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Total Lack of Customer Care
By -

ST. PAUL, MICHIGAN -- I am writing concerning travel that occurred on Thursday, August 20th, 2009. I booked flights for my two children, and their significant others, on Northwest Airlines on March 28th, 2009. I booked the flights far in advance to ensure that they could all attend their step-sister's wedding and all of the activities associated with the wedding in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Their Flight numbers are as follows: Thursday August 20th, 2009 Flight: NW 1178, Departs St. Louis-Lambert Int'l, MO (STL) at 10:10AM Arrives Detroit-Wayne County Int'l, MI (DTW) at 12:50PM. Thursday August 20th, 2009 Flight: NW3863, Departs Detroit-Wayne County Int'l, MI (DTW) at 1:30PM Arrives Bangor-Int'l, ME (BGR) at 3:32 PM.

The problem comes in with the airlines. Flight # NW1178 left (STL) and landed at DTW at 12:54 PM on August 20th. They were on the ground. We were tracking the flight status because we were picking them up at Bangor Int'l Airport. They had to wait to get a gate. They all four of them plus 3 additional passengers arrived at their connecting flight before the plane left and at least several minutes before the scheduled departure time. They would not let any of them board the plane.

The airline was aware that their flight was on the ground and should have ensured that all of the passengers made their connection. It was not bad weather it was no act of god, it was simple inefficiency and lack of customer care. Instead none of them were allowed to get on the plane. There are limited options to get to Bangor, Maine.

The result was that they could not get on another flight until the next day, 24 hours and the same flight. However, Northwest Airlines did put their luggage on that flight. Now they are captive in Detroit with no luggage. Northwest said they were not responsible for paying for their hotel, and for the four of them, gave them 100.00 in Airport vouchers for food and told them that they could stay for free at the airport.

Meanwhile back in Bar Harbor, Maine. They missed a family get together on Thursday evening, August 20th. Additionally they missed the family whale watching expedition the next morning. There were two rooms reserved for them in Bar Harbor, Maine, which also were not occupied. I cannot tell you how disappointing it was to not have them arrive on schedule.

These plans were made for a long time, and we had been looking forward to having all five of our children and their spouses and significant others together for a long weekend. Our children live all over the country and it is not often that they are all together, so this was especially difficult. If bad weather had been the problem, that is something not under the control of Northwest Airlines. Ensuring passengers made their connections when the flight is on the ground is under the control of Northwest Airlines.

I made the reservations almost five months in advance yet Northwest must have given their seats to other passengers instead of allowing them to get on the plane which was still on the ground and did not depart the gate for at least 15 additional minutes. Otherwise there was no reason for them not to get on that plane as I mentioned their luggage was put on the plane so that tells you there was ample time for them to get on that plane. I expect restitution from Northwest Airlines for this total lack of basic customer service. They were not even treated kindly at the gate and were pretty much told there was nothing they could do about it.

There is something Northwest Airlines can do and that is refund the cost of the tickets. The Airline did not deliver the service that was expected and therefore I expect that at the very least. There is no price that can be put on the fact that they missed out on 24 hours of this special weekend.

Let me contrast this to an experience that My husband and I had with Northwest early on a Saturday morning, October 27th, 2007. We were flying from St. Louis to Chicago and then on to Ottawa, Canada. Our flight in St. Louis left over an hour late due to a flight attendant being ill, and they had to get a replacement for her. By the time we landed in Chicago, we only had 10 minutes to make it to another terminal across the tarmac to get to our next flight. They held the flight, when we arrived at the gate they said you must be the **. I don't understand why the same courtesy was not extended to my children. It was a much more significant trip and had lasting results.

Northwest Airlines needs to understand that this type of customer treatment and lack of care has long reaching effects. The airline should always strive to ensure that passengers make their connections if their flights are on the ground in time. There is no reason for this type of treatment. I called Customer Service and was treated rudely again, the customer service representative would not let me finish explaining my complaint. I did get upset and he hung up the phone. Distressed customer.

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The Worst Service Ever
By -

LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS -- I would like to report my experience and concerns about what happened after Northwest flight 293 landed at 8:56pm in Little Rock, Arkansas on February 28, 2009. After waiting for our bags for more than 30 minutes I and 20-30 other passengers were told by a Northwest baggage handler at 9:40pm that there were no more bags coming. That person instructed us to go to the Northwest ticket counter to file lost baggage claims. For some reason Northwest Airlines has no lost baggage office at the Little Rock Airport.

Our large group left the baggage carousel and proceeded to the NWA ticket counter. When we got to the counter no NWA employees were present. After abut 15 minutes of waiting, many passengers grew agitated and restless, and they left the line to try to find someone to help. Some mentioned that lost baggage claims must be made before a passenger leaves the airport.

My wife left me in line and went to the Little Rock Airport customer care counter, and she asked the airport employee to page someone from Northwest Airlines to go to the ticket counter. That person spoke with someone by phone and reported to my wife that the Northwest employees “were cleaning the plane and would be at the ticket counter in about 10 minutes”. That was at 10:05pm. I was still standing in line at the Northwest ticket counter when my wife came back and told me what the airport customer care person had said. At that point we had all waited about 30 minutes for a Northwest employee to make an appearance, but no one came.

