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We want to fly to the US but Norwegian Air insists we go to Europe

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<span>Photograph: Markus Mainka/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Markus Mainka/Alamy

In February last year I purchased return tickets from Norwegian Air to travel with my family in April 2020 from London to New York. They came to approximately £4,000. We were forced to cancel as access to the US was barred, and we were offered vouchers, instead. Subsequently, the flights were cancelled by the airline.

In February 2021, Norwegian Air announced it was permanently withdrawing all future flights to the US, so I asked for a cash refund. It explained it would not be offering a refund as travel was still available to European destinations.

The point was not recognised that we wish to travel to the US to visit our relatives when restrictions allow, and not to Europe.

I would be grateful for your advice on this interpretation of Norwegian Air policy.

PY, Whitstable

Sadly, I think you had better start hoping that European destinations open up, as you have a lot of credit to spend.

Back when this was all happening, Guardian Money strongly advised passengers not to cancel their trips.

Had you held your nerve and waited for Norwegian Air to cancel, you would have been entitled to a full refund under the EU 261 rules.

Instead, once you cancelled and accepted the vouchers, you had agreed to abide by the company’s terms and conditions, and, as a result, are effectively stuck with them.

Norwegian Air has confirmed this is the case – as has Coby Benson, a flight compensation expert at the law firm Bott and Co.

The only exception, he says, is where an airline has misrepresented certain facts – for example if it had said “accept these vouchers and you’ll be able to rebook your flights to the US whenever you want”.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions

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