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User currently offlineLouis From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

I booked my ticket with Northwest, but judging by everyone's opinion of the airline I'm starting to have second thoughts. The Northwest ticket was much cheaper than Air Canada's. As much as I hate Air Canada, I'd rather not fly on a plane that's older than I am. Anyways, if I do stick with Northwest, how is it in terms of safety and service? Are their aircraft well maintained? I've never flown them before. I need to know by Friday!



32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4555 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1606 times:

What route are you looking to fly on? Also, the age of the equipment doesn't necessarily mean they don't you get there on time and in great shape.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineBlade From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1584 times:

Northwest has very good safety record and I am flying with that airline few times per year. I wouldn't fly with them if I don't think that they are safe to fly with. And I dont have any doubts about this.
ps. I didn't know that their planes are that old. Are they???

User currently offlineLouis From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1578 times:

My route: YEG-MSP-LGA and then return. The YEG-MSP route uses a DC9; the MSP-LGA uses a 757. I have heard that many of NWA's craft are over 20 years old.

The ticket is much cheaper than the AC alternative, but it's not as flexible in changing times. The AC flight is much more flexible, but a lot more expensive -- and they use newer aircraft. Still, if NWA's safety record is suspect, I'd be willing to fork over the dough to AC.


User currently offlineAa737 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 849 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1560 times:

I have flown on NWA a lot. While I don't like flying on the DC-10, i don't find it comforatable, they are a very safe airline. I have heard that the DC-9s have been maintained very well, and are nice on the inside despite their age.
I would keep the NWA ticket becasue its a lot cheaper, and there are no safety problems with the airline.

User currently offlineAerLingus A330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

Only thing I can tell you about "Northworst" is that they have been able to lose my brother-in-law's luggage twice within a six month period.

Fortunately both times the bags had been located and returned but for that to happen twice in a row and to go through the inconvenience of no clean clothes or personal items for 24-48 hours, it doesn't really make you feel good about flying them again!

I think if my brother in law has to ever fly them again, he may try to bring his luggage on board!  

Good Luck and let us know if you get your luggage at the same time you reach your destination!  

User currently offlineDeltaShuttle From United States of America, joined May 1999, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1541 times:

From my own experiences, I would have to rate Northwest as much better than what many people have been saying about them recently. Since I'm from Michigan, I use Northwest in order to fly nonstop. Out of the flights that I have taken on them, they have all arrived or departed on schedule. Inflight service is adequate, but unspectacular. Meal service was awful on a flight I took to Seoul, but other than that has been decent. The biggest problem I have with Northwest is the time I spend waiting to pick up my luggage. In my opinion, this has to do with the fact that Northwest is operating beyond the terminal's capacity at DTW, since I never have a significant wait at other airports, but I think they could do better. I have heard many horror stories from other people, though, and that is what makes me hesitant to fly on them, when I plan future trips.

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1536 times:

Hey Louis whats up? I've had my share of problems with Northworst Aircraft such as their 727-200,747-200 and DC-10 packed in seats on the aircraft as well as employees rudeness from the FAs and gate agents. But not too many of the employees are bad. Their A320, 757-200 and DC-9 are pretty good. Any possiblity that you can check out US Airways, Continental or AA?

User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 47
Reply 8, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1527 times:

I've only flown NW a few times, and my experience is that they seem better on domestic/shorter runs than they do on international flights. On a flight I took to London and back the servie was very mediocre, the food bland, and the cabin staff were very rushed and a little surly, even for economy class, plus their 747's do not have the larger overhead bins.

On the domestic leg however the cabin crew both ways were chatty and friendly, and the food from their ala cart service was quite decent.

Everything I have heard about their planes is they are very well maintained despite their age, and their pilots are first-rate.

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineDazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5519 posts, RR: 49
Reply 9, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1503 times:

I flew NWA from....MCO-MEM-SEA-HNL, and HNL-LAX-MEM-MCO. All the flights we're great. The inflight service was good, and I like the breakfast's on the long flights. The only problem we had was that we left 45 min late from HNL cause the DC-10 had navigational problems. I would fly them again.

User currently offlineUSAFWX From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1497 times:

I have flown Northwest a few times (JAX-LAX via Memphis and return, and also from SEL-HNL-DTW-ROC), and have had great flights each and every time. While the DC-9's are old, they are well maintained and nice on the inside. The FA's have been very friendly, and I have yet to come across one who was rude not only to me but anyone else I was sitting near.

All I can say is try them out. Many people on here talk bad about Northwest because of one bad experience, or simply just because other people do. I say give them a shot, and see for yourself. No major airline will offer up suspect equipment, no matter how old. So fly NW, and enjoy the flight.

User currently offlineDc-9-10 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1476 times:

I love flying old aircraft just like wine they get better with age>


User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1468 times:

I don't think you need to worry about NW, they're a fairly reputable airline.

