A week before we were due to head to Provence, via a day stopover in London, I got a text message from Norwegian Air who we were flying from Los Angeles to London Gatwick. The text message said that the flight was overbooked and they were looking for volunteers to switch flights and get compensated 400 euros each for the switch. Without knowing if I was up for changing my flight or not, I called the hotline number they gave to see what was going on and what the situation was for the overbooking. Long story short, they had to use a different aircraft resulting in the flight being oversold by 40 people. 40! That’s a ton of people who’s travel plans would be altered.
So I asked what the other options were, considering what the chaos would be like dealing with a flight oversold by that many at LAX the following week and considering how short this trip was, I didn’t want to have our flight canceled or such resulting in lost time on the ground in Europe. The only option they had was a direct flight from LAX to Barcelona, which would get us in to Barcelona about the same time we would have arrived in London. I jumped at the option, considering in exchange the hassle, we’d be getting 400 euros per person.
And while I was a little bummed not to get to go through London, we love Barcelona as well so the change wasn’t so bad. But here in lies the rub, thankfully I had booked a hotel in London that had free cancelation and a rental car in Marseille, France the following day that I could cancel. If not, I would have been out hundreds of dollars due to this last minute change. All in all, the only thing I couldn’t cancel was our flight from London to Marseille on British Airways, however their flight attendants were due to strike that week so ultimately who knows how that would have turned out and we had actually booked that on points, paying $0 so it wasn’t a big deal.
After a couple hours frantically rebooking and canceling London reservations, we only ended up spending an extra $250 to fly from Barcelona to Nice, which from the $850 we got in compensation from Norwegian, still left money in our pockets.
The moral of this story: ALWAYS book hotels and rental cars that can be canceled. Even if you have to pay a little more, I’ve had so many instances that it’s paid for itself ten-fold to be able to cancel if needed without paying a charge or forfeiting your money. And while the city change was kind of a last minute issue and took a good deal of an afternoon to work out, it ended up being a fun change in the end and an evening we spent drinking sangria and eating all the croquetas I could get my hands on!
Emily of Em Busy Living says
Thank goodness everything worked out for you guys! I love taking airlines up on those offers, especially if I’m heading home from a trip.
Yea it ended up okay but was super stressful at the time to rebook everything! But it can be a great way to make a little cash 🙂
I think airlines have gotten better about compensating people when issues like this come up. They’ve been shamed on social media enough times to know that they’ve got to do the right thing or the entire world will hear about it. I’m glad everything worked out for you on your trip!
Yea they have and I think that international airlines are better at it than US ones as well. It ended up pretty good for us! 🙂
Camila @ AdventitiousViolet says
haha great lesson. I never do – and sometimes it depends on if it’s short term or something, but I definitely should start thinking of this. Bit like insurance I guess!
Yea it definitely depends what the situation is but I’ve found over the years doing a lot of travel, it’s paid for itself multiple times over to pay the tiny bit extra for free cancelation!