275 complaints filed about Norwegian’s Dreamliner delays so far / News / The Foreigner

275 complaints filed about Norwegian’s Dreamliner delays so far. Norway travel complaints authority officials are flabbergasted by the high number, they say. Issues are stacking up for Norwegian and their long-haul Boeing 787 routes, much like holding patterns over busy airports. If ALPA (Air Line Pilots’ Association)/US airlines’ inferior wage-levels and working conditions are not enough to tax the Norway-based low-cost carrier, some 275 passengers have formally lodged their delayed travel woes with the complaints handling board for travel services NRF (Norsk ReiselivsForum).

norwegianairshuttle, dreamliner, boeing787problems



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275 complaints filed about Norwegian’s Dreamliner delays so far

Published on Wednesday, 8th January, 2014 at 06:25 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Lyndsey Smith      .
Last Updated on 9th January 2014 at 09:35.

Norway travel complaints authority officials are flabbergasted by the high number, they say.

A Norwegian Dreamliner
A Norwegian Dreamliner
Photo: Norwegian


Issues are stacking up for Norwegian and their long-haul Boeing 787 routes, much like holding patterns over busy airports.

If ALPA (Air Line Pilots’ Association)/US airlines’ inferior wage-levels and working conditions are not enough to tax the Norway-based low-cost carrier, some 275 passengers have formally lodged their delayed travel woes with the complaints handling board for travel services NRF (Norsk ReiselivsForum).

“Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) have had their normal share of complaints from when they started,” Rolf Forsdahl, NRF’s general manager told The Foreigner, Tuesday, “but these numbers have exploded since they commenced operating the Dreamliner.”

Officials have dealt with 80 cases so far, 195 more are waiting for processing.

“These some 200 are triggered by what happened before and at Christmas. We expect another 100 in the coming months due to the incidents that occurred at the end of December,” explained Mr Forsdahl.

“I’ve been in the industry for 25 years and can’t recall one incident has caused as many problems as this has,” he added.

Might cost the airline dearly

The bulk of cases involve delayed travel claims under EU legislation. This allows those affected up to 600 euro in compensation. Relevant passengers choosing to claim under Norway air legislation as well will be awarded whichever gives them the higher amount. They will not receive compensation from both policies.

Norwegian’s Dreamliners have had a history of being affected since Norwegian started flying them last summer, however. NAS subsidiary Norwegian Long Haul met with Boeing again as recently as this week.

Mr Forsdahl thinks the carrier accepting paying compensation to passengers “could cause a major hole in their balance sheet.”

“They’re looking at about 250,000 euro per aircraft in this case. It [the situation] is also not just due to the new aircraft, but the new way in which airlines are constructed,” he said, referring to matters such as maintenance manuals and crews.

“Unique”

Norwegian currently only has three Dreamliners in traffic, two of which are shuttled between Bangkok, Scandinavia, and the US. Five more 787-8s are on order. Deliveries of two further longer-range, longer fuselage 787-9s are expected in the first quarter of 2016.

“Another problem is that just one delay can draw out into the next few days’ flights. As well as having a smaller Dreamliner fleet, Norwegian is not a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association). Consequently, they have no partners who can help with the problem. Other airlines also have more aircraft at their disposal,” remarked Mr Forsdahl.

So what are other complaints about?

“Roughly 20 per cent concern the fact that the Dreamliner was taken out of traffic and replaced with an older aircraft type. One passenger even complained this meant they could not have the Dreamliner experience.”

“This plaintiff was awarded a 10 per cent reduction off the original fare for disappointment. It’s the first time this principle has been invoked regarding an air carrier,” Mr Forsdahl said. “But in general, the number of complaints even surprised Norwegian staff. They weren’t prepared for it.”

Possibility of turbulence

What is the procedure regarding complaints?

“We check all the documentation’s present after we receive the complaint, forward it to the carrier, and inform them of their obligations. They are given between three and four weeks to reply.”

“Airline representatives normally repeat what they’ve already told the passenger. However, there are cases where they handle matters differently, for example when we submit obtained technical logs and weather reports along with them.”

At the same time, officials’ conclusion is not legally-binding, as consumer complaint’s boards are separate entities. The passenger is still free to decide whether they would like to take matters to court based on the conclusion, though.

“But we do have close cooperation with the CAA in Norway, and inform our colleagues there if one carrier continues to disrespect passenger rights,” Mr Forsdahl declared, commenting they are engaged in almost daily communication with Norwegian for now.

Bjørn Kjos, who founded the airline, recently expressed his regrets to passengers affected by the recent delays in the Norwegian press.

“We haven’t raised the issue with the carrier’s senior management, however, as they’re either too busy sorting matters out or the decision-makers are out of the country,” said Rolf Forsdahl.

“Furthermore, Norwegian has always adhered to our conclusions in the past before they started flying the 787 Dreamliners. And I’m almost certain Mr Kjos will be visiting Boeing’s factory in Seattle soon,” he concluded.




Published on Wednesday, 8th January, 2014 at 06:25 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Lyndsey Smith      .
Last updated on 9th January 2014 at 09:35.

This post has the following tags: norwegianairshuttle, dreamliner, boeing787problems.





  
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