Norwegian Air Review: How My Dreamliner Experience Turned Into A Nightmare
I hate having to write bad reviews, but my Norwegian Air experience was a complete nightmare, and I feel like I owe it to my readers to warn them about flying with Norwegian Air.
What especially convinced me that this Norwegian Air review needed to be written was finding out about the many other complaints flooding in about Norwegian Air. More than 200 complaints have been registered with the Transport Complaints Board alone. The board says they have never seen this scope of complaints in a single case. I have read about everything from double-billed credit cards, a loss of air-conditioning on International flights, long delays, and false advertising.
As if that’s not enough, there’s even a Facebook group called Norwegian Airline Experiences From Hell, and, for more kicks, just look under the Twitter hashtag, #NeverFlyNorwegian.
I remember being so excited to find a one-way ticket from Edinburgh to Bangkok for only $428 one-way on Norwegian Air. I was already planning to be in Edinburgh, and the price seemed too good to be true. Sadly, it was.
Three weeks before I was scheduled to leave, Norwegian Air informed me that my flight time from Edinburgh had been changed, and that this new time change would be fifteen minutes less than the time allowed to make the connection in Stockholm.
I had two choices. I could cancel the flight which would have been a very expensive option for me at this point, or I could fly to Copenhagen where I would have a six-hour layover, and then fly to Stockholm. In Stockholm, I would be forced to spend the night, but I didn’t need to worry, the agent promised. The airline would reimburse me for the overnight expenses.
This seemed like the cheapest option for me, even though it was a huge inconvenience. I was really glad to know they were reimbursing me, when the cheapest decent hotel room I could find in Stockholm was over $200 a night, and a ride on the airport train to the city center cost almost $30 one-way. I didn’t splurge on dinner because I was exhausted, and just opted for a cheap kabob stand down the street.
So, this detour caused by Norwegian Air cost me over $300 which may seem like a small amount to you, but, for me, that’s a month’s rent in Thailand.
The flight itself had some nice features such as mood lighting and windows that automatically tinted themselves if the sun was shining through.
But, there were plenty of drawbacks for the long-haul flight. I was unable to even get a glass of water without paying a fortune. A small 330ml-bottle of water cost $4! Snacks were at least $4, and meals started at $11. I was grateful that I had thought to bring my own food. They also charged for the use of blankets, pillows, and headphones.
After surviving the flight, dehydrated and hungry, I filled out a claim form immediately. I have a tracking service for my emails, so I can tell what time and the location where they are opened. Two weeks went by, and I didn’t even receive a response from them letting me know they received it. Meanwhile, my credit card was due, and I had to spend my rent money paying for expenses incurred because of Norwegian Air’s cancellation.
I had heard of the extraordinarily long hold times with Norwegian Air, so I sent two more emails asking them about my claim over the next week. I was watching my emails being opened in Spain, but I was getting no response. Finally, I tweeted about my bad experience, and got a response from the social media manager on Twitter.
He started emailing me to help with my situation, but even with this help it took ten days before I was contacted and asked by Norwegian Air to send photocopies of my receipts from the claim.
Five more days went by, where I was then asked to reprovide my bank information (through an insecure email) which had already submitted to them in the original claim. Finally, one month after I had flown with them, I got an email saying there had been a payment sent to my bank, but it would take up to two weeks before I would see it. Meanwhile, there had been no apologies made for the slow handling time. Only an excuse, that they had many people to reimburse and many complaints to deal with. Hmm, you think?
There was just one problem. I discovered the next day that the bank I had asked them to deposit my money in didn’t accept international wires. I immediately contacted Norwegian where I was given the curt reply, “We have made the payment. Should this payment fail, we will contact you again.”
I told the customer non-service rep that the payment was going to fail because my bank clearly stated, they couldn’t accept the payment. Two weeks went by, and I heard nothing, so I contacted them again. I watched as the customer service rep read my emails, but sent no reply. She hadn’t even bothered to check on the status of my payment.
I finally had to resort to calling and waiting on hold with their customer service where I was told the computer showed that my payment had failed over two weeks before. No one had bothered to contact me. She was very friendly and actually seemed to care about my situation which was the exact opposite of the way, Annika in Spain, the customer-non service rep had been handling my queries.
Unfortunately, I had to submit my other bank’s information to Annika to finally get the payment sent to me. My bank that does accept wires, requires the wires to go into one account, but then be transferred into my bank account. I asked Annika to please make sure to put both account numbers on the wire, but, of course, she failed to do that, so it held up me receiving my funds even longer!
Also, I received the confirmation that they had sent the payment (not that I had received it) from another rep, and it really sums up their whole attitude when she ended the email with the statement, “Norwegian considers your claim as closed.”
I emailed back with a, “Lol. My claim will be closed when I receive my money and not before then.”
Hopefully, this Norwegian Air review will save you the terrible experience of flying with them.
The sad thing about flying with Norwegian Air is that it didn’t have to be a horrible experience. Here’s what they could have done better.
Someone could have communicated with me from the beginning that they had received my claim and were working on it.
