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Old Nov 5, 17, 9:59 pm #1
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36 Hour Delay on Norwegian

My wife was supposed to fly from BCN to OAK today. However, apparently there was a lightning strike on the way in to BCN. So her flight is now delayed 23 hours, and instead of being on a Norwegian 787, will be on a chartered a HiFly A330.

But, even worse off are those who were scheduled to fly from OAK to BCN today. Their flight is delayed about 36 hours, so instead of leaving on Sunday at 5:00 PM, they are leaving on Tuesday at 6 AM. This flight appears to be on the same chartered plane from Barcelona, but it cannot turn right around and take the passengers to Barcelona because of crew rest issues.

I'm not writing this to complain - but just to remind people that when you take an LCC the delay recovery options are far more limited that on legacy carriers.
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Last edited by BigFlyer; Nov 5, 17 at 10:47 pm
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:43 am #2
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post

I'm not writing this to complain - but just to remind people that when you take an LCC the delay recovery options are far more limited that on legacy carriers.
Thanks for sharing. I sometimes use LCC (FR) for short-haul - and most of the time - it is an OK'sh experience.

As long as I understand the risks and take some precautions (e.g. I never book the last FR flight), I am fine - flights are normally on time and service is good (as F/A's get commission on what they manage to sell )

PS. Crew rest is a legal requirement and HiFly or Norwegian cannot break it.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 10:15 am #3

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Good reminder

Yes. It's good to remember that these LCC are different to legacy carriers when IRROPS happen.

That's why if the prices with a LCC are just 25% cheaper than a legacy carrier, I wouldn't book it. But if they are 50%+ cheaper (which they frequently are) I'll book them and take the risk.

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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
My wife was supposed to fly from BCN to OAK today. However, apparently there was a lightning strike on the way in to BCN. So her flight is now delayed 23 hours, and instead of being on a Norwegian 787, will be on a chartered a HiFly A330.

But, even worse off are those who were scheduled to fly from OAK to BCN today. Their flight is delayed about 36 hours, so instead of leaving on Sunday at 5:00 PM, they are leaving on Tuesday at 6 AM. This flight appears to be on the same chartered plane from Barcelona, but it cannot turn right around and take the passengers to Barcelona because of crew rest issues.

I'm not writing this to complain - but just to remind people that when you take an LCC the delay recovery options are far more limited that on legacy carriers.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 3:38 pm #4
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That calculus might work for you, but doesn't really apply to this flight.

I have looked around online at the Norwegian website - delays like this seem to be few and far between.

So, going from the SF Bay Area to BCN - the shortest non-Norwegian (or Level, another LCC) is 14 hours on Air France. Norwegian is 11 hours non-stop. So, most of the time you will save at least 6 hours of flying time on a round-trip to BCN from the Bay Area by flying Norwegian or Level. I might be willing to pay MORE for that than the slower Air France option.



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Originally Posted by PsuedoEuropeanGuy View Post
Yes. It's good to remember that these LCC are different to legacy carriers when IRROPS happen.

That's why if the prices with a LCC are just 25% cheaper than a legacy carrier, I wouldn't book it. But if they are 50%+ cheaper (which they frequently are) I'll book them and take the risk.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 3:41 pm #5
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Yes, but the European airlines usually turn their flights around from the US in a few hours because they have a rested crew ready to take the aircraft back to Europe. Because the flight is now being operated by a charter carrier there is no rested crew waiting in Oakland.

BTW, flight is now showing delayed another 3 hours, so the flight is leaving 39 hours late.


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PS. Crew rest is a legal requirement and HiFly or Norwegian cannot break it.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 4:11 pm #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
That calculus might work for you, but doesn't really apply to this flight.

I have looked around online at the Norwegian website - delays like this seem to be few and far between.

So, going from the SF Bay Area to BCN - the shortest non-Norwegian (or Level, another LCC) is 14 hours on Air France. Norwegian is 11 hours non-stop. So, most of the time you will save at least 6 hours of flying time on a round-trip to BCN from the Bay Area by flying Norwegian or Level. I might be willing to pay MORE for that than the slower Air France option.
Delays like this were very common in the beginning of Norwegian's long haul operations. And while not common any longer they are not rare. There are still a lot of stories like yours popping up. The short haul European works well, I would never venture out on their long haul flights for this exact reason.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:03 am #7

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But your talking about best case situations. I factor in expected case situation.

Lets say AF is late 5% of the time and they are two hours late.
I would say the mean transit time is 0.95*14 + 0.05*16.

With Norwegian lets say its late 10% of the time and when they are late they are really late (as your example shows).
So its 0.90*11 + 0.1 * 30+

Still a good deal for Norwegian but not as good as the best case numbers state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
That calculus might work for you, but doesn't really apply to this flight.

I have looked around online at the Norwegian website - delays like this seem to be few and far between.

So, going from the SF Bay Area to BCN - the shortest non-Norwegian (or Level, another LCC) is 14 hours on Air France. Norwegian is 11 hours non-stop. So, most of the time you will save at least 6 hours of flying time on a round-trip to BCN from the Bay Area by flying Norwegian or Level. I might be willing to pay MORE for that than the slower Air France option.

Last edited by PsuedoEuropeanGuy; Nov 7, 17 at 2:48 am
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Old Nov 7, 17, 3:19 am #8

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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post

I'm not writing this to complain - but just to remind people that when you take an LCC the delay recovery options are far more limited that on legacy carriers.
The legacy’s have their own issues. Last December I was booked to fly Delta PEK-DTW-CVG. Between DTW and PEK, Delta flies an A332 that has a 2ish hour turn in PEK, before returning to DTW. On the day I was supposed to fly, the inbound flight from Detroit faced strong headwinds, and had to stop in SEA for fuel. Other carriers on similar length flights from ORD and Toronto, fly 777’s and 787’s, and none of those flights had to stop for fuel on the way. My connection to CVG was busted and I was rebooked on a flight the following day through SEA and LAX, arriving about 20 hours late.

