Sunday, May 4, 2014

Norwegian Air

If you read the blog on Carnegie Hall, you would know that my Norwegian Air flight to Oslo from JFK was cancelled and the airline was to fly us to Oslo the following night on a 747 operated by Pullmantur Air which I discovered is a Spanish charter airline.

Originally the plane was to leave about 6 pm but I received a text message that there was a mechanical problem. Eventually another message arrived to say that we would leave about 11:30 pm. We were allowed to stay in the motel and have dinner and I proceeded over to JFK about 9 pm for a boarding time of 10:40 pm.

I realized that the jinx was on again when 10:40 arrived and there was no plane at the gate. The crew turned up and just sat around. Eventually the plane arrived at 11:30 pm and finally at 12:20 am, I sat down in my seat. About 15 minutes later, boarding was complete and I was very pleased to find that I had all three seats by the window to myself, so I hoped to get some sleep.

And then we waited and waited, still at the gate. After about an hour, an announcement was made that they were waiting on a flight plan. About 2 am they came around with some water. Occasionally another announcement was made that they were still waiting on a flight plan. Eventually the plan must arrived because we backed out and headed to the run way. We took off at 4:00 am for a flight that took a bit over 6 hours.

They gave us dinner and breakfast but the service was no where near as good as a Qantas flight. At least the crew were friendly. The plane was formerly used by Japan Airlines and the screens in the seat backs showed everything in Japanese.

You have to wonder why a flight plan was such a problem when computers presumably do most of the work. Norwegian flies this route every second night. I suspect it was a communication issue between Norwegian and Pullmanair or perhaps there was some friction between the two companies.

I got through immigration and customs and went to the airline desk to find out about my next flight to near Narvik. Unfortunately, the remaining flights that day were full so I am on the first flight tomorrow which would allow me to take a later train to Lulea. However, it looks like that train might be fully booked so I expect to be taking the early train the following day.

I can't complain about how the ground staff of Norwegian has treated me. They put me in a motel near Oslo airport and provided vouchers for dinner and breakfast. It does appear that they are having real problems with their new 787 Dreamliner. I wonder if other airlines using this new plane are having similar issues.

It was quite chilly waiting for the bus to the motel at Oslo airport and the sun went down a bit after 9 pm.

The jinx continues.

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