Officials at London Gatwick airport in the UK have told an Oslo newspaper that they never closed the airport during bad weather on August 10. Norwegian Air has claimed several times that closure of the airport is what led to serious delays that left passengers stuck on a Norwegian jet for 10 hours that day.
“We stayed open all day,” a Gatwick spokesperson told newspaper Aftenposten. There were delays as a result of the weather, the spokesperson said, but the airport never actually closed.
“This is shocking news that totally undermines Norwegian’s clarification,” Erik Dale, one of the passengers on the flight, told Aftenposten. He’s now representing more than 80 passengers on board the flight from London to Oslo who are claiming much more compensation for their ordeal than Norwegian Air has been willing to pay.
Norwegian has also written in several emails to Aftenposten that Gatwick closed on August 10, and that’s why its flight to Oslo was so seriously delayed. The delay also necessitated refueling and a change of cabin crew. The passengers on board reportedly were only offered a bottle of water and either chips or a brownie during the 10 hours they sat on the plane. At least one passenger took photos and video of other aircraft taking off while she and the others still sat at London Gatwick.
A Norwegian spokesperson insisted to Aftenposten that after going through “all our internal reports,” the airport was “temporarily closed for departures.” She wrote in an email to Aftenposten that “regardless, it’s important in this case that our flight was not allowed to take off because of bad weather at Gatwick, which led to a string of circumstances that unfortunately delayed this departure further.”