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Tripping Day Eleven: Screwed in Seattle

Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2005

Dave!As I've said many times... you don't judge a company when things go right, because that's what's SUPPOSED to happen. You judge a company by how they handle it when things go WRONG.

Unfortunately, the company in question this evening (well, morning, actually) is Northwest Airlines. And when it comes to royally screwing you over when the shit happens, nobody does it quite like Northwest Airlines... even when it's their fault that something's gone wrong.

Due to a scheduling problem, Northwest decided they needed to transfer somebody from Detroit to Seattle. So they loaded us on the plane, then had us all sit there for an hour while we waited for this ONE guy to show up. But he ended up running late, and they finally decided that they would send us on our way without him. So, basically, we wasted an hour FOR NOTHING!! Congratulations NWA dumbasses... you just f#@%ed a full flight of 112 people FOR NOTHING!!

Naturally, this meant that I missed my connection in Seattle.

So first I have to go to the ticketing counter and get re-ticketed. Then I have to wait while they fart around for 30 minutes to get me booked in the shittiest, cheapest, economy hotel they can find. Then they tell me to go get my luggage from Horizon Air, where they've transferred it, and to "have a good evening" (when it's actually morning).

But Horizon tells me that the wait to get my luggage pulled is two hours MINIMUM. And I can't go to my crappy hotel and wait for it, because they will not deliver pulled bags. If I want my bag, I have to wait there at the counter. FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS! Screw that. So now I am stuck in Seattle with no flight and no luggage. But Horizon does give me a lovely consolation gift... this lovely "Distressed Passenger Tote Bag!"


Well that just makes up for everything!

Note how there is a spot to get the case monogrammed. Too good to be true, I say.

Anyway, so here I am in my tiny shit-bag hotel room that smells like ass. Moldy ass. Moldy ass with OLD FEET and RAW SEWAGE! They assured me that the hotel would have "WiFi Internet." But what they didn't tell me is that it was not available in the rooms (only the lobby) and that it's broken. Lovely.

Now, don't get me wrong. If my missed connection was due to weather or something outside of Northwest Airline's control... I would be grateful for my tiny, stinky room. But since this is 100% their f#@%-up, why are they making me suffer for it? I'm an Elite customer that travels 70,000 miles a year with their airline. I deserve better than this at their hands.

I'd give them credit for buying me dinner, but the crap-bag hotel they stuck me in is out in the middle of nowhere, so the dinner voucher they gave me is useless.

So there you have it. As a company, Northwest Airlines sucks ass. They have no problem screwing you and 111 of your closest friends to solve their problems, and then treats you like shit afterwards. In fact, I feel that I've been treated so badly, that they've got me thinking it must be all my fault. Somehow I am the one who didn't cover the Seattle schedule properly, and so now I'm being punished. Abandoned. Sent to hell.

Oh well. At least there's cable television here in hell, even if it does smell like moldy ass.

UPDATE: This morning, after two hours of sleep, I didn't feel like taking a shower because the bathroom smelled like urine. But I did want to at least brush my teeth. Bleary eyed, I squeezed out some toothpaste and started brushing away... only to find out I had used shaving cream instead of toothpaste. Now, why would they put shaving cream in a toothpaste tube?? Sadistic bastards... don't tell me they don't do this on purpose. I'm having a flashback now.

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Emily says:

    Damn, that sucks! I have never (thankfully) had an experience like that. And I kind of wish that you never had either; because it’s scary to think that they would do that to someone. Anyone!
    Ah well…I hope that things worked out in the end for you. I only read the one entry.
    Have a great day!

  2. Justin says:

    I stand with you in your pain and annoyance at NWA. I bought a ticket with them ONCE, and my plans changed so I needed to reschedule. The cost to reschedule was more than the darn ticket. To hell with them, for ever and ever. (BTW – Love your blog. I read it every day. Don’t give up. Peace.)

  3. Kevin says:

    When I looked at the image of the “distress pack,” it’s funny because I immediately made mental note of how similar to toothpaste the shaving cream appeared. Then you started to talk about wanting to brush your teeth and I knew exactly where the post was going.

    Bet you were wishing for baking soda, eh?

    As for the monogram, you need to put one of your toon selves on that little square. Would be much better than DS2.

