Norwegian to launch Gatwick-Tampa route

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  FDOS_UK 27 Jun 2018
at 01:20
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • pheighdough
    Participant

    I see in the news that Norwegian are taking on another busy BA route to Florida. I am a regular user of the current service to Tampa, and may be tempted into using the new service, albeit the timings aren’t as good as BA.

    With this head to head battle does anyone believe they may start attacking the Caribbean services next, and take on both BA and Virgin??


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Where Norwegian will win, is passengers will enjoy fresh and new aircraft over the aged and decaying aircraft used by BA/VS.


    FlightDoctor
    Participant

    I see that several routes are being cut back or stopped for the winter. I have a very upset colleague at work who has booked her honeymoon with Norwegian flights to Seattle later this year and has just been told she will be rebooked to LA! Not exactly close and unclear if they will stump up for connecting flights. Any idea what her rights may be here?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I can’t help feeling, as I read comments such as those above, and elsewhere, that Norwegian may have expanded too rapidly and may come up against the ‘Valujet’ syndrome, which would be a pity.

    Regarding FlightDoctor’s comment, EU261 would not apply as the notification has taken place more than 14 days before departure. I think that your colleague’s rights would be a full refund or a transfer to another Norwegian flight – of course if they don’t fly where she wants to go that’s as much use as a chocolate teapot. I can’t see them stumping up for connecting flights but ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’, so worth a try.


    greyhawkgeoff
    Participant

    The interesting side to this announcement is that over the past 5 or so years BA have survived the onslaught of the arrival of Lufthansa/Eurowings to Frankfurt after Edelweiss the Swiss subsidiary (aka Lufthansa) started flying to to Zurich so increasing the Tampa non stop to Western Europe market from 1 route to 3.

    The latest figures published by TPA show BA marginally down at 141k pax p.a LH marginally up at 120k and Edelweiss unchanged at 41k p.a. Equally there have been times when BA cut their winter schedule from daily to 6 weekly, goodness knows why as it is more like high season here rather than summer at Orlando and Brits to Disney.

    BA have just started using the high density 777-200 on the route occasionally but informed sources suggest that by October it will cover 5 of the 7 weekly rotations – an extra 50 or so seats at the back end. Remember that the outgoing CEO Keith Williams stated that this would give BA a cost advantage over Norwegian’s 787s. The corollary is that Club is reduced from 40/48 to 32 and WTP increased from 24 to 48 at the same time. I guess that from a revenue management perspective is that there will be far fewer free upgrades in the future.

    I too use this route 3 or 4 times a year by preference because of convenience between my homes and it avoids either the schlep down to MIA/FLL or across to MCO, let alone the hassle of connecting through ATL or elsewhere. But every now and then price comes along and upsets this – I notice that I have 2 returns booked thru TPA and 3 thru MIA in the immediate 6 months or so. Perhaps the joy of AA on a 777-300 or the BA 380 took may fancy as well as price!

    At the end of the day, no body offers quite the Club experience and the TPA lounge is quite civilised, whether BA can fill the densified 777’s with their refurbished cabins the market will decide, but look out for some sharper prices in Y and W.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I can’t help feeling, as I read comments such as those above, and elsewhere, that Norwegian may have expanded too rapidly and may come up against the ‘Valujet’ syndrome, which would be a pity.

    Regarding FlightDoctor’s comment, EU261 would not apply as the notification has taken place more than 14 days before departure. I think that your colleague’s rights would be a full refund or a transfer to another Norwegian flight – of course if they don’t fly where she wants to go that’s as much use as a chocolate teapot. I can’t see them stumping up for connecting flights but ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’, so worth a try.

    Under EU261, she would not be entitled to compensation, as capetonianm says, but the relevant part of Article 5 states

    Article 5

    Cancellation

    1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:
    (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8;

    Article 8 states

    1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:
    (a)- reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at
    the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts
    already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan,
    together with, when relevant,
    – a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;
    (b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or
    (c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the
    passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats.

