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Norwegian Denies Full Refund To 34,000 Customers

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Struggling airline Norwegian has submitted its final restructuring plan to creditors. It contains bad news for many of the airline's international customers.

Anyone still waiting for a refund from troubled airline Norwegian looks to be out of luck. As with all airlines, Norwegian has been hit hard by the pandemic, resulting in thousands of cancelled flights. The airline is also fighting for its future in the courts.

Norwegian Boeing 737-800 landing in the rain at Prague Airport.

According to the final financial restructuring plan presented by the company today, remaining unsecured creditors will not be compensated in full. This includes approximately 34,000 customers yet to receive a full refund.

Norwegian is in the middle of a major restructuring process, overseen both in Norway and by the Irish courts. The goal of the process is to reach an agreement with creditors to ensure sustainable future operations.

During the process, Norwegian's operations remain extremely limited. The airline is operating just a handful of domestic flights in Norway, while the frequent flyer programme has been placed on hold.

A new rescue plan

Last week, Norwegian was given the go-ahead by the Irish court to continue with the rescue plan.

Norwegian Air Dreamliner banking in the air

A financial restructuring plan has now been presented to the company's creditors and shareholders. It must be accepted in order for the airline to continue the restructuring process and raise new capital during April.

Norwegian CEO Jacob Schram described the negotiations as “good but demanding” and believes the plan is a “good solution” for the company's creditors and owners. That may be true, but it is not good for many of the airline's former customers.

Norwegian claims no other option

The company stated that around 98% of customers claiming a refund from bookings made directly with the airline before the reconstruction process began have been refunded.

“We have wanted to refund the last customers completely, and we regret that it will not be possible,” said Norwegian CFO Geir Karlsen.

The iconic red nose of a Norwegian Air airplane

The reason, according to Norwegian, is the legislation relating to the restructuring process. Norwegian has to treat these customers in the same way as other unsecured creditors.

The airline has said that 99.6% of customers in Norway have received a refund, which suggests that many of those who will miss out live in other countries.

The next steps for Norwegian

Norwegian is scheduled to meet with its creditors next week to discuss the plan. If approved, the plan must also be approved by an Irish judge. Company bosses hope to complete the restructuring process, including sourcing new capital, by May.

Should the company make it through the process, the future airline will look very different. The airline has already announced the end of its long-haul service.

In future, Norwegian will focus on domestic routes in Norway and selected short-haul routes in Scandinavia and Europe.

About Life in Norway Editorial Team

This post was written by more than one person on the Life in Norway editorial team.

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24 thoughts on “Norwegian Denies Full Refund To 34,000 Customers”

  1. “ The company stated that around 98% of customers claiming a refund from bookings made directly with the airline before the reconstruction process began have been refunded.”

    I call bullshit.

    -Member of the “2%”

    Reply
  2. $3700 U. S. A. Owed to me
    They stopped flying from Los Angeles.
    I submitted my request in January and got a reference number from them.
    Called three times since with no resolve. Any help out there ?

    Reply
    • me too! Chicago-Paris RT gone. Not feeling hopeful based on what I’m reading that we’ll ever see our $3K+ returned!!! 🙁

      Reply
  3. Same here! We were never given an opportunity for a refund, only credit points. And then, when the long haul was cancelled (I’m in California), that meant we basically can’t use our points at all. I called weekly, and submitted multiple requests pleading with them to refund our money. We were planning to go see our two older kids in Europe last year. Our youngest is disabled and lives with us and we could have really used that money during this past year – the pandemic hit us pretty hard.

    Reply
  4. I’m also part of the 2% who were never issued a refund. Only credit toward a future flight and now since they have canceled long-haul service it’s completely useless to me (living in the US). I’ve filled out online forms and called multiple times and nothing has been resolved. We are out a lot of money. The way that Norwegian has handled this issue has been awful!

