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Cheap Tickets On NW: Buy?  
User currently offlineETStar From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 7
Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3318 times:

I always dreaded the day I'd post such a topic, but life has me looking at traveling to DC and NW seems to have the cheapest fares, cheapest I have ever paid to go to DCA from YYC, ever! BUT, of course, only the blind and the mute on a.net do not know that tiny bit of a problem NW has, finance and labour. So, is it fair to assume that NW will stay afloat and it being able to make good on my purchase?

Trip date is Oct 19-23

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCOERJ145 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1421 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3297 times:

Quoting ETStar (Thread starter):
So, is it fair to assume that NW will stay afloat and it being able to make good on my purchase?

If you purchase these tickets, get an air travel insurance or the like. They usually cost between 15-30 dollars and protect against labor strikes(check the fine print though). If you don't and NW goes south(which I hope they don't), CO or DL will accomadate you.


User currently offlineAviationwiz From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 962 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3282 times:

You would have to suffer quite a bit though trying to get accommodated onto CO or DL. That would be an incredible number of people trying to get accommodated at the last minute on way fewer flights.

What's the price difference between all the airlines? If it's just a tad cheaper on NW, you might want to look at others just for the peace of mind if not anything else. Also, how critical is the trip? If it's time critical, NW isn't the best choice by any means.



Proudly from the Home of the Red Tail.
User currently offlineStyle From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 267 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3277 times:

If your flight is in October its safe to assume they should still be operating. Im sure if the flt attendants go ahead with this planned "chaos" it is something along the lines of causing 'headaches' to NW operations and not a total meltdown.

COERJ145 brings a good point though that travel insurance is a good option. But then if its 15-30 dollars for the insurance, you can maybe pay a little bit more for another carrier and be comfortable knowing that you dont have to worry about such things.


User currently offlineETStar From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3228 times:

Thanks for the replies. A ticket on NW will definitely have insurance added to it, but then again, since the trip is far out in Oct, could even have Visa reverse the charges. The next airline's fare is about $20 above, which I will also closely consider.

One other thing that even got this more interesting was that after my post above, a search on Travelocity brought it up to $109 return on NW. Could not believe my eyes, as one way alone is at least $170. At any rate, it had me selecting the outbound, then inbound flights, tried to upsell to hotels/packages, then on the next page, I got the "we're sorry, fare has changed" BS. I tried and tried again and again, with the same fare showing up but same BS. Finally now, it is back to the previous low fare it had shown.

Man, I was thinking weekends in DC from now till the end of the year. Or even killer weekend mileage runs on NW 'till I dropped dead (I'd sign up for CO's FFP first though, since it is the saner of the three musketeers). Well... it was not meant to be.


User currently offlineVincewy From Taiwan, joined Oct 2005, 767 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3219 times:

NW had a promotion on fares before Aug 18th, I resisted the temptation to book it for Sept travel, too much risk involved. Now the fares are back up and I still didn't regret my decision.

User currently offlineETStar From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3205 times:

What's generally involved in getting your credit card company recoup $ for service that is not going to be rendered? Do you still end up losing on $?

User currently offlineBlueFlyer From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Jan 2006, 4190 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3178 times:
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Quoting ETStar (Reply 6):
What's generally involved in getting your credit card company recoup $ for service that is not going to be rendered?

Generally speaking, solid proof that the vendor cannot reimburse you. What is solid proof is up to the credit card issuer.

I was scheduled to fly DFW BRU shortly after Sabena went under, and Discover initially denied my request for credit saying I should go through the carrier first, nevermind that it was in bankruptcy. I faxed Discover a word-for-word transcript of a recorded message on Sabena's reservation number (something to the effect the airline wouldn't be reimbursing unused tickets) and the URL to an article in the IHT saying the same thing. I don't know whether Discover actually checked on the content of my fax or took me at my word, but I had my credit a few days later.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineMSNtriathlete From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3161 times:

Personally, I am holding off on making any NW reservations at this point, and I generally fly them a lot. I take a lot of short, 3-4 day, trips and can't afford to deal with the headaches of trying to switch to another carrier if operations are disrupted or cancelled. As one entry stated, "there's too much risk involved," and by the time I try to switch carriers, so will thousands of other people. No amount of flight insurance is going to reduce that amount of stress or wasted time.

