.S., adding two new non-stop U.S. origin cities for London flights: Austin and Chicago. Norwegian will use 787s on both air routes, so these flights will offer premium economy as well as the usual base product. Daily service will begin from Chicago, and three weekly flights from Austin will launch in late March. Other Norwegian Air routes will see increased frequencies.
SEATTLE TO CHICAGO O’HARE ON SPIRIT
Spirit will add a dozen new air routes from Detroit, Orlando, Seattle and Tampa this year. Chicago-Seattle service will use the airline’s biggest plane, the A321, on a highly competitive route. But as usual with Spirit, you can expect the usual fees tacked onto everything from baggage to seat selection.
WEST COAST TO HAWAII ON SOUTHWEST
Arguably the most eagerly anticipated new routes of 2018 might not fly until early 2019, but you’ll be able to buy tickets in 2018: Southwest Airlines’ new flights to Hawaii. Although Southwest hasn’t yet announced specific cities, experts surmise the first flights will be from either Oakland or San Jose to Honolulu. Service could expand quickly to West Coast cities, other Hawaiian cities, and possibly island-hopping flights. The Southwest Effect could lower fares on other airlines, and Southwest’s policy of two free checked bags would be especially welcome on these routes.