Friday, October 07, 2005


I want my free sandwich

I've eaten 12 crappy subs, I want my free sandwich!

Taken from one of my favorite Sienfeld episodes where Elaine is obsessed with getting a free sub sandwich, ala Subway, for her regular patronage of a local sandwich shop. She doesn't like the subs, they are in fact pretty crappy, but she's on a mission and wants her free sandwich.

Well, today I want my free sandwich, only instead of a sandwich, I want my Silver Elite benefits from Northwest Airlines(NWA), which I achieved early last week. Just like the crappy subs Elaine was semi-obsessed with, I've now flown nearly 30,000 miles on what most people consider to be one of the least customer friendly airlines in the country. You may have heard the jokes, they put the "NO" in Northwest or the every popular, Northworst airlines. And as you can expect, these monikers are more or less true.

Well, this year, since I'd booked a flight to China on NWA, I thought I'd try to consolidate my business travel on Northwest to better accumulate miles and to at least enjoy the chance to sit toward the front of the plane or in exit row as an elite flyer. I achieved Elite status on Delta this year through some special program and the minute I met the requirements, my account was upgraded and I enjoyed all the benefits of elite status without delay. Not so on Northwest.

What's odd, is that my account on their webpage reflects that I am silver elite, but I cannot select 'premium' seats (read still crappy coach seats, just closer to the front of the plane) and when I call a NWA agent, they're like...yeah sure you're elite... WTF?

I called yesterday when my account online was upgraded. The NWA agent said it wasn't in their system, and that I'd have to wait to get my elite benefits. How long I asked? I dunno, they replied, perhaps a couple of weeks. Dear Lord, Northwest sucks. I mean I've known it for years, but never really understood to what depth they did suck.

I'll finish out the travel I have booked with them, but I certainly won't be using them as my primary airline in 2006...and neither should you...

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