Northwest Airlines to Europe

May 15th, 2001, 11:59 AM
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Northwest Airlines to Europe

Hi All,
I'm flying Northwest Airlines to Paris in a few weeks and all that I have been reading on here is bad reviews for Northwest. Is it really that bad? I recently flew Delta to Paris and it was great. It was very roomy, we were catered to very well by the flight attendants and there were t.v. screens for every seat. Does Northwest not do any of this?
May 15th, 2001, 10:04 PM
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Yes, NW is really that bad. Old planes (unless you're very lucky), tight seating, indifferent-to-inedible food, and the crankiest flight crews in the skies.

I've only taken NW to Europe once (I live in Hong Kong so I end up taking them back and forth to the states b/c my family there lives in an area dominated by NW's MN hub) but on my transpacific flights they're pretty dependably rotten.

Having said all this, once in a while I get a decent flight out of them, so maybe you'll be lucky.

May 24th, 2001, 07:38 PM
Jim Rosenberg
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We've taken their flight into Paris a number of times and while it may not be particularly noteworthy, I've never felt it was as bad as the reviews you see. It is true that over an extended period of time (several years), NWA had various job actions going on between various unions. All of that has been cleared up now and I think you'll find the service to be comparable to other choices you have. You may even find Northwest better in some respects, such as the WorldPerks program. Happy Trails!
May 31st, 2001, 12:43 PM
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They seem to have very good times and very good prices. How bad can it be. Does anyone else have any comments
Jun 5th, 2001, 05:35 AM
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I live in MSP, so I've found the best thing to do is take NWA to the closest airport where I can catch British Airways, Aer Lingus, Lufthansa..........
Jun 15th, 2001, 01:12 PM
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Any good reviews? Again How bad can it be?
Jun 16th, 2001, 02:14 PM
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Three years ago we flew Northwest to Amsterdam and then return. It was OK. I think people who respond frequently have had bad experiences and vent. I would bet that most people have found the service, food, and comfort on transatlantic flights in the tourist section mediocre for all airlines. If there is a difference, it frequently has to do with the particular flight crew they had. Last year we flew EgyptAir with much trepidation, after reading all the negative posts. Once again, it was OK. The only thing I didnt like was there was no wine (or any alcohol) offered on the Cairo-JFK leg (makes the airline food more palatable), and there was a smoking section. But it was really no different than other airline experiences.
Jun 20th, 2001, 09:44 PM
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How bad can it be?

Well, I guess NW is no worse than any other US airline in the sense that you're likely to have 'bad flights' and 'good flights' if you take them regularly. This is in contrast to some of the better airlines, such as Cathay and Singapore, where you rarely hear of people having outright bad experiences.

But I do think NW is worse than average, even for US airlines. I would single out the attitude of their flight crews (and ground staff) as the factor that sets them apart, so to speak. I've had such ridiculous troubles with NW employees that I've given up trying to make excuses for them (e.g. they're all surly because of all the labor disputes NW seems perpetually engaged in). I think NW has created a corporate culture of customer service that ranges from indifference to contempt for their passengers.

Just to give one example: my grandfather died earlier this year, and I had to make a quick trip from Hong Kong back to Iowa. I bought an e-ticket over the phone with NW in Hong Kong, and charged it to a credit card. Since I had no documentation of the price I was quoted (which, to be fair, was pretty good -- the NW people in HK were helpful) I went to the main NW ticketing/info counter at Minneapolis airport, and asked to see a printout of my ticket and price details. The young woman who 'helped' me took about four or five repetitions of the request to even grasp my meaning, then punched something into the computer, got a baffled look, and disappeared for nearly a half-hour. Finally, she returned. She'd spent all that time trying to convert the price in Hong Kong dollars to US dollars, something that was unnecessary, and that anyway I could have done in my head in two seconds if she'd just told me in the first place. Worse, it turned out the price she was giving me was over double the price I'd been quoted in Hong Kong. I didn't believe her, and asked if there wasn't a note or something attached to my ticket info indicating the circumstances, reduced price, etc. She swore up and down there was not, and got increasingly rude and dismissive. Finally, I asked her to simply print out whatever was on her screen and just hand it over to me. With a furious scowl, she did actually do so. The notation of my reduced price was right there, in black and white.

As I've said, you can get decent flights on NW, but this incident I've just recounted is typical of the kinds of problems I've had with NW staff.

Good luck to all who fly with them!!
Jun 21st, 2001, 05:05 AM
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I hope you got her name and reported this. If enough of us don't tolerate the bad treatment, it won't happen so often.
Jun 22nd, 2001, 04:20 PM
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Just returned from a fabulous 3 week tour of Germany. Flew NWA both ways and KLM in Germany. I have NO complaints whatsoever. From my observations,the staff on ground and in flight tried to be helpful and were always pleasant. The food was okay. Flights were smooth and on time. Seating was no worse than other airlines I've flown.
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