Norwegian denying reimbursement... help!

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Aug 1, 2018
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Hi all,
Had an awful experience with Norwegian and hoping I can get some guidance here.

My partner are were scheduled to fly out of Paris to NYC on June 16. They cancelled the flight two hours after the scheduled departure time (around midnight) and told everyone to go down to the booking desk and reschedule. The line was about 200 people and not moving, and they said they would email us later in the morning with re-booking info, so we checked into a hotel.

The next day, having received no info on re-booking, we went back to the airport to check on available flights. They told us to check back tomorrow for the next available flight (so more than 48 hours after our scheduled departure). We needed to get home that day, so we asked if we could book on another airline. Yes, they said, and Norwegian will reimburse you.

We ended up booking a flight for about $1700 on Primera (same day tickets are BRUTAL), and filed a claim upon return. I just received their response to the claim, which stated that they would refund the original ticket (about $500), but NOT the replacement flight. Either the person we spoke to in Paris lied to us, or they’re trying to play hardball. I should stress that they never offered us a replacement flight - just stated that we might be able to get out the next day. We didn't get anything in writing from the desk attendants we spoke to.

What recourse do we have? Is there an organization or advocacy group we can contact for litigation? I’m familiar with Airhelp and things like that, but I’d rather not give away 20% of our due compensation. I know their contract of carriage doesn't mandate reimbursement, but I'm hoping that doesn't dissolve their obligation to get us home in a timely manner.

(Btw: they did give us the mandatory 600euro dictated by EU261, so that’s not a concern)

Thanks!
 

Carrie Livingston

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Jan 6, 2015
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When an airline cancels your flight, they either have to refund you for the missed flight or fly you on the next flight that has availability. Since they have refunded you for the flight you are not due further compensation.
 
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Reactions: Christina H
Sep 19, 2015
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What an expensive and unpleasant experience.

Once a EU flight is canceled you are owed the EU compensation which you received.

Then the airline is required one of two things— put you on the next available flight —which may be for days with low cost carriers— or refund the money.

There is no obligation to put you on another airline or pay for another airline ticket.

The person you spoke to may have misunderstood about reimbursing — reimburse the original flight fare—- or just did not understand.

Now that Norwegian has reimbursed the original fare and Given you EU 261 they are not required to do more
 
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Reactions: Carrie Livingston
Sep 19, 2015
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Oh I see Carrie has already answered.

I should also point out that airhelp deals with EU 261 compensation—- you already received that so they likely will not be interested.

Most of the low cost and ultra low cost airlines are heavily booked in summer and if there is a problem one can wait for days. No other airline will accept their tickets so the choice is to cancel for refund or wait.

Absent of any proof that someone with authority made a promise I am afraid there may not be any further recourse; you may get a goodwill voucher to use on the airline. But since they have refunded the original fare they will not reimburse replacement ticket.

Did you have any travel insurance?
 
Aug 1, 2018
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Thanks Christina and Carrie, appreciate the info (unpleasant as it may be!). It seems crazy that they can keep pushing the replacement flight indefinitely - if we didn't get back to NY that night we would have lost a lot more than $1700.

Do you think bugging their PR outlets could produce results? I've tried sending messages on Twitter and FB, but I wonder if it's worth being persistent.

We didn't get travel insurance; we have some coverage through our credit card company, but they don' cover this.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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Do you have any evidence that the Norwegian rep said that they would reimburse you for the flight your purchased, not just refund your Norwegian ticket? Ideally, something in writing or a recording? Do you have the rep's name? I ask because reimbursing the purchase of another airline's ticket certainly isn't policy. To have a shot at reimbursement, you're going to need to show pretty compelling evidence that the rep actually made this promise. Even if the rep did, Norwegian could end up saying that they didn't have the authority to make the offer, but you'd have a much stronger claim.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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One add-on item, which won't help Gerry, but might help anyone reading this thread: if you do need to buy a last-minute one-way transatlantic, look at buying a round-trip instead, and just not flying the return leg. It may well be cheaper, since one-ways transatlantic can be, as Gerry noted, brutally expensive. Technically, you're not allowed to do this, but unless you make a habit out of it, the airlines are extremely unlikely to care.
 
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Aug 1, 2018
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Yeah, I've run into this situation before: rep says "oh yeah, no problem, go ahead and do it" and when it turns out that "it" is NOT covered, company denies responsibility because there's no recorded evidence. Guess I need to stop taking customer service reps at their word.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I have never flown Norwegian so have little insight into how they are run. I know people that have taken the airline and not had any problems. When things go wrong on a LCC they seem to really go wrong.

Honestly Gerry I suspect that the most that the airline would do is give you a voucher for some money off for future travel. Once they have paid out the EU compensation, they are likely to not want to part with cash. From their standpoint they have already paid the Euro 600 and hotel and refunded your flight. I realize that you are out $1700 Primera -$500 (original flight) so that leaves you $1200.

It does not seem from various travel forums that Norwegian is not that generous.

A similar issue was covered in a post by Chris Elliott.

https://www.elliott.org/case-dismissed-2/norwegian-air-cancellation-pay-new-ticket/

You could write to the company executives but I am not that overly optimistic.
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Thanks Christina and Carrie, appreciate the info (unpleasant as it may be!). It seems crazy that they can keep pushing the replacement flight indefinitely - if we didn't get back to NY that night we would have lost a lot more than $1700.

Do you think bugging their PR outlets could produce results? I've tried sending messages on Twitter and FB, but I wonder if it's worth being persistent.

We didn't get travel insurance; we have some coverage through our credit card company, but they don' cover this.
Unfortunately many insurance policies have coverage for these type of things.

You can post wherever you want but unfortunately the airline has done all the are required to do. There are no laws that require them to pay for your new flights.

This is an issue when booking small and discount airlines. They often make have only one flight a day going to your destination and so they can’t easily put you on the next flight. Second- most of their flights are fully booked so it can take days for them to find a flight with an empty seat to rebook you on.

They also don’t have partner airlines to rebook you on because other airlines won’t agree to honor tickets at the discount airlines price.

Sometimes is pays to just buy a more expensive ticket on a better airline.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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13,522
San Francisco
Three messages for other readers based on Gerry's experience. A) book on real airlines, not these cheap carriers. B) book directly with an airline or hotel, do not use an online service. C) remember than an airline agent will tell you anything to get rid of you, so look up the facts before you act. It's a sad state of affairs, but it's what we have today travelling.