Incidentally, I've booked 4 trips this fall on CO, and just returned from one (trip report is in progress...stay tuned). Now that I see how amazing CO's service is, I'm not sure I'll be going back to NW voluntarily any time soon.


User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3070 times:

Based on moral principal alone I would say do not buy these tickets. Haven't you been paying any attention to the morally reprehensible way their management has been treating employees?

User currently offlineMSPGUY From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 190 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3017 times:

Just booked tickets on the 17th from MSP-FRA on NW. I'm not worried about them going under, they're going to weather the strike.


If it ain't broke, DON'T touch it!!!!
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3006 times:

I remember the Northwest Airlines second quarter report saying that NW has 1.5 Billion dollars in unrestricted cash. Lets see how much money they have in the August figures to be released around 20th of Sept. That should tell the tale on how NW is really doing and if the populous will trust the carrier's solvency.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

Quoting Style (Reply 3):
COERJ145 brings a good point though that travel insurance is a good option. But then if its 15-30 dollars for the insurance, you can maybe pay a little bit more for another carrier and be comfortable knowing that you dont have to worry about such things.

Check first as a few insurance providers do not cover airlines already operating in Bankruptcy!



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7566 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2930 times:

Most travel insurance is only good for 3 days from booking, if you book with a credit card then it will be fine. Second, CHAOS is not a systemwide daily thing, it might be one flight every month or so. One flight! I have a ticket booked for December 18th-Jan 8th on NW, no worries here.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

Or it might be every flight systemwide on a given day, or perhaps every flight from a particular hub/outstation, or every even numbered flight, or every flight ending in 3. Really no way to tell if it might be yours.

User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1001 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2894 times:

You ONLY buy an airline ticket with a credit card. You are fully insured for complete repayment if the carrier goes belly up; it is 100% hassle free, and costs you nothing extra, and no loop holes to deal with.

The airlines instinctively know how poor their service is on board, just as they know that there is no difference between carrier A and carrier B. That is why they can put their own code share numbers on someone else's flights with impunity, and not worry that their own reputation will be besmirched in the process.

Book the cheaper ticket, and use a card. You are completely safe.



"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2778 times:

I agree with GeorgiaAME in that if you book with a card, you will be safe in terms of getting your money back. My wife and I had season tix to the Indianapolis ballet, which went out of business mid-season, and the process of getting refunded for the tickets for the cancelled performances was very easy to sort out with just one phone call to Citibank.
However, let's say NW goes belly up the day before your flight. Sure, your credit card company can get you your $170 back. But if you have $170 in your hand on Oct 18, that probably won't be nearly enough to get you to DC the next day. So I would echo others' advice about trip insurance and/or paying a little extra to go on a different carrier.


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2679 times:

Quoting ETStar (Reply 4):
Thanks for the replies. A ticket on NW will definitely have insurance added to it, but then again, since the trip is far out in Oct, could even have Visa reverse the charges. The next airline's fare is about $20 above, which I will also closely consider.

You would roll the proverbial dice over $20? What you are gambling a paltry $20 on is that the airline with whom the odds of serious irregular operations (irrops) due to labor actions are greatest will deliver as represented. If such irrops should occur, your trip will be as good as written off unless you ante up much much more than $170 plus $20 to go with another carrier within reaonable proximity to the dates of your planned trip.

Assuming Northwest is operating in mid-late October, don't count on them for timely reprotection on another of their flights -- they are apparently in a "pack the planes even if it means we lose money at 100% load factors" mindset, which means they will indeed succeed in packing their planes, even during the supposed "low season," which in turn means they will have no place to reaccomodate you in anything resembling a timely manner if your flight is cancelled due to irrops. Then again, all could go as routinely as one could hope for, in which case you have won your bet.

Since I'm picking up on a discernable level of anxiety on your part as to whether you can depend on Northwest to perform the services you are paying them to provide, a question begs to be asked: Isn't your peace of mind for the next 2 months in and of itself worth $20 more?


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