Norwegian is cheap flying, but when things go wrong it isn’t known for great customer service. Mistakes happen, but the test of an airline is how they respond when they do.
When they delivered an 82 year old woman in a wheelchair to the wrong gate she missed her flight. And they told her she’d have to buy a new ticket as a no show passenger.
The woman was flying out of Orlando to London on July 14. She’s “nearly blind” and arrived at the airport three hours ahead of departure with her son in law.
He received a call hours later,
“She’s tough and she was in tears crying. She was taken to the wrong gate, saying the flight left without her,” Moorhead said. He reports that his mom was left at gate 96, rather than gate 94. “When I looked at the boarding pass, the person who wrote the number on the boarding pass [said] it looks…it could look like a four. A genuine mistake,” Moorhead said.
Upon phoning to re-book his mother for another flight, he was forced to pay an additional $440 for a second ticket.
Copyright william87 / 123RF Stock Photo
Norwegian told them to go pound sand, “You left the gate on your own and didn’t present yourself at the due time for boarding. Having in mind this information, we understand that we have complied with the above-mentioned regulations.”
The woman had checked her luggage. She was confined to a wheelchair. But Norwegian’s position was she had gone off to do other more interesting things in the airport, like sitting around people watching at another gate I suppose.
It’s only when a local television news station took on the case that the airline agreed to refund the second ticket. According to the airline,
Norwegian sincerely apologizes for this situation, which should never have happened. While Norwegian Air is the operating airline, we contract certain services at Orlando International Airport. One ground handler is responsible for check-in and boarding agents, while another company handles services such as wheelchair assistance.
In this case, based on the information we have received, there seems to have been miscommunication as to what happened to Ms. Moorhead, who should not have been left by herself. She should, of course, have been given proper attention and care until she boarded, which is when Norwegian Air cabin crew would be responsible for her well-being until she arrived in London.
Due to this miscommunication of events, Mr. Moorhead was unfortunately charged for a new ticket the following night, which should also not have happened, and Norwegian apologies for this. A refund has been issued.
It’s always cute for an airline to outsource customer service responsibility, and then blame the outsourced company instead of ensuring that service is being properly provided.