After about 45 minutes of waiting many passengers had left, but some passengers became so irritated that they went behind the Northwest ticket counter and began rifling through papers, using the computer, opening drawers, removing items and looking behind the ticket counter's baggage conveyor into a room, all in an effort to get some help or perhaps vent frustration. There were Continental and US Air ticket counter people present who had to have seen this group of people breaching security but they ignored the situation.

I felt threatened and nervous about this activity, so I asked my wife to look for airport security or the police. She left the line and walked all parts of the airport that she had access to inside and out. There was a Little Rock Police Car parked at the front of the airport but no officer was in it.

My wife finally contacted the same customer care person that she had spoken to earlier, and pleaded with her that there was a security breach and near riot going on at the NWA ticket counter and said “someone needs to get down there immediately”. The customer care person said that she would contact the airport manager again, and that he would contact the NWA employees who were cleaning the plane one more time and ask them to go to the counter.

I was the second person waiting in line that evening, and I finally left at 10:40pm after waiting in line for an hour. During that hour no NWA employees, no Little Rock police and no airport manager ever came to the counter. Some of the passengers were still rifling through things behind the counter, and one of the men when told that he might get arrested for what he was doing said that he didn't care, and that he might break everything back there before he left.

I arrived home about 11:15pm, and I tried to call NWA customer service at 1800-225-2525. I waited on hold for nearly ½ hour and finally gave up. On Sunday morning I called another number on your website (800-745-9798) where I reached a real person. I briefly explained the situation and wanted to know what to do about reporting the lost checked bag. That NWA person said that I would have to go back to the airport to fill out a lost bag claim. I asked for the telephone number for the NWA counter at Little Rock Airport and the customer service person said that she wasn't allowed to give that number to me.

I asked her to call the counter at Little Rock Airport had have someone call me. She said that she couldn't do that either. I asked her again to please help me, and she said that without a lost bag claim number there was nothing she could do. She said, “sir, I am in Minnesota. What do you think I can possibly do to help you retrieve your bag in Little Rock without a claim number?” With that remark I ended the call. I received my checked bag two days later.

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Worst Customer Service and Theft
By -

RALEIGN, NORTH CAROLINA -- On August 15, 2008 I was at Erie International Airport going through the TSA checkpoint where I was stopped and directed to check my bag into NWA luggage due to liquids/hair gel in my bag. They started the boarding process for my flight to Detroit (layover) so I hurried and ran to the ticket counter, good thing Erie is such a small airport. I hurriedly checked my bag and ran to TSA and then to the gate to catch my flight (NW 5818).

I arrived in Raleigh and headed directly to the baggage claim. I was standing where the bags come out since I was in a hurry to catch my ride to my destination. As my bag came out, I saw it was opened and immediately panicked because I remembered that my digital camera was in there. I then searched my bag and the camera was not inside my bag. I headed directly to the Northwest baggage office where I spoke with **.

I walked into the office and explained to her that my bag was opened and that my camera has been taken out of my bag. She in return stated “what do you want me to do about it?” I was a little drawn back by her statement and then asked her to take a claim for me. She stated that I did not have a right to file a claim because it was an “electronic item and Northwest is not responsible”.

I then told her that she needs to take a claim because one of their employees went through my bag, no TSA card was in there to show my bag was randomly searched and my camera was gone. I continued to explain that I only fly with Northwest and am a loyal customer and would like some assistance. She stated back to me, “Then go fly a different airline, I am not responsible for this”. I was now starting to get upset and told her I will just call customer service. She told me to go ahead; she did not care because they would tell me the same thing.

I called customer service on the way to Durham and they apologized on how I was treated, she (** agent sign ME) asked if she could place me on hold while she spoke with her manager, I told her that it would not be a problem. After she returned, she told me that I needed to go back to the airport and tell the lady there that I was to file a claim and she was to take the claim. She told me that Northwest would take care of this problem since I am a loyal customer. I explained that I had to be somewhere and if I could go back to the airport tomorrow, ** stated that would not be a problem.

The following day, August 16, 2008, after my appointment in Durham, I pursued back to the airport, to my luck, the same generous lady ** was working. I went over the conversation that I had with customer service. ** then reached in her desk and read a pamphlet to me as if I were in Kindergarten stating that Northwest is not responsible.

I replied, “I do not care what it says, customer service stated I am to file a claim and it will be handled, start typing.” She then started to take the claim and said she will deny it as soon as it is filed. She then asked for my baggage tag which I did not know I needed to have, she told me, “oh well come back tomorrow then with it.” I told her my flight was at 8:50 AM and I will be here at 6:30 AM to do so.

I came back the following day at 6:45 AM to file my claim and then to catch my flight to return home. There was a different lady working that morning, I am not sure on her name but she was a younger Arab lady. I explained the whole situation as well as the experience that I have had so far with Northwest over this mishap. She then refused to take a claim and said that I would be able to fill out a lost and found card.

