Archive for May, 2009

Northwest Airlines/Delta

MSP is a major hub for NWA, so we use them more than we have for a long time. Many years ago, I liked them fairly well, but not so much these days.

Now, I do prefer them to Sun Country, which is a locally based airline. In a world where I hate to fly, and I think customer service has plummeted in general, airlines have taken a really spectacular nose dive in my book.

Actually, I guess it has been a long time since I flew actual NWA, because NWA is in the process of being assimilated by Delta (it grows and grows with each passing flight) and I have NEVER liked Delta.

I hate flying, and could go on and on about it, but I have other things to do today, so I will try to stay focused.

NWA (like many of the others) is all about nickle and diming you to death now. The price for the ticket is not the price for the ticket as it used to be to travel. I know many of the others are charging for food and for checked luggage now, so I will leave that for another ranty post. One of the things that has really been bugging me about NWA is that they are holding so many of their seats aside now as preferred seats, so it is almost impossible to choose a seat when you book unless you are willing to pay extra. They hold them back until the last minute, and then seemingly randomly assign them to passengers.

The Boston flight, the number of people who were traveling together, who were not assigned seats with each other was just shocking. There we all are on the plane, making trades with people, so they we could sit with traveling companions. Bad enough to be in such cramped quarters, I’d really prefer to be pressed uncomfortably close to somebody I know, instead of a stranger. It is like in the seat lottery they are not even taking tickets purchased together on one reservation into account.

On the flight to California, the seat in front of me was completely fucked up. It was leaning to the right, and slightly back. One of the support bars was broken. A second one appeared to be missing. It was held partially back together with a zip tie. Seriously, I took a crappy cell phone photo. That zip tie was what was keeping the tray sort of vaguely… less broken. The tray was unusable. It was completely crooked because the seat it was attached to was crooked, and then further broken because the support bolt was gone. It was straining at the latch and bowed out badly. I had to keep adjust the latch to keep it from popping open because of flight vibration. I did try to open it to put water on it and work on a Sudoku puzzle, but it wasn’t usable, and then I had a horrible time getting it closed, totally pissing off the person in front of me.

At my destination, my suitcase (which I paid extra to be able to travel with) was broken. Just a big gaping separation along one seam, and from the placement it seemed pretty obvious that they had caused it by picking it up by the rolling handle inset, instead of by one of the two actual suitcase handles.

I reported it to somebody, who tried to convince me not to file a claim.

“Well, you know, it takes like 12 weeks.”

“Umm, okay.”

“I mean, they try to repair it for you. You don’t even get any money unless they can’t repair it for you.”

“Okay.”

“I mean, is it even… I mean, how old is it?”

“Less than a year.”

“Well, how much did it cost?”

“$150”

“Is it even worth the trouble for you?”

“Umm… yes.”

“Well, you have to fill out a form.”

“Okay. Then what? You keep my bag?”

“Yes. We send it off, it will be gone about 12 weeks.”

“How do I get my stuff home?”

“You have 24 hours to turn it in. You fill out the form, and then empty your stuff and bring it back within 24 hours.”

“But, this isn’t home. I don’t go home for two weeks. How am I supposed to get my stuff home?”

Delta lady calls somebody to ask about this problem. How can this be an unusual problem? Am I actually the first person ever who has persisted in filing a complaint who actually had the problem on the front end of their trip?

Eventually she determines that I can turn it in within 24 hours of my return flight. They have no solution as to how I get my stuff safely home in a broken suitcase.

Then we go to fill out the form. It turns out I have very little to do. She must type a whole lot to fill it out. I don’t write a thing, or sign a thing. I mostly just stand there and tell her some addresses and phone numbers. It takes a long time.

When I opened it last night, several little things inside were broken. Like my plastic pill minder was broken and pills were all over the inside of my suitcase. It was aggravating. They obviously treated it fairly roughly.

Bah.

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