speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Wed May 07, 2003 3:29 pm

April 24, 2003
NW 1904 YVR-MSP
Departure: 6:22, Gate E87
Arrival: 11:50, Gate G9
Aircraft: A320
Seat: 3A

I checked in on nwa.com the night before departure so I decided to head to the airport quite late for a transborder flight. Got in at around 5:15 and went to the counter to have my luggage tagged. NW, CO & AS/QX counters are grouped together at the far end of the terminal, and it was busy that morning, with a lot of AS & QX departures to west coast cities. Thankfully, the NW counters were empty. I approached the First/Elite desk and the lady behind the counter was as robotic and mechanical as they all get: no greeting, no acknowledgement, nothing. I don't find NW at fault here because I know that GlobeGround is their handling agent, but even then, they should be trained to be courteous especially to the premium passengers!

I then passed through the duty free and on to the US immigration where there was a very long line. Not totally unexpected as between 6-9AM is YVR's peak time for transborder departures. It's quite funny how above the counter reads "Welcome to the United States" when technically you are still on Canadian soil, and subjected to Canadian law. The INS officers are not even allowed to arrest anyone - they have to contact the RCMP to make the arrest on their behalf and would have to file an extradition request! Anyway, I lined up and was greeted with a surprise as I have never encountered a more friendly INS officer. The gentleman just asked me where I was going, why, how long and when was the last time I was in the US and told me "enjoy your visit!" I was expecting to be harrassed because my final destination was New York, and especially because of the current political climate between the Canadian and US governments! Anyway, I moved along to the customs checkpoint and handed my declaration form to the officer. Dropped off my checked luggage on the carousel and off I went to clear security.

By the time I finished with all the pre-departure formalities, I had about 40 minutes till departure. Went straight to the smoking lounge and finished two sticks to compensate for the next 5 hours not having any! By the time I got to the gate, they were already pre-boarding first/elite passengers so I joined the short qeue. As I was about to enter the jet bridge - you guessed it - I was selected for security screening and went through the whole nine yards! The whole thing was painless but nonetheless annoying. Proceeded to the aircraft and was greeted by two middle-aged FA's. One took my coat and the other asked for my pre-departure drink order. Took an OJ as usual. Flight was full in both classes. FA’s were cheerful when doing the safety demo – “If you are seated next to a child, or someone who acts like one……..”

Take off roll was an incredible 13 seconds, but it did not surprise me as it has always been the case with my A320 flights with CFM engines. My only flight on an IAE-powered aircraft was on an LH A321 and that was a while ago so I can't quite remember. Anyway, the lead FA offered more drinks about 15 minutes after take-off so I took another OJ. A few more minutes later, and prior to the breakfast service, coffee was served first and I found this a little strange as most airlines usually offer coffee either with or after breakfast was served. Today's choices were the usual cereal and banana or scrambled eggs with sausage and hash browns. 15 out of 16 pax, including myself, took the eggs. Fairly standard F Class breakfast on North American carriers, and it came with the quintessential fruit plate. Again, 15 out of 16 pax took the blueberry muffin, while I was the exception and took the bagel with cream cheese.

The rest of the flight was relatively smooth, and the FA was constantly making drinks rounds. Had a nice chat with her and she explained that today's crew was LAX-based. Arrival into MSP was on time and I decided to leave the sterile area as my nicotine craving couldn't wait for another 3 hours until JFK. With only an hour in between my flights I was really pushing it but then again Noon is usually off-peak so what the heck...... Made it back into the terminal and re-cleared security. I set off the alarm so I was frisked. Another surprise was the TSA agent - very courteous and he was explaining his every move as he was searching me. I couldn't believe it, but I guess every government organization has a select few who are just naturally kind.

NW 706 MSP-JFK
Departure: 13:05, Gate C16
Arrival: 11:50, Gate A3
Aircraft: DC9-30
Seat: 2D

Decided to kill the short time by walking all the way to the gate from the central terminal area instead of taking the people movers. By the time I got to the gate, it was only about 5 minutes until boarding. The FA greeting the pax at the door was geriatric – much like the DC-9 itself! Boarding was quite slow for this full flight, and it was hot and uncomfortable inside the aircraft. Even the granny FA was getting antsy with her announcements: “If you wanna get out of here on time, don’t wait for us to help you store your luggage. Just do it! Left side bins are an inch wider so make sure you store your Pullmans there!”