    So she can insist that Norwegian re-routes her, which they will not like, but they should have thought about that before cancelling the flight.


    openfly
    Participant

    @FDOS
    It’s all very well quoting Article 8, but the airlines ignore it knowing that the customer will just give in.
    I booked BA from LBA-LHR-JMK-LHR-LBA for travel in May on BA.
    The LHR-JMK was the first sector to be cancelled last Dec, so had to rebook everything a week later. Then in Feb the LBA-LHR was cancelled and had to be rebooked via MAN with all the costs of parking etc involved. 15 days before travel, the MAN-LHR was cancelled and had to go on a later tight connection.
    The return JMK-LHR was two hours late and missed the MAN flight. Got to MAN 90 mins late.
    A total friggin’ disaster.
    I claimed the return train fare of £51 from Yorkshire to MAN. Guess what….BA refused to pay. Argued, but they stood their ground. Obviously BA is so poverty stricken that they can’t pay. I can easily afford it, so they win, again.
    Try quoting Article 8 to BA….
    Next year EasyJet gets my custom!!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    So she can insist that Norwegian re-routes her, which they will not like,

    I read that with some cynicism and sadness. The statement is correct, but as openfly says, is it worth the battle to achieve it? I understand that Norwegian is one of the carriers with whom the CAA are doing battle over EU261.

    BA did very similar to a family member who’d booked flights to the Canary Islands at Christmas. I don’t remember the details but they changed timings of an inbound and an outbound sector so that instead of being a reasonable connection, it became an overnight at the connect point (LGW I think) in each direction.

    Guess what….BA refused to pay. Argued, but they stood their ground. Obviously BA is so poverty stricken that they can’t pay. They absolutely refused to absorb the consequent costs, let alone compensate for the inconvenience, and the approach was ‘if you don’t like it take your money back and go elsewhere’.

    That is what they have done, and they will be flying, like so many of us, with easyJet. That will leave them out of pocket but they can afford it and can’t be bothered to pursue it. This is the problem with this type of situation. Apparently only about 5% of passengers entitled to claim will do so. Of those, 90% will fall at the first hurdle that the carrier puts up, and of the remainder, 90% will fall at the second hurdle. Those who get to the end will usually win.

    More and more people will vote with their feet and ultimately IAG’s shareholders (I am one) will suffer.


    rferguson
    Participant

    What is interesting is that the same week Norwegian announce LGW – TPA they quietly closed bookings on their website for LGW – SEA from Oct 26.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    rferguson : (I know that you know this!) It’s perfectly normal practice for an airline to deploy aircraft on routes that will give best yields taking into account sector lengths, a/c utilisation, crew rostering, etc. TPA may add up to a better yield than SEA.

    What counts is how/if the airline puts its hands up when it realises it has made a mistake, and that the correction will impact passengers. Service recovery, something BA don’t appear to offer.

    As an aside, I had a small example of excellent service recovery a couple of weeks ago. I had booked a through service from Scotland to Belfast by coach/ferry (I enjoy travelling by sea!) and the ferry docked late, and the ‘connecting’ bus didn’t wait. I had pay £21 for a taxi to my hotel. I wrote to the company concerned saying that I expected them to pay the fare to Belfast terminal which would have been about £8. This was purely as a matter of principle, I didn’t want the money, and am donating it to the charity for whom I’d done a sponsored walk earlier in the week.

    I received a very polite and apologetic email in which they asked for my address for the refund and said they would be refunding the full £21, over and above my expectation. It’s small gestures like that which engender loyalty.

    When KLM delayed my bags last year by 24 hours on a flight to CPT, I was told I could buy €100 of necessary clothing etc for immediate needs. I spent the equivalent of €160 and when I sent the claim in, with the bill, I only asked for €100. They paid the full amount (and some people say the Dutch are mean!) Again, a small gesture which creates loyalty and good publicity.


