What do a couple hundred angry Norwegian Air passengers delayed two days at LAX do to pass the time while waiting for a flight departure out of LAX to London?
Start a twitter campaign.
At the same time last week that I was writing about Norwegian Airlines low fares under $500 from California to Europe, hundreds of Norwegian Air passengers were experiencing two days of flight delays for an LAX to London Gatwick flight. Many passengers slept in the LAX airport last Wednesday and Thursday night waiting for their Norwegian plane to depart for London.
Norwegian Air Flight DY7096 was scheduled for departure at 8:30pm Wednesday night, July 23. Passengers and luggage boarded the plane only to be delayed four hours as mechanics worked on a technical issue with the aircraft. After midnight, passengers were told to disembark the plane. Passengers were told they could pay for their own hotel rooms and be reimbursed by Norwegian Air. Apparently there was a shortage of available rooms around LAX at that time of the morning.
Hotels are expensive at LAX on weeknights. A quick check for tonight, also a Wednesday night one week after the Norwegian Air delay shows La Quinta and Holiday Inn Express at $200 after tax and Westin or Sheraton are more than $300 for LAX airport hotels.
News stories last week were filled with passenger comments about how Norwegian Air customer service provided inadequate information about the delay and what passengers should do. One passenger said Norwegian issued 11 flight delays by text message over 36 hours.
The canceled Norwegian Air flight was rescheduled for Thursday evening at 8pm, then delayed one hour, then eventually canceled for the second day in a row. Norwegian passengers needed another hotel night Thursday night or spend the night in LAX. That $400 for hotel rooms was probably close to the cost of the flight to London on Norwegian Air.
By Thursday night tensions were so high that passengers were filmed screaming at Norwegian Air ticket counter agents. Police were called to defuse the situation. NBC Los Angeles posted one of the videos in its news story about angry Norwegian Air passengers.
Norwegian Flight DY7096 was rescheduled for Friday 9am departure, almost 36 hours and two nights after the original timetable. The flight was delayed and finally departed LAX at 12:30pm Friday afternoon, some 40 hours late. The Norwegian Air flight landed in London at 8:05am, Saturday, July 26.
Passengers were late for weddings, work, cruises and vacation and likely many thousands of dollars were lost by passengers from nonrefundable reservations for hotel nights unused in London and around Europe.
Jack Cooper tweeted this photo of the Norwegian website when trying to make a claim for hotel reimbursement from the flight delays at LAX.
On a personal note, I plan to fly Norwegian Air from Oslo in September to get around Norway. I feel fairly certain I will end up flying Norwegian out of Oakland sometime in the next year too.
Hopefully my Norwegian flight experience from California to Europe takes less than 50 hours.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
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