Max Q wrote:
NW Cons: ..... old fleet, .... dated and crusty interiors.
At the end of 2007, NW's mainline average fleet age was 17.5 years (this included the aging cargo 742s as well). However, it was skewed by the DC-9s (which were anything but "dated and crusty" on the inside). If you remove the DC-9s, NW's average fleet age was only 11.1 years. And they likely had the youngest average PAX widebody age among the legacies at the time (6.3 years). DL's average mainline age at the end of 2007? 13.6 years (interesting to note how the average age for the combined carrier has risen since the merger, even with the DC-9s skewing the baseline). NW's regional fleet was younger as well (5.3 vs. 8.2). It's simply a misleading perception that NW had an old fleet, and DL had a young fleet.
I didn't fly DL prior to 2009 (and had not flown NW much either). However I did fly both carriers quite frequently in the years immediately after the tie-up. The "crustiest" interiors I found were usually DL. The 75Vs. The standard 752s. The 763 domestics and, at the time, the 763ERs. The AVOD-less 738s. On the regional side, the old CR1s. Much of DLs fleet was in rough shape in 2008 until interior mods hit full stride a couple years later. Aside from the 5500 series 752s, NW's aircraft interiors were generally well-maintained. Most weren't fancy, that's for sure, but crusty and old they were not.
Which brings up another thing I miss from NW and other airlines--cloth seats. So much more comfortable.
There's a reason these threads don't go well. Many still haven't rooted their outsider opinions of NW in reality. It's like an airline dead, buried, and then inaccurately smeared as the survivor stands over the grave.
All very good points
And I couldn’t agree with you more
about cloth seats, I can’t stand sitting
on a leather seat in an aircraft, it’s a
This is obviously extreme bias and dare I say "Fake News". How many DC-9s did NW have while merging with DL? I count at least 2 full pages on Planespotters.net with the -50s getting DL-based interiors and the -30s and -40s going right to the graveyard. They had some models from 1967 in the fleet which partner CO manically did the complete opposite of having a new fleet. Pros and cons to both strategies I suppose, more debt for CO and slightly less MX costs on old frames already paid off by NW.
Granted, impressive they kept them up that way but I'm sure DL HQ was thinking like "How in the hell can we afford to do this with fuel prices the way they are?" back in around 2011-2012. NW had vintage 1960s and 1970s DC-9s integrated into DL until up around 2013-2014 and NW was the last carrier to dump the DC-10s in the late 2000s. Believe me, DL was quick to retire the weak links of the NW fleet like the old 757s, DC-9s, A320 and soon to come a lot more MD-88 from PMDL. They aren't stupid, NW management knows how to fly a plane until it's desert ready for retirement. And those folks are largely in charge of making their 777s fly for another 20+ years.
And apologies, but what are you referring to with the DL domestic 763s? It's likely that ex-NW personnel spearheaded that project since it happened around 2007 and there was already lots of cross pollination between NW/DL via SkyTeam and management teams were already teaming up to merge. Crusty what? Those seats and AVOD systems were brand new at the time in aircraft that were scrapped recently pushing 30 years of age in the last few years (as in those 1980s interiors were removed and implemented from scratch except for the overhead bins which people exploit hard around here it seems).
It's absolutely misleading this data point picked out when, what, DL had maybe two dozen domestic 763s at most and they were delivered between 1987 and 1999 for the most part? DL had some 757s with modern day AVOD systems post merger from the "Song" days they carried over. They had several ships from 1985 that had those new interiors and people literally thought they were brand new aircraft and are now retired. So what's NW's excuse for busted up domestic interiors? The fact they have captive hub markets or something? Your point about 747-200s are meaningless as they were on the way out in 2009 when they merged with DL. They were the first to go.
I really do believe there is a significant bias with your opinion towards NW and DL merger. Query "Tower Air" 747 cloth seats. They were crusted over on relic ex-PA 747s and looked exactly like NW's old seats. Absolutely gross. It doesn't matter about material, it has to do with the condition of the seat installed. For instance I loved the PMUA 757 or A320 leather cloth seats that got removed in favor of those largely uncomfortable slimline seats or the PMCO 737s which were just anal hell in comparison.
DL literally just put over cheap leather and the public thought it was fine. What they have now with AVOD on the Airbus 319/320 is genuinely leaps ahead of what they had when they were NW, and certainly better than having cheap ass material or no IFE. DL worked wonders on those birds and made them look like a Greyhound Bust to a Cadillac in economy with the new AVOD systems.
I suppose some are just upset about not reporting to Eagan, MN anymore instead of ATL but give me a break. I worked for a company as part of an acquisition based in MSP in LA and they were nothing but passive aggressive scumbags. Sorry, but "Minnesota Nice" is a real thing. So thank God DL yanked them out in favor of ATL (not much better but really, com'on.)
I spent a lot of time writing this post late at night so I ask you to respond conveniently and accurately. I'm a new member and the spinning on this forum is absolute tragedy.