Norwegian “Pauses” Rewards Program

Filed Under: Norwegian

In November 2020, Norwegian filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland. Then a few weeks ago the airline announced it would end long haul flights and get rid of 787s. Now it has been announced that Norwegian Rewards, which is Norwegian’s loyalty program, is being “paused.”

Norwegian suspends loyalty program

The Norwegian Rewards program is being paused at least until the current bankruptcy protection proceedings are over, and until “the COVID-19 situation allows.” Norwegian is promising to be transparent and to not devalue CashPoints (the value of which is tied to Norway’s currency), and does aim to relaunch the program.

What are the practical implications of the Norwegian Rewards program being paused?

  • All program benefits with Norwegian are being paused; membership will remain active, but during this time it will not be possible to earn or spend CashPoints or Rewards on Norwegian’s products or services, from flight tickets to extra baggage
  • You will still be able to earn CashPoints with partners (presumably because this is a revenue opportunity for the airline)
  • Following the pause, a potential limit on CashPoints spending may be implemented; at that point you’ll be able to earn and redeem rewards, but the airline reserves the right to limit the spending of CashPoints as means of payment until the impact of the ongoing pandemic is under control
  • CashPoints and Rewards validity will be extended by at least one full year

Norwegian is suspending many aspects of its loyalty program

Even if Norwegian Rewards returns…

Even if the Norwegian Rewards program does make a full comeback at some point, it may not be of much value to many people who had previously participated in it.

Pre-pandemic Norwegian made a huge push for its frequent flyer program in the US, and was even planning to introduce a US credit card. With Norwegian no longer operating long haul flights, that’s of limited value at this point.

The same is true for people with Norwegian vouchers. A lot of passengers have vouchers with the airline due to canceled flights, but those aren’t of much use if you’re based in the US and the airline doesn’t plan on resuming transatlantic flights.

Norwegian is ending long haul flights and getting rid of 787s

Bottom line

Norwegian is undergoing a major reorganization, and in the process the airline is pausing its frequent flyer program. You’ll still be able to earn CashPoints with partners (since this is a way for the airline to make money), but you won’t be able to earn or redeem CashPoints otherwise.

Only time will tell if Norwegian emerges from its current bankruptcy protection proceedings. The airline is highly leveraged, and if the airline does survive, it will be a shell of its former self.

Anyone impacted by the Norwegian Rewards program being paused?

(Tip of the hat to Steve E)

Comments
  1. I’d be furious if I were a Norwegian passenger who accepted CashPoints + a 20% bonus in lieu of a refund for a cancelled flight during the coronavirus pandemic.

  2. @Evan, can’t blame anyone but themselves if people are stupid enough to accept something like that from an airline on the brink of bankruptcy.

  3. @Daniel from Finland, please, don’t be ridiculous. The average leisure flyer is not up to date with the corporate health of the carriers they fly. Consumer protection laws exist for a reason.

  4. Norwegian baited and switched period. They offered cash points to me instead of a refund last year when the cancelled my flight from Boston to London. I want my money.

  5. @Maria – you can “want” your money but you won’t get it. If you accepted the bonus off you can’t claim they didn’t offer a refund. Also airlines can change the terms of their program (or end it) at their sole discretion. Bottom line – you will never get your money back!

  6. And guy from Finland, no we were not aware that anything was wrong with the airline. Why would we know that?

  7. Norwegian has $500+ of my money in those Cashpoints, due to THREE cancellations of the same SFO-CDG flight in 2020! No refund offered either..It is, in my view, illegal. They hold millions of American passengers’s money hostage. And of course, if I want to fly from Oslo to Copenhagen, I will now have to BUY my way. Right…

  8. @shoeguy

    Because they had a viable short haul operation in the Nordics? It was the B787 and flying all over the world that got them in trouble.

    @Gregg

    Nope by all account the government of Norway will be supporting the new slimmed down version of the company due to wanting a domestic competitor to SAS.

  9. Here in Norway, this has caused a PR disaster for the airline. There have been quite a few stories about customers with thousands of dollars worth of cash points they’re now unable to access. On top of that, the restructuring process has also legally paused any outstanding refunds for flights scheduled before they entered restructuring.

    The latest update I have is that the government is looking at providing about 1.5 billion NOK through either a loan or hybrid capital, and the airline is looking at cutting debt by around NOK 20 billion plus raise around NOK 3 billion from shareholders. The Norwegian stock has been reduced to a penny stock on the OSE, most of the shares owned by leasing companies have been sold. Share prices have been yo-yoing for months as day traders are having fun.

  10. I wanted to fly from London to New York in April 2020 with my family (4). They cancelled my flights and offered CashPoints. I accepted because I undersood bad situation of all Airlines and wanted to help them to survive. But I strongly believed they will resume flights to US in some months and I will fly with them to US. It looks like I was stupid i had trusted them. Now I have 2000 USD in CashPoints, they promised me (in conversation) possibilities to use it for Short-houl flights. Now it looks like they have cheated me. It will not be possible to regain the money in any way. They have taken my money and try not to give it back.
    Is it really legal? How about consumer’s protection? Can thay change the rules after my acceptance of their offer to take CashPoints that I will be able to use to pay for other flights? Does anyone know if somebody have taken any legat action againts it? Do they really believe that anybody will buy any ticket for flight by cash if they do not keep their promisses?

  11. If this can make you feel better: I didn’t accept cashpoints and asked for a refund. This was “granted” but the money never materialized since last spring… Norwegian hasn’t been the only one doing this. I have the same situation on La Compagnie which still owes me a refund but refuses to pay “until they can resume operations”.

  12. I also lost about $1000 usd when they canceled my flight and offered cash points (and nothing else). I just tried to book a flight recently with the cash points and found out I could not. Is there any recourse for those of us who lost our money. This is so wrong!

  13. I too lost about 2,000 GBP because they wouldn’t give me a refund for a cancelled flight from London to Boston in April 2020. They offered my cashpoints and in hoping to at least use them for short haul flights within Europe.

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