Norwegian has received good feedback after the introduction of digital coupons. The digital coupons are already used by leading airlines, and they make air travel easier in the event of delays or cancellations.
According to EU regulation 261/04, passengers have the right to meals in addition to compensation when the delay exceeds two hours. For delays of more than three hours, which extend overnight, passengers must be offered accommodation and transport between the airport and hotel.
Those who have experienced a flight delay or cancellation know how chaotic the situation surrounding access to food and hotel vouchers can be.
Every year, thousands of airline passengers have to stand in long queues when their flights are delayed or cancelled. Often they end up paying out of their own pocket and subsequently submitting the receipts to the responsible airline. And since airlines only pay for ‘reasonable’ expenses, it can create a bit of doubt, because what exactly is meant by ‘reasonable’ expenses?
Norwegian introduced a new system earlier this year with the aim of simplifying such situations for its travellers. The system is called ICoupon, and has so far been implemented in 230 different airports, including Copenhagen and Aarhus airport. In addition, ICoupon is used by over 130 airlines, including KLM, SAS, British Airways, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.
ICoupon will apply to everyone who is entitled to meals, including vouchers, from the airline. In addition, the ICoupon also applies to those who need a hotel stay in case of more extensive delays.
Automatic food voucher
The new thing is that these coupons, which were previously assigned manually, are now linked to the passengers boarding pass digitally.
It’s quite simple. When you have found the point of sale where you want to eat, simply scan the barcode on the boarding pass.
In the barcode, the flight number, dates of travel and departure airport are coded, so that the boarding pass can be matched with the voucher issued digitally by the airline. This voucher can then be used as a means of payment at the point of sale.
The travelers have so far welcomed the new arrangement, according to Norwegian’s press manager, Eline Skari:
“Since the launch, we’ve had a lot of positive feedback from customers who think it’s very effective and who think it works well.”
Easier to get hotels
The second solution, called the Stranded Flight Solution, will make it easier for travelers to access hotels when their flights are seriously delayed.
Passengers will receive a message from Norwegian with a link to available hotels. Through this link, they can choose where they want to spend the night. Once the passengers have chosen their hotel, booking and payment will be automatically handled by the airline.
Travelers no longer need to queue at the counters to be allocated a hotel voucher. This is easily done digitally on the mobile phone.
“This means that when they arrive at the hotel, the booking has already been made and the payment has been deducted in the airline’s system,” explains Skari
Norwegian states that the number of hotels depends on availability and price.