London To Chicago With Norwegian Airlines – So Who Are Wamos?

Well, we may as well just come out with it at the very start, “Never Again!“. If we had a chance of getting a full refund we would have canceled the booking before the actual travel day. As you can tell, this is not going to be a glowing review.

As Mel is a nervous flyer we are careful about the airline we book with, what are the planes and what is the cabin like? Norwegian’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner premium service appeared to offer a good service in a spacious modern cabin with excellent facilities. Well, that’s what they were advertising (and continued to advertise) when we booked.

So to our surprise, 3 weeks before we were due to depart we received an email from Norwegian to say we were now flying with Wamos Airlines. Yeah, exactly, who the hell are Wamos Airlines? Apparently, they are a Spanish leasing airline which was being used by Norwegian to replace their 787’s which needed engine servicing. The 787 issue is not new, it isn’t a sudden withdrawal from service like the 737 MAX, so why are Norwegian still advertising 787’s on their website?

As well as the change of aircraft there was no guarantee of a premium cabin or premium service which we had paid for. We will leave out the shambolic customer service by phone and email, that is a post in itself. After a week of uncertainty, we finally received information that we would have a premium service and cabin although not to the standard booked, As we already had trips booked and it was only 2 weeks before travel we reluctantly accepted these changes.

Check-In At London Gatwick

Norwegian Premium Check In
Norwegian Premium Check-In

Check-in at the airport was surprisingly straight forward with a dedicated premium desk and no queues. We were told that there was a premium cabin and the flight was on time. Things were looking fine but that was all to change.

Grey Skies Over Gatwick Airport
Grey skies over Gatwick Airport – Was this a sign of things to come?

The gate was called on time so we left the lounge and proceeded to the gate. As we approached the gate, the monitor suddenly changed to ‘please wait’.

Delays And More Delays

We waited and waited and waited. The monitor then changed to ‘more information at 17:00, at 17.00 it then changed to more information at 18:00. This went on until it actually said boarding at 20:00

Delayed flight
We didn’t actually take off until 21:00

At the gate, we are all told that the plane had been changed and the seating was now a ”free for all”. Premium ticket holders were allowed on first to be greeted by a far from ‘premium’ cabin, it was actually reminiscent of something from the 1970s crossed with a Ryanair flight.

Surprisingly, the passengers we relatively calm, I think they were just happy to be going. The plane finally took off at 21:00, five hours and ten minutes after the scheduled take-off time.

On Board Wamos To Chicago

Not exactly a premium product
Not exactly a premium product

As you can see from the pictures, there wasn’t much space. The whole experience was substandard apart from the Spanish Wamos staff who were actually quite helpful. We saw one Norwegian Airlines member of staff who was just in one of the seats chatting for the whole trip, we don’t really know why he was there.

Not Premium
Very narrow seats in ‘Premium’ – What were we paying for?

Arrival At Chicago O’Hare Airport

We thought we would never get there after our prolonged attachment to Norwegian Air and London Gatwick. We landed 5 hours late, the only plus point about arriving so late was that the immigration queue was small.

So that was our first and after the return trip, it will be our last experience with Norwegian. We won’t be using them again!

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  • Reply
    Fiona jk42
    July 6, 2019 at 11:40 am

    My son has been considering flying Norwegian for an up-coming trip to the US, but this review has given us pause for thought. Have you tried getting compensation for the payment for the Premium seats you did not get?

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 8, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      The return service was OK but this outward trip was so bad we will only consider Norwegian unless there isn’t any other option. Yes, Mel has sent an official complaint.

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