Anyway, boarding eventually finished and I took a Budweiser for my pre-departure drink. Take off was smooth and I love hearing the whine of the Pratt engines. This was probably one of my last few flights on the DC9 since I don’t plan on flying NW in the near future, so it was a very nostalgic moment. The last time I was on a DC9 was 13 years ago aboard SK when I went to a summer camp in Europe. The interior of this particular aircraft has little resemblance to the original DC9’s since NW has refurbished them with 717-style interiors, but my god they still looked dilapidated and I was concerned the plane would break up in mid-air or something!

As soon as cruising altitude was reached, the FA came back and passed around a basket containing spinzels so I took a couple to keep me from getting hungry for the rest of the short, 2.5-hour flight. I asked for another Budweiser to go with my spinzels. The FA made a few drinks rounds so I asked for more Bud, thinking that this was it as far as nourishment goes for this flight. I couldn’t be more wrong – as the FA was clearing my drinks, she asked if I wanted a roast beef sandwich or the chicken on asian noodles. What? There’s a meal? Much to my surprise, indeed there was a meal. I took the chicken and it came with mixed greens and peppercorn ranch dressing, as well as a carrot cake with cream cheese topping. The meal tray looked exactly like the standard NW F Class meals as seen on airlinemeals.net, but the quality of the food reminded me of an institutional cafeteria! Anyway, I was more than happy to get something so I ate everything. As soon as the trays were cleared, the FA asked if I wanted anything else so I asked for a glass of red wine.

The weather was just great for flying, and in no time we were overflying Newark airport with a great view of Manhattan just ahead. Everybody was glued to their windows the entire time, and soon we were on final approach to JFK. Touch down was uneventful, and we taxied to Terminal 4. While waiting for the jetbridge to connect to the aircraft, the FA started talking to us F Class pax how she loves these reliable, old DC9’s and that she hated the Airbuses. She said she felt safer here than in the A320. I got offended because the A320 family is my favourite narrowbody, but decided not to say anything because what the heck – she’s an old lady! You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

Anyway, got off the plane and onto the beautiful Terminal 4. It’s my first time inside this terminal and I must say I’m impressed! Finally, a terminal in the US that is a showcase to the world! The only thing I didn’t like was that as this place was designed to handle international traffic, it’s not very user-friendly for domestic passengers. We had to go all the way to the end of the terminal and out to the greeting area, and then over to the other side and enter the sole domestic baggage carousel area via a sliding door. Baggage took a while, and it was clear to me that the priority labels mean nothing to NW! Exited the terminal and was soon on my way to Manhattan.

The verdict? NW delivers a very basic product with very little attention to detail. F Class doesn’t feel special at all, and in fact it seems worse than Y Class on short-haul European or Asian flights. The seats look worn, FA’s very casual (not really a bad thing but they just don’t live up to the formality of European and Asian FA’s that exude a more professional look!), meals that are sub-standard, no hot or cold towels, no entertainment, and most importantly seat pitch that equals only Y Class on airlines like AA. All in all, an acceptable product on this part of the globe, but definitely not worth your money. It makes me wonder how people on this forum and on flyertalk can rant and rave about domestic F Class service in the US when it cannot even match Y Class service on SQ, CX, etc, etc, etc……. Anyway, to sum it all up: the glamour of F Class travel is lost in the US!
 
nwacrew
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:06 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Thu May 08, 2003 5:31 pm

When Asia passengers on "SQ, CX, etc, etc, etc" are able to pay the equivalent of $119 to fly 2,500 miles - as U.S. passengers are able to do - I can assure you the "glamour of F Class travel" will vanish in Asia just as quickly as it has in the United States. And in Europe for that matter. SQ and CX haven't had to compete with a Ryanair or a Southwest in their backyards yet...but they will.