I was now on my last nerve with rude customer service. I told her that it's not a lost or found issue, my camera was stolen by your baggage employee and probably at the employee's house most likely on eBay by now. I then told her that customer service said I was to file a claim and to do so. She came back with, “You only had 24hrs to file“, and I explained that I have been trying to file it for a day and a half now.

Finally she got fed up and said she is calling her manager and I asked her to please do so. Her manager then told her she is to take the claim. I finally filed the claim and left to go catch my flight. As I was leaving she said they will not be able to do anything on the claim division end, I ignored her and walked on. WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER and told me that they will not replace my camera that an employee stole!

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Theft From Airplane
By -

DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- I would like to take this opportunity to add to the growing list of dissatisfied customers who have had negative experiences with Northwest Airlines. I hope that eventually enough of us will complain and this organization will be forced to address their lack of business ethics.

Almost a year my husband and I flew on Northwest Airlines. I admit to having been uncomfortable about flying with this airline due to the recent strike but the time constraints on our trip made this our best option. Our flight to the wedding near Cleveland was great. We were returning from the event on a Sunday.

After leaving the Cleveland airport we landed at Detroit. My husband and I were the last ones off the plane. As I passed the Gate directly in front of the deboarding tunnel I realized I had left my purse on the plane stowed under the seat in front of where I had been seated. I informed the attendant at the Gate who informed me that when the plane was checked the purse would be returned. She did not go to check the plane.

Sometime later I was informed the purse was not on the plane. I insisted I had left the purse stowed under the seat but the employees insinuated that I must have left it behind at the prior airport. We had another flight to catch so I filed a claim with the airport police and he gave me the phone number of lost and found in Detroit.

During the next few days I called lost and found at both airports, the luggage desks at both airports, the Gates at both airports and emailed to NWA reporting the loss. The purse had not turned up anywhere. By Wednesday I was sure that I had left the purse on the plane but I could not get through to anyone in authority to tell them what had happened.

The people I talked to made the assumption that I had left the purse in the prior airport and that it would turn up there. The kicker came on Thursday when a package was delivered to my home from Detroit with an odd anonymous note and no return address. The only plausible explanation is that someone with access to the plane stole my purse. The purse was not left at the prior airport. My purse was on the plane in Detroit when it was stolen. Between the time I departed the plane and when the plane was checked an employee stole my purse.

I have faxed, emailed, attempted to telephone this company and I have received responses which indicate that the airline will take no responsibility for the theft. I am certain this is what the thief was depending on. Northwest Airline cannot admit to even the possibility of a theft because that would open up a Pandora's Box.

It is very disconcerting that it was this simple to commit a crime on a passenger. I can't help but wonder how easy it might be to get something on the plane. It is unbelievable that at the very least this organization would not initiate some type of legitimate investigation. I am sure that the brazenness of this theft will only embolden this employee. There are no safeguards for the passenger on this airline. Beware!

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Elite Status Request
By -

TOELDO, OHIO -- I have been traveling Northwest Airlines almost exclusively for 8 years. I have earned elite status in almost every year, 1 year traveling enough to earn platinum status. By all definitions, I have been a loyal customer. For two years (2005 and 2006), I had a job that did not require me to travel often. I travelled approximately 12,000 to 14,000 miles in those years. In April of 2007, my job changed and I logged 46,500 miles on Northwest from the last week in March until the end of December. In order to be considered for gold elite status, you must travel 50,000 miles in a calendar year.

Because the airline recognized my history by awarding silver elite status in the years I travelled infrequently, I didn't think I would have any problem making a case for gold status in 2008. After all, in 9 months, I travelled at a level that was very consistent with a gold traveler. I made my request, mentioned the two trips that I have already purchased tickets for in January, and informed Northwest that these two trips would put me in excess of 50,000 miles in a 10 month time frame.

To their credit, Northwest responded quickly. The first response informed me about an exciting opportunity to earn gold status by flying 5 round trips in certain fare classes in the first 90 days of 2008. Of course that would be great if I ever flew in those fare classes.

When I responded that would not help me and that my company would not be willing to pay more for a ticket so I could have a particular fare class, I got a "we make no exceptions" response. I was told that the only way to earn gold elite status is to fly the right number of miles in a CALENDAR year, not just in a 12-month timeframe. This seems crazy to me and their "no exceptions" response is insulting. I know they must get many requests and I wouldn't expect them to grant all of them. I certainly didn't expect (or request) the silver status they gave me in the years I didn't travel much.

My final response to them has been sent. In that response I pointed out that they were willing to make exceptions when I didn't travel often and didn't request it but wouldn't consider a request when I was actually giving them a lot of business. That seems backwards to me. I also have made two offers to discuss this and my other concerns about Northwest customer service with anyone who is interested. I included my phone number each time.

After the last response from Northwest, I contacted another airline that flies the routes that I travel most frequently. If they are willing to grant me status in their frequent traveler program, I will be switching my business. My husband is also a gold level traveler (was platinum last year) and he is also considering making a switch based on Northwest customer service.

Northwest has disappointed me for some time with the level of service they provide in flight and the nickel and dime approach to amenities. When I have had to travel other airlines this year, I have been impressed by how much better the service is. If Northwest doesn't reconsider, I have very little reason to stay.