    Reply
  5. I’m furious that this airline is getting away with theft! I contacted the FAA and was told to file a claim with my credit card company. They denied my claim, of course, because the “waiting period” had expired. The tickets were purchased at the end of 2019 for travel in 2020. After changing the dates to dates later in the year (and that flight was also cancelled) Norwegian basically stopped answering their phone. A recording came on saying you had to go on the website to do anything. And of course, the website offered no way to cancel, modify or request a refund. Submitted claims (I did it twice) were ignored. The only option was to convert to “cash points”. And now those are no more because they have been “suspended”. If anyone knows of any lawsuits going on over this, I will happily jump on board. We are out $6,300.00

    Reply
  6. Same here.
    Last week I was told to redeem CashPoints on shorthaul European routes (utterly senseless as I live in Brazil and long haul route has been cancelled). In a follow up email I enquired how I can redeem CashPoints as instructed as i couldnt find it on the site. Only to be then told that redeeming CashPoints is not possible. How ridiculous is that?
    Norwegian Air’s behaviour completely undermines Travel Industry loyalty and credit voucher schemes. I state this as a Tour Guide who, over the last year, has had to use postponements, credits and refunds to my clients to survive since the pandemic began.
    With Norwegian Air’s behaviour why would anyone ever accept Travel Industry credit vouchers ever again?
    The impact of denying the 2% will be far more costly to the Travel Industry in the medium to long term than simply processing the refunds.

    Reply
  7. Hi,

    I think we need to make a common claim (all whom were not returned money) against Norwegian. Such company does not deserve to exist. I do not believe that we will receive money from them anyway, because their proposals with shares are really stupid (who gave them this right?). It is illegal without our permission to make us as creditors.
    Who was the judge who decided this (Irish court)? Does anyone know the name of this judge? We need to kick this judge from his/her job, because it is against humans. He/she acted in regards for the company, but not customers.
    Please send email if you were hurted (Norwegian has not returned money) by Norwegian to this email [email protected]. Let’s gather together and make a big claim against Norwegian. Because now they continue using our money without our permission and continue cheating on other customers. It is a scam and illegal.

    Let’s unite and make a justice!

    Reply
  8. I’m in the same boat. Just finished reading their proposal to issue shares but it’s quite complicated: need application code and VPS account (some securities account in Norway) before May 21, 2021 to be even considered. Somebody, help!!!!

    Reply
  9. Our RT trip from Los Angeles to London is in the same boat as everyone here. We have also been refused refunds from hotels we booked. I attempted a Visa card refund but that was refused on the basis of it being too late. Our credit card companies are complicit in this, as I’m guessing it will take a push from our government to get them to assist us in this. We are experiencing this also with Vueling and British Air (yes, alot of flights gone down the drain). I’m in my 70’s, and I will never recover from this loss, nor will I ever travel with so much money paid in advance. The EU needs to step in a make this right!

    Reply
  10. To have received nothing for my money is criminal. What can I, we do? What does the Norwegian government say? Irish court? Please … I’m so angry!

    Reply
  11. This is a daylight robbery by this scammers! Called 10 times, refused to hive any dates of refund, said they are not flying flying to US anymore. We had tickets booked to Orlando from London. £4000 out of pocket and no apology, what kind of company does that. Also why are they allowed to make business still, this was a theft!!! If anyone wants to get together and make an official complaint, please email me at [email protected], how is this allowed.

    Reply
  12. I’m also in this so called “2%”, I booked a flight back in November 2019 for both my wife and myself to go to New York to visit my son in April 20, a few days before our departure Norwegian stopped flying because of Covid, we were only ever offered Cash points which we accepted with a view of travelling later, I have been trying to get a refund since last July, Norwegian say they cannot reverse the cash points into a cash refund, absolute BS, if anyone is starting a lawsuit I will certainly pay my share.

    Reply
  13. I want in on the lawsuit as well. Out $3k like many others on here. Insane to me that they can steal and publish that there is nothing they can do about it. I would be in jail if I stole $3k from them!