As for the flight attendants on your Northwest trip being "middle aged" and "geriatric", I guarantee that in an accident similar to SQ's at Taipei, those senior crewmembers would not remain slumped in their jumpseats - stunned and ineffectual - while passengers opened exits and attempted to save themselves. Those charming, young Singapore Girls were also first on the buses brought to the crash site to ferry survivors to the terminal.

When a damaged Northwest 747-400 was evacuated during a torrential Asian downpour, the mostly middle aged flight attendants got everyone down the emergency chutes and saw to it that every single passenger was rescued before thinking of themselves. That's called professionalism. And age isn't a factor.

Just a couple of things for you to mull over...
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Thu May 08, 2003 10:06 pm

Nwacrew,

I do not expect an accident to be part of the experience each time I fly. If crashes and evacuations are daily occurences and part of the NW experience, then I'd be glad to be served by your colleagues. The way I see it is first and foremost, the job of an FA should NOT be the safety of the passengers because accidents are not a regular thing in the air, unless of course you wish that to happen so that you can demonstrate the effectivenesss of your colleagues. Genuine smile, caring and personalized service however, is part of the job description and doesn't cost you or the airline a single cent. Do you mean to tell me that professionalism in your airline only happens at times of accident?
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Fri May 09, 2003 2:18 am

Y'all might want to start a separate thread regarding flight attendant priorities, but I'll throw my 2 cents in by stating that it has always been my impression, and it's also stated as a part of most pre-flight safety demos that the primary duty of the FA's is the safety of the passengers. To me, the feeding and making-comfortable aspects are secondary.

Nice report otherwise. I've never had the opportunity to experience an approach into NYC. The closest I've gotten was BOS in the 70's and IAD a couple of times.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
jeffrey1970
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Fri May 09, 2003 1:13 pm

I have a feeling that many airlines around the world will be cutting back on first class. Well of course some already have, but I have a feeling more cuts are going to be comming.

God bless you through Jesus,

Jeff
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Fri May 09, 2003 9:16 pm

Once again... criticism about Northwest Airlines is not taken very well. I rest my case.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
nwacrew
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:06 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 10, 2003 8:46 am

Speedbirdyvr,

Let me get this straight...


Vancouver to Minneapolis, flight attendants greeted you at the door, hung-up your coat and offered you a drink...

They were then "cheerful when doing the safety demo"...

After takeoff you were offered another drink...

You were offered a choice of entrees and breakfast breads...

The flight attendant was "constantly making drink rounds"...

You "had a nice chat with her"...

Arrival in Minneapolis was on time.


Then you boarded your flight to New York and were again greeted at the door...

You were offered a pre-departure drink and served a beer...

"As soon as cruising altitude was reached", the flight attendant passed around pretzels and offered you another drink. You had a second beer...

The flight attendant made "a few drinks rounds" and you had a third beer...

You were again offered a choice of entrees...

You "ate everything"...

As soon as the trays were cleared you were offered another drink, and given a glass of red wine...


But after being served drinks and food virtually NONSTOP, on two full flights, with minimum staffing, you're whining about Northwest and the flight attendants' ages and lack of professionalism???

You seriously need to get a life!

 
EIPremier
Posts: 1462
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 8:17 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 10, 2003 8:53 am

The verdict? NW delivers a very basic product with very little attention to detail. F Class doesn’t feel special at all, and in fact it seems worse than Y Class on short-haul European or Asian flights. The seats look worn, FA’s very casual (not really a bad thing but they just don’t live up to the formality of European and Asian FA’s that exude a more professional look!), meals that are sub-standard, no hot or cold towels, no entertainment, and most importantly seat pitch that equals only Y Class on airlines like AA

The meals may have been substandard compared to foreign carriers, but I certainly think you'd be hard pressed to fine anything better on other US carriers. In fact, several have completely eliminated First Class meal service on 2-3 hour flights such as the ones you took. At least NW served you something approximating a full meal. Furthermore, it seems you received relatively attentive service (including pre-flight drinks), unlike some domestic "F" flights I've taken. I can understand not liking the "casual service," but it is pretty much the norm in America.
 
