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 do 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 nieces 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 gripy. 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, tooth paste, 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. Smith?" 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 may 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.