Norwegian Airlines opened the ‘will I or won’t I’ sweepstake
The Consumer Council has warned Norwegian Airline after receiving complaints of many cancellations, and bad information given to customers.
‘We realize that planning isn’t always possible, but when it happens year after year, it becomes a gamble for the customers’, said consumer director, Randi Flesland.
Norwegian is in third place among well-known brand names in consumer statistics. The company is also far ahead of other airlines regarding the number of complaints made to the Consumer Council.
It denies flights, information, and customer service, according to the complaints. Flesland thinks this indicates that the company is deliberately laying on such tight time-lines that it goes beyond caring for the passengers.
‘They are aiming for the planes to arrive and depart on time, that training goes as it should, and everything going according to plan. Obviously, they don’t always get it’, she added.
Unavailable for customer service
When the accident happens, Norwegian stands alone in having poorer follow-up than other companies, said the Consumer Director.
‘They don’t provide enough information, nor is that information given out on time, and it’s impossible to get customer service either on the phone, or at the counter. It looks like they don’t have enough staff on customer service,’ she said.
Norwegian Airline acknowledges that there have been too many long delays and cancellations, and say they take the criticism very seriously.
‘At the same time, Norwegian is the country’s largest airline, with the most passengers, so it’s not unnatural that we have the highest number of complaints. But it’s clear that these figures are too high’, said press contact, Astrid Mannion-Gibson.
Over the past year, the company worked to streamline the processing of written complaints, and most people will receive feedback within two weeks after Norwegian receive all necessary information, she points out.
During the most hectic holiday season, many customers didn’t get what they needed because hotels and flights were fully booked, according to the Consumer Director. She registers the company’s reply that it is difficult to raise new places.
‘They say it’s difficult, but at the same time, this is something they are required to do. These are the rights the passengers have. Norwegian doesn’t cooperate with other airlines, so they have to buy the tickets’, she said.
Paying hard cash, just to complain
The Consumer Council was in contact with the company last year to push for customers to be better treated, and will follow up again this year. Among other things, Norwegian uses an expensive 815 number for customer service, which they are not allowed to do.
At 28%, there’s been a general decrease in the number of passenger rights issues compared with the same period last year. However, Flesland believes last year was unusually high, partly because there were so many questions related to the introduction of the airline fee.
Questions related to Norwegian in this summer’s traffic are not yet in place, and aren’t captured by the half-yearly figures.
Flesland advised travellers to bookmark the Consumer Council’s flight advice or download the app, which is also in English.
At the same time, she reminds people that complaining to the airline is a simple and straightforward matter, and that one shouldn’t pay to get the job done.
-‘Don’t pay extra for anything you can do for free yourself. Network companies take up to 25% to claim the money for you. It is not necessary’, said the Consumer Director
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today