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flybynight
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NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:48 pm

I fly UA, so I'm not all that familiar with NW, but it seems to me just a few weeks ago NW had to cancel a lot of flights because of shortage of flight crew. According to the local news in Seattle it is happening again.

Does this seem to happen more often with NW? I can't recall this happening with other airlines within the US; at least not as often.
Heia Norge!
 
*HighFlyah*
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:50 pm

Yes, NW has huge issues at the end of the month with pilot crew shortages.

Unofficially, according to flightstats.com, NW cancelled close to 13% of its scheduled flights on Saturday, July 28, or about 170 flights out of just under 1,400.

Most other major U.S. carriers cancelled anywhere from 0.5% to 3% of flights, nowhere near NW's level of massive cancellations.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:28 pm

There is a long thread on the subject since last month; Northwest Planning Numerous Flight Cancellations (by Iowaman Jun 23 2007 in Civil Aviation)
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
doug_or
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:14 pm

It happens towards the end of the month as the pilots hit their 100 hour max for the month. I loved how at the end of June NWA was making all kinds of excuses for the cancelations... but then July first when the pilots were reset... poof! no more cancels.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
m404
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:40 pm

I overheard a NW pilot on the bus yesterday state that their contract says 88 hours and "that's all he'll fly" yet constantly here and in all hundreds of news stories on this they are quoting the new contract that say's 90 hours. Can anyone elaborate on this two hour differance of opinion? Perhaps that was just his own bid for the month. I love the ALPA statement something along the lines of - "We're sure their is no abuse of sick leave - but if their it's because of the stress of flying the 90 hour contract.

Something I would like to know is how does this 90hr contract compare with other Legacy carriers?

[Edited 2007-07-29 11:49:53]
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flyorski
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:47 pm

Does Mesa have the same problems? Do they also have to cancel flights?
"None are more hopelessly enslaved, than those who falsly believe they are free" -Goethe
 
georgebush
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:23 pm

Quoting Flyorski (Reply 5):
Does Mesa have the same problems? Do they also have to cancel flights?

Yea Mesa does. Funny story: My mates at Skywest were waiting on a "delayed" Mesa arrival a month ago from ORD. Waited about an hour and poof the flight was cancelled due to Crew. So as they go about their daily routine of rebooking Mesa passengers a man walks up to the counter and says "where are all the passengers?" They asked him who he was and he showed them his ID he said he worked for Excellent Adventures and had been waiting for an hour to take their passengers to Chicago. Mesa knew the flight was going to be cancelled in enough time to send a BUS but they kept it in the system as on time untill an hour after depature. This is just another example of the Genuis's that work at Mesa and the even bigger genius's who work for United and continue to pay Mesa to wreck their airline.
Al Gore invented global warming.
 
toltommy
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:07 pm

Quoting M404 (Reply 4):
I overheard a NW pilot on the bus yesterday state that their contract says 88 hours and "that's all he'll fly" yet constantly here and in all hundreds of news stories on this they are quoting the new contract that say's 90 hours.

He was probably referring to his schedule, which was blocked at 88 hours. Just about any additional flying would put him over 90 hours, which he has the right to refuse.

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 3):
It happens towards the end of the month as the pilots hit their 100 hour max for the month.

I think NWA planned on more pilots agreeing to pick up flying over 90 hours. I suspect more of this is about pilots refusing to pick up over 90, rather than maxing out at 100.
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neilalp
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:29 pm

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 7):
which was blocked at 88 hours. Just about any additional flying would put him over 90 hours, which he has the right to refuse.

Sometimes it seems like everything isn't viewed as a whole. If 2 more flying hours allows the airlines to not cancel more flights the public is happy and will fly the airline again thus creating more revenue and not causing pay cuts. Now I understand it is more than just flying 2 hours, it is creating a stance against management.

I just wish every job only had to work 88-90 hours a month.
 
flightopsguy
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:44 pm

Quoting Neilalp (Reply 8):
I just wish every job only had to work 88-90 hours a month.

That's block hours, not hours spent at the job. You can still have a 16 hour duty day, with say, 6 hours of flying. Fly and sit, fly and sit, or fly and deadhead.
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rfields5421
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:45 pm

Quoting Neilalp (Reply 8):
I just wish every job only had to work 88-90 hours a month.

That's 88-90 flight hours - but more like 132-135 or more hours on duty & at work - about normal for most jobs.

For a flight which counts as 4 hours - a crew has to show up one to 1 1/2 hours early and do all the prep work. Then there is post-flight work.

A 4 hour flight on the 88-90 hour block - would be 6 to 7 hours for anyone on a time clock.

[Edited 2007-07-29 15:46:35]
Not all who wander are lost.
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:47 pm

Whatever the cause, this is giving NW a very bad reputation in the eye of the general public. Those people who are not airlines geeks like us a.netters do not see it as an "x" number of hours a month rule, they just see it as an airline that seemingly can't get it's act together. I think many people see the life of a pilot as cushy, largely overpaid people who, like one person posted, work "only" 80-90 hours a month. Having a brother who just recently hit mandatory retirement age with another troubled airline, I know the frustration on the pilots side. NW management had better do some serious damage control or it isn't going to make alot of difference how many pilots they recall or hire new. If pax keep defecting, they won't need those pilots for planes sitting on the ground empty.
 
sstsomeday
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:55 pm

To clarify, if a Northwest pilot flies a few hours past his 90 hour contract, is he paid for that additional flight time?