I am amazed by how little the airlines seem to care about their customers. Clearly the airlines that have figured this out (Southwest, JetBlue) are the only ones doing well. Why are the large carriers having such a hard time understanding such simple concepts? This is EASY stuff to fix and they just seem unwilling to address a growing problem.

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"Northworst"
By -

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- I used to fly NW a lot way back when, but haven't much in the last few years. In January I had a trip from Baltimore to Portland, but due to snow delays, we were late leaving, and missed a late p.m. (the last) Portland flight out of Minneapolis. The flight attendants did a 100% job in telling people about connecting flights, and getting people who had a chance of making them off of the plane first (Portland passengers, just remain seated, the plane has already departed).

Upon arriving, about 12 Portland connecting people were sent to the vacant gate that we would have used to board our now departed plane. Yap, yap yap ("where is anybody?" "do they know we are here?" "are they going to put us on a special plane to Portland?" "my wife is tired, they had better give us a room" "I will be late to my niece's birthday, my whole trip is ruined!" "my wife is picking me up, how will she know the plane left without me?").

In about 3 minutes, a service rep showed up, pleasant, eager, and ready to do whatever it took to get everyone on their way to Portland, tomorrow. All I cared about was being in Portland by tomorrow at noon, late tonight would have been better, but that simply was not going to happen.

As the available seats for early morning were disappearing fast, the people were getting real gripe. As the rep talked with one person, everyone else in line kept asking how each thing he said to that person would affect them (rude). I got out of the line and sat down, watching the remaining folks get crabbier and the rep getting more terse, but not rude. They wanted NW to give them pajamas, toothpaste, mouthwash, nice rooms, fancy rooms, close rooms, free meals, free real nice meals, late dinner & breakfast. YOU OWE US!!! IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!!

Finally, I went up to the counter as the last passenger needing to get to Portland. "You must be Mr. **?" I confirmed it, and explained that I knew why we missed the plane, and had known since I noted when we had departed late. I know my bag is not accessible. I have friends in Minneapolis, know where to get good food and beer late at night, and would be happy with just a place to sleep. I told the rep I didn't care how I flew; even a connecting night flight on someone else would be OK. The rep was SOOOOO relieved that I wasn't another whiner.

I wound up in a real nice hotel, more meal tickets than I could eat, and a voucher. NW employees have lots of good reasons to be unhappy; the management, the bankruptcy issues and some awfully rude and obnoxious passengers who are probably like that everywhere. I sent NW a note saying that generally it is below average and in trouble, but that there are still many employees with a positive attitude and that they should make use of them while can. I would fly NW again if it fit my plans.

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Northwest Airlines - Nightmare & Terrible Customer Service
By -

DTW, MICHIGAN -- My daughter and a friend were flying from Detroit Metro airport to Dallas-Fort Worth, scheduled to leave on Wednesday, June 13th on flight 701 - leaving Detroit at 7:15 p.m. and arriving in Dallas at 9:07 p.m. Both children are 14 years of age. That being said, below I am outlining a series of events:

I called into NWA when looking to book these flights and I was told that as long as my daughter was 14 she did not have to be an "accompanied minor". When they arrived to check in at the airport we were told differently. They must be 15. So, we had to pay an additional $50 for them to be accompanied which is fine. They then instructed my husband, who was escorting the girls, that he would have to walk them to their gate - nothing more. They did not tell him he needed to stay with them.

He assumed NWA would look after the girls from that point on - assuming that the fee we paid would cover this. My husband safely got both girls to their gates and left. We are responsible parents, and if we would have known differently he would have stayed with them up to the boarding of the plane.

At 7:30 we get a call from our daughter that they still have not boarded the plane. Odd since the flight was to have left 15 minutes ago. Come to find out, the gate they were flying out of had been changed and no one at NWA informed our daughter and her friend of this change. What really concerns me here is that the flight leaving should have known there were (2) unaccompanied minors on this flight (we did pay for this service). However, they made no attempt to locate them or track them down.

I think any reasonable person would assume that they could possibly still be at the original departing gate, did not get notified, or realize there was a gate change and call the original gate to see if they were still there waiting. No one did. Another option would be to try to page them overhead to track them down. This did not happen either. Instead the plane left, knowing there were to be two unaccompanied minors on the plane who were not on board and then made no effort to track them down.

They are now stranded in Detroit airport. My husband then gets a phone call from a NWA representative indicating that our daughter was there at the airport and he needed to come get her. She was rude in her tone. My husband didn't understand and said, "You are calling me in Lansing, MI". I can't just come right down there and get her I'm two hours away (he needed to think of some other arrangement).

The NWA representative on the phone then stated, rudely, "If you don't come and get her then I'm calling child protective services". This is NOT the way to talk to a paying customer or handle such an unfamiliar and scary situation - especially when your child is stuck in the Detroit airport and you are 2 hours away.

My husband then asked for the NWA representatives name and she replied, "My boss will be back in soon, you can talk to him then," again my husband asked for her name, "she repeated the statement above and then HUNG UP ON HIM. Again, our main concern still is our daughter in Detroit. He calls our daughter and asks her if the woman he was just talking to was wearing a name tag and she said yes. He asked her to get the name. Her name was **. That's all we had to go on.