    I will admit that, at one time, I was the reason a flight was delayed. However, it was a family trip and I was traveling with 23 other people. The flight was delayed for all of us which makes a bit more sense than waiting for one person.

    That person must’ve been someone special if they were willing to wait. Wonder if it was Liz Hurley? JK.

  4. girlonaglide says:

    That really sucks some butt Dave. Submit your post as your complaint and tell them how many people read this complaint and have vowed never to use their airline unless you’re granted justice.

  5. Anthony says:

    That sucks man. I did smile about the toothpaste thing though. 🙂 Sorry.

  6. Harold says:

    Dave look on the bright side of things….it could have been “Hemorrhoid” ointment! Now that would “suck ass”…

  7. jenny says:

    Ahhh, my fave Dave toon…
    I still go back to that often.

  8. Jason says:

    Tonight we got to checkin at NWA at 6:00 with the flight leaving at 7:00 and when we got there, they had already shut down the computers and were leaving with their lunchboxes. There was plenty of time to get on the airplane, which was right next to check in, but there was noone there. So I, standing baffled with 11 other equally baffled people, took it upon myself to walk behind the counter and knock on the door. A guy behind the door jokingly said “nobody’s home.” Thirty seconds later he walked out and told a lady getting very angry that there was nothing he could do because they had already shut down the system. Everyone started calling the NWA hotline trying to get some answers as to when they closed so many off the flight and everyone got the same results. So, in 3 hours I’m going to try to get on a flight at 5 in the morning. If I don’t get what I want I will build a class action lawsuit against NWA, and I won’t rest until they pay.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To say that Northwest Airlines sucks is an understatement. One cannot adequately describe this airline in polite terms without offending someone as such language is inappropriate.

    We just returned from our vacation to Seattle on which we purchased their “guaranteed lowest price” tickets on their own website.

    Our first leg from Austin, Tx to Minneapolis (for which we could not choose our seats) were 21A & 21B. These were the last two seats next to the whining engines, with no window, and no reclining seats.

    From Minneapolis to Seattle, they had put us into the B seat on two rows about 5 rows apart despite the fact that they had other seats available. I was able to solve that problem by purchasing two seats that were together for a $15 upgrade charge each, thus it made them more expensive than American. Can we spell bait and switch boys and girls?

    In Seattle, I tried to find a number for their corporate office to complain but all I could do was get another dumb agent. The return seating was similar, so I raised hell and told him this was unacceptable. He then gave us two seats together for the Seattle to Austin leg but he could not do anything for the return flight to Austin. BTW, they were the same two seats 21A & 21B.

    While in Seattle, and a few days before our return flight, I received an email update that our flight had been canceled and they moved us to another flight that was leaving at midnight last Saturday instead of noon last Sunday.

    Livid at this complete and utter disregard for its customers, I called and raised hell again. They put us on a flight to Minneapolis and seated us together, they put us on a flight from Minneapolis to Memphis in two widely separated B seats, and finally, a DC9 to Austin in the same seats. After a heated discussion, the clerk put us in two seats together, and for the Austin leg, he assured me that he moved me to four rows ahead of the engines on the DC9.

    Well, in Memphis, I found that they had reassigned us to, you guessed it, 21A & 21B and the plane was full.

    I found some interesting information about this wonderful airline. Back in August, when they had their most recent layoff, they handed the folks they hired a packet with some suggestions on how to get by under their new circumstances.

    A few of these were to: Take a lunch instead of buying one, Car Pool, and the biggest slap in the face, Dumpster Diving. From the resulting firestorm, the company was forced to issue a public apology.

    When I deplaned in Austin, I told the lead flight attendant that I would never ever fly their airline even if the CEO granted me free lifetime first class passes for both my wife and I. Her response, “Have a nice day!”

    I plan to file complaints with the FAA, the FTC, and anyone else with whom I can do so and would love to have others follow suit.

  10. Dave2 says:

    I think I’ve been equally screwed on most every major airline. In the end, Northwest has actually screwed me over the least, which is odd when you consider that they’re the airline I fly the most.

    The incident I write about above was probably my most frustrating moment ever with NWA… but when you compare it to the screwing I took with some other airlines, it doesn’t seem that bad. 🙂

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