N777UA
Posts: 566
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:06 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 10, 2003 9:39 am

Flight attendants are there to save your ass first of all, then kiss it.
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 10, 2003 11:40 am

Nwacrew, you are the one who needs to get a life! First of all, I never said anything bad about NW. It's just that the whole experience was rather ordinary, nothing great about it. That is not criticism, that is an observation. Now, maybe for your sub-par standards that's something to rave about, but to me it doesn't make the cut. I totally agree with Ryanair, and the reason why NW has never made it to the upper echelons of world carriers is that you guys cannot take criticism, although I hardly call my report one. Yes, on NW your are fed well, the FA's talk to you, etc, etc, etc....... BUT THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUANTITY AND QUALITY! On your next two vacations, try staying at a Hilton and then at a Four Seasons and maybe you'll see the difference. Or go to your local dealer and test drive a Honda and a Lexus! Hopefully you'll open your eyes a tad bit and see what I mean!
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 10, 2003 3:53 pm

Or even better, fly another airline other than NWA to see the difference.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
nwacrew
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:06 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 10, 2003 4:24 pm

One nice thing about flying, Speedbirdyvr, is that no one twists your arm to select a particular carrier. Next time you fly, maybe you'd be happier on Canada's flag carrier. If they've survived bankruptcy.

77 years old, the 4th largest airline in the world (and healthier, I might add, than their larger competitors), conservative Northwest Airlines is as "upper echelon" as they care to be.

Prefer to quaff your beer onboard Emirates? Singapore Airlines? British Airways? Nobody's stopping you. (Of course they're not keen on upgrading into First...)

But happy flying to you!
 
Continental
Posts: 5222
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 10, 2003 11:21 pm

I don't want to be offensive or anything, but NWA was recently rated very, very low on the rating charts for best service in US Airlines. It's his opinion, you guys can't criticize his own opinion!

co
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 11, 2003 12:20 am

Thank you Continental! I should never have redeemed my Onepass miles for NW, but I guess I feel a little bit more enlightened now that I've flown one of the worst airlines in the world! The moral of the story? Stick to CO if your travel plans call for a trip within the US!

"Prefer to quaff your beer onboard Emirates? Singapore Airlines? British Airways? Nobody's stopping you. (Of course they're not keen on upgrading into First...)"

Exactly! The reason why their F Class is so much more special is because they don't just upgrade anyone, whether you are plat or whatever! It's called protecting your product integrity, something that is lost in NW! But then again, their is really nothing to protect as you have read in my report!
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 11, 2003 2:28 am

NW's F service is improved over recent times. Coupled with the freefall of domestic F service on other airlines in the domestic US, it's not far off these days. Especially since NW effectively markets domestic F as an upgrade for their elite FF's.

To compare any US domestic first product to international products is unfair. They will all suffer. Of course, the cost is a lot less -- I've flown all around the US so far this year (75,000 miles worth) and have only ONCE paid more than $350 for a round trip. That's less than 10% of what international business class flights cost.

As far as comparing NW domestic F to European or Asian short haul Y, I have to respectfully disagree. It's far, far superior. Heck, European short haul in Business class has been in freefall for a while now and is a joke, often flown in 3x3 seating with the adjustable armrests to create two somewhat wider spaces (and an empty center seat).

I'd be interested in a comparison of NW's WBC, including price paid, again other's international business.

Steve
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 11, 2003 4:01 am

"NW's F service is improved over recent times. Coupled with the freefall of domestic F service on other airlines in the domestic US, it's not far off these days."

If this is the case, then it's a shame that NW has to rely on other carrier's shortcomings to make their product look better. It's like Dave Letterman saying, "Jay Leno's ratings didn't really improve. Ours just came down close to his!"

"Especially since NW effectively markets domestic F as an upgrade for their elite FF's."

This is another point of contention. Is it safe to say then that NW doesn't offer a true F Class product? Because the way I see it, really those pax are just economy travellers who deserve a little extra service because they fly a lot with NW. So with the absence of a fare-paying pax in F Class, it is really not an F Class but an upgraded coach. This is where my comment how IT IS NOT WORTH IT TO PAY MORE FOR F CLASS comes into play. Again, like I said many times before, this is a true example of an airline failing to protect the integrity of their products.

