Monday, December 18, 2006

Open Letter to Northwest Airlines

Dear Northwest Airlines,
First off, you might want to rethink the NWA abbreviation due to the former rap group of the same name; although it's worked for you so far, so whatever, it's your option.

Secondly, your gate scheduler at LaGuardia airport needs some help; if you have 6 gates available and 2 flights departing within 5 minutes of each other with the rest not departing for several hours, you might want to spread out the 2 flights to nonadjacent gates to avoid a "clusterfuck" in that area.

Now that you are part of the "sky team" alliance with Continental and Delta, you might want to re-evaluate your boarding procedures to be more consistent with those airlines (and every other airline on earth). All airlines with assigned seating will board first class, elite mileage, disabled, elderly, and those need additional time to board first. Your policy is right in line with that- no problems.

Now here's the part where Northwest differs; on a large plane it is customary to board passengers in groups. You can board from the back of the plane or the front. Most airlines will split the plane into 2 or 3 groups for boarding. Your policy of "all other passengers may now board" is insane. Passengers aware of the procedure all gather around the gate area waiting for the announcement and then rush the gate when you make it. Combined with the already existing clusterfuck from your gate assignments, this leads to a doubleclusterfuck (yes that's the technical term).

Most airlines will show a movie on flights longer than 3 hours. Typically a bad movie, but a recent release nonetheless. Most airlines do not have a weird odor coming out of their ventilation systems. Typically any bad smells can be mitigated by use of the overhead fan, not caused by them. For these reasons Northwest, I officially deem you "worst airline ever". Thank you.