Bad weather stranded hundreds of angry Norwegians at the London-Gatwick airport this week. Norwegian Air Shuttle got a taste of an uncommon British winter.
Kept in the dark
Heavy snow caused Gatwick airport to close down on Tuesday and some passengers flying with Norwegian Air Shuttle had been waiting for their next departure for two days. Travelers complained they were not given sufficient information about developments.
Snowbound Helly Ottebergsen told Dagbladet yesterday she and her colleague had been waiting to get on a flight to Oslo since Tuesday and received her last SMS from Norwegian on Wednesday afternoon. She was advised to book a new flight for Friday.
“We have had to find out all the information ourselves since then,” said Ms Ottebergsen.
Other passengers also criticized Norwegian for its practices.
"We stood for about 16 hours in a hall at the airport, without information, food, or anything," Harald Tuen told NRK, while waiting with his wife and two daughters to get back to Tromsø.
"Nobody from Norwegian was present and neither us, nor people from back home, could get through to the airline,” said Fridtjof Nordnes from Lødingen.
Norwegian Air Shuttle communications director Anne-Sissel Skånvik claimed yesterday the company tried to contact their customers, but the situation meant there would be unhappy passengers, regardless of their efforts.
“We have done as much as we can to reach our passengers via text messages and by updating our website.There will always be passengers who do not think it's good enough.” she said, alleging there was an airline representative at Gatwick to attend to passengers’ needs and inform them of any news through airport speakers.
Gatwick has been reopened today but there are still flight delays of up to eight hours, and hundreds of Norwegians remain stranded.
Norwegian has redirected its flights to Stansted, still has a backlog of angry, frustrated passengers, with little good news from communications director Anne-Sissel Skånvik.
“Everything is difficult, and it's a really complex situation. We would really have liked to be able to get people home quickly, but are completely at the mercy of getting permission to fly,” she tells NTB.
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