Or are Northwest pilots being this rigid because of what they consider to be a bare-bones contract, and they are not paid for any additional time that they fly between 90 - 100 hours?

Also, is Northwest trying to hire some more pilots, because it seems this very high percentage of cancellations would be more costly (immediately so, but also in the long term, in terms of their reputation and perceived reliability) than having enough pilots on the payroll, am I correct? Because under the circumstances, I would avoid flying Northwest at the end of any month, and I would expect many travellers would start to avoid Northwest due to reported unreliability.

Was this a miscalculation on Northwest's part, and they are now trying to fix it with new hires, or are they continuing to try to operate their network with a minimum sized staff?
I come in peace
 
Mir
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:06 pm

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 11):
Those people who are not airlines geeks like us a.netters do not see it as an "x" number of hours a month rule, they just see it as an airline that seemingly can't get it's act together.

An airline that doesn't have enough pilots to fly their flights is a perfect example of an airline that can't get its act together.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
flyboyaz
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:19 pm

Quoting Georgebush (Reply 6):
This is just another example of the Genuis's that work at Mesa and the even bigger genius's who work for United and continue to pay Mesa to wreck their airline.

We must have the same geniuses at US because the same thing happened to us last month. The last week of June was an absolute nightmare!! Our first flight to PHX from TUS canceled everyday for a week straight. The good thing about NW is they at least plan for it, YV just played it by ear. Of course they don't get paid if they cancel a flight, so they would run it HOURS late. If they canceled ahead of time, it would have made things easier. They're losing money though so I guess they act desperate.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
*HighFlyah*
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:29 pm

It's happening again, folks... as of 9:30am Central Time, Sunday 7/29, NW has cancelled 92 flights.
 
bobnwa
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:31 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
An airline that doesn't have enough pilots to fly their flights is a perfect example of an airline that can't get its act together.

If a good part of the cancelations are due to an unofficial job action by the pilots calling in sick, couldn't some of the blame be laid on their doorstep?
 
ikramerica
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:02 am

Quoting M404 (Reply 4):
I overheard a NW pilot on the bus yesterday state that their contract says 88 hours and "that's all he'll fly"

Because they have no loyalty to the airline. They are mad about a lot of things, but mainly that they aren't being as overpaid as they were a few years ago, so they want to hurt the airline so they can never give them raises and send them into a slow death spiral of losses and employee unrest.

It's a really well thought out union strategy...  Yeah sure

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 7):
I think NWA planned on more pilots agreeing to pick up flying over 90 hours. I suspect more of this is about pilots refusing to pick up over 90, rather than maxing out at 100.

It's a union action. Similar to a bus driver sick out. It's meant to show that "you don't have enough employees" by putting the "worst case scenario" into effect. In a non-union environment, NW wouldn't have to cancel flights with the same pilots with the same contract...

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 12):
To clarify, if a Northwest pilot flies a few hours past his 90 hour contract, is he paid for that additional flight time?

Yes.

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 16):
If a good part of the cancelations are due to an unofficial job action by the pilots calling in sick, couldn't some of the blame be laid on their doorstep?

Blasphemy. It's evil NW, never the pilots who are at fault, not even a little...  Wink
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
toltommy
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:08 am

Quoting Flyorski (Reply 5):
Does Mesa have the same problems? Do they also have to cancel flights?

Are you referring to Mesa Airlines, who flies as a regional carrier for a number of airlines? Or are you referring to MesaBA, who flies solely as a NW Airlink carrier?

If you are referring to Mesaba, the general answer is no. The NW Airlink carriers (Mesaba, Pinnacle, Compass) are not experiencing the same problems. It is restricted to mainline. The regionals have their own contracts and staffing plans.
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ILCFII
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:01 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 17):
Because they have no loyalty to the airline. They are mad about a lot of things, but mainly that they aren't being as overpaid as they were a few years ago, so they want to hurt the airline so they can never give them raises and send them into a slow death spiral of losses and employee unrest.

Ikramerica,
With all do respect, how can you get away saying that these pilots have not loyalty. Unless you are a pilot for a commercial airline will you understand what it is like. Yes, 90 hours may not seem like that much, but it is. Unlike NWA, my company can schedule us to 90 hours but we can be extended to 100 hours. In a recent month where I flew close to 100 hours I was out of base for approximately 335 hours and spend 12 nights in a hotel room. The last thing I want to do when I get a day off is pick up extra flying.

The pilots of NWA have given up so much all to have the executive bonus thrown in their faces. Its not wonder they are calling in sick. That many hours on the road each month and your going to go insane unless you gets some R&R and time with the family.

An about the pay, go take a hike. Whether you like it or not, we take person's lives in our hand each and every day and deserve to be compensated for it, esspecially when management is making off big time and sitting at home everynight with their family.
 
ILCFII
Posts: 39
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:03 am

NWA should look at this if their wondering why pilots are calling in sick


A UAL Airbus guy wrote this


An Open letter from a pilot to Glen Tilton (CEO United Air Lines):

Recently a lot has been said and written in the press concerning pilots' salaries and compensation. We have been told about how much it will cost our company, our job has been compared to others, and various subtle and not so subtle threats and intimidation tactics have been hurled at our group. In light of the current situation, please permit me, a pilot, to give you a small glimpse into my world.