"Heck, European short haul in Business class has been in freefall for a while now and is a joke, often flown in 3x3 seating with the adjustable armrests to create two somewhat wider spaces (and an empty center seat)."

OK, let's knit-pick here. Compare my YVR-MSP flight (an international one technically speaking), with also a short-haul, yet also international flight I took with Swiss from LHR-GVA!
Flight length: YVR-MSP is 4 hours, while LHR-GVA is just a little under 2!

(1)Seats: NW definitely has more legroom (a paltry 36 in.), while LX
couldn't have had more than 33. On the same aircraft family,
NW had 2-2 seating while LX had 2-3. Normally, I would hand the
award for tops to NW, BUT, BUT, BUT, I felt really dirty seating on
that NW seat: the upholstery was peeling, fabric was worn with
threads getting loose. Even the tray table was too big that it sat
above the armrest so you didn't have a completely flat surface. On
LX, I got a nice, clean leather seat with no sign of wear and tear.
So from a pax's point of view, without looking at the numbers, the
award for comfort goes to LX.

(2)Meals: OK, this is a given. Europeans win hands down! On NW, the bagel
was cold, the scrambled eggs not creamy (overcooked), the
potatoes were soggy. Quality was cafeteria-style. Acceptable,
but not in F Class. And that was it for a 4 hour flight. On LX,
you get a fresh croissant, coffee that tastes soooo good (but
then again, this is Europe so they use only the best arabica
beans), an excellent plate of cold cuts and cheeses and the best
warmed baguette in the air. It may only be a cold meal, but this
is a flight of less than two hours. To top it off, we got an LX
signature after the meal: A Caillers chocolate!
Try flying biz on a flight of over three hours(e.g. AKL-SYD on NZ),
which is shorter than my YVR-MSP and you get a 3 course meal!

(3)FA's: This is a matter of personal taste. We all know how cold and
snotty the Swiss are (even worse than the French!), and we also
know how the Americans can be some of the friendliest people on
earth, so you'd think that this would be a given. WRONG! Yes,
NW crew sounded cheerful on the PA system, and they took the
time out to speak to me, but it was very casual, like on a personal
level. As a customer, you should be addressed in a formal way,
with your title, or even sir. The Swiss crew had a forced smile, but
they were gentle and professional and did act like an FA - to serve
a customer's every whim and fancy! Plain and simple, they made
feel special in the air, while on NW I felt like I was at a fast food
joint!

These three categories are the most essential to the flying experience, so I won't go rambling about the ground crew and all, but at least you get the point. What differentiates the different flying experiences we have is how special they make you feel. While NW was not a flying trip from hell, I would not feel, had it been a paid trip, that I got my money's worth! With LX, I really felt that I was travelling premium, from beginning till the end.

So there you have it folks, take your pick!
 
NWAgoldelite
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 8:57 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 11, 2003 4:45 am

I'd have to agree here with speedbirdyvr. While I love NW staff, there F product does seem somewhat diluted. As a gold, I've taken NW and CO many times, and I seem to lean more towards CO, mainly because they offer better food, hot towels, menus, newer planes, and movies. NW doesn't even offer meal service in F on 4 hr red-eye flights, something that CO does offer.
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 11, 2003 7:34 am

Thank you NWAgoldelite. You're one of the few people who understand what real service means! BTW, I've read many of your trip reports on CO & NW, which is why I decided to book this trip on NW!
 
AgnusBymaster
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2001 8:11 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 11, 2003 10:56 am

I'm sorry, but if I were at the helm of one of the several major US airlines that are haemorrhaging millions of dollars every month, the last thing on my mind would be upgrading the quality of in-flight service. What all boils down to is that airlines are in the transportation business and in-flight service is just gravy.