Delta, in an effort to improve their margins, flies smaller widebodies over the Pacific than their competitors, they utilize a 767 for SEA to PEK. When it works, it allows Delta to lower operating costs, but it also pushes planes to their limits, which creates more busted connections (which is problematic for the DTW PEK flight, as the flight arrives in DTW at 18:13, so any type of significant delay means passengers will miss the last connection of the evening to their final destination).
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Old Nov 7, 17, 11:55 am #9

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Originally Posted by PsuedoEuropeanGuy View Post
But your talking about best case situations. I factor in expected case situation.

Lets say AF is late 5% of the time and they are two hours late.
I would say the mean transit time is 0.95*14 + 0.05*16.

With Norwegian lets say its late 10% of the time and when they are late they are really late (as your example shows).
So its 0.90*11 + 0.1 * 30+

Still a good deal for Norwegian but not as good as the best case numbers state.
Shouldn't you take into account eu261 compensation as well?
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:26 pm #10
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My assumption is that Norwegian will deny compensation, claiming that the delay was unavoidable due to the lightning strike. My quick research tells me that there is no binding authority on this question, although some courts have ruled that a delay from a lightning strike is not unavoidable. Especially in this case were the strike was the night before the flight.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of US court decisions saying that you can't sue in US courts for EU 261 compensation.

In fact, I think arguably my wife is entitled to 600 EUR x 2. When her first flight did not go, they told everyone it was cancelled. However, online Norwegian called it a delayed flight, and gave the new charter flight the same flight number.

If we call it a cancellation, she should get 600 EUR for the first delay - then, the replacement charter flight left (and arrived) over 4 hours after the original time that was given. So, if it was a cancellation, there were two flights delayed over 4 hours.



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Shouldn't you take into account eu261 compensation as well?
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:32 pm #11
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I think as a % situations like this are less than 1% of flights. I have been watching Norwegian flights at various airports, looked at 100's of flights, and this is the only one I saw with a delay anything like this. In fact, the on-time record seemed reasonably good.

BTW, the return flight from OAK to BCN that is supposed to take the folks who were supposed to fly out to BCN on Sunday at 5 PM is now delayed further with the replacement flight now set to leave today (Tuesday) at 7:30 PM. that's a 50.5 hour delay. I bet there are going to be a lot of angry people at OAK tonight.

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Originally Posted by CPH-Flyer View Post
Delays like this were very common in the beginning of Norwegian's long haul operations. And while not common any longer they are not rare. There are still a lot of stories like yours popping up. The short haul European works well, I would never venture out on their long haul flights for this exact reason.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:35 pm #12

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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
In fact, I think arguably my wife is entitled to 600 EUR x 2. When her first flight did not go, they told everyone it was cancelled. However, online Norwegian called it a delayed flight, and gave the new charter flight the same flight number.

If we call it a cancellation, she should get 600 EUR for the first delay - then, the replacement charter flight left (and arrived) over 4 hours after the original time that was given. So, if it was a cancellation, there were two flights delayed over 4 hours.
You can't claim twice for the same flight, irrespective of what you or anyone else calls it.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:43 pm #13
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How do you define "same flight"?

Different plane, different layout (A340 rather than 787), different day, but same flight number in this case.

Is it the same flight number that makes it the same flight? If they had given it a different flight number, would that have made it two flights? If so, seems it give a lot of credence to a semantical decision by the airline.


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You can't claim twice for the same flight, irrespective of what you or anyone else calls it.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:49 pm #14

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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
How do you define "same flight"?

Different plane, different layout (A340 rather than 787), different day, but same flight number in this case.

Is it the same flight number that makes it the same flight? If they had given it a different flight number, would that have made it two flights? If so, seems it give a lot of credence to a semantical decision by the airline.
For the sake of simplicity, how many times did your wife actually fly? Only once, therefore it is the "same" flight...
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:50 pm #15
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EC 261/2004 ought to net the passengers EUR 600 + 2 nights hotel + appropriate food and other local transport costs, if any.

But, for many, the money is not the point. They may have plans which are not flexible.

I don't think that the bird strike gets Norwegian off the hook for 39 hours on the return. Certainly OAK is an outstation and it may take some time to organize a replacement. But, unless the carrier can show that it simply could not dredge up aircraft capable of making the xOAK flight in less time, it won't avoid compensation.

That is the cost of operating bare bones. Once in a while, one gets caught short and has to charter an aircraft inbound and then another one (or at least a repalcement crew) outbound. If the carrier is operationally sound, this will be infrequent and the losses from these two flights won't matter overall. But, if the carrier routinely runs into these problems, this becomes too costly to sustain.

As to the individual situation, this is where it pays to hedge the very cheap airfare with travel insurance which pays out for a new ticket. Then you simply book that new ticket on whatever carrier it is and fly back without a worry.

On the other hand, OP's wife can't claim twice under the same ticket. That has nothing to do with "flight" and everything to do with the length of delay at her final ticketed destination. Compensation is EUR 300 at 3 hours, and EUR 600 at 4 hours. It does not go up from there. Whether she is delayed 5, 23 or 39 hours into OAK, the compensation remains the same on her ticket, e.g. EUR 600.

Last edited by Often1; Nov 7, 17 at 3:07 pm
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