Don't compare my job to other jobs:

. How many boardrooms explode over Long Island Sound?
. How many meetings conclude with hundreds of dead bodies?
. How many trucks cost $82 million dollars?
. How many doctors spend half the month away from their families?
. Do the children of media representative s cry when Daddy puts on his uniform to go to work because they know he'll be gone for a week?
. How many salesmen lose their jobs because they have high blood pressure?
. How many lawyers spend Christmas alone in a crash pad?
. When your spouse is watching TV and the program is interrupted does he/she momentarily freeze in fear for what they might hear?

There is not another profession in the world where the consequences for mistakes are so catastrophic and unforgiving.

The Price:

. I pay the price when somebody loads full oxygen containers in the cargo hold.
. I pay the price when a terrorist has a bone to pick.
. I pay the price when weather forecasters err in their assessment of the weather.
. I pay the price when engineers design a fuel pump not quite correctly.

You Speak of the Cost:

. Ask the CEO of ValueJet the cost of a DC-9 buried in the Everglades .
. Ask Fred Smith the cost to scrape a DC-10 and MD-11 from the runways at Steward and Newark .
. Ask Korean Airlines the cost of a 747 that didn't quite make the runway at Guam .
. Ask Fine Air the cost to clean up a DC-8 off a Miami street.
. Ask Bob Crandall the cost of a B-757 impacting a Columbian mountain.
. And if not for their cool, calm professionalism, what could have been the cost of a UAL B-777 that lost oil pressure over the middle of the Pacific Ocean and limped to Hawaii on a single engine? How much were they worth to you that night? Industry standard or 25% below?

When you try to intimidate me, remember:

. It was I who flew Cobra gun ships in the jungles of Vietnam while you worked on your master's degree.
. It is I who sits alone at the tip of an F-18 in the silent instant before I am catapulted over a cold, dark sea, while you sleep peacefully in your bed.
. It was I who one night watched my wings grow heavy with ice, miles from the safety of the nearest airport, praying that I had enough fuel to find clear skies, while you watched Monday Night Football.
. It was I who flew a C-130 into Panamanian gunfire, while you decorated your Christmas tree in 1989.
. It was I who faced head-on the fourth largest army in the world over the deserts of Iraq and brought it to its knees, while you watched it on CNN.
. It was I who landed a n A-6 on a floating piece of tarmac no bigger than your backyard, while you mowed yours.
. It was I who orbited in unarmed tankers over enemy territory to replenish others sworn to protect you.
. It was I, who watched missiles and bullets blossom in my face, yet didn't turn and run, while you watched the flowers blossom in you garden.
. It was I who buried a friend.
. It was I who knows a little boy who will never play catch with his dad, so that you may play with you grandchild.

Sir, please don't try to intimidate ME. I am not your enemy, I am your asset, an asset that has experienced and accomplished things few dare to try. Realize this and there are few obstacles we can't overcome.
 
neilalp
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:16 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:20 am

ILCFII,

I agree with you that you can't compare your job to another job...however I can't compare my job with another job. An ATC has his or her responsibilities and lives at stake, so does a doctor and I could go on.

I guess it is an old saying don't take a job for the money, but take it for the love of the job.

As you spent 335 hours away from home, I spent at least 200 away from my home (8 hours of work + 2 hours daily of drive). So yes no where near as much as you, but isn't the additional 135 hours on the road away the job/career you took. I know many pilots that love doing their job (I'm not saying that you don't) but these pilots aren't like the UAL one that felt the need to write a letter to the CEO saying how important their job is.

[Edited 2007-07-29 19:22:42]
 
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flybynight
Topic Author
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RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:22 am

[

Quoting ILCFII (Reply 20):
NWA should look at this if their wondering why pilots are calling in sick


A UAL Airbus guy wrote this


An Open letter from a pilot to Glen Tilton (CEO United Air Lines):

That's an awesome letter! I have no problems with pilot's making good money.
As a business flier, I have a problem with NW's management. UA isn't perferct, but I can't risk being stuck somewhere for a couple of days just because the airliner doesn't have enough pilots. Honestly, that is an extremely poor way to run your company.
Heia Norge!
 
socalfive
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 5:37 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:43 am

Dear NW management,

This is a perfect example of "What goes 'round, comes 'round."

Sincerely,

Your Employee Groups
Vendors &
Customers.
 
FreequentFlier
Posts: 1111
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:30 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:03 am

Quoting ILCFII (Reply 20):
A UAL Airbus guy wrote this


An Open letter from a pilot to Glen Tilton (CEO United Air Lines):

Recently a lot has been said and written in the press concerning pilots' salaries and compensation. We have been told about how much it will cost our company, our job has been compared to others, and various subtle and not so subtle threats and intimidation tactics have been hurled at our group. In light of the current situation, please permit me, a pilot, to give you a small glimpse into my world.

Don't compare my job to other jobs:

. How many boardrooms explode over Long Island Sound?
. How many meetings conclude with hundreds of dead bodies?
. How many trucks cost $82 million dollars?
. How many doctors spend half the month away from their families?
. Do the children of media representative s cry when Daddy puts on his uniform to go to work because they know he'll be gone for a week?
. How many salesmen lose their jobs because they have high blood pressure?
. How many lawyers spend Christmas alone in a crash pad?
. When your spouse is watching TV and the program is interrupted does he/she momentarily freeze in fear for what they might hear?