    Reply
  14. I’m in the same 2% boat here in the USA. Was only offered reward points by the airline on the flight they canceled! The credit card I used was paid in full and is now closed because it was the Synchronicity Norwegian Reward card. This US banked card would not refund me saying I got reward points even though I explained I can not use them as they do not fly from the US anymore. Even when I return to Norway on a different airline, I would have to spend money on Norwegian Air, before my rewards could be used with the new restructuring, when I was told it was a point for a NOK exchange. I simply want my money back! They can have all the reward points back, including the additional one I earned on my credit card. I only want the money I spent returned. Infuriating!

    Reply
  15. Part of the 2% here as well. They have stole £2200 from me. Never got offered a refund only cashpoints, they stop flying the route to USA and still won’t refund, got told “go to Europe instead”. Then stopped me using the cashpoints. Now the final insult I have to spend more money with them to claim a limited amount of points at any one time. How is this Legal.

    Reply
  16. I have the same. I booked return tickets from the UK to the US (USD1,7k). I wanted to fly with them only to the US and I believed when the pandemic is over I will fly with them to the US. I do not want to fly to their European destinations because the places are not interesting for me. They changed the rules of the CashPoints after “the game” TWO TIMES. Firstly, they have canceled the routes I was ONLY interested to fly and now they are generously giving me the opportunity to use my own money if I pay them 2 times more and to destinations that I do not want to fly?!!! Isn’t that a simple trick on people? Where is the law? Where are the institutions that defend the interests of consumers? Such an approach to customers in a civilized European country? In Norway? How can they brag about having a valued loyalty program? How can you trust them one more time?
    I have been cheated.
    They won’t even see a dollar from me until they give me back all the money I put on the canceled flight. I hope nobody will fly with them again.

    Reply
  17. Another 2% customer here, but I feel lucky only being out $700. This decision by Norwegian will affect air travel for years, less trust now will be a reality.

    Reply
  18. We have been robbed by Norweigan Airlines as well. Submitted a refund request for our flights on the 4th May 2020. Within 14 days we were supposed to be refunded. They “processed” the refund on 30th June 2020, but we never received it. We regularly contacted them to see the status of our refund, they kept pushing us off saying there was a delay. They eventually stopped replying. We submitted a formal complaint in October 2020 and received no reply to that.

    Needless to say, we never received a penny from them.

    Fast forward to the present day, we are being pushed into a corner where they say we basically have no option but to receive a small percentage (5%) of what we are owed as a full refund – and from what I can understand Norweigan Airlines will be legally in the clear after that. All of this is hidden behind lots of legal jargon, HUGE legal documents (240+ pages) and small print emails. Nothing any average customer can be expected to understand, nor have the time to understand. I could go into detail on all the ways we are being fucked over by this process, but I would reach a character limit on this comment.

    It’s criminal that this is allowed to happen to people around the world. It’s criminal that Norweigan Airlines is allowed to continue operating. I just received a notification from their app that “It has been a bumpy ride, but we’re back! I’m now free to use my Norweigan Airlines points with them again”. Are you fucking kidding me? You have stolen hundreds of dollars from us but now it’s all fine and dandy again? Pricks. Everybody complicit in this should be locked up and forced to pay back the money they have stolen. From Norweigan Airlines as a company, the CEO Jacob Schram, and DNB who seem to be helping them get away with a “lawful” 5%, and every other thief involved. Shameful behaviour.

    As a final kick in the teeth, they try to squirm out of paying back the 5%! The last message they sent guilt trips you into giving your 5% to charity through them instead of receiving it… Seriously? You tossers should be paying us the entire 100% AND donating that 5% out of your own pocket to charity out of shame. I have no doubt they would receive some sort of kickback for being able to show that they have been responsible for thousands of (stolen) dollars in donations to charity and the end of the financial year.

    This is a warning, nobody should ever trust Norweigan Airlines, and we NEED to start holding people accountable. Just because the CEO Jacob Schram has a tie and a suit doesn’t mean it’s not a common fucking thief. Lock him up.

    Happy to be involved in any lawsuit or movement that picks up relating to this.

    Reply

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