Norwegian Air flight cancelled and then reinstated

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Jun 1, 2018
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#1
Just a warning, this is going to be a long story.....

My wife and I travelled to Ireland last week via Norwegian Airlines. Our flight was supposed to leave from Providence RI at 1955 and arrive to Dublin, Ireland at 0755. En route to the airport, we received a text message from Norwegian that our flight was now delayed because of a lack of crew members. When we approached the check-in counter to check our bags with another couple, we were told by the woman at check-in that they current did not have enough crew members to staff our flight to Dublin and they were working on a solution. Because of the uncertainty of whether our flight would get cancelled or not because of lack of crew members, we held on to our checkin luggage in case we had to scramble to find another "nearby" airport to arrange for a different flight. Meanwhile, attempting to talk to the manager at the Norwegian counter was next to impossible as she ignored those of us inquiring about the status of the flight. When we finally got to speak with her she said "its more than likely going to be cancelled, wait 25 minutes and we will make an announcement."

We waited in the main lobby of the airport, 45 minutes went by and we received a text message from Norwegian which stated that our flight was cancelled "due to crew limitations" (we kept this text message saved in our phone). We approached the counter and showed them the text and they confirmed that the flight was cancelled. The next available flight to Dublin was 3 days later. A flight to Shannon leaving the same evening was fully booked, but they had 2 available seats to Edinburgh Scotland leaving approximately 45 minutes after the announcement of the cancellation. We had already looked ahead and saw there was a flight from Edinburgh to Dublin via RyanAir that we could catch leaving at 1400 the next day and get us to Dublin at 1515. The total money we would have lost by leaving 3 days later was approximately $383 for accommodation and a day of car rental fees + the cost of 3 additional days of lodging/car rental to extend our trip to full 7 days. The cost for the flight from Edinburgh was $530 so we decided it was cheaper to arrange for the additional flight than to lose all of our money for lodging, etc.

Well they rebooked us to Edinburgh, we made it to our gate, booked our flight for RyanAir and wait to board. While waiting to board they made an announcement "the flight to Dublin has now been reinstated." We approached the gate desk for our flight to Ediburgh (same two women who rebooked us (including the manager)), and were told that they could not move us back to the original flight as we were already rebooked for the new flight and they could not get our luggage off the plane. So now we are out an additional $530 + losing the entire first day of our trip. The flight attendant to Edinburgh told us to speak with the ticketing counter for Norwegian in Edinburgh to help resolve the issue (they were no help and referred us to the phone number for Norwegian). I believe I am entitled to reimbursement for the cost of the additional flight via RyanAir, what are my rights in this scenario? There seemed to be complete confusion at the ticketing counter and now direction given to the patrons. Looking for advice in this scenario. Just got back from my trip so I am currently trying to get in touch with Norwegian.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#2
Just a warning, this is going to be a long story.....

My wife and I travelled to Ireland last week via Norwegian Airlines. Our flight was supposed to leave from Providence RI at 1955 and arrive to Dublin, Ireland at 0755. En route to the airport, we received a text message from Norwegian that our flight was now delayed because of a lack of crew members. When we approached the check-in counter to check our bags with another couple, we were told by the woman at check-in that they current did not have enough crew members to staff our flight to Dublin and they were working on a solution. Because of the uncertainty of whether our flight would get cancelled or not because of lack of crew members, we held on to our checkin luggage in case we had to scramble to find another "nearby" airport to arrange for a different flight. Meanwhile, attempting to talk to the manager at the Norwegian counter was next to impossible as she ignored those of us inquiring about the status of the flight. When we finally got to speak with her she said "its more than likely going to be cancelled, wait 25 minutes and we will make an announcement."

We waited in the main lobby of the airport, 45 minutes went by and we received a text message from Norwegian which stated that our flight was cancelled "due to crew limitations" (we kept this text message saved in our phone). We approached the counter and showed them the text and they confirmed that the flight was cancelled. The next available flight to Dublin was 3 days later. A flight to Shannon leaving the same evening was fully booked, but they had 2 available seats to Edinburgh Scotland leaving approximately 45 minutes after the announcement of the cancellation. We had already looked ahead and saw there was a flight from Edinburgh to Dublin via RyanAir that we could catch leaving at 1400 the next day and get us to Dublin at 1515. The total money we would have lost by leaving 3 days later was approximately $383 for accommodation and a day of car rental fees + the cost of 3 additional days of lodging/car rental to extend our trip to full 7 days. The cost for the flight from Edinburgh was $530 so we decided it was cheaper to arrange for the additional flight than to lose all of our money for lodging, etc.

