Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Northworst Airlines

They just keep on giving!

Go figure, for the first time in my life, I was able to scrape by into gold elite status on Northwest last year and this year. While I travel a lot for work, unlike a true road warrior, I'm on no fixed route. When I fly it is usually to different places around the country which makes consolidating travel on one airline difficult.

But with my trip to China last year on Northwest, I was able to consolidate enough travel to edge up into gold elite. Supposedly, this elite status brings with it a bunch of perks, both theoretical and actual. The two nicest are being allowed to board first and having the ability to pre-select exit row seats or bulk head seats prior to travel. Also a proported perk is upgrades to business class when available, but with less flights an fuller planes, I find that for any trip that is beyond the east coast, such upgrades are taken by Platinum fliers. No big whoop, I guess.

But now comes this report that Northwest will be charging extra for window, aisle, bulkhead and exit row seats..in coach. So, no longer does 'elite status' bring with it any seating priority or preferences...it just lets me get on the plane earlier than everyone else. And Northwest isn't adding any value to these seats like United with its extra legroom. (In fact, Northwest has less legroom in coach than its competitors)...

I was warned by Midgie and others that Northwest Airlines was probably the worst airline I could qualify for elite status on. They were right. Now Northwest has helped liberate me from any allegiance to their airline....

I'm lucky enough to fly with platinum status since my dad travels to amsterdam just about monthly and wholy #$%@ it doesn't mean jack squat. fortunately after leaving the united states, the airline service is wonderful aboard the aircraft (return flights usually). However; not only are the perks minimal, but the service within' the U.S. is terrible, and try changing your flight or return trip, and you will probably be treated worse than a red headed step child. I was litterally told that i was "Wasting their time" because after waiting on hold for more than 20 minutes, i found myself in a place with out a pen and paper, and at the same time since i couldn't tell them exactly what flight i was on since i didn't have the itinerary in front of me, they told me they couldn't "Give me any more time" and hung up on me.....i can't believe that a corporation could really have enough power that their staff can get away with being so rude. but it's true...what am i gonna do? transfer my miles somewhere else? i would if i could! ...that is a great marketing ploy though...."switch to our airlines and we'll credit you with the same amount of miles you have currently with one other airline". hell if i could i would!

Thanks for the comments. I agree that once you are out of the USA the service improves greatly. I fly NWA to China in November and the U.S. based flight attendants were surly and lazy. Once we hit Tokyo, the Asia based flight crew was all smiles and very professional.

Sad to hear that even at Platnum status you aren't getting squat...you should get something...


Again thanks for your comments, it's nice to no it's just not me complaining!
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