Norwegian Air: A Breakup Story

I’ve flown Norwegian a total of seven times over the last two and a half years, so I have a little bit of experience with the airline, both positive and negative. After this many wonderful, romantic dates it’s hard to say ‘Goodbye’, but inevitably even the most wonderful partner will show teeth, and Norwegian Air has finally bitten me one too many times. 

The first time I flew with this beautifully colored red and white-airplaned airline they were amazing. I was one of the lucky few who actually flew on their maiden voyage from Los Angeles to Stockholm, Sweden. The plane had so many empty seats that I was able to leave my aisle seat in the distant past and secure myself three empty seats to stretch my legs across for the whole flight. I know, you’re saying, “What a jerk”, but you know you would have done it too if you didn’t fear the Flight Attendants, and this was better than First Class seating, believe me. So worth it.The coed Flight Attendants went out of their way to make everything nice. I’m surprised they didn’t bring out scented candles, but alas, we’ll leave that to the Emirates crew.

Fast forward 90 days.. yes, that’s how long I vacationed in Sweden, what? So fast forward 90 days to the return trip. The crew discovered a problem with a navigation sensor, the part that makes the plane a blip on the radar screen, and the flight was delayed a full 30 hours because they couldn’t find a replacement sensor in-country. Norwegian also didn’t have what they called “Sister Airlines”, meaning the couldn’t place us on anyone else’s planes because they didn’t yet have agreements to do that with any other airlines… at least that’s what they told us confidentially.

The gate keepers gave us food and drink vouchers every few hours, and when it became clear that the problem couldn’t be fixed quickly they gave us rooms at the airport’s ‘vundabar’ Clarion hotel for the night, which was nice. However, they figured that this made up for the 30 hour delay. The problem was that for those of us with jobs, the airline didn’t account for our loss of income. I have a company trying to refund my return ticket, and even two and a half years later they still haven’t refunded a penny.

Norwegian’s service has since then gotten progressively worse. Everything from the seats losing their nice cushiness, to the airline’s in-flight service, to dirty toilets, to the airline’s selection of entertainment options, everything is now worse.

I just flew to and from Sweden again recently. On this last flight, which I just returned from on 4/16/2016, flight 7087 from ARN to LAX, the stewardesses had print sheets for the seats, showing who had purchased in-flight meals. I didn’t purchase in-flight meals because the food is honestly microwave food at 5-star prices. I bought two sandwiches and two drinks at a concession stand by the gate instead, at an astounding airport price of equiv. $18. Compare that to the $60 cost for the food served on board, and I’m $42 ahead on each leg of the trip.

What I didn’t account for was dehydration on these flights. Lesson learned. I sucked it up, but was very disappointed that although the flight attendants were passing by with the drinks cart often, they skipped entire rows of people because they hadn’t purchased meals, and only offered any forms of drinks to the few people who purchased meals. In my whole section, this was around 10 people. Nothing was offered to anyone else, not even plain old water. I don’t know if they know or care, but dehydration is a health hazard. Not to even offer water to people is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

Next, the toilets were filthy. I don’t mean that they got dirty from us using them, I mean they were already dirty when we boarded. It looked like nobody had bothered to even wipe the counter and sink, and the toilets had urine stains on them. Note to men: Guys, I know we pee standing up, but if you’re going to do that on a plane, just lift the seat out of courtesy so you don’t spray on the seat, then wash your hands afterwards. We’re not at the shooting range, and it’s the gentlemanly thing to do.

Lastly, the in-flight entertainment. Highlight: The new ‘Star Wars’ movie. The problem is, almost everyone saw it already on a big screen, so it was meh to watch it again on an 8″ screen. I think even cattle in Afghanistan have seen Star Wars already by now.

When the movies ‘Creed’ and ‘Pan’ came out I said a silent “Skip”, and as the movies’ earnings show, so did millions of other people. These were the two other key movies on my flight, along with a few other mangina movies that never even played in any theaters. The other few movies were from 10 to 15 years ago, when Bruce Willis was a big action hero. I didn’t want to see Die Harder then, and I have little interest in seeing it now. I watched a documentary on two artists, if you can call them that, one who lays burlap bags on a metal frame randomly and calls it art. Michelangelo is rolling in his grave. I was so bored with the in-flight entertainment that I watched a movie on an Android phone belonging to a passenger in a seat ahead of me, through the space between seats, albeit without sound for me, all while thinking how fucking great a refreshing glass of water would be right now.

I guess what I’m saying is, Norwegian, when we met you were awesome and all, a caring lover, attentive to my needs, and we had some great fun adventures. But, you’ve become a jerk and it’s time to break up with you. I’m sorry to do this in text, but I can’t even talk to you anymore without getting into this huge argument about who said what to whom. You don’t listen, even when all your friends and loved ones tell you you’ve changed for the worse, and I can’t deal with your attitude anymore. All my love my love …. goodbye.

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