Topic Author
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 2:54 am

IAD-DTW-BMI (MLI) Northwest Airlines

Fri Mar 29, 2002 8:34 am

NW 1407
Seat: 3A

Scheduled Departure: 12:30P
Actual Departure: 12:20P
Scheduled Arrival: 2:18P
Actual Arrival: 1:45P

This was a great flight from checkin to arrival. When I checked in at IAD the ticket agent told me that the flight was oversold in the main cabin and because I was so early she was going to upgrade me to first class!! Good deal. I was assigned seat 3A and headed out to gate B15 on the A shuttle cause it is closer to NW's gates. We boarded at 12:00N and the FA took my coat, and offered a pre-departure drink (rum and coke). The FAs were both happy and smiling throughout the short flight. We pushed back 10 minutes early and every seat was full. Takeoff was quick and quiet and we went right on up to 28000. The flying time was a quick 57 mins enroute. Drink service in the NW glasses was commenced quickly and my rum and cokes kept coming for a total of 3 in the air. Peanuts, pretzels, and some trail mix was offered out of a basket. Before landing the FA offered me coffe out of the NW mug which was neat. The seat was comfortable and cushy and there is a nice little leg rest that comes down from the seat in front. We landed really early and parked right into the gate. I took the tram (which was working!) to the middle of the terminal and watched the rows of people mezmorized by the water feature. There were 4 NW 747-400s parked at the gates (so as you can imagine from my screen name) I was in pure heaven!!

I checked the monitors for my connecting flight to Bloomington- ONTIME C5.

Headed over to the B/C concourse through the lights and sound show of the underground tunnel. It is pretty well done with different sounds like rain and wind. Nice.

The C concourse has a large waiting area and then several big doors where you go through when they call then you walk down the C concourse to your individual jetway for each flight.

The B concourse was nice and I got a bagel from Eisteins for the flight. I walked down to the CO gates and noticed that CO's flight to Houston was delayed and looked very full.

We boarded ontime through Door J (where the agent looks at your boarding pass and ID) and headed just down to gate C5 where the agent took my boarding pass and checked my ID.

NW 5910
Seat: 2A

Scheduled Departure: 3:20P
Actual Departure: 3:20P
Scheduled Arrival: 3:55P
Actual Arrival: Diverted to Moline due to Weather at Bloomington- Arrived MLI at 4:15P

So, you are already thinking, interesting flight....Just wait!

We pushed back ontime and went past the old concourses that looked like they were being prepared for demolition. Takeoff was quick, just waited behind an NW757. After takeoff the FA was friendly and smiling and offered drinks and pretzels. It was a quick flight, just over an hour. We began the descent into BMI and it was rather bumpy in the clouds. On the approach to BMI I knew the gear was down and we were getting pretty low, we hit Decision Height on the ILS and the engines spooled up, the gear was brought up, and we started climbing. Executing the missed approach. About 5 minutes later the capatin came on and said that the weather was not good enough to land at BMI, was forecast to get worse, and that 4 other planes has all gone missed approach to. So, we would be diverting to our alternate, Moline and be there in about 15 mins.

We touched down just after 4:10 and were in the gate shortly after. The FA wasnt sure what was going to happen so we waited for the gate agents. They came on and after about 5 minutes the captain announced we could go and wait in the gate for an update, at 5PM.

5PM- The update comes....The weather in BMI is actually worse now, with heavy freezing rain and winds gusting to 45knots. We are going to wait for another update at 6P. I sat at the bar and watched the Uconn/Maryland game- good thing cause I would have missed it otherwise (I have learned to look for the positives in these kinds of situations  Smile ).

6PM- The update comes...let's wait til 6:30, but it doesn't look good.

6:30PM- Flight cancelled, go to the luggage claim and pick up your bags and wait for the bus (or rent a car if you want to pay for it).

7:00PM- Bags come off, (my priority tags worked and both bags arrived 1st off), bus is coming at 7:30P.

7:30PM- Onto the bus, off to BMI (just under 2 hours). When we arrive all the people who had been saying the weather didn't look that bad, and NW sucks, etc etc, ate their words when they realized that even walking across the parking lot over 1/4-1/2 of ICE from the freezing rain was extremely difficult. Suddenly they were thanking the pilot for not trying to land in the storm afterall, now why they couldnt have trusted the pilots decision is beyong me. I was happy to be safely on the ground!

The next day I wrote NW an email saying that I thought the cancellation-bags off carousel-bus leaving had taken too long and should have been made quicker to save people time. Today Amy (supervisor, Customer Service) sent a very nice- 1 page- personalized letter addrssing my issues and giving me 4000 bonus miles for the delay. I thought this was very nice, as I wasn't expecting anything, I just wanted to let them know what I thought.

For all of you this week who have chose to bash Northwest, I hope this report shows how NW and their airline partners do truly provide safe, reliable, and courteous service. And, when things go wrong, even when it isnt their fault they handled it well and made it right.

Let me finish by saying, I am truly tired of the NW bashing, and those that want to bash NW, don't fly them and hopefully that will keep the seat next to me empty on my next flight, BUT YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON A GREAT AIRLINE WITH GREAT PEOPLE AND GREAT AIRPORT FACILITIES.

Ohwell, your loss.

Now more than ever, FLY THE RED TAILS!!!
Posts: 3529
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 5:26 am

RE: IAD-DTW-BMI (MLI) Northwest Airlines

Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:41 am

Nice report... funny you mentioned people complaining about the weather and their personal take on how the crew was wrong in diverting. A story...

