Maybe we’ll just pay with Monopoly money from now on, and call it even?

Dear Norwegian,

You’re about to have your pants pulled down in public. Get the popcorn, and the tissues. As a travel blogger, two days are rarely the same for me. For example, in the last week I’ve been in Hong Kong, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Paris – but one thing lets me know that the world is still the same place each day: emails, about you. Every day my inbox is flooded with emails about a story I once wrote, and before reading them, I always know how they end: with you explicitly lying about compensation claims. That’s not ok, and something should be done about it.

The Runaround

Norwegian Air lies to customers seeking rightful and lawful delay and cancellation compensation. Period, full stop, no amendments or asterisks. Flights are delayed because of technical faults, the passengers are told of these technical faults and told to contact Norwegian to receive their lawful EC261 European Union compensation, and then Norwegian’s claims department takes over, and  flat out lies to avoid actually paying out. It’s a classic game of “make it difficult, so they go away”, but there’s a definitive difference between difficult and fraudulent.

Every Email…

Every email I receive starts just about the same way. “I read what they did to your sister in law“. They then continue with “I was on a flight where the weather was clear everywhere, there were no ATC strikes and Norwegian either delayed or cancelled the flight due to problems with their aircraft, and theirs alone – every other plane flew that day”. When this happens on flights to or from the European Union, on European Union based airlines, passengers are owed money. Real money, and if the flight is delayed for more than 3 hours, they’re owed €600 and they still must be flown to their destination. I get up to 100’s of these very emails every day, and in every one, I check the flight records and see that there’s in fact no grey area. Norwegian should be paying, promptly. Instead, they lie. Yes Norwegian, you lie.

What if the government made you pay double the claim every time you were caught in a lie?

Fraudulent Claims

There’s a difference between runaround and fraudulence. Calling a lion an elephant, and selling a lion as an elephant is fraudulent. Finding a broken piece of plastic from the street and selling it as a brand new Macbook Air is fraudulent. Telling someone that they will not be paid what they’re owed, because of a rule which either a) never existed b) was overturned years ago c) has nothing to do with the specific case in question is purely fraudulent. Norwegian Airlines is taking months to answer customer emails which is bad enough, but when they do, they’re falsifying statements which they explicitly know to be incorrect. If you’re one of the people at Norwegian Air who send these emails, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are lying. You are hurting people and you really should be fined or prosecuted. Norwegian LOVES sending this tosh…

“We’re unable to honour your claim as your flight was delayed due to extraordinary circumstances. This is in accordance with the European Court of Justice Verdict C-549/07 Wallentin-Hermann”

Officially Nonsense

It sounds official right? But it’s total BS. Extraordinary circumstances have been proven in court not to include airlines having technical issues or delays caused by all other avoidable cockups. It’s been tried, and the case is clear cut. Zeus coming down from the skies and striking a plane with a lighting bolt and then winking at passengers is an extraordinary circumstance. Not having pilots in position due to shoddy operational procedures is not. This is pure runaround designed to sound official, while being complete and utter nonsense. Maybe passengers can start telling you they’ve paid for flights, and when you ask where the money is they can just hand you Monopoly money? Seems fair to me!

My demands are simple: don’t lie. We expect you to drag your feet, play possum and pretend emails bounce – that’s the shady world we live in. But when you lie and take away hope from honest people, convincing them that the truth is not the truth you’ve gone way too far. I know you want to defer these payments until you can get out of the financial woods, but you won’t have any customers if your brand becomes synonymous with deceit. I’d question your moral compass, but I don’t actually think you have one at this point. My other demand is that you find one. You won’t have customers if you build a brand known for duping people wherever possible.

In Closing…

Dear Norwegian, you are duping customers at every corner in hopes of keeping your airlines balance sheets from sinking. Your airline launched in the EU, you set fares, you leased the planes, and you must play by the rules. Few airlines are seen as saints on this issue, but you’re the only one consistently telling patently false lies which cost hard working people the compensation they’re rightfully owed. Thank goodness people can make claims six or more years back, because when this letter makes the rounds, you might need another round of financing!