There is not another profession in the world where the consequences for mistakes are so catastrophic and unforgiving.

The Price:

. I pay the price when somebody loads full oxygen containers in the cargo hold.
. I pay the price when a terrorist has a bone to pick.
. I pay the price when weather forecasters err in their assessment of the weather.
. I pay the price when engineers design a fuel pump not quite correctly.

You Speak of the Cost:

. Ask the CEO of ValueJet the cost of a DC-9 buried in the Everglades .
. Ask Fred Smith the cost to scrape a DC-10 and MD-11 from the runways at Steward and Newark .
. Ask Korean Airlines the cost of a 747 that didn't quite make the runway at Guam .
. Ask Fine Air the cost to clean up a DC-8 off a Miami street.
. Ask Bob Crandall the cost of a B-757 impacting a Columbian mountain.
. And if not for their cool, calm professionalism, what could have been the cost of a UAL B-777 that lost oil pressure over the middle of the Pacific Ocean and limped to Hawaii on a single engine? How much were they worth to you that night? Industry standard or 25% below?

When you try to intimidate me, remember:

. It was I who flew Cobra gun ships in the jungles of Vietnam while you worked on your master's degree.
. It is I who sits alone at the tip of an F-18 in the silent instant before I am catapulted over a cold, dark sea, while you sleep peacefully in your bed.
. It was I who one night watched my wings grow heavy with ice, miles from the safety of the nearest airport, praying that I had enough fuel to find clear skies, while you watched Monday Night Football.
. It was I who flew a C-130 into Panamanian gunfire, while you decorated your Christmas tree in 1989.
. It was I who faced head-on the fourth largest army in the world over the deserts of Iraq and brought it to its knees, while you watched it on CNN.
. It was I who landed a n A-6 on a floating piece of tarmac no bigger than your backyard, while you mowed yours.
. It was I who orbited in unarmed tankers over enemy territory to replenish others sworn to protect you.
. It was I, who watched missiles and bullets blossom in my face, yet didn't turn and run, while you watched the flowers blossom in you garden.
. It was I who buried a friend.
. It was I who knows a little boy who will never play catch with his dad, so that you may play with you grandchild.

Sir, please don't try to intimidate ME. I am not your enemy, I am your asset, an asset that has experienced and accomplished things few dare to try. Realize this and there are few obstacles we can't overcome.

Its a nice little letter, but mainline pilots are already very well compensated - I don't know of any airline that pays less than 6 figures for seasoned mainline pilots. What we're really arguing is over degree. The pilots union wants mid 90s type of compensation which is frankly unrealistic, myopic, and impossible in this day and age. The days of pilots making $500,000 or so in a year when you include bonuses are over and they are not coming back. Its the reality the pilot's union is going to have to make.

As for the arguments made in the letter, train operators could argue the same and are not compensated to nearly the same degree. You think trains never jump the rails?
 
ILCFII
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:31 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:35 am

Quoting Neilalp (Reply 21):
I agree with you that you can't compare your job to another job...however I can't compare my job with another job. An ATC has his or her responsibilities and lives at stake, so does a doctor and I could go on.

I guess it is an old saying don't take a job for the money, but take it for the love of the job.

As you spent 335 hours away from home, I spent at least 200 away from my home (8 hours of work + 2 hours daily of drive). So yes no where near as much as you, but isn't the additional 135 hours on the road away the job/career you took. I know many pilots that love doing their job (I'm not saying that you don't) but these pilots aren't like the UAL one that felt the need to write a letter to the CEO saying how important their job is.

Yes, and I do love my job and many people including you, and I make many sacrifices to do what we love to do. But you also know that employers cannot manage a company with the hope that employees will bail them out everytime they get in a bind. That is basically what NW management was hoping. I only say this because my own airline is now doing this now that activity has picked up and pilots are leaving in droves for the majors or just getting out of business altogether.

Quoting Flybynight (Reply 22):
That's an awesome letter! I have no problems with pilot's making good money.
As a business flier, I have a problem with NW's management. UA isn't perfect, but I can't risk being stuck somewhere for a couple of days just because the airliner doesn't have enough pilots. Honestly, that is an extremely poor way to run your company.

Get used to this management scheme of running an airline. We are just on the tip of a very large pilot shortage. You might not see it at the majors because they hire from the regionals, but you will still be affected by it when you book your ticket on United /NWA and have a leg on "United Express/Northwest Airlink" and end up getting canceled because Mesa/TSA/GoJets/Mesabe/Pinnacle/any other regional can't staff their airline. Unless the pay increases you are not going to find many people who are willing to spend 80K to make it to an airline job that pays 30K/year with the hope of someday making six figures.
 
NoBoeingNoGoin
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:59 am

For the love of god... I hope that no ALPA contract makes this type of grammatical error. That would make me sad and scared to fly! Their is not the same as there!

M404 wrote " I love the ALPA statement something along the lines of - "We're sure their is no abuse of sick leave - but if their it's because of the stress of flying the 90 hour contract."
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:36 am

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 16):
If a good part of the cancelations are due to an unofficial job action by the pilots calling in sick, couldn't some of the blame be laid on their doorstep?

Yeah, it could be, but from what I can tell this is due to pilots running out of legal hours, not calling in sick.

And if they are calling in sick, then you have to look at whether they have a legitimate gripe or not. We know that NW isn't the best at maintaining good employee-management relations, and it may just be that they're reaping the "rewards" of that.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4514
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:07 am

Quoting ILCFII (Reply 25):
Unless the pay increases you are not going to find many people who are willing to spend 80K to make it to an airline job that pays 30K/year with the hope of someday making six figures.

The discussion was about mainline pilots not regional pilots. Do you not think that that being paid in the top 5 percentile in the country is being highly compensated wage for a mainline pilot? Most if not all of the other 95 percentile would think it is an excellent wage.
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:40 am

Quoting Socalfive (Reply 23):
Dear NW management,

This is a perfect example of "What goes 'round, comes 'round."

Sincerely,

Your Employee Groups
Vendors &
Customers.

This is the perfect post. I couldn't have written it better myself.

Northwest has abused and screwed over its employees (not just pilots) and passengers so many times that its now coming back to bite them. I say "Serves them right". The blame for this can't be placed anywhere but management. They screwed up big time, they tried to get away with a lot of stuff and its hurting them in the pocket book. Even if we pilots get our contracts torn up, our retirements erased, and our lives messed up by greedy unethical management, at least we still have supply and demand. You make it a crappy job and nobody is going to want to do it. Its that plain and simple.
 
G5
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:04 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:46 am

Wow! Some very well spoken posts in this thread. Flybynight has got it right. The problem is the management within NWA. The employees simply don't trust the management. They have made sacrifices too many times only to get burned when it came time for bonuses or staff incentives. Because of this, no one wants to work any harder than they have to. Here's and example.

I was on NWA 117 this morning. It was the first flight out running MSP-PHX route. Midday yesterday the airline posted a delay for the flight, claiming it was a crew rest delay (scheduled 6:45 am-rescheduled to 7:20 am). I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with is what actually happened. Boarding began at 6:40 am. I took seat 1A (was lucky enough to get an upgrade) and noticed the FO in place at the right seat when I sat down. I thought, "Great, we may actually leave a little earlier than planned." Everyone was on board, ready to go at 7:05 am. The flight attendant even closed and armed the doors at this time, only to find out that the captain was not yet on board. We waited another 10 minutes for him to show up, then he went through this schpiel about pre-flight checks for this and that. Do you think we left the gate early? No way, we pushed back at exactly 7:20 am PDT.

My point is that the pilots seemingly don't care about anything other than getting the plane from point A to point B. I really did enjoy the passion and enthusiasm in the UAL pilot's letter to Glen Tilton, and I believe the statements within this letter to be generally true throughout the industry. But right now I find it hard to believe that NW pilots care much about anything these days other than to exert pressure on the airline, regardless of how it effects their customers. Why? Because it gives them leverage with management during the next round of contract and/or strike talks. There is no going above and beyond the call of duty because the union knows that if they do more than they need to now, they will either be taken advantage of or ignored when it comes time to re-negotiate the contracts. And this problem is not isolated to the pilot union only. Few NWA employees these days will crack a smile because their jobs are so 'miserable.'

As a frequent traveller, I've had it with all the bickering. Until the suits and the workforce can learn to trust each and play as a team, NWA will be perpetually stuck in a rut. A rut in which will inevitably lead to another round through bankruptcy court, as well as contract re-negotiations, layoffs and maybe even liquidation. Without trust there's no way the airline will improve. They will continue on flying with miserable attitudes and discontent, until ultimately they fail-a long, slow death, if you will.

Personally, I'm about ready to 'fire' the airline and choose somebody else. And I'm not the only one.
 
worldtraveler
Posts: 3417
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:18 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:58 am

.... which may precipitate a forced merger between NW and its owners/former creditors who are not willing to standby and let their investment be ruined. While employees are certainly creditors, they are certainly not the only ones.
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:05 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 17):
Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 7):
I think NWA planned on more pilots agreeing to pick up flying over 90 hours. I suspect more of this is about pilots refusing to pick up over 90, rather than maxing out at 100.

It's a union action. Similar to a bus driver sick out. It's meant to show that "you don't have enough employees" by putting the "worst case scenario" into effect. In a non-union environment, NW wouldn't have to cancel flights with the same pilots with the same contract...



Has NWA published any data to support a "sick-out" claim? I'd like to see a comparison of this summer's sick calls versus last years. If that data does not exist, how can anyone support that claim?
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:11 am

Quoting G5 (Reply 30):
Do you think we left the gate early? No way, we pushed back at exactly 7:20 am PDT.

If a flight is delayed due to crew rest, that new time it is delayed to is the time calculated to give the crew the absolute minimum legal rest. If that time is 7:20am and they leave at 7:19am, they are violating FARs and may very well possibly end themselves up in the chief pilots office with suspensions, FAA investigation/violation/certificate action, etc. I know it may seem ridiculous, but you have to be legal. These are real laws and you really do get in trouble if you violate them.

I've had to delay a flight in the morning due to a delay the previous night by 1 minute. Yep, departure was 7:00am and the screen said "DELAYED TO 7:01AM".

Quoting G5 (Reply 30):
My point is that the pilots seemingly don't care about anything other than getting the plane from point A to point B

Their company does not care about them in the least. They are simply returning that attitude. Have you noticed how Northwest planes taxi extremely slow and are NEVER early? One of the things management ripped from them when they tore up their contract is their pay guarantee for flights. They're now paid only the actual length of the flight. Pilot gets you there early? He just took a paycut to do that.

Management knows all about how their abuse of the pilots turns into abuse of the passengers. But, guess what... Northwest management simply does not care about you (the passengers) either. They really don't... you're just dollar signs that fill seats, and their flights are full. If you don't fly their planes, someone else will.
 
ILCFII
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:31 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:55 am

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 28):
The discussion was about mainline pilots not regional pilots. Do you not think that that being paid in the top 5 percentile in the country is being highly compensated wage for a mainline pilot? Most if not all of the other 95 percentile would think it is an excellent wage.

Bobnwa,
Yes, being in the top 5 percentile is a very gracious wage. But the point I was trying make, is that unless wages are increased at the bottom (and increased a little at the top too), the problem will never be fixed. Mainline NWA can fix this problem easily becasue their are many qualified pilots who want to fly from them at the regionals. But this will not fix the problem of having a pilot shortage. The average joe flying does not know the difference from mainline NWA and the mesaba/pinnacle regional jet they fly on. So when their mesaba/pinnacle flight is canceled/delayed due to crew shortages, they will still see the red tail and think NWA. And since NWA now has a wholly owned regional (mesaba), it would be in their best interests to try and fix these staffing issues across the entire company.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 8625
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:00 am

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 33):
Their company does not care about them in the least. They are simply returning that attitude. Have you noticed how Northwest planes taxi extremely slow and are NEVER early? One of the things management ripped from them when they tore up their contract is their pay guarantee for flights. They're now paid only the actual length of the flight. Pilot gets you there early? He just took a paycut to do that.

I'm waving the BS flag on this one.....I have been lucky this summer and none of my flights have been affected by whatever job action/crew shortages are occuring. I'm staying out of this union vs. mgmt argument, because frankly its stupid. I get enough of it dealing with the same "union vs. mgmt" arguements in with the likes of the UAW.

Anyways, I've had plently of flights arrive early this summer. I had a DTW-RDU flight arrive 34 minutes early, a DTW-PHL arrive 26 minutes early, and a PHL-DTW flight arrive 24 minutes early, just to name a few.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15116
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting ILCFII (Reply 19):
With all do respect, how can you get away saying that these pilots have not loyalty. Unless you are a pilot for a commercial airline will you understand what it is like. Yes, 90 hours may not seem like that much, but it is. Unlike NWA, my company can schedule us to 90 hours but we can be extended to 100 hours. In a recent month where I flew close to 100 hours I was out of base for approximately 335 hours and spend 12 nights in a hotel room. The last thing I want to do when I get a day off is pick up extra flying.

It is your job. You are a pilot. That is what you do. "Out of base" I assume includes the time in the hotel rooms? Traveling salesmen have more "out of base" times than that. So do consultants, investment bankers, over the road truckers, etc.

I can "get away with saying" whatever I want. It's called freedom. I know unions like to try to prevent people from saying anything that might contradict them, and pilots especially try to paint their job worth $1million a year, but I don't have to play by that rule.

NW did not have this problem until very recently, where the union decided that all pilots would "do the minimum" to prove a point. It is the same thing the DWP plans to do here in LA unless the city hires more people. In any work environment, when your entire workforce (or entire job specific force) organizes to do the minimum of what is asked of them and not more, that is disloyal, and done to prove a point. "See? You don't have enough staff because we can make the worst case scenario happen whenever we want..."

But I am not saying that it is WRONG to be disloyal to a company. Loyalty to a company is not something you must have, it's something the company has to earn. They've lost it with the pilots. And considering how disposable most companies make people feel, I can't imagine a lot of companies will be able to earn the kind of loyalty they used to, especially in the airline industry.

But the strategy of hurting NW this way at a time when they can't afford to do anything about it is a silly one.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5299
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:30 am

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 16):
If a good part of the cancelations are due to an unofficial job action by the pilots calling in sick, couldn't some of the blame be laid on their doorstep?

Of course that is what Steenland said, but lets not forget who decided to stretch the schdules such that they are putting human beings to beyond their limits.
 
TPAnx
Posts: 1007
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:53 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:40 am

Somewhat off topic...but hasn't NW had these problems for decades? I seem to recall friends in the Midwest talking about "this summer's pilot's strike." Think they did walk off one summer in the 60's...and Paul Revere and the Raiders
wrote a song about it. I can remember strike talk when I was due to get out of Korea,,and the Army...sitting on Vagabond Hill in Seoul and watching that 707-320C sweep over the city on approach to Kimpo..and wondering whether I'd fly home..or be on a troopship again...  Sad
TPAnx
I read the news today..oh boy
 
skyhawk62507
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 12:03 pm

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:59 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
An airline that doesn't have enough pilots to fly their flights is a perfect example of an airline that can't get its act together.

-Mir

...And an airline that should be mercifully put out of the traveling public's misery posthaste, IMO.

Waiting in MSP following a reasonably decent flight from MKE on a decrepit and filthy DC-9. The flight before mine was cancelled "due to maintenance" (according to the thoroughly professional gate attendant -- what a refreshing change from the NW norm) and was overbooked by "at least 25" seats (actual quote from the gate attendant, I believe there was an equipment change.)

These things happen to other airlines, of course. In light of NW's other problems, though -- and Steenland's bonus program -- what a joke of a carrier. I'll say again -- it needs to die.
 
peterpuck
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:59 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:35 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 36):
It is your job. You are a pilot. That is what you do. "Out of base" I assume includes the time in the hotel rooms? Traveling salesmen have more "out of base" times than that. So do consultants, investment bankers, over the road truckers, etc.

The thing is the job has changed significantly since most pilots decided to become pilots. Therefore you have less people aspiring to be a pilot, people are leaving pilot jobs, and many not accepting call backs from furlough. I know I wouldn't work for a regional airline for $22,000. That's not worth the time away from home. The consultants and bankers might have to drive more.
 
worldtraveler
Posts: 3417
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:18 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:44 am

yes, TPAnx, NW has had some of the worst labor relations for years. The difference now is that the margin for error on the business model is razor thin. For a company that has just emerged from C11, there is no tolerance from shareholders for blowing the business plan and risking their investment.

In contrast, at one time, US ailines actually had agreements to share revenue in the event that one was unable to fly for one reason or another. You can bet those days are long gone.
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:49 am

It's Sunday evening. I've watched a couple of news shows as I wind down my weekend. Both have had stories about Northwest...not positive. NW better ramp up its crisis public relations program. I'm sure its customers have a few questions and fears about upcoming travel. NW customer service people have likely had enough. Dealing with angry disserviced passengers isn't fun. Maybe the CSRs should simply work their hours...no overtime....that would shut the airline down.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
ual777
Posts: 1642
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:18 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:19 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 36):

It is your job. You are a pilot. That is what you do. "Out of base" I assume includes the time in the hotel rooms? Traveling salesmen have more "out of base" times than that. So do consultants, investment bankers, over the road truckers, etc.

I can "get away with saying" whatever I want. It's called freedom. I know unions like to try to prevent people from saying anything that might contradict them, and pilots especially try to paint their job worth $1million a year, but I don't have to play by that rule.

NW did not have this problem until very recently, where the union decided that all pilots would "do the minimum" to prove a point. It is the same thing the DWP plans to do here in LA unless the city hires more people. In any work environment, when your entire workforce (or entire job specific force) organizes to do the minimum of what is asked of them and not more, that is disloyal, and done to prove a point. "See? You don't have enough staff because we can make the worst case scenario happen whenever we want..."

But I am not saying that it is WRONG to be disloyal to a company. Loyalty to a company is not something you must have, it's something the company has to earn. They've lost it with the pilots. And considering how disposable most companies make people feel, I can't imagine a lot of companies will be able to earn the kind of loyalty they used to, especially in the airline industry.

But the strategy of hurting NW this way at a time when they can't afford to do anything about it is a silly one.

I hate to break it to you, but 88 hours of flight time a month will give you the month of December off due to the FARs. Don't let the dirt bag management team at NW fool you. This is not because of the union "slowing things down". It is because NW (and other carriers) have so destroyed the pilot contracts that guys are not accepting recall and are leaving the industry all together. ALPA warned (thats right) WARNED management that this would happen, but it was ignored by Chainsaw Steenland and company.

We don't paint our job as a $1,000,000 a year job. However, we DO believe that pilots are hard to come by professionals and they have earned the right to be compensated accordingly.

You, as well as many others on this board disagree, but you will see in the next 2-7 years (depending on 65) what is going to happen. Pilot wages will rise due to demand and the situation will return as it was before. There are US pilots leaving to fly for Emirates, Cathay, and other carriers in China because they pay more. Together with loss of retirements, work-rule changes, increased training costs, and pilots leaving for other jobs, there simply aren't enough of us to go around at the price management wants.

There are regionals that are PARKING aircraft because there is no one to fly them.

If my company took huge management bonuses, axed my retirement, cut my pay by 40%, and then tried to work me to death, I would fly the contract too. What goes around comes around, and I am watching this situation with a smile.
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
 
Theoden
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:53 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:57 pm

Quoting UAL777 (Reply 43):
there simply aren't enough of us to go around at the price management wants.

The law of supply and demand, I believe this is effecting NW. If you make your company a good place to work, you don't have to pay as much to get people. If you make your people miserable and cut pay, they might work fewer hours and not come back from furlough. I hope NW leadership is finally realizing this, there's a lot going for the company and it would be cool for us in Detroit if they make the company a success.

Incidentally, its no different for rampers. Many rampers call off when the weather's bad, we have high turnover, and productivity is not nearly what it could be. I think this is the cost of treating people like poop and at the same time paying what we do.

Theoden
Fear no darkness!
 
DC10extender
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:09 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:34 pm

I was on one of those canceled flights on Saturday. We sat in the airport for 12 hours while NW kept pushing the flight back and delaying it more until they finally canceled it. Just got back today after spending a night in AMS.
Did you ever read on your birth certificate that life is fair? Thats cause its not there.
 
optionscle
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:08 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:38 pm

Quoting UAL777 (Reply 43):
You, as well as many others on this board disagree, but you will see in the next 2-7 years (depending on 65) what is going to happen. Pilot wages will rise due to demand and the situation will return as it was before. There are US pilots leaving to fly for Emirates, Cathay, and other carriers in China because they pay more. Together with loss of retirements, work-rule changes, increased training costs, and pilots leaving for other jobs, there simply aren't enough of us to go around at the price management wants.

I think you're implying that overseas pilot wages will drive US pilot wages up as domestic pilot supply drops, but keep in mind that economics works the same way over there (but do toilets flush the same way?) An influx of American pilots means that overseas wages will drop accordingly. Likely, there will be some sort of balance, but considering how the pilots in this thread have expressed their distaste for time away from home (Dubai is pretty far away) American wages may stay lower for quite some time.

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 42):
Maybe the CSRs should simply work their hours...no overtime....that would shut the airline down.

Very interesting, indeed! Someone seems to have hit the nail on the head! Maybe I'm a little removed from the discussion (being employed by a happier airline) but it seems as though the NW pilots are acting quite selfishly. Consider the following examples and ask yourself whether the airline might, similarly, have to cancel 13% of its schedule or perhaps if it would earn 13% less revenue...

1 - NW's revenue management folks decide to work 9-5 and not a minute longer.

2 - The last group of ground personnel works until its shift is over at midnight and then promply goes home, leaving the delayed arrival at 12:45am with no one to park or unload the plane.

3 - A ramp controller gets in a car accident on the way to work, but his peer on the earlier shift refuses to stay late to cover until he can arrive.

There are countless ways for an airline's employees to sabotage the company simply by not going above the call of duty when they could, but in my opinion no one group should do that to the rest of their coworkers just because they're disgruntled. I'm not all that familiar with the details of the NW pilots, but if my airline's pilots threatened my job simply because they don't think theirs pays enough (mind you they get paid more than me!) I would be very angry. I'd be interested to hear what some NW's non-pilots have to say about this.

Quoting ILCFII (Reply 25):
Unless the pay increases you are not going to find many people who are willing to spend 80K to make it to an airline job that pays 30K/year with the hope of someday making six figures.

You make a valid point, but keep in mind that a lot of the desk jobs behind the scenes in airlines require MBA's (the better schools can run you upwards of $100,000!) Airline jobs pay SIGNIFICANTLY below "industry average" for an MBA graduate. Still, airlines are able to attract MBA's, because there are some who love aviation, some who value the travel perks highly, etc. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices - take pay cuts - to do what we love. Pilots don't just fall into the profession, I'd be willing to bet that there's not a single pilot flying professionally who doesn't do it for the love of aviaiton.
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:14 pm

Quoting OptionsCLE (Reply 46):

Very interesting, indeed! Someone seems to have hit the nail on the head! Maybe I'm a little removed from the discussion (being employed by a happier airline) but it seems as though the NW pilots are acting quite selfishly. Consider the following examples and ask yourself whether the airline might, similarly, have to cancel 13% of its schedule or perhaps if it would earn 13% less revenue...

Pilots can only average 83h20m a year and not time out for the year. They're doing more than this. Any additional hours they fly now are just flights that won't be staffed later on in the year.

But further, the examples you listed are abnormal uncommon circumstances. Sure, the individual pilot is up to their own decision as to how they would like to handle it and help or not. But thats not the problem here, the problem here is widespread mismanagement of the airline.... Steeland & Co are trying to get by without enough pilots and they've managed to royally piss off the ones they do have. They consistently have hundreds of flights cancelling. Thats not due to the individual pilots' decisions. Thats due to a horribly flawed staffing model for the airline. This anger the pilots have isn't really hurting in the fact that pilots don't want to help out as its moreso hurting in the fact that nobody wants to work there. If nobody wants to work for your company, thats something you need to address and correct or your company will fail.
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:52 am

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:20 pm

Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 24):
As for the arguments made in the letter, train operators could argue the same and are not compensated to nearly the same degree. You think trains never jump the rails?

The difference is that train operators have no control over the train "jumping the rails". A pilot not only has the responsibility of keeping the plane out of danger, but when put into a dangerous situation; he/she has the ability and training to deal with the problem and affect the outcome. A train operator is along for the ride. The education requirements are just a bit different for the two occupations as well. Not a well thought out statement.

IAHERJ
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
User avatar
RedTailDTW
Posts: 604
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:08 pm

RE: NW Cancels Flights Again

Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:57 pm

I am a very loyal NW flyer but unless they clean up their act, I will try flying on other airlines. On July 25th, I recieved a call from NW telling me that my flight on July 28th from DTW to PHX (Flight 261) was cancelled due to the pilot shortages. I went online to see what flight they rebooked me on and I was not satisfied with it so I decided to call reservations to change it. After about 20 minutes I finally got to talk to someone. A guy answered and I told him what I wanted to change. The problem was that he was SOOOOOO slow trying to get my information. He would ask me what my confirmation number is and I would answer, and he would say OK and he put me on hold for around 15 minutes. Then he comes back on and asks me around what time would I like to leave, and I would answer and he would take another 15 minutes to do that. The next time he came on I started to vent a little and then he trys to pawn me off on another airline. I argue with him about that and finally decide to take a non-stop on US Airways that he offered me at around the same time as my original flight left. When I went to check-in with US Airways on July 28th, the CSR told me that Northwest had been putting people on other airlines like US Airways, Delta, and Continental when these airlines don't have the room so all the flights are being way oversold. Luckily I wasn't one of them. Overall, it was a mess and I hope that these cancellations come up and bite Steenland in the a**.


Mason
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