My husband is then instructed that he needed to fax over a letter to have the girls released to his sister and brother-in-law. My husband faxes it over and when our brother-in-law shows up he is told they cannot be released to him and that it must be the sister. So, he is calling his sister and making arrangements for her to go to the airport to get our girls. My husband calls back the brother-in-law to tell him that his sister is on the way and the brother-in-law says, "then just released them to me". This kind of like seems like "does the hand know what the foot's doing".

Since then we had to get the girls rebooked on a flight for the next day. We ask for the early flight, but told there is no room until the 12:22 flight - getting into Dallas at 2:07. So now, we need to make arrangements for another adult to get these girls back to the Detroit airport, escort them to the gate and wait with them. This means asking someone to take the time off of work, the extra expense of gas (we have to pay out of our own pocket the gas money for the other mother to drive all the way from Lansing to Detroit and back to do this).

I then go to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport to collect their luggage. My daughter's luggage arrives, but her friend's does not. I then had to wait in a long line at the airport at 9:00 at night to track the other luggage down. As I'm talking to the representative I tell her the flight they will be coming in on (so we can make sure the luggage arrives on that flight or beforehand) and she tells me "They are not booked on the 12:22 flight, they re-booked them on the 7:15 p.m. flight for the next day".

I told her we were told it was the 12:22 flight, that I have already made arrangements down here to get off work to pick them up and now you are telling me they are scheduled again on the later flight? I did not want this - just in case circumstances got them delayed or missed their flight they could have the option of still getting on a later flight if there was availability. I then had to double check her screen to make sure this time they were booked on the correct flight. At this point, I'm very concerned how this next leg of the trip is going.

Update since 6/14/07 letter: The next day the mother who is responsible for getting the girls to the airport arrives to check them in "as unaccompanied minors" and is told she has to pay the $50 fee. She states this fee was already paid yesterday. They tell they do not have a record of this being paid. She then gets my husband on the phone and he begins to give them his credit card information again to pay another $50 fee.

The mother escorting the girls looks at one of the boarding passes and realizes that it is a receipt for "unaccompanied minors" service. She shows them the receipt. Thankfully, we had this otherwise Northwest would have charged us another $50 because they never kept a record of it.

The girls arrive in Dallas and we go to get the other luggage that never arrived the night before and it is not there. We make a claim in the lost luggage area and the lady we are talking to asks us what the suitcase looks like. She then tells us they located it in Detroit. She asked us to physically describe the contents, which we did successfully. We had a match. She made the request to have the luggage shipped up and that we would have the luggage by the afternoon the next day. The luggage never arrived. We called again to follow up on us this, and it turns out they lost the luggage AGAIN. That it was never requested and that there is no available information or status.

On 6/16 at 10:00 a.m. I call again and talk to a ** who indicates there is still no status. I tell him these girls have no clothes to wear or change into, especially since they were stranded since the previous Wed. in Detroit in the same clothes. I ask him will NWA reimburse me for any expense to go buy at least some clean underwear and maybe a pair of shorts to hold us over. He tells me "Well, you do have the $50 a day the first day and $25 each day after to cover you." I told him no one ever told me this was an option. It is now 3 days since they were stranded in Detroit and I'm just being told this?

I call back on 6/16 at 2:00 p.m. and talk to a ** and reiterate our story and tell her that I need to go get the clothes to replace for these girls. I tell her that the suitcase that was lost contained all of the clothes of one girl and ½ the clothes of the other girl. I asked her if I could get reimbursement for both girls. She puts me on hold, comes back and tells me her supervisor has approved an additional $150 dollars for replacement clothes. I asked, "is this in addition to the standard allowance of the $50 the first day and $25 each additional day?" She said "yes". I reiterated "so close to $300?" She said "yes".

I asked her if this would be documented somewhere, as I have not been having good luck with NWA and I'm concerned that if I go and spend the money I may not get reimbursed. She puts me on hold, comes back tells me her supervisor ** has made a note in the system. I then go shopping and purchase approximately $300 worth the clothes and go to the airport at 6:30 p.m. on the 16th to get reimbursement. When I show up they tell me they are only authorized to reimburse for $150, that that is standard and the most that can ever get approved.

I ask why then was I told differently and gave the names of the people I talked to. He called a supervisor over and she indicated the same, that they could only reimburse the $150 and they were not authorized to reimburse for more. I then ask them to please call the supervisor that approved it. We call the luggage 1-800 number and ask for ** the supervisor who I was told originally approved this. I get ** the supervisor (in Minnesota). I reiterate my entire story and he tells me the same. I ask him to please talk to ** as she did authorize this.

He gets back on the phone and tells me ** thought it was only for $150 that she was reimbursing, not an additional $150. I then ask the guy at the DFW luggage counter if he could trying calling Detroit and tracking down the suitcase. He calls Detroit and they locate it. He tells me he put a request in to have the luggage sent and that we should receive the next day. It never arrived. I keep calling, checking the status, and nothing. I am now frustrated and $300 in debt than before.

