The Norwegian airline, which has been in financial difficulties, has recently gone through a corporate restructuring process. The pandemic has made it very difficult to plan and forecast demand.
Lennon had to leave for Rovaniemi on Wednesday, but at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Marjo Tuomista there was a surprise: the flight did not appear on the departing list at all.
After a discussion with the airport clerk, it became clear to Tuominen that the entire flight did not exist.
“A Finavia employee said Norwegian does not fly and has not flown in time. I hear people come to the field every week who ask about this, ”says Tuominen.
Finavia, an airport company, is told that there may be individual cases, but in their experience, airlines are actively communicating flight changes to their customers.
Tuominen had bought plane tickets in February through Norwegian’s website. He said he had not received advance notice of the cancellation of his flight. The flight with the reservation ID could no longer be found on the company’s website at all, and no cancellation message was found in the spam folder after the search.
The flights didn’t cost much, but the incident is still annoying.
Tuominen made a claim for compensation for his canceled flight and left for Rovaniemi by train.
Importing is not alone with his experience.
There have been numerous comments under Norwegian’s Facebook ads about how flights have been canceled without notice. According to commentators, the flights have left the reservation system, which means that they cannot view or change their reservation themselves.
Poland tried to fly to Krakow Hanna Heikkilä says the flight cancellation became clear to him when he tried to enter his booking ID into the Norwegian app.
“It slandered that there is no flight,” Heikkilä says.
Ending a flight cancellation message in spam is a tricky situation.
He called the airline’s English-speaking customer service, which revealed that the flight had been canceled. Customer service was told that an email about the cancellation has been sent, but it has probably ended up in the email spam folder.
Heikkilä says that he went through his spam folder, but did not find a message about the cancellation.
“Yes, their ads are coming through, but I haven’t received any information about the cancellation.”
Norwegianin communications director Charlotte Holmbergh Jacobsson deplores the inconvenience caused to passengers.
“We’ve had trouble getting emails in the spam folder. This is, of course, very unfortunate, ”Holmbergh Jacobsson writes in his email.
In addition to emails, the airline plans to send text messages to passengers about the changes.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it very difficult to plan and forecast demand because new restrictions may come at short notice, says Holmbergh Jacobsson.
“The available flights are the routes we plan to operate. However, if we are forced to make changes because of a pandemic, we will strive to make them as early as possible so that we can provide customers with predictability. If a flight is canceled, we will notify passengers directly and they can decide whether they want to change their reservation free of charge or take a refund, ”Holmbergh Jacobsson reports.
Norwegian will start flying from Helsinki-Vantaa at the end of June. Initially, flights will be operated from Helsinki to Oulu, Stockholm, Oslo, Malaga and Alicante.
The Norwegian airline has been wrestling with financial problems for a long time.
The airline announced at the end of May escaped corporate restructuring. The company negotiated a debt cut of more than six billion euros, stopped long-haul flights and reduced its fleet.
Competition and Consumer Agency (KKV) specialist Annina Huolman says the airline has a responsibility to communicate a flight cancellation to the consumer in a timely manner. The customer is entitled to a refund of the canceled flight. In some cases, the airline will also have to pay a standard cancellation fee.
“In the case of Norwegian, the problem is that the airline cannot compensate consumers if it is undergoing corporate restructuring. The position of the consumer in bankruptcy and corporate reorganization situations is weak. They are less likely to have anything to share after other creditors, ”says Huolman.
The fact that the flight cancellation message ends up in the spam is a tricky situation, Huolman says.
“For many customers, outgoing messages in bulk mail run the risk of being interpreted as spam by the service. If the airline has sent information about the cancellation to the appropriate email, then the consumer is unlikely to claim that the information did not reach them.”
Last in, the consumer ombudsman asked norway for an explanation of the cancellation policy because the airline had offered its customers points instead of refunds.
Hanna Heikkilä also says that she used flight points for her canceled flight to Krakow, which she had received as a credit for her previously canceled flight. At the time, Heikkilä was of the opinion that flight points were the only way to reimburse.
Customers have also been outraged by the changed conditions at Norwegian’s airports. For example, for flights of less than 100 euros, points cannot be used at all.
“It’s good for the consumer to remember that the value of flight points is highly dependent on airline practices. It can vary what kind of flights they can actually pay for, ”says Huolman.