Northwest Airlines Complaint - The worst airline experience ever
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:
1. I called Continental, the airline that my flight was booked on, they told me to call Northwest.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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!
5. 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 re booked me on a flight that was scheduled to leave at 3:15, with a layover in Detroit.
6. 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.
7. 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."
8. 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.
9. 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...
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.