Louis, are you sure you're flying a DC-9 on the YEG-MSP leg? By my check of the schedule that route is operated by A319's only. Not that there's anything wrong with the DC-9's, they're a fairly reliable aircraft.

For the poster who mentioned USAirways, American or Continental- no chance, none of them serve Edmonton. The closest airport USAirways serves is a long way away from YEG, and the nearest airport CO serves is Calgary, about a 3 hour drive, and they only fly to IAH from Calgary anyways, which is a majorly long detour to get to New York via IAH from western Canada. AA also serves Calgary with flights to ORD or DFW, but what's the point of driving an that far to catch a plane?

User currently offlineMCOtoATL From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 474 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1470 times:

I flew on them in February, from Orlando to San Diego (via MSP.) Flew on a DC-10. They flight crew was very friendly. Flew an A-320 home, and again, everyone was great.

I am a Youth Minister for a large church and we had a group of 60 teens flying from Orlando to Denver for a ski trip. The planes were clean and the flight crew was very courteous. In fact, the landing in Demver was the smoothest I have ever experienced.

I enjoyed my experience with NW abd felt safe on their well-maintained planes. I have good and bad experiences on almost every major airline, and there are none hat I would avoid.

User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4555 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1476 times:

NWA has a cheaper ticket, is a very safe airline and has an overall good product. NWA will get you and your luggage there just fine.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineIFLYDELTAJETS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1447 times:

I flew NW recently between BNA and MGM, and I noticed several things on the flights that may add to the discussion of NW service above.

The A320 from BNA to MEM was quite comfortable. The cabin crew was fairly attentive, although for most of the flight they remained seated b/c of dense build-ups around the aircraft all the way to MEM.

NW's MEM hub is hell. Absolute hell. The terminal is old, drab, and depressing, still being in a beige '70s motif. It's also filthy. On top of that, the MEM ground staff were surly, inattentive, and abrasive.

The NW Airlink SF340 from MEM to MGM was equally nightmarish. The seatbacks (ostensibly for safety/evac reasons) only came to my mid-back region (I'm 5'11"), and the a/c was expectedly loud, but the lone F/A was extremely cordial and indicated she loved working for Express I (the Airlink carrier out of MEM). The return was the same, and my comments would be the same.

The 340 from MGM-MEM was still uncomfortable; the MEM hub was still hell. As for the DC-9-50 from MEM to BNA, however, j'ai été très impressionné! The interior appeared to be brand-new; the seats were extraordinarily comfortable. The cabin crew was relatively attentive but slightly cold and lacked the friendly touch that seems to be becoming the norm at DL these days. The flight crew was exceptionally attentive, though, explaining in detail the weather intricacies in MEM that caused a gate hold.

All in all, NW is respectable, but definitely suffers from customer service issues that need to be addressed. And the MEM hub is nightmarish! They seriously need to evaluate renovating that facility.

User currently offlineRotate777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (16 years 1 month 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1446 times:

Northwest isn't a bad airline at all. I think you should stick with what you got. What other people experience with them doesn't mean that you will too. That's their own opinion. Some people might like them, some people might not. Give them a try and see if you like it.

They keep their aircraft well maintained. They have had their DC-9s for a long time, and look now, they still operate them so they must be keeping them in good condition.

Have a good time on the flight.


User currently offlineFjnovak1 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 615 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1418 times:

If you are flying from Edmonton, you will have an Airbus A319, not a DC9. However, the DC-9 fleet has a brand-new interior that is very nice. The A319 aircraft are brand new, (<1 year old) and look beautiful in NWA colors! I flew one fron PBI-DTW and, though it was a little bouncy on descent, I loved the plane.

In addition, Northwest has a spotless safety record in the past 8 years or so (their older aircraft are well maintained) and also uses a exclusive navigation system that provides for the least amount of turbulence in the industry. I have never had an overly-turbulent flight on Northwest (with the exception of on descent sometimes), and I fly them a lot since I live outside Detoit. Otherwise, their staff is friendly in the air (gate agents are rude though) and the food is making marginal improvements every time I fly. Plus, they were second on-time record last year. You will be satisfied with Northwest. They are consistent and reliable but not really spectacular (CO is better).

Go Blue!!
User currently offlineTEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

I have flown with them twice from Detroit to MCO on 727-200s and 757s and the service was very good. May 5th I am flying with them on a Avro RJ85 from TYS to Detroit and then on to ALB on a DC-9.

