dtwclipper
Posts: 6668
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:17 am

Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:37 pm


OOOPS!


Bags overwhelm Metro handlers

NWA blames crush of travelers during weekend
February 15, 2005

BY ELLEN CREAGER and JEWEL GOPWANI
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS

Thousands of pieces of luggage were mishandled at Detroit Metro Airport's Northwest Airlines counters over the weekend as a crush of winter break-bound passengers and their bags overwhelmed baggage handlers.

Northwest Airlines said its staffing over the weekend was based on the number of passengers it expected.


"This was an unusual event, driven by an unusual combination of circumstances," said airline spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch. "Northwest is working together with all interested parties to prevent this from happening again."

http://www.freep.com/money/business/luggage15e_20050215.htm

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VictorTango
Posts: 468
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:00 pm

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:36 pm

Doesn't NWA have a history of misplacing passenger baggage??

Olly
 
dtwclipper
Posts: 6668
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:17 am

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:46 pm

VictorTango:

No more than any other airline. The system at the MAC as far as I know has never really had any issues.

I know from experience that it has worked very well, and I have never lost an item.
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ushermittwoch
Posts: 2535
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:18 pm

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:50 pm

Last time any of my luggage was lost was on a flight from DTW...
It was on BA though.
 Big grin
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SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:11 am

This sure does explain most of the bag claims we filed from NW this weekend! I still have people calling me looking for bags!

-n
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
Meteorologist
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:01 pm

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:44 am

Sure seems odd to love a lot of bags without a plethora of delays/cancellations. In my experience, most of my lost bags on NW have been through MEM.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6118
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:23 am

A number of factors came together here, and once again, the blame goes to multiple parties.

Last weekend was the start of the spring break travel season. While early for most colleges, schools, and families, this week, many public schools in Southeastern Michigan are out on break. Its a weird time, but many schools are out for the week, or get a long weekend coming up over the President's Day holiday. NW also significantly beefed up their schedule beginning over the weekend, through April. NW cut significant capacity during the slowest time of the year: early Jan through mid-Feb. Many flights came back now.

Basically NW and TSA were not adequately staffed to handle the rapid increase that occured basically overnight. NW has made several changes to the check-in areas in DTW over the past year, including the new E-ticket center in the parking deck, and the addition of all the E-ticket luggage check-in stations on the main level. This time of the year you see a lot of "Joe Tourists, backpacker crowd, once-a-year fliers" This means many people unfamiliar with the E-ticket kiosks, unfamiliar with flying and the airport, a larger percentage of checked luggage, and a heck of a lot more bags in the first place.

Additionally, Pinnacle's SOC in MEM had a power failure Sunday evening that cancelled & delayed numerous flights system-wide. Many CRJ flights Sunday evening in all 3 hubs were affected by this.
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3894
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:03 am

Isn't the winter break scheduling of the Michigan public schools something that Northwest can reasonably be expected to know about? It happens every year; shouldn't Northwest and TSA both be aware of how many people they need to schedule? The school schedule is known before the school year starts, no doubt, so NW and TSA have lots of time to plan. BTW, New York public schools also take a week's break around this time every year too.

No doubt Northwest also knows that infrequent fliers aren't as familiar with E-ticket kiosks, etc. Perhaps "Joe Tourist" rabble who don't pay walkup business fares are the kind of pax NW typically wants, but sometimes they do show up.  Big grin Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Jim
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neilalp
Posts: 1009
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:16 am

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:34 am

I think NW knows this is coming. It is always the 3rd week in Feb. Through Easter and then a lull before summer travel. 3rd and 4th of week bring public school breaks then into college breaks for about 3 weeks then the week before Easter starts the public school spring breaks for 2 weeks then the April May lull hit until colleges let out for summer and things pick up again. This has been going on for many many years at least since I was in Kindergarden in Michigan Public Schools twenty some years ago.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6118
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:06 am

NW knows this, but you'd be surprised anyways. The same thing happens in Northern Michigan this time of year. The restaurants get surprised at all the skiers who are suddenly up there midweek.

Anyways, while I'm sure they knew, there has been a lot of changes in the check-in areas, both in the use of kiosk, number of agents, staffing levels, etc in the past 6 months or so, after the summer travel season that I'm sure are still being tweaked now, especially through the busy periods.
 
hjulicher
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:26 pm

RE: Thousands Of Bags Mishandled @ DTW

Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:45 am

I recieved a phonecall from NW asking me to confirm my flight recently. I leave the 24th from DTW to MUC. I though it strange that they were calling me two weeks in advance to ask me whether I was still taking my trip? I returned the phone call, but I was still confused why I had to confirm my trip. I never had to do this in the past.
LH 442