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Northwest Sucks Too

Posted on Saturday, November 29th, 2003

Dave!As it turns out, the stupidity of this morning's Horizon flight delay was just the beginning. I was promised that somebody would re-book my flight, but after 30 minutes of waiting, I decided to use my mobile phone and do it myself. Thanks to the friendly and efficient phone staff at Northwest Airlines, I had completed my re-book in just ten minutes (my first-class upgrade intact). I was told my confirmation code was the same and I was seated in 3-A for both of my connecting flights.

Or so I thought.

Horizon finally boards the flight when I get a rude shock... sometime in the 15 minutes after I hung up with NWA, I had been re-booked again on a different flight with a later connection in Memphis...landing 3-1/2 hours later than my already-delayed arrival. No problem, I board the aircraft and call up Northwest again to find out what happened...

... and this time get the rudest, most horrifyingly incompetent person I have ever had the displeasure of speaking to in my 20 years of travel. It went something like this:

Me: Hello, I'm having a problem because of a mechanical delay in my Horizon flight #2155 out of Wenatchee. I had re-book a flight through Minneapolis, landing in Milwaukee at 4:38, but somehow I'm now booked on a connection through Memphis arriving at 7:05.

Rude NWA Agent: You are going to have to calm down while I pull up your record.

Me: Sorry, I am— (I was GOING to say "I am in a hurry because I am on board a plane and they are going to close the cabin door in a minute," but she cut me off in mid-sentence!!)

Rude NWA Agent: You need to take a deep breath and be calm before I can help you. Now tell me your confirmation number.

Me: Sorry, but I couldn't get to a pen, be— (I was GOING to say "Because I was in-line at the ticket counter when I re-booked and could reach my bag," but she cut me off AGAIN).

Rude NWA Agent (REALLY rudely): You really should be more prepared when you travel. You should always have a pen with you to write down important things like this!!

Me: Uhhh... sorry, but I—

AND THIS IS WHERE THE f#@%ING PIECE OF $#!T HANGS UP ON ME!! Yes, you read that correctly, SHE HUNG UP ON ME!!!

Let me state up-front that at NO TIME was I rude, did I raise my voice, or act hostile IN ANY WAY. I was in a bit of a hurry because I had only a few minutes to use my mobile phone, but that's it!! I don't have any idea what her problem was, but it couldn't have been me.

So I get to Seattle, have to go through the entire story yet again with a new (and much nicer) phone agent as the battery in my mobile starts to drain away. She finally tells me that she can't seem to get me re-booked, and that she'll have to transfer me to another agent. So, for the fourth time in two hours, I explain the problem and get re-booked (again). But this time I get actual tickets from the gate agent, and everything works out... well, at least until I get to Minneapolis and find out that I've dropped out of the computer and my boarding pass doesn't work (yet another blow after having lost my First Class upgrade). The gate agent there takes pity on me and gets me on the flight anyway, which is good, because I was abut ready to kill somebody.

I realize that we are in the middle of the busiest travel weekend of the entire year, but WTF mate?!? Even if I were a rude asshole (which I absolutely was not), I did not deserve to be treated this badly. After I fire off a nasty complaint letter to Northwest, I hope (for their sake) they make this up to me somehow.

Categories: Travel 2003Click To It: Permalink


  1. Curtis Helmus says:

    My Northworst story is actually worse. I too was hung up on. But by their so called complaint line. I am thrilled that Northwest is going under. Could not happen to a more dispicable group of ingrates.

  2. Tom says:

    It’s not just rude cutomer service agents and angry flight attendants that makes Northwest one of the most publicly dreaded airlines out there. They recently changed their penalty structure for unused flight tickets on the sly, to terms much more favorable to themselves.

    All I can say is, it’s amazing what shady steps a desperate, cash-starved airline will do to bring in cash.

    Northwest for me? Never again.

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