I call on 6/20, by this time it is over 5 days old and I was told that once it is more than 5 days they will start calling around for it. I call the customer service line for lost luggage to use the automatic tracking service, service cannot locate it and I am automatically transferred to a customer service rep.

I get a ** (located in Chisholm) and she tells me that she needs to fax me a claim form and that she will fax it over to me right away, that I can complete it, and fax it back. I ask her about getting reimbursed for replacing the clothes. I tell her again about how it is one lost suitcase, but two people's items, which means I need to replace clothing for two people.

She said that it was noted in the computer that both girls were missing clothing and that I could be reimbursed for both girls and that reimbursement is per ticketed passenger. That means $50 each the first 24 hours and then $25 for each day after for each girl. I have yet to go get reimbursed, but honestly I don't have much confidence that this is how it will play out.

The fax that ** indicates she is sending NEVER arrives. I call back and get a new customer service rep. I tell her about my previous call and that I never received the fax. She tells me she is confused because they have no way of faxing anything and that they don't handle the claim forms and they are only the backup service for lost luggage. Frustrated, I hang up and call the other 1-800 number for luggage lost over 5 days. I get a ** (located at headquarters in Minnesota). She was the rudest by far that I have dealt with over the last few days. She gets my information, puts me on hold and comes back saying they have the suitcase in Detroit and will have it shipped to me.

As I explain to her that I've been told this before and begin to tell her my story she cuts me off and starts talking over me. I spend a ½ hour trying to give her the information; she keeps cutting me off or not listening. She tells me they only show one girl and not two girls whose clothes are missing.

They have the wrong address, the wrong phone number; I correct them. I tell her I'm frustrated and I need her to listen to me. She replies, "I don't know why you are so upset, you should just be happy that I found the bag!" I'm thinking you're kidding right??!! I should be happy after what I went through??? Not very good customer service when you can't even relate or justify my feelings or frustrations.

6/22/2007, the saga continues. My daughter and her friend were to fly out today at Noon. Because they are traveling as unaccompanied minors I had to make special arrangements for someone to take them to the airport, stay with them until their flight left, and arrange for someone to be there to pick them up. Everything was all set.

AT midnight, the night before (last night), I get a call from NWA telling me the flight is canceled! They have to put them on an early morning flight and I need to give them a commitment right then. Nice. I now have to have the girls packed, ready to fly out, and get a hold of the two people responsible for taking them to the airport and picking them up at Midnight, and the person taking them now has to be here in a matter of 6 hours.

My girls who are still awake now must finish up any unfinished packing, get to bed and be up in less than 5 hours to catch a flight. This was not a good way to end the trip. Fortunately, I was able to get the mother to re-arrange her schedule (from work) to get to the Detroit airport to pick them up 4 hours earlier than originally planned. I pray this last leg of the trip is uneventful, and just glad my time with dealing with NWA is over.

I forgot to mention. Went to the airport last night to get reimbursed for the clothes I bought. I was told I would be reimbursed $50 for "each ticketed passenger" the first day and $25 each additional day for each ticketed passenger. I reiterated on the phone that it was only one suitcase lost, but that it contained the clothes of two people. Customer service reiterated I should not have a problem as reimbursement if per ticketed passenger and not # of luggage.

I get to the airport - they will only reimbursed me $150 for one person. They tell me the policy is only a maximum of $150. So why didn't the person on the phone tell me this? Second trip to the airport to get reimbursed (more gas and time) and I'm now another $250 in the whole (their replaced clothes actually came close to $400).

Right now I don't have much confidence in NWA nor am I impressed with your customer service. When will the suitcase arrive? I have no idea? Will I ever get reimbursed for the replacement clothing? I have no idea. Right now I doubt either will happen. I don't have much confidence in NWA!

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HOW RUDE!!!! 3/8/2007
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My husband and I decided to take a vacation 6 years overdue, we could have used another airline that would have been $50 cheaper but decided to use Northwest for two reasons, because of the size of the airline and also because they offered non-stop. Seemed like a no-brainer to go with Northwest. Our flight was from Minneapolis to Orlando.

Upon boarding the plane 30 minutes before we were scheduled to take off, as we sat on the plane waiting to be taxied onto the runway, time seemed to pass, about an hour later after we were supposed to be in the air, the Captain no informs us that the plane has a problem with the fuel indicator light and should have the problem fixed shortly. Another 30 minutes passed and we finally made it into the air.

During the flight my husband had asked the passing flight attendant if they had headphones to purchase, because we thought that planes still had the capability have music, the seats still had every indication that this was still an option due to the headphone jack and volume control. The flight attendant gave a look to my husband like he was an idiot for asking, and shot him a glare and walked away without answering a simple question.

Then to make matters worse, during the snack distribution, my husband did not have the correct change for the snack and the same flight attendant told him that she would be back shortly, almost 2 hours passed and she came back and my husband held out his hand to receive his change back and she yelled at him to put his hand down!!

She then had two hands with money, one had the larger bills and the other had one dollar bills, and she preceded to count out 15 single dollar bills and hands them to him. We have now landed in Orlando, and our plane is now 2 hours late and we arrive at our accommodations at 2:30am.