[Edited 2003-05-11 03:58:25]
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 8:18 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 11, 2003 9:03 pm

I enjoyed reading your trip report. I felt it was basically fair and unbiased however I think some of your comments about the age of F/A's was a little harsh. Some of my best in flight experiences come from older, polished F/A's. Nonetheless, I think the comment the F/A on your MSP-JFK flight made about her belief that she feels safer on a DC-9 than an Airbus was particularly bad judgment on her part. She's entitled to her opinion of course but what kind of confidence did she instill in the minds of her passengers and their future travel plans involving NW Airbuses? She should have kept that comment to herself.
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Mon May 12, 2003 6:58 am

Speedbirdyvr,

Now I am a BIG fan of Asian and European airlines, and certainly don't dispute your observations about sub standard service on NW, I think I do need to add my opinions about this though.

You compare CX/SQ etc... to NW F DOMESTIC product. That is not the correct thing to do. I am a Gold status holder with NW and while I mainly fly CO/KL rather than NW, I have to say their service is improving. You stated you would rather fly CO, in my experience after 22 flights with CO in the last 12 months, I have come to the conclusion that NW's service is better! CO's service is rapidly declining and seems to have no sign of improving.

I also write a few NW reports and have been slammed for my comments, you can ask Ryanair!!! about that. But I will say one thing, the age of the F/A's to me does not matter. Its how they serve you and on some of my trans Atlantic flights with them, they are the best.

By the way, just out of curiosity, what other domestic F classes have you flown? Because when I compare NW's F class it is no different than the others, and I have flown everyone's domestic F class in the past 24 months.

As for the comments made from nwacrew, ignore them. The vast majority of NW personnel I have encountered are excellent. I once had a check in agent use profanity while yelling at me because I got caught in a traffic jam on the way to the airport and only had 55 minutes to board the aircraft. I wrote a letter to NW, and not only have I never seen her again, I found NW's handling of the situation very good with personalized letters to me keeping me updated on the situation and how they were correcting it. This is something I have not experienced even on Singapore Airlines!

In brief, NW is a decent carrier and I believe that is what you said. Some people over react and can't take anything negative. On the whole I have to say that NW is doing their best to improve under the circumstances and from this passengers perspective, they are doing it right! That's the reason I choose to fly them and not many other airlines.

Please don't take any offense to what I said. It is just my two cents.

SR 103
 
NWAgoldelite
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 8:57 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Mon May 12, 2003 11:13 am

Well said SR 103. The only thing I would disagree on is how CO's service is declining. How many times have you flown CO in the past 9 months, not counting express flights? I also hate it when people try to compare NW and CO to the Asian carriers, it's silly. They are like night and day. Also, correct me if I'm wrong speedbird, but I don't think he was complaining that the F/A's were old. I believe he was just making a simple observation that some took out of context.
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Mon May 12, 2003 11:55 am

I flew a total of 7 sectors with NWA on my last trip with them. After flying Asian / European carriers for almost all my life, the culture shock I experienced when I boarded the NW 742 in Narita for my Pacific crossing was
an acute shocker.

The service on the SIN-AA), Japan">NRT sector was excellent because it was handled by a predominantly Asian SIN-based crew. The trips post-AA), Japan">NRT was simply horrendous. But I must say that the ground service in SFO was very helpful in helping me to get to my gate as I was VERY late. My main gripe remains with their in-flight service standards.

Once again on my trip back, the AA), Japan">NRT-SIN sector saw service standards jump several notches up again (Asian crew). If it was the "mission statement" regarding service that governs how the employees serve customers, then i must say the Asian crew is doing something right. However, the Caucasian crew that takes over from the hub in AA), Japan">NRT gives me the impression that they "don't bother". The crew on the Asian sectors prove that the airline CAN provide relatvely great in-flight service.

I have flown America West, United and AA before so I do know that great in-flight service can happen. While those airlines too were nothing to shout about when compared to Asian carriers, at least they did not piss me off and made me swear "never again" like what NW did to me.

2 cents...
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Mon May 12, 2003 11:56 am

Thank you NWAgoldelite and SR 103. If people read my report properly, which I believe you both had, there is nothing negative about the comments which I made with regards to the FA's. I just said that they were old, and even made a funny reference to the age of the DC9! I suppose people have lost their sense of humour these days. There is nothing wrong with old age, but the fact that the FA's on my flights failed to provide a super, something-to-write-home-about service, you can't help it but question that maybe age was a factor. Or maybe not, because I too have experienced amazing service from some of BA, LH and SR's 40-50 something FA's!