    CHARLES
    Participant

    I, too, use the route three times a year and am disappointed that BA have decided to reduce the number of CW seats available. The CW cabins(s) always seem well used to me. And, of course, this has reflected on fares and availability. Our next trip is October/December and struggled not only with the price but finding two seats together. Eventually decided to fly to and from Miami at a saving of around £2,000, although face a three-hour plus drive to Sarasota.
    Over the past few months BA have used 777s with a non-bookable first class cabin, although have been fortunate to be moved forward on occasions. Same food, service, etc but a far superior seat.
    Also, of late, BA have not been running a Wednesday service. Perhaps this is why Norwegian are using Wednesday as one of their days.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    @FDOS

    It’s all very well quoting Article 8, but the airlines ignore it knowing that the customer will just give in.

    I booked BA from LBA-LHR-JMK-LHR-LBA for travel in May on BA.

    The LHR-JMK was the first sector to be cancelled last Dec, so had to rebook everything a week later. Then in Feb the LBA-LHR was cancelled and had to be rebooked via MAN with all the costs of parking etc involved. 15 days before travel, the MAN-LHR was cancelled and had to go on a later tight connection.

    The return JMK-LHR was two hours late and missed the MAN flight. Got to MAN 90 mins late.

    A total friggin’ disaster.

    I claimed the return train fare of £51 from Yorkshire to MAN. Guess what….BA refused to pay. Argued, but they stood their ground. Obviously BA is so poverty stricken that they can’t pay. I can easily afford it, so they win, again.

    Try quoting Article 8 to BA….

    Next year EasyJet gets my custom!!

    Bott & Co. Magic words. Sure, you lose 20% + VAT and a service charge of £25, but you also avoid the need to deal with idiotic responses.

    The EC gave us the tools, it’s up to us to employ them and change the airlines’ behaviour.

    BA refused to pay my compensation due to the misconnect that they caused recently, despite the fact that it was obviously due – the customer service agent carefully used words that sounded like legal terms ‘circumstances beyond our control’, not ‘extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided if all reasonable measures had been taken’. He also said ‘we will not change our decision’, to which I replied ‘you will when you get judgment against you’, which did not go down very well.

    Apparently headwinds are beyond their control and the delay at Heathrow for stand guidance is the fault of ATC and beyond their control – so off it went to Bott & Co, who will put BA through the wringer.

    One needs to have a decent grasp of EC261 and some case law, but it is easily available on the web and firms such as Bott & Co have wizards on their website that will give a very quick assessment of whether a claim is likely to succeed.

    I have no commercial relationship with this company, but for those people who have actionable cases and are getting the run around, they are worth a look.


    travelworld2
    Participant

    BA’s business model on EU261 seems to be to refuse to pay in all but the most blatant circumstances and only actually do so if the customer sues them. I did so last year when, astonishingly, BA instructed Norton Rose, a large international law firm to defend my 600 Euro claim (knowing I am a partner in another international law firm). They caved in two weeks before trial and paid everything.

    If BA – and any other airline which tries this approach- were a bank in the UK they would be sanctioned by the FCA for not “treating their customer fairly”. In short, rejecting a customer claim the bank knows to be valid is now deemed to be improper. But I don’t think the CAA has any power to stop them.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    BA’s business model on EU261 seems to be to refuse to pay in all but the most blatant circumstances and only actually do so if the customer sues them. I did so last year when, astonishingly, BA instructed Norton Rose, a large international law firm to defend my 600 Euro claim (knowing I am a partner in another international law firm). They caved in two weeks before trial and paid everything.

    Not just BA. I had the same last year with LH. Their lawyers, who were extremely professional and amicable in their dealings with me and almost made me feel as if I was their client, told me that they would be defending their client’s case and sending their senior aviation litigation counsel to confront me in court. I said I looked forward to meeting him and may the best man win the case.

    They caved in two weeks before …………….

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    openfly
    Participant

    @FDOS Thankyou for the information. I did speak to Botts on this occasion, but they thought it wasn’t worthwhile chasing BA as there was little to gain. They only like straight forward claims such as EU 261 for easy commission.
    I had another problem involving an off load situation. Again they did not seem interested in my claim. I even offered to pay them directly for my case…nope. I am looking for other aviation legal firms who want my money!

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