Well they rebooked us to Edinburgh, we made it to our gate, booked our flight for RyanAir and wait to board. While waiting to board they made an announcement "the flight to Dublin has now been reinstated." We approached the gate desk for our flight to Ediburgh (same two women who rebooked us (including the manager)), and were told that they could not move us back to the original flight as we were already rebooked for the new flight and they could not get our luggage off the plane. So now we are out an additional $530 + losing the entire first day of our trip. The flight attendant to Edinburgh told us to speak with the ticketing counter for Norwegian in Edinburgh to help resolve the issue (they were no help and referred us to the phone number for Norwegian). I believe I am entitled to reimbursement for the cost of the additional flight via RyanAir, what are my rights in this scenario? There seemed to be complete confusion at the ticketing counter and now direction given to the patrons. Looking for advice in this scenario. Just got back from my trip so I am currently trying to get in touch with Norwegian.
http://www.newsinenglish.no/2018/04/09/complaints-fly-around-norwegian/
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#6
Normally, once you accept an alternate routing, the airline's obligation to you in is completed. Now, you might try making a EU261 claim since you were delayed for a reason under their control. You'll probably come out ahead
 
Last edited:
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#7
this was strictly a crew limitation cancellation issue
That is what the airline said, but they (all airlines) are notorious for fudging reasons for the delay so they are not responsible for hotels/food etc. Also, given the Norwegian 787 engine issues, a smaller carrier with planes out of service will have a cascading problem, including difficulties getting more crew members in the right location.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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St Louis
#8
Norwegian has to either fly you to your destination, whenever there is availability (may be days later) or refund your money for the flight. That's their obligation. You should get a refund of the cost for your flight. Did you have insurance?
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 27, 2016
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#9
That is what the airline said, but they (all airlines) are notorious for fudging reasons for the delay so they are not responsible for hotels/food etc. Also, given the Norwegian 787 engine issues, a smaller carrier with planes out of service will have a cascading problem, including difficulties getting more crew members in the right location.
If the carrier were to fudge a reason, why would they choose to claim the cause was something which was without a doubt in their control, and not extraordinary circumstances?
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 27, 2016
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#10
Norwegian has to either fly you to your destination, whenever there is availability (may be days later) or refund your money for the flight. That's their obligation. You should get a refund of the cost for your flight. Did you have insurance?
Under EU261, they also have the obligation to compensate you for delays/cancellations, to the tune of €600 per passenger, plus they're obliged to pay for hotels and food during the delay.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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770
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St Louis
#11
@Just A Guy wasn't sure about EU261, so glad you mentioned this. @Reesti please use our company contacts for Norwegian and start with customer service if haven't already contacted them. Then go to the primary. Wait at least a week between emails and don't email all the contacts at once. On the company contacts page there are suggestions for writing. If you would like to post your email here prior to sending, please do so but remove any identifying information.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,698
12,700
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
When something like this happens, the airline is obligated to get you on the next available flight (which might not be for several days) or provide a refund. If they were going to lie, they would have lied and said it was weather related which gets them off the hook for paying for hotels or meals. They told you the truth which leaves them up to paing for a hotel if you had to stay. If they provided you with a refund for the remainder of your ticket - thats all they owe you. Did they in fact refund the cost of the return flight?

This should be a lesson about using discount airlines like Norwegian and even Ryan Air. They don't have any arrangements with other airlines to rebook you on so you are at the mercy of airlines with few flights they can rebook you on. If you used a major airline, it is much easier to be rebooked when there is an issue like this.

If you want cheap flights, this is what it gets you - few options when a flight is canceled.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#13
Think about it this way: why are these airlines flying people around cheaper than other airlines? Because they spend less on everything. Fine for some passengers, but not for others. An informed consumer is a happy consumer. It's like booking through an online service. Hundreds of thousands of trips are just fine; when there's a small problem it becomes a huge issue. If you're a totally flexible flyer, you're fine on the discount airlines. The rest of us? Not so good.
 
Jun 1, 2018
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#15
Thank you everybody for all of your input. I filed a claim with Norwegian, if I do not hear back from them or they deny my claim then I will move forward with the ED 261. Hopefully someone involved can see the ridiculousness of the situation.
 
Jun 1, 2018
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#17
Good news! Norwegian finally responded after 9 weeks and have agreed to pay for the additional cost that we incurred when booking the additional flight. While this does not get back the half day that we lost, it is what we asked for. Thanks everyone!