How to pursue improperly denied compensation claim by Norwegian airlines?

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Apr 1, 2018
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I am hoping you can help me obtain compensation under EU regulation 261/2004 from Norwegian airlines for an almost 24 hour delayed arrival. I believe I was improperly denied compensation by Norwegian and am confused about which country I would even file a 261/2004 claim in. I am usually pretty good at research but can't figure out what to do on this one.

I booked Norwegian flights from New York City to Malaga, Spain with a connection in Oslo, Norway (all on one ticket). My Norwegian flight from NYC to Oslo was delayed by more than 3 hours because of a problem with the water tanks on the plane. As a result, I missed my connecting flight to Malaga. I was forced to spend the night in Oslo and did not arrive in Malaga until almost 24 hours after originally scheduled.

Norwegian airlines staff in the Oslo airport and on the phone told me I would be eligible for compensation and just needed to submit a claim. When I submitted a claim online, I was only able to choose one flight that was late (not the entire New York City to Malaga trip). I choose NYC to Oslo since that was the initial flight that was delayed. I explained that I was seeking compensation for the 2 legs of the trip (booked as one ticket) and submitted my initial and final boarding passes as proof of my arrival in Malaga a day late.

I received an email from Norwegian airlines a few weeks ago denying my claim. The email says that the NYC-Oslo flight was delayed due to "air traffic control restrictions". This is inaccurate. We boarded the plane about 30 minutes late but then sat in the plane for an additional 2 plus hours as mechanics entered and left the plane. The pilot repeatedly said we were delayed due to broken water tanks and they weren't sure how long they would take to fix.

The Norwegian email denying the claim also says "According to the ADR Directive, we are informing you that The Ombudsman Service LTD is an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). www.ombudsman-services.org. Please be aware that Norwegian Air Shuttle has not currently signed up to the Alternative Dispute Resolution." I checked the website and since Norwegian is not a member the reference is misleading.

Based on my research, I understand that each European country has its own "National Enforcement Body" to handle disputes with airlines under regulation 261/2004 (I found a list on this website: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm#apr-problems). However, I have no idea if I should file in the country where I was delayed (Norway) or the final destination (Spain). The Norwegian website is also in English and says it accepts English submissions but the Spanish one does not offer an English option.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!