I was working a trip from DTW-DAY and before we left the gate we knew the weather was marginal at best. The weather was currently above our minimums etc... so we decided to announce to the folks what the plan was and how poor the weather was but we were committed to getting them ot their destination and that safety was the priority. So we launched and I was pilot flying. About 3/4 of the way to DAY we entered a hold while DAY approach coordinated our arrival. In the second turn in the hold, the airport closed due to fog and wx was way below our mins for the approach. However the ground below us was clear and free of fog. So, we turned around and headed back towards DTW. The wx in DTW was dropping fast and contemplated our alternate of Flint. We pressed on to DTW and landed safely in heavy fog... about 3000 RVR I think it was. The captain explained to the folks what was going on etc... The flight was immediately canceled as were all the later flights into DAY for the night. So, we were released from duty and I went to the hotel (not based in DTW). It turns out many of the passengers received discount vouchers for the hotel that Mesaba puts us in. While I was eating dinner I over heard two ladies complaining about the hwole situation. I casually asked them what happened to their flight and they responded "we had to come back to Detroit because our pilots said there was fog in Dayton. It was so clear in Dayton... thy must have been lying to us... we think there was a mechanical problem and didn't want to tell us about it." Hearing all this I was fuming. So I calmly and disguising my irateness let them know that I was the first officer on their flight and I assured them that we indeed turned around for weather. I also ensured them that we have absolutely no reason to lie to them. I ensured them further that NW and Mesaba don't control the weather and when the airport closes, we can't land. It is as pure and simple as that. I could tell they were very embarassed that they made those comments and were quick to be understanding.

My point is this... people are amazing. They don't listen to announcements, blindly trust us upfront until something goes wrong and then think we lie about it. And this is coming from a pilot, who didn't have to deal with all these pissed off people like our 2 flight attendants did!!

I simply could not believe what I was hearing. Unfortunately the majority of the traveling public don't care about why we can't do things or why we don't do this or why they can't have that. They are too wrapped up in their own little worlds to bring respect, manners and common sense aboard the planes when they fly. They then take out their frustrations undeservingly on the crews... and people then wonder why air travel has become the way it is. Nobody seems to realize that there are two sides to the coin and always another point of view to consider. The media doesn't help this issue. I just wish we had the time and resources to explain everything to the passengers... or better yet, if they can ride along with us on a 3 or 4 day trip and be flies on the walls to see and hear and witness everything a flight crew has to deal with. UNfortunately it is too unrealistic, but that will be the day that the flying public actually will care about what's going on, give the respect to the airlines and crews and actually use their brains once in a while!!!
Posts: 282
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 4:44 am

RE: IAD-DTW-BMI (MLI) Northwest Airlines

Sat Mar 30, 2002 1:02 pm

Azjubilee- I would like to thank you for your statement! It is SO TRUE. My aunt & unlce in Chicago are retired, she was a UA FA, and he was a UA pilot...trust me, I have heard some of the worst stories. Plus, a lot of my family lives near Detroit and in Minneapolis, so I havea few Gold club members and FF's of Northwest in my family. I have always recieved good service from NW, and so have my relatives. Its a much underrated airline. Keep up the great work! There ARE some of us who appreciate it.
Topic Author
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 2:54 am

RE: IAD-DTW-BMI (MLI) Northwest Airlines

Sat Mar 30, 2002 6:03 pm


Just very few of the people who appreciate NW post on this site! Everyone here loves CO, Jetblue, and even UA.

Now more than ever, FLY THE RED TAILS!!!
Posts: 3529
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 5:26 am

RE: IAD-DTW-BMI (MLI) Northwest Airlines

Sun Mar 31, 2002 3:55 am

Thanks DTW/ORD fan... we try. Airlines aside, too many people in the world are caught up on negative things. Negative things always stand out, never the positives! Unfortunately, the world is a cynical place...

As far as aviation goes, it all boils down to education. But people don't want to hear what we as aviaiton professionals have to say... so that's a loss to them.

BTW, before I started flying for Mesaba, my family and I flew NW almost exclusively since 1991. I was silver elite for my last year in college as well as the first year out of college. So, I've had my fair share of NW flights, flying almost 300,000 miles in 10 years. Not bad considering I was in 9th grade in 1991. So, while I might be a bit biased, I also have enough experience under my belt to factually and intelligently speak about NW.

I also am a naturally inquisitive person, who wants to know ALL the info before making judgement. So, I always look to both sides of the issue and story before forming opinions. Something, I don't think enough people do.

Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 1999 11:45 am

RE: IAD-DTW-BMI (MLI) Northwest Airlines

Mon Apr 01, 2002 4:21 am

I am also tired of all the negative attacks against all airlines, and more specificaly Northwest, my choice when flying.

A bit off the topic but when I was flying to FCO last summer, and my flight from CVG to JFK was diverted to ORF because of bad weather in JFK. We were going to make the rest of the journy that night, but due to pilot flying time limitations we were forced to stay the night in ORF. Now while many were disapointed in the fact that many of us were not going to Europe or beyond that night, every one seemed to understand the situation that was at hand. And I commend my travel partners on that flight. And thanks to the Delta crew and the airline itself handeling the situation as best as they could.


RE: IAD-DTW-BMI (MLI) Northwest Airlines

Tue Apr 02, 2002 1:48 pm

Nwa747-400: Glad you had another great flight on Northwest. Keep up the good work Northwest.

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