Delays contribute to a decline in passenger happiness on Norwegian trains

Issues with punctuality and a need for clearer information were identified as issues for travellers on Norwegian trains, the latest figures for customer satisfaction from the Norwegian Railway Directorate show. 

Pictured is a train in Norway.
Customers in Norway are less happy with train services. Pictured is a Vy train service in Asker. Photo by Jeremi Joseph on Unsplash

Passenger satisfaction on Norwegian trains has fallen between the end of last year and the opening months of 2023, a survey from the Norwegian Railway Directorate shows. 

Punctuality and customer information were highlighted as issues affecting passengers’ happiness with train services in Norway. 

“The results reflect the challenges with punctuality in recent months and emphasize the need for a more stable train service, especially in Eastern Norway,” Knut Sletta from the Norwegian Railway Directorate said of the figures. 

In recent months services in eastern Norway especially have been prone to issues with delays and cancellations, in addition to teething problems with the new Folloban line. 

On a scale of one to 100, customer satisfaction was ranked at 76, a drop of three percentage points compared to the last quarter of 2022. One area where customers were happy was when it came to the service onboard and the cleanliness of trains. 

Out of all the companies operating on Norway’s railways, only SJ Norge, which runs the trains between Oslo and Trondheim and Trondheim and Bodø, saw an improvement in customer satisfaction. 

READ ALSO: What are your rights if your train in Norway is delayed or cancelled?

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Airlines in Norway criticised for treatment of passengers

Air passengers in Norway risk not getting compensation or treatment that they are entitled to from airlines, the Norwegian Consumer Council warned on Tuesday.

Airlines in Norway criticised for treatment of passengers

A significant majority of passengers in Norway who have had their case heard by the relevant aviation industry complaints body (Transportklagenemnda for flyreiser) this year have won against airlines.

So far in 2023, a full 85 percent of the complaints that the relevant entities have dealt with have ended in full or partial favour of the passenger.

“Such a high share of positive decisions is not at all positive, but unfortunately rather a clear sign that the industry does not take customer treatment seriously and in practice deprives consumers of compensation to which they are entitled,” Consumer Council director Inger Lise Blyverket said in a press release.

“The fact that so many (cases) end up (in favour of the passenger) tells us that the airlines, in practice, have too poor of a customer service. Instead of acknowledging when the consumer is right, the companies force them to go to the complaints body. That is unacceptable,” Blyverket said.

Furthermore, the Transportklagenemnda for flyreiser seems to be swarmed by cases.

Cause for concern

The Consumer Council believes that this indicates that many consumers, in practice, do not get what they are entitled to from the airlines.

“The situation is so precarious that we believe the minister of transport must step in to ensure that the airline passengers’ consumer rights (are safeguarded,” Consumer Council director Inger Lise Blyverket noted in a press release.

When a flight is cancelled or delayed, passengers in Norway have rights. For example, they may be entitled to new tickets on the next flight, food and drink, or standardised compensation, the Consumer Council said.

However, if the passenger and the airline disagree on the settlement after a deviation from the agreed-upon flight, the appeal body can be used to deal with the case.

The Consumer Council has sent an urgent letter to Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård demanding that the ministry get involved.

“No consumer wants to spend time and effort on complaints. A complaint body neither can nor should be a substitute for a customer service apparatus in the business sector,” the consumer rights watchdog said.

Most complaint cases involve SAS

One company, in particular, stands out negatively in this year’s case statistics, according to the Consumer Council.

“Unfortunately, we see that SAS is overrepresented in the statistics. The feedback from the company is often short or non-existent both to the consumer and the complaints body,” Blyverket said.

You can find out more about your rights as an airline passenger via the Consumer Council’s online wizard.