Now the return flight was not much better. We were standing in line at the e-ticket check-in and witness a young man checking his luggage in, he had one bag and a boogie board. The employee at the counter proceeded to charge him $85 for his board. He explained to her that on his flight in he did not have to pay extra for the board and could not understand why he had to pay now to return home. His father put his credit card on the counter in dismay.

The employee took the card and threw it on the floor and yelled at him for supposedly throwing his card at her. I knelt down to pick his credit card up from the floor. She then proceeded to be a SNOT and told the young man to step back and put a baggage claim on his board and told him to leave and that she didn't know why she was about to let it go without charging him. At this point, my husband and I had now come to a conclusion that we would never fly Northwest again!!

We boarded our flight and before take-off the attendant told my husband to put his seat in the upright position. He proceeded to do so and the seat would not hold that position, it would lie back down in the reclined position. He told the attendant that the seat was broke, after that 3 more attendants came by and proceeded to tell him to put his seat in the upright, he then told each and every one of them that it was broke.

All in all the whole experience was awful!! If Northwest employees are that unhappy in their positions, I think that it is time for them to find another career! And if Northwest allows this behavior then I think they should be removed from flights just as us passengers would be if we behaved in that manner. Never again Northwest Airlines!!

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The worst airline experience ever
By -

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I had the misfortune of flying Northwest on my holiday trip. I travel about every other month, so I'm not a huge traveller, but I'm not a newbie to flying either. Since you asked, here is the basic outline of my nightmare. I made the mistake of booking my reservation through Expedia.com and I bought a terrible ticket. The first leg of the trip was from Chicago to Denver on December 23rd, 2006. It was just a couple of days after the blizzard, but that flight went off (almost) without a hitch. It was almost an hour late, but I blamed it on the blizzard. And like I said, I travel pretty often and flights are almost always an hour late, so I'm used to it.

The nightmare started on my return trip. I was scheduled to fly back to Chicago on December 29th, 2006. You got it, the news was predicting another blizzard to hit just as my flight was scheduled to take off. The return flight was booked on Continental, but the fine print at the bottom informed me that the flight was being operated by Northwest.

All three airlines' websites said there was a "weather waiver" which would let me rebook the flight either 24 hours before or 24 hours after the initial reservation. Here's where it all began. I called Continental, the airline that my flight was booked on, they told me to call Northwest. I called Northwest, the agent couldn't find my reservation, but I managed to get a hold of a supervisor that gave me a reservation number. She suggested I call back the next day for an update. I agreed to do that.

It was the day of my flight. My flight was scheduled to leave at 7:00 PM, just when the storm was supposed to hit. I called Northwest, as I was instructed and reached someone who demanded that I call United, since they held the initial ticket. Once again, I asked to speak to a supervisor. She very rudely informed me that "This isn't a supervisor issue." I was persistent, and again asked for a supervisor. She said, "I don't have a supervisor." and hung up on me.

I called United. I thought I had reached someone who was willing to help me until he told me it would cost nearly $700 to rebook! I called Expedia. They told me there was nothing they could do and transferred me back to United and they told me to call Continental. This runaround went on for a full four hours until I finally reached an agreeable person at Northwest. She rebooked me on a flight that was scheduled to leave at 3:15, with a layover in Detroit.

At about 3:45, we finally started boarding the 3:15 flight. After about 15 or 20 minutes of sitting on the plane, they informed us that the flight attendants had left the plane because they were flying too many hours. They had to get another crew of flight attendants from Indianapolis. They said we could rebook or fly on the very late flight and spend the night in Detroit, on them.

I went to rebook my flight, and the gate attendant told me there was a flight (my original flight) leaving Denver to Indianapolis and then to Chicago. I asked what would happen to my luggage, and she said "You'll probably have to pick it up at O'Hare tomorrow." I asked why they couldn't deliver it to me. She said, "Maybe, but we don't typically do that when it's because of acts of god." What? The flight attendants walking off the plane is an act of God? Something sounded fishy. I asked the gate attendant to pick up the phone and find out if they would deliver. She said, "No, I will not pick up the phone."

I then began to raise my voice, although I never swore or became abusive in any way. She threatened to call the police and have me escorted out of the airport. She then threatened to tear up my itinerary and make me rebook everything at full fare. Then she said "I've made your decision for you. You're going to Detroit."

The flight arrives in Detroit six hours after the scheduled arrival time. I had to spend the night in a hotel with no luggage, and nothing was open to buy toiletries and something to sleep in. The hotel was only able to provide me with toothpaste and a toothbrush.

I arrive at the gate for my flight from Detroit to Chicago. I am informed that the flight is overbooked and they were asking for volunteers to fly to Midway instead of O'Hare. I didn't drive to the airport, and I leave about equal distance from both, so I didn't mind. I did ask, however, if my luggage will be on the same flight. I was assured and reassured that they caught it in time and it would. I agreed to take that flight if they would upgrade me to first class (even though it's only about an hour long flight). The gate attendant agreed. He also informed me that the flight attendants were under contract negotiation, interesting.

