I didn't think they ever literally *had* a "first class" at all. I mean, when I flew them, "first class," two summers ago from LGA-MSP-SNA, the seats were almost as hard as a park bench with little padding. Sure, we were seated in row 2, and sure it was termed "first class." But I thought it was meant as a marketing joke, in which the Company assumed passengers knew better. The service had some modicum of what normally is considered "first class," but those seats were really charter-quality coach.
Well, at any rate, if this newsstory is true, I don't think the regular passengers will mind. Afterall, they never really had a *true* first class experience on NW.
You can't miss what you never had.