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Can airlines change their terms after you’ve bought your ticket(Norwegian)

Can airlines change their terms after you’ve bought your ticket(Norwegian)

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Old Jan 2, 19, 12:14 pm
  #1  
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Can airlines change their terms after you’ve bought your ticket(Norwegian)

Apologies if this isn’t on the correct board.

I booked 4 Premium tickets with Norwegian from LGW - JFK back in November and at the time, the cost of ticket included lounge access at Gatwick. While this was mentioned in the booking email they sent me a couple of days later, I noticed I didn’t get any sort of formal written confirmation/pass that I could present at the lounge.

I recently spotted lounge access is now only a perk you get if you book a PremiumFlex ticket, so I contacted Norwegian via their chat service today to query how to get into the lounge and get an assurance my ticket was not affected.

After a painfully long exchange, I was told I couldn’t enter the lounge as I didn’t have a PremiumFlex ticket. I argued as it was included at the time I purchased the ticket, they were obliged to provide me with the service. The agent eventually agreed, but said I would have to submit a refund claim to see if anything could be done. I was told this could take 4-6 weeks to get an answer - I fly on 2 Feb. I’ve submitted a claim so I guess I now have to wait and hope they’re sensible about this in time.

I’d like to be able to use the service I originally paid for, but I’m wondering if airlines can legitimately remove services I’ve paid for without telling me or if they’re legally obliged to honour their end of the bargain?

If I hadn’t queried it today, there would have been 4 very disappointed and embarrassed passengers being turned away from the lounge on the day of travel...

Any thoughts/advice appreciated.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 1:25 pm
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That stinks. I did just check the wayback machine and it looks like, as recently as 13 December, the Norwegian webpage indicated all Premium fares had lounge access.
Current page: https://www.norwegian.com/us/travel-...premium-cabin/
13 Dec page: https://web.archive.org/web/20181213...premium-cabin/

Sometimes, when they change access rules, they grandfather in passengers who bought tickets before a certain date, etc. However, in this case, it appears to be whatever ticket you have at the time of travel, regardless of the policy at the time you purchased the ticket. You can keep trying, but I don't think there is anything illegal about this (I AM NOT A LAWYER, so take it for what it's worth) as lounge access rules are distinct from the fares terms & conditions and the airlines contract of carriage with the passenger.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 1:29 pm
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Welcome to Flyertalk genian
Please continue to follow this discussion in the Other European Airlines Forum
Thanks..
Happy New Year
Obscure2k
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Old Jan 2, 19, 1:42 pm
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I'd be pretty pissed off if I was in your situation.

I'd be sending a strongly worded email to customer services either offering lounge access or a refund to the amount of buying lounge access at each of the airports (provided they are part of the selected list they offer).

Maybe not completely illegal but 100% bad customer service.

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Old Jan 2, 19, 2:29 pm
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OP, what an unfortunate situation - certainly sounds sketchy even if it is technically legal (I am not sure if it is or not). I would be fighting them on this as well.

Note that Norwegian are in a somewhat difficult financial situation so I would manage expectations on the likelihood and speed of a “refund” if you do have to pay upfront for lounge access.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 3:04 pm
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Thanks for your responses so far and thanks to gobluetwo for checking the Wayback machine. I’ll give them a call tomorrow to follow up and hope I can speak to someone who has a bit of common sense on how to resolve this. I don’t know why the person I spoke to via web chat couldn’t simply issue me with the lounge passes or something in writing confirming access after he agreed I was entitled...

Looking at their general terms and conditions, I’m hoping this point will work in my favour in terms of liability and negligence:

Article 14: Agreements for Other Services

14.1 General

If we make arrangements with a third party to provide you with any services other than carriage by air, or if we issue a ticket or voucher for services (other than carriage by air) provided by a third party, such as hotel reservations or car rental, in doing so we act only as your agent for such services. The terms and conditions of the third party service provider will apply. We shall have no liability for such services, except for negligence on our part in making the arrangements.
——-

Whether it can be sorted before we travel I guess is another matter.