Fine, maybe it was not proper for me to have made a comparison with Asian carriers because like NWAgoldelite said, they are like night and day, but I just had to make a point across. I agree NW gets the job done, but there is a difference between getting the job done and doing it well. SR 103, you asked if I have flown with other North American carriers in F Class recently. I have flown a lot with AA and CO on F, and I must say I truly feel like I'm flying a notch higher than coach with those two carriers. I feel comfortable sitting on their F seats, even on AA's venerable Super 80's, and I believe they maintain their planes well. I have always received stellar service from their crew members, both in the ground and in the air, and both young and old. Even the meals are served in courses, rather than all piled up on the tray like NW does. So yes, maybe I should have compared my NW flight with those other two carriers. Even AC, my supposed flag carrier that I am truly embarrassed with, I feel that their premium class is miles apart from the competition.

Anyway, thanks for your support and I hope that more connoisseur flyers like yourselves continue to write reports and keep scrutinizing every flying experience you have. It makes for fun reading and enlightenment!
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Mon May 12, 2003 12:15 pm

Hey NWAgoldelite,

I really don't want to turn this into a Continental thread, so I'll be as brief as possible.

Last nine months, (non COExpress & CO Connection)
(October) MIA-EWR
(October) EWR-CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO
(November) CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO-EWR
(November) EWR-LAS
(November) LAS-IAH
(November) IAH-CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO
(March) CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO-EWR (First Class)
(March) EWR-SEA (First Class)
(March) SEA-EWR (First Class)
(March) EWR-CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO (First Class)
(April) CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO-IAH (First Class)
(April) IAH-LAX (First Class)
(May) LAX-IAH (First Class)
(May) IAH-LAX (First Class)

Now when I mean service declining, I do not mean seats, food (well except for those horrible breakfast crepes), or entertainment. I mean CO personnel. EWR ground staff are horrible, rude, obnoxious and refuse to do anything, no matter how simple it is.

F/A's also have been very spotty recently. The guy across the isle requests if he could have a full can of soda instead of the sandwich. "I can not give you a full can. You Continental is in a cost cutting mode and we can not meet passengers requests like this. It is not our job to go above and beyond what we need to do to get you from point A to point B. (At this time the guy looked a little pissed off so the F/A grabbed a can) If you want the god damn can so much. Here it FUCKIN IS!(slamming it on his tray table) When deplaneing I saw the guys bag with a Platinum Onepass label.

I have gotten yelled at for having the headphones on during taxi to the runway. The F/A went out of her way to make a scene in front of all the pax that my friend and I had headphones on and how it is against FAA policies to have your headphones plugged in until after we take off. "You should known that by now! Is this your first time flying an airplane? Its common sense." To this day I have never had a problem with headphones on any flight including the other CO ones.

(Extract from my trip report that I am still writing about the LA flights)
I boarded and was greeted, well actually I was not greeted, no one even looked at me as I boarded until I got to the First Class cabin. A male F/A snipped at me,
"This is for First Class passengers only. Your seat will be there." (Pointing towards the rear of the aircraft)
"Here is my boarding pass. My seat is 1L. The first row in First Class."
"Wow! I have never seen a high school student fly first class! You must be lucky!"
First of all, I may look young, but I am in college and nearly 21. Plus what did he mean hes never seen a young person fly First Class?


"Would you like something to eat?"
"Sure."
"Its ham and chicken. What would you like to drink with that?"
"I'll have a coke please."
Turns to the businessman next to me.
"What would you like to eat sir? We have ham and chicken."
"Is that a choice or does it come in one plate?"
"Yes its a choice, a YES OR NO choice!!!"


Things like this have been happening on my flights recently. There are plenty more instances I can give, but do not want to bore you with all of them. It only happens on 50% of my flights with them. The other 50% could not be better. That's what I mean by service is declining. Hope this clears up what I mean by declining service.
 