The flight to Midway is delayed because, you got it, a flight attendant was running the risk of going over. I asked a flight attendant if in fact they were under contract negotiation. She confirmed it. I get to Midway, no luggage. I went to the baggage claim person. She took the info and gave me the numbers for baggage claim for both Midway and O'Hare. She also assured me that they will call me before delivering my luggage. She said I should call at about 1:00 if I don't hear from them.

Of course I didn't hear from them, so I called at about 2:00. Midway's number went straight to voicemail. O'Hare's went straight to a FULL voicemail box. I left a message on Midway's. Eventually I got a call back that said my luggage went to O'Hare and they would be calling me. I do finally get my luggage at about 8:00 that evening. Of course there was no phone call. It was just fortunate I was home. Interestingly, there was a bottle of vitamins missing.

I called Northwest's complaint line. I gave her the complete rundown. Her only response was excuses, the weather, the luggage delivery company, etc. When I mentioned that the flight attendants were in contract negotiation, she said "That doesn't have anything to do with it." She offered me either miles or a $100 voucher. I told her that anything less than a free round trip ticket would be unacceptable because I will never give Northwest another dime of my money.

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Northworst Airlines: A lesson in compassion
By -

This year for Christmas my 76 yr old grandmother made plans to come and visit myself, my husband and our two children for the holidays in Phoenix, AZ. Although she makes this trip from Mid-Michigan several times a year, this one was particularly special because it would be the first time she would be able to spend Christmas with her two great grandchildren ages 1.5 and 3yrs. She was due to fly on Northwest airlines next Tuesday but about two days ago the unexpected happened and she slipped on the ice in her driveway and shattered her wrist in three places.

Now not only does she have to postpone her trip for 2 weeks, undergo painful procedures to put things right again, and live for the next 6 weeks with pins sticking out of her arm, but apparently due to Northwest's "no exceptions policy" she also has to pay a $100.00 fee to change her flight dates. We thought that certainly a medical mishap such as this would be a worthy excuse to bypass such a rigid policy, especially with doctor's documentation available, but were informed by the very caring Northwest representative (note the dripping sarcasm) that they hear excuses like this all the time and would not be making any exceptions to this rule today.

Now being painfully aware that if a 76 yr old woman with a broken wrist cannot elicit enough sympathy to convince Northwest to make an exception to their rules, I fully understand that this letter will more than likely fall upon deaf ears. I still feel compelled to make my opinion known, even if only to the person who opens this letter and skims it before throwing it in the trash. I think it's absolutely despicable that in this day and age certain exceptions can't be made in light of extenuating circumstances. With airlines treating people so impersonally these days it's no wonder that they're the brunt of so many jokes.

It's moments like this that make me giggle as I think back to a conversation I had with my grandmother just a few years ago when she insisted that airline employees would be more than happy to help me if I attempted to travel with two small children. I wasn't convinced as I recounted a scene from about a year before as I had just passed through security with an 8 mos old in my arms trying to put both our shoes back (yes, his had to be checked as well) while trying not to drop him and open the stroller up with the other hand, all the while several airport employees stood idly glaring at me and impatient passengers nearly ran me over trying to get past.

Now nearly two years later it seems that I may have won my argument with her after all. Normally I would be overjoyed at the prospect of winning any argument, but it seems only sad to for me to see a woman who always expects the best out of people to be treated so shabbily and I can find little satisfaction in saying finally, "see I told you so."

I decided to Google the words Northwest Airlines and compassion at the same time and was not surprised to find several article that sounded eerily familiar to the above experience. I will attach them to the letter in the off chance that whoever reads this even makes it to the end. I highly doubt this will happen because that would require a small amount of consideration for customer, which not unlike most other big businesses these days, seems to have been passed off as a trend of the past.

In closing I would like to tell you what I don't want to and to inform you of a few new "policies" of my own. First of all I would like to say to Northwest Airlines that I would rather hear nothing at all back than a reiteration of their above-mentioned policy. I don't care what you have to say unless it's something along the lines of I'm sorry and I certainly don't want to get a letter of explanation from ** (see attached stories). Nor do I want a refund for my grandmother; in fact if I have my way I will tear her tickets to pieces and pay for her to fly another airline myself. The whole point of this argument was never really about the money in the first place.

Now to my new policies, which bring to mind an old customer service saying I once heard that goes something like "a happy customer will tell 3 people but an unhappy customer will tell 10". I promise to tell everyone about how poorly my grandmother was treated by Northwest Airlines every time the topic of air travel comes up in conversation. I promise that next time I fly back to Michigan I will drive the extra three hours to Detroit so I can fly Southwest Airlines who has always been very understanding and accommodating in the face of the unexpected.

Lastly I promise to forward this letter on to anyone who will listen. I'm sure that like my grandma's "excuse" you probably also get letters like this all the time so this is probably old news but I'm sure others will find this interesting. I hope maybe that with enough urging you will reinstitute a little bit of personal care into your customer service because when it comes right down to it all you really have is your customer relations and your reputation. Thank you.

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Northwest Airlines
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www.nwa.com
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