Norwegian Airlines...

should be out of business.

It was only after I had booked a ticket on the airline that I noticed social media posts about sudden cancellations, and in fact, my return flight to the US was also canceled - without reason or explanation. Luckily, I was observant enough on the initial leg of the flight to realize there was not going to be any help rebooking the flight - the flight attendants on the "Norwegian" carrier didn't seem to have any affiliation with a Norwegian business, wore uniforms that said "Privilege Service" or some such, and spoke Italian and Spanish with one another. My suspicions were confirmed when the check-in staff informed those of us on the cancelled flight that they were only able to provide free hotel accommodations for as long as needed until we could contact Norwegian by phone to rebook our flights. I had already made up my mind that I was going to find my own way out of Rome, and so I didn't notice until much later that the phone number the counter staff provided me on a sheet of passenger rights (in Italian) was completely bogus. I followed that up with a search online to claim reimbursement from the airline and found no contact phone number there either. It was only when THANKFULLY the internet gods decided the carrier's website was overloaded that I received an automated error message with a contact number to call. Interestingly enough, when I tried to input my booking code to claim a reimbursement initially, the airline didn't recognize it though the phone personnel found it readily. The initial automated message after that attempt was to contact the travel agent who booked the ticket since they would have to provide reimbursement. Ah yes, of course - one side has to blame the other, and so kiwi.com and Norwegian Airlines have apparently become a marriage of convenience in this little charade of airline service.

"Charade" is obviously generous. While I was able - as a single traveler - to find an initial flight to another European city, what about others traveling as a family or group with limited funds and/or travel knowledge to expedite the process? The check-in staff even acknowledged that the process of getting rebooked could take up to 5 to 7 days, which to me sounded like some kind of bizarre hijacking of people's lives, finances, and possibly sanity. And if no one is actually responsible on the ground, or in the air, this venture is a catastrophe waiting to happen...

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