Monday, February 17, 2014

Norwegian Airlines

Guest post by  Eden Miller
I flew New York JFK - Oslo-Gardermoen Flight DY7002 on January 12, 2014 at 21:30 - 10:50. I sat in seat 18J, next to the window.

When I first sat down, I felt a small drip of water hit the top of my head. I looked up and saw that some previous passenger had stuffed a paper napkin in the space between the light and the luggage compartment seam, and it was wet. I asked the stewardess if I could be moved, and she said the flight was full, and "oh yes, that drip always happens but only on take off and landing." I then had to specifically ask her for napkins to plug the hole further as she did not volunteer a solution.

When I pulled the old, wet napkin out in order to plug it with a dry napkin, a piece of the plane fell out on my head, along with plenty of water. It is a small, white, plug shaped silicone or rubber gasket. I then shoved all the napkins I had in the space, which was dripping water on my head like a faucet. It was still dripping through, so I then shoved my wool scarf in the hole as well, and rigged it to the overhead luggage door so as not to fall.

I paid extra for this seat. I had to sit with a faucet running on my head for 7.5 hours, and then a dirty, wet wool scarf. Their flight attendant's cavalier response was ridiculous and inappropriate, especially when I showed her that a piece of your plane was broken and in my hand. I have it if they'd like me to mail it back. We had not disembarked yet, and I could have been offered better customer service, or an alternate flight arrangement to get me to Berlin if the flight was truly full (I don't think it was). I have been a frequent flyer for over 30 years, and NEVER have I had this happen, contrary to the flight attendant's claim that a leaking plane was "normal".

After WEEKS of waiting for a response from Norwegian Air Customer Service and several calls to Oslo to expedite, I received this answer: "We apologise if our staff on board this flight did little to solve the problem you experienced on the way to Oslo. We understand that you should not need to use your own scarf to stop the water dripping and that the staff should have provided you with napkins, since this plane was full and they did not have the opportunity to move you to another seat. This unfortunately do not entitle you to a refund of the ticket or compensation.

We will take your information to the right department so they can rectify their routines and make sure that this will not happen again. We apologise once more for the inconviniency this might have caused, but do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you on board when you next choose to travel."
Recap: Faucet on my head for 7.5 hours, a piece of the plane in my hand, ruined scarf, no response from flight crew, and Too Bad For You message a MONTH later from Norwegian Customer Service. Unbelievable. Avoid this awful airline.

** since posting on Tripadvisor, I've had several people question me on a) why I didn't get more paper napkins rather than ruin my scarf (??), b) doubt that it was really a full on run of water, and c) why I didn't move seats.  The flight attendant had told me that the flight was full, and I didn't move because I was in the window seat, so I couldn't get up until I was well on the way and my seat mates let me out for a bathroom break well after takeoff.  At that time, I saw people in other sections sprawled over the extra adjoining seats.  By then it was too late.

Update: Apparently Norwegian Airlines has been getting a record number of complaints to the governing body as reported in NEWS in
Unhappy Norwegian Air customers have lodged a record number of complaints, both with the embattled airline and the Transport Complaints Board (Transportklagenemnda). More than 200 grievances have been registered with the board alone, as Norwegian’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliners continue to cause major issues.
Norwegian Air's first new Boeing 787 Dreamliner finally landed at Oslo's main airport at Gardermoen on June 30. The airline has now begun testing them before putting them into service on Norwegian's new long-distance routes to Bangkok, New York and Fort Lauderdale. PHOTO: Norwegian Air
‘Dreamliner’ has been something of a misnomer for the trouble-plagued Boeing 787s. The Transport Complaints Tribunal has received a record number of complaints from Norwegian Air passengers after Dreamliner problems caused months of cancellations and lengthy delays. PHOTO: Norwegian Air
“We have never before seen this scope of complaints in a single case,” Judge Einar Kaspersen who chairs the tribunal told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). Kaspersen said the first port of call for disgruntled customers was the airline itself, then the Tribunal reviews Norwegian’s handling of the case. “There are probably many who neglect to go further with the matter after they’ve first been rejected. Anyone can complain further.”

No comments:

Post a Comment