The customer service rep could have shown some service and compassion for my situation. It wasn’t my fault that they had so many complaints backed up that it took over sixty days for me to get the money that was owed to me.
Much more care could have been taken with my situation. Emails should have been replied to and not ignored. I had to contact their social media manager to help me before I could get a response from customer service. It would have taken a few seconds in the computer to see that my first payment had failed.
In the end, it took seventeen emails from me, hours of my time, long hold times on the phone with customer service, and almost seventy days to get money that was owed to me because of a fault of the airline. And, I never got an apology. Norwegian Air, your Dreamliner has been a nightmare for me and so many others. At least, I’ve woken up and will never be seduced by your “discount rates” again.
If you need help against Norwegian there is a company fighting for you, www.trstravelright.eu and
Aviation lawyer Stephan Eriksson.
He currently handles over 1200 cases against Norwegian.
Featured Photo Credit: karin.krn via Compfight cc
Thanks for the honest review and the warning that comes with it.
what a lovely lovely lovely post dear. i really enjoyed reading it. i liked the way you wrote your reviews and everything.. Hugs-Gabi <3
Thank you so much Gabi!! Hugs and love to you!!
Crumbs alive! That’s very, very poor customer service indeed. I flew Norwegian Air the first time a few weeks ago and I was surprised by their corner-cutting attitude. The flight actually followed a cruise by Norwegian Cruise Lines, which – coincidentally – was also unbelievably poor on quality and customer service. For some reason, I had expected Norwegian-run companies to be efficient and friendly, but I found the opposite to be true. Thank you for your honesty. It’s brave and necessary 🙂 Bryony
Bryony, I love the phrase, Crumbs Alive!! That put a huge smile on my face. Sorry you didn’t have the greatest experience, either. At least we can choose where our future dollars go. I just hope to give some advice to others, so they don’t misspend theirs!!
Our two eldest sons are in the UK at the moment. They flew Norwegian. Like they did last year. So far we’ve not had any problems with the airline. Although from Gran Canaria, they only fly into London Gatwick. Because Ryanair fly into more UK airports, it was easier to find a cheap return flight this Christmas.
I have flown Norwegian once long haul from Oakland direct to Oslo and am about to do the return trip. I had no problems with them as I had read up on the fact that there were limited on board amenities. So I brought food and drinks with me. The meal package was $40 and the food looked awful I was way happier with my food from Bi-Rite in SF! Sorry to hear you had such a bad time. Fingers crossed I don’t have the same experience in a few weeks when I go back to the states.
Wow, that sounds like a terrible experience! I’m sorry it went this bad for you just for transportation! I hope this encourages better service!
That is what I’m hoping for, too. Sadly, since publishing this, I found there are 35,000 unreimbursed passengers, so I guess my persistence paid off!
Awful, if they were more pro-active about the whole scenario, it would have been less time and efforts on both parties, but took the most painful route, how unfortunate.
It sounds as though they need to step up their customer service game. You shouldn’t have to fight to get something owed to you.
As for the flight itself, would you say you just didn’t know what to expect? I actually get quite a few questions about this airline since they’re offering really low rates from Europe to the US. What I tell my readers is that this is a no frills airline and by that I mean bring your own food and drink or be prepared to pony up some cash. It’s definitely one of those you get what you pay for scenarios and if people are not expecting it to be no frills, then I can understand feeling like it is a horrible experience.
What a nightmare, there’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with incompetent customer service.
Ouch! That is what I call a terrible experience, thanks for being honest about it and simply telling the truth, hopefully it should encourage a better service.
God, what a painful experience! I felt my shoulders rising to my ears more and more as I progressed through your retelling of the events. Ugh!
Seeing that there is a whole Facebook page dedicated to bad experiences on Norwegian, though, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for improvements.
Yes, I’m not hopeful, but I still felt I should speak out!
Really interesting to read this. We flew Norwegian recently and luckily had a good experience, though I couldn’t believe that we didn’t get water on a long-haul international flight. Everything else.. fine.. but not giving people water when staying hydrated while flying is the most important thing you need to do just seemed ridiculous.
Ugh! That sounds like quite the hassle. Unfortunately, I hear a lot of cases like this with airlines (whether they’re Norwegian or not).
Yeah, it’s really too bad…
OMG, I am sorry to hear that! Customer service should be better! You deserved better!
I was searching for Prague – Bangkok flights last week and Norwegian was the cheapest option. But their low price actually turned me off…Air Ukraine was the 2nd cheapest option and I sure as heck wouldn’t fly that right now.
I ended up booking Lufthansa. Paid slightly more but not worth the hassle dealing with shitting service or long connection times.
Oh no, I’m so sorry to have heard about your experience. It must have been horrible! Unfortunately, one has to look at airlines quite closely as I understand Norwegian Air is a “budget” airline as opposed to a scheduled airline. “Budget” or “No-frills” in Europe basically means that they will fly you from A to B, and nothing more. Everything else is at your own cost.
For short-haul flights, you can’t beat the economy, but for long-haul, I wouldn’t recommend cutting corners. So sorry.
Yes, I don’t mind paying for food, but to pay $4 for water on long-haul flights is criminal!