a plane with seats and a television

This is getting kinda epic…

Norwegian is all about low cost travel and making travel more accessible to all, but it’s not in the business of “free travel”. Well, at least, it hasn’t intended to be. The airline, like many others, has been forced to adapt on the fly, as Rolls Royce engine issues plague the Norwegian Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. The airline came up with a brilliant solution to keep business as usual, leasing an Airbus A380 super jumbo jet, but the plan has backfired, in an almost epic way…

a plane with seats and a televisionEnter Compensation Laws

The first important detail in this tragically amusing story is that the European Union has strict rules regarding delayed flights. On all flights departing the European Union, and any flights on European airlines departing from anywhere else, like the USA, and landing in Europe, delayed landings over 3 hours are due actual cash compensation. Not airline bucks, not miles – actual Euros. This happens whenever the delay is due to the fault of the airline, and not because of things that can’t be controlled, such as weather.

a clock tower and a buildingAlmost Every Norwegian A380 Flight Has Been Delayed

Norwegian is operating a leased Airbus A380, formerly owned by Singapore Air on flights 7015, 7016 between New York’s JFK Airport and London Gatwick. Since bringing the plane into service on August 3rd, almost every single flight has been delayed by more than three hours. The airline has since adjusted the schedule to prevent this for future flights. All flights delayed more than 3 hours, which are over 3,500km and are between an EU airport and a non EU airport are due €300, and if the delay moves to over 4 hours, the claims bump up to €600 per passenger. That means from August 3-August 6 (and beyond) every flight has been entitled to compensation, and the compensation is likely more than the passenger paid for the entire trip!

a pile of money bills€300-€600 Per passenger

Effective August 7th, Norwegian has adjusted their schedule to reflect a later departure, in an attempt to curb further delay compensation, but as of now the airline legitimately faces claims of €300-€600 per passenger for all flights between August 3rd and August 6th. If you were on one of these flights, Norwegian more than likely owes you money. The airline is famously tough to deal with in getting even legitimate delay claims paid out, and therefore looking into services like AirHelp and Bott & Co, which handle the claims and even take the cases to court on your behalf can be very worthwhile. Both firms take between 25-30% of your winnings, but you pay nothing to get what your rightfully owed, with zero effort. I’d rather have 75% of some money than 100% of none.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Most delays are due to Stand Congestion in the states.. a delay triggered by the inbound airport so ultimately outwith the airlines control ergo no compensation.

    1. Good luck with that in the courts. JFK is a nightmare, no doubt, but this is because of Norwegian’s aircraft change. It was not an issue before and therefore I doubt any EU court this inevitably goes to will have much pity.

  2. They officially changed the time of the flight, (and you either accept it or get a refund), so no compensation.

    1. That’s correct going forward, but not true for the previous dates, which have already lapsed.

      And the way the operation is going, there are likely to be more 3+ hour delays, which of course would be entitled to compensation.

  3. Hmm not sure that legacy airlines are any easier or fairer in dealing with compensation claims In fact BA seem to default to offering a paltry amount of avios if you manage to get a response from their customer service, past the initial denial and persist through the mire of delay and obfuscation…
    Amongst the low costs Norwegian don’t appear to be the worst…

  4. This article is so misleading. Please also acknowledge not all countries in the EU use the Euro, so some passenger will receive Pounds, Krona etc etc back instead. Poorly written IMO.

    1. Hahaha. What a useless comment. All compensation is BASED ON EUROS. That’s because it’s a European Union directive. Every single payment, regardless of end currency will be precisely based off of €300 or €600. Your comment is far more misleading than the article.

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