User currently offlineQB001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

Flied with NW once : YUL-DTW-PBI and back. All DC9's. Didn't find them very comfortable (I'm 6 feet - 1,82 m). Food was terribly bad (as is always the case with US airlines on domestic routes). 3 of these 4 legs were overbooked ! Last leg (DTW-YUL) was delayed 60 minutes because of a window problem. Overall, I was not impressed at all. The last time I flied an american airline was CO (MD80, 733, 735). Food was terribly bad (as is always the case with US airlines on domestic routes). But overall I liked it better than NW.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineOpieyork From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1396 times:

northwest has one of the oldest fleets of aircraft in the world. northwest uses maximum density seating on nearly all of their domestic operated aircraft. northwest was the airline that "held hostage" thousands of passengers ON AIRCRAFT for hours and hours (like 6 to 8 hours) during a snow storm in detroit last year. northwest frequently has only 2 flight attendants on their 30year-old + dc9's. northwest reservation lines will advise you they are too busy to take your call at this time and to please call back later and you are then disconnected. northwest supports the lowest level of service in travel agent's computer reservation systems...affecting seat assignments, true availability. unless you ask to see northwest's customer service committment, northwest will not offer amenities for stranded passengers. northwest's detroit and memphis hubs are filthy, dingy, cold and cramped.

i hope you have a good experience on them. they no longer get my money.

User currently offlinePH-BZA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1384 times:

Will you please tell me more about the incident in January last year when people on 30 or so aircraft were held in them on the tarmac during a snowstorm? I heard about the incident, but i would like to learn more about it. Why weren't the people delivered to the gates of the airport and let off there? If those aircraft could have landed in that situation, couldn't they have gone to the gates?

User currently offlineChieftain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1366 times:


Please try to realize that all of our airlines south of the border are more or less comparable in terms of service standards and aircraft upkeep. You may hear XXX airlines provided such excellent service, or that so and so looked after me so well, but that kind of talk is pretty much bunk. That's what happens when airlines have 600+ aircraft and thousands of daily flights which equates to tens of thousands of passengers carried each day--how can you please all of them?

Your experience with any airline will depend on smooth flying conditions, weather delays (or lack thereof), friendly F/A's (or lack thereof) and numerous other conditions out of control of the airlines.

All of the majors have well-maintained fleets--its simply not possible to keep to a schedule of 6-8 daily trips per a/c otherwise. NWA's DC9's have all been recently refurbished from the inside out and are currently the only to be fitted with Noise Cancellation/suppression technology. Not to mention the Diesel 9 was built like a tank.

As for NW, they are a decent airline. Avoid the DTW (Detroit) hub like the plague and you'll be fine.

As mentioned above, all YWG-MSP flights are operated by A319, so the DC9 isn't even an issue here. And a 757 into LGA is an experience you wont soon forget. Don't know if you've ever flown into LGA, but the approach is breathtaking to say the least (Hopefully you can get a seat on the Manhattan, not Long Island side) with lots of sweeping turns towards the very end.

Give NW a try--you'll get there safely and most likely in good shape. With the winter more or less over, snowstorms shouldn't really be a problem anymore.

User currently offlineKALB From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 573 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1354 times:

TEDSKI et al I've flown DTW-ALB on one of their DC-9-15, probably built in '65 or '66. The interior was clean and updated. It was wierd to be on a DC-9 with no leading edge slats, as there are on DC-9-30/40/50 (maybe 20?). Actually a good flight with a stiff wind across RWY 1, making for a nice X-wind landing.

User currently offlineDan-air From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (16 years 1 month 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1345 times:

PH-BZA: As most people know, NWA's Detroit hub is extremely congested. In Janurary 1999, NWA had little or no contingency plans should a major snowstorm affect it's biggest hub - when all the planes were on the ground there.

A contributing factor was their ground-staff: I understand around 50% did not show up for work due to the bad weather (the city of Detroit didn't plow residential neighborhoods at the time). But the major problem was that NWA continued to route a/c into DTW as the snowstorm moved in - the snow was moving east so they wanted all their a/c out of that region. As snow piled up and there were not the drivers to man the plows at the airport, the normal congestion that usually costs the NWA passenger arriving in Detroit a 10-20 minute wait while the arrival gate is prepared (there are insufficient gates for the number of a/c movements) got out of control.

25 Adam84 : I was on a Northwest DC-10 in DTW during the snowstorm, We were sitting there for 4+ hours, It wasnt as bad as people peeing in cups and all that, but
26 AKelley728 : I've flown on a number of Northwest flights, but only because of their alliance with Continental (I bought CO tickets, they were on code-share flights
27 CNS : I flew with KLM/Northwest from Luxemburg via AMS and DTW to TPA on 26 March 99. The flight from LUX to AMS was very nice and we had good food. The fli
28 Post contains images BH346 : NWA is an excellent airline, I have been on them about 35 to 40 times I'm sure you'll have a wonderful flight. If you're still unsure, I can give you
29 Chieftain : I think levels of service on US Carriers can be a little shocking to our European friends; the difference on a similar length intra-Europe and intra-U
30 Louis : I decided to switch to Air Canada. It had nothing to do with NW's reputation or safety issues. The NW ticket was very rigid in terms of changing dates
31 Post contains images United777ORD : I hope you don't get stranded inside of the airplane for five hours!!!!! Northwest has a reputation of doing this. That is why United needs to make MS
32 Louis : I would fly UAL, but they don't fly to Deadmonton.
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