Passengers wail after flying Norwegian’s new long-haul routes


Low-fare carrier Norwegian Air is off to a bumpy start with its new long-haul routes to Bangkok and New York. Passengers have complained bitterly in local media that they were denied food, drink and even a blanket because they didn’t have a credit card to pay for what Norwegian considers “extras.”

Norwegian has long had a policy of accepting only credit card payment on board its flights and refusing cash. The problem is that not all their passengers have a credit card, or a card that functions outside their home area.

Newspaper Aftenposten earlier reported that a Thai passenger had to endure the 12-hour flight from Bangkok to Oslo with no food or water. She had neglected to order and pay for any meal or drink in advance, and when she tried to buy food or even a bottle of water on board, flight attendants refused her cash. Her Thailand-based credit card didn’t work on board the flight, so Norwegian’s cabin crew refused to sell her any food or drink.

On Monday came a report of a 16-year-old boy flying alone to visit his uncle in New York on Norwegian’s other new intercontinental route. He didn’t have a credit card either and thus couldn’t pay the USD 5 demanded by Norwegian’s flight attendants for the use of a blanket. His father, Lars Ditlevsen, told Aftenposten that it was cold in the cabin and his son had no sweater available. He had the USD 5 in cash, but it was refused in line with Norwegian’s “no cash” policy.

“They (the flight attendants) could see that he was freezing, but consciously avoided helping him,” Ditlevsen said, adding that the flight was also three hours late. He was furious and has complained directly to Norwegian for what he calls its “terrible treatment” of customers. Yet another Norwegian man said he and several other passengers on board a long-haul flight also weren’t allowed to buy food or drink.

Norwegian officials, who already faced major problems with its new long-haul service because of trouble with the Boeing 787 Dreamliners ordered for the routes, have apologized for both incidents and claim cabin crews on the new intercontinental flights will be instructed to find solutions to such problems. Norwegian also is reportedly reviewing its “no cash” policy.


5 Comments on “Passengers wail after flying Norwegian’s new long-haul routes”

  1. Most fly-passenger are looking for the lowest price and that´s what Norwegian Airways want to give them just to challange other companies. I like the business idea. Just order blankets, food, baggage a.s.o. at your order, to minimize all-extra-service/weight on-board and then you maybe feel better to reduce the pollution for your flight.

  2. True
    But in the cases identified , common sense and some humanity should have been exercised.
    All airlines that sell food and drink also provide water in a cup as they come along with large bottles.
    As to the young person with the actual dollars, they could have accepted, were not being asked to make change.
    If they are going to fly international routes then they need to speak the language and be helpful

  3. Only Thai Airways for me and family and staff.
    If Norwegian is so negligent and incompetent you
    never know what will come next.

  4. You get what you pay for.. A 100-200 dollar cheaper ticket, but u have to pay everything.

    Bag, Seat, Food, Drink, Water, Blanket, and Kjos will probably add more to the list.

    Its all up to the passenger

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *