Traumatic? Not so much. Aggravating? Yes.
. Ah, yes, NW
. Oh how I do not remember that airline fondly.
I show up three hours prior to departure for my DTW
flight in 2002 (this was before online check-in). The *only* reason I didn't miss it was because I noticed a hidden agent opening up her station and ran over to it. This was 30 minutes prior to departure. She tried to tell me it was too late to check my bags and I told her that I had been in line for 2.5 hours and batted my eyelashes at her (I was a very cute 24yo and she was about old enough to be my mother). That got my bags checked (and they made it).
Security had no line, fortunately, because everyone was backed up at check-in. I made it to the flight five minutes before they closed the doors. The flight was half-full, probably because most of the passengers were still in the check-in hall.
Then there was the time I was traveling somewhere with my parents just for a night. The flight was so delayed (and they strung us along with 30-minute advisories all day) that our eventual departure was pushed back so that it was now scheduled such that we would arrive the next day at our destination less than two hours before our return. We asked for a refund and were told our fares were "nonrefundable." My dad finally got a lawyer friend to write a nasty letter and we got our money back, if I recall.
Then there was the time that we showed up with E-tickets and a printed confirmation number and NW
refused to honor it. "We're sorry, but we have no record of your tickets in our system. We see that reservations were made, but never ticketed." My father had to call the credit card company who did verify that the charge had gone through (how did we have a confirmation number otherwise?). Finally, we had to buy tickets at the walk-up fare (or forfeit our hotel and car reservations at our destination) and again, lawyers were involved in getting our money back.
Or there were the two big luggage goofs. The first one was when I was 19 and coming home from college for summer break. On arrival, there was no luggage. For the entire 757 from SFO
. For two hours. They told us to go to luggage claim...all 180 of us. And then the lady at luggage claim refused to start taking any information until we were all in a perfectly straight line
. Finally, at 3.5 hours after arrival, our bags were offloaded.
And then on that same trip I started with, on the trip home NW
lost my luggage. Not just mine, mind you. They lost a half of the (full) DC-10's luggage. It had been sitting on the tarmac at LGW
for 8 hours and nobody had noticed. So when we got there, NW
had no idea where our luggage was or why. Took me two days to get it back. Mind you, there was no announcement about this. There were just maybe 150 or so people still standing around the carousel when it stopped. And being international, we were all waiting to go through customs. No announcement, nothing. It was horribly mismanaged.
That was the last time I ever paid NW
any money. I flew them a few more times on interviews on my mom's FF
miles, but I vowed that day that I would never spend another cent on NW
. I was *so* happy when DL
bought them out. Finally, DTW
has a real airline hub with a real airline.