NWAgoldelite
Posts: 120
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RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Tue May 13, 2003 9:38 am

SR 103-
Hmm.....I dunno, I just got back from quite a few trips on CO, and the staff was all wonderful. An F/A actually used profanity on your flight? I'll admit, CO ground staff could use some work, but as far as F/A's go, I couldn't ask for better ones on CO.

[Edited 2003-05-13 02:41:51]
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Tue May 13, 2003 10:06 am

NWAgoldelite,

Yeah, I'm writing a trip report about the LAX flights, don't worry, you'll get to read it. I'm doing Summer A over here at ERAU so I have too much school work as is. Will post as soon as possible. Though I think you might find my upcoming July trip, MCO-MSP-AMS-KWI a better read. I actually decided to fly the dreaded red tail instead of the blue tail across the Atlantic. I decided on the upper deck of a 742, so it should be a very interesting flight either way.

Yes profanity. I could not believe it myself, no could phatfarmlines who was sitting next to me on the flight. Never the less I have been noticing a slip in the service, I'm sure you read my SEA trip report. The two flights back were not the greatest by any means. Glad to know you haven't experienced crew like this. Keep the trip reports coming.
 
codc10
Posts: 1765
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2000 7:18 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Wed May 14, 2003 10:18 am

EWR ground staff are horrible, rude, obnoxious and refuse to do anything, no matter how simple it is.

It IS Newark, after all!

I am an EWR-based CO Plat, and I've developed a bit of a method to handling them:

1) If it can be done yourself, do it, because nobody wants to take care of any of your various trivial matters, and most EWR staff aren't afraid to make that fact known.
2) If you have a problem, approach an agent in a relaxed, non-standoffish posture and a thick NY accent (I don't have to try THAT hard). Nicely ask for what you need, peppering your request with plenty of "youse"'s, "dem"'s, and "fuhgeddaboudit"'s. Try not to make too much eye contact and know exactly how you are going to go about solving your problem and what you are going to say.
3) If agent seems exasperated, as if your request is too much effort, lean closer to the agent, gesturing excessively with your arms (not just your hands), and repeat your request word-for-word. They probably didn't understand the first time.
4) If agent still cannot help you, thank them sarcastically, leave with a "pshhhh", approach another agent at a counter out of LOS from your first try, and repeat step 2.
5) If agent gets nasty, all bets are off, do what you have to (within legal boundaries, we've seen some bad sh*t down here!) to win. Usually, if the agent sees you are willing to get tough with them, they'll help you out. Otherwise, storm off making sure you haven't created too much of a scene.
6) If the agent seems bright, cheerful, and genuinely happy to be there, throw this method out the window and treat the situation as you would anywhere BUT New Jersey.
7) When in doubt, play stupid. Can't go wrong with that.
 
qantas777
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2000 7:52 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 17, 2003 7:02 am

Age is a factor. I do not want some old F/A's serving my meal and drinks. I want some good looking young bucks who are more enjoyable to look at. This is a service industry to make your cusomters happy, so why not hire attractive young males and females? Old F/A's should go away.

 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sat May 17, 2003 7:51 pm

Old F/A's should go away.

While I am trying not to get offended by this statement, I am sure all our preferences are subjective and deserve equal attention in this forum. Some of the young FAs are inexperienced and might offer slip shot half-beat service. On the other hand, they might be enthusiastic about their jobs and the youthful energy in them might still be bouncing.

For the "older FAs", they might be jaded and not be bothered with service at all. However, some of them become like mothers and do take care of your very well and they can actually be quite good conversationalists.

So it really depends if you want to be stimulated by intelligent conversation or the sight of youthful boobs.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: NW YVR-MSP-JFK In F Class

Sun May 18, 2003 12:48 am

"77 years old, the 4th largest airline in the world (and healthier, I might add, than their larger competitors), conservative Northwest Airlines is as "upper echelon" as they care to be."

Is he talking about the airline or the age and size of his colleague??? Hahahaa....sorry, couldn't help it - too easy!!! Anyway, I can see where the reverence for old age comes from!

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