Agneisse - I saw the stories about Norwegian’s money woes - I suspect that’s why they’re not subsidising as much lounge access But I also saw their rebuttal claiming they were in good shape... :/
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Old Jan 4, 19, 1:20 pm
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Thanks for this - do keep us posted.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 3:17 pm
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I gave them a call yesterday and was told they don’t resolve these issues over the phone and only do it in writing via email...

I stressed I wanted this resolved before we travel after the person I spoke to said they were busy and taking at least 4 weeks to answer queries - so she said she’d bump me up the queue. Apparently I should get a response by the end of next week, so will wait and see what happens.

Will update when I get a response.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 3:23 pm
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Have you looked at your detailed fare rules (from the time or purchase) to see whether they mention lounge access? It's unlikely, but you might get lucky. If you don't have a copy, you might be able to find historical fare rules on EF. (I've never looked for Norwegian there.)
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Old Jan 5, 19, 6:16 pm
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Annoying, the LGW lounge was actually not bad, if a bit crowded. The Premium seat densification was not exactly a nice change either.
I am not sure where they see the premium product fitting in vs the legacies, especially now they are branching out to SFO.
Looking at the premium fare map for LAX-LGW for the rest of Jan it is going to be a very harsh winter for them, so every $ counts.
At least they are still flying!
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Old Jan 7, 19, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by Agneisse View Post
OP, what an unfortunate situation - certainly sounds sketchy even if it is technically legal (I am not sure if it is or not). I would be fighting them on this as well.

Note that Norwegian are in a somewhat difficult financial situation so I would manage expectations on the likelihood and speed of a “refund” if you do have to pay upfront for lounge access.
I was thinking of buying a ticket to go to Barcelona from LAX in Mid-June. How difficult is their financial situation? Should I look for other transportation?
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Old Jan 8, 19, 12:39 am
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Originally Posted by dinise View Post
I was thinking of buying a ticket to go to Barcelona from LAX in Mid-June. How difficult is their financial situation? Should I look for other transportation?
see discussion here: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-european-airlines/1948794-norwegian-vs-ba-summer-booking.html

only you can know your own risk tolerance. I have an intra-Europe booking with them in April but have researched the alternatives, and am not booking further flights with them (:
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Old Jan 8, 19, 9:46 am
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Hi,

My husband and I flew from Stockholm to Gatwick and then to Boston last summer. We purchased a premium ticket. We received an email from Norwegian that we can enjoy the lounge in Stockholm. When we checked in at Stockholm, the GA confirmed that we had lounge access and gave us directions on how to access the lounge. When we went to the lounge we were denied access as our trip to Gatwick was not considered a long haul. I showed the lounge representative my email from Norwegian and she told me that Norwegian are ....ing liars. I could not believe what I was hearing. She told us to see a Norwegian rep but she was not letting us into the lounge. The Norwegian reps at the airport were useless. We never gained access to the lounge.

ML
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Old Jan 11, 19, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Mary Louise View Post
Hi,

My husband and I flew from Stockholm to Gatwick and then to Boston last summer. We purchased a premium ticket. We received an email from Norwegian that we can enjoy the lounge in Stockholm. When we checked in at Stockholm, the GA confirmed that we had lounge access and gave us directions on how to access the lounge. When we went to the lounge we were denied access as our trip to Gatwick was not considered a long haul. I showed the lounge representative my email from Norwegian and she told me that Norwegian are ....ing liars. I could not believe what I was hearing. She told us to see a Norwegian rep but she was not letting us into the lounge. The Norwegian reps at the airport were useless. We never gained access to the lounge.

ML
When you book a connecting flight on Norwegian you will only have lounge access at the airport your long-haul flight departs from. It has always been like this and the Norwegian staff should have known this. Hopefully you wen't to the No. 1 lounge at Gatwick, they definitely would have let you in.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 3:08 pm
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Hi,

I did receive the following info in an email. That is why I thought I had lounge access in Stockholm.
i did enjoy the lounge in Gatwick.
Your Premium flight includes: A comfortable seat with up to four and a half feet of legroom, USB charger and power outlet
3-course meals and complimentary drinks throughout the flight
2x checked bags and up to 22 lbs. of hand baggage
Fast Track - at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport
Lounge access - at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport

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