Saturday, May 05, 2007

NWA Going Down the Drain

Right now I'm sitting at the gate at the Duluth airport waiting to board a plane for KC for the USDLA conference. There are five Northwest Airlines flight attendants sitting at the gate complaining LOUDLY about their jobs, their pay, their company, the concessions they made a few years ago, and just about anything else related to NWA.

During the past year I've seen a steady deterioration in the service at Northwest, but it has been noticeably worse during the past two months. Flight delays because they don't have enough flight crew available, delays because there aren't enough ground personnel to get people checked in, etc, etc.

I just checked to see that their stock price (NWACQ) closed at 15 cents per share yesterday. Two words sum it all up: PAH - THETIC!!


Anonymous said...

You said it PAH-THETIC. In regards to the FA's at NWA I believe a more appropriate word is APATHETCI!

Do you blame the NWA FA's? A 40%paycut while the CEO rakes in a $26,600,000.00 package coming out of bankruptcy and over 400 execs are getting about $995,000.00 upon exiting bankruptcy? At whose expense too? THE EMPLOYEES of NORTHWORST AIRLINE.

YOu are seeing as huge decline in service because:

1) The gate agents at smaller stations such as Duluth have all been outsourced. Your new and improved gate agents work for a independent contractor and have nothing invested in NWA.

2) Your inflight service experience has declined because the FA's are quitting on average of 75-80 per month. The most junior FA's as they have been jerked around the most. Many stories abound of FA's walking off the plane full of passengers stating "I QUIT". Many FA's showing up for work and simply turning around and going home leaving a flight with less than minimum crew. Many commuting FA's bidding a trip with a layover in their home city and never showing up again. It is sad that in situations as these passengers are no longer just that, a passenger, but a pawn.

3) Captains are most likely slowing down flights to make a little extra time. Seems every flight runs late these days. No proof here but a possibility.

4) The managament at NWA does not care about it's employees so why should its employees care about them let alone the passenger. Trickle down effect. Get used to it.

5) No pillows or free food.

Why do you fly NWA where Northwest begins with N.O. ?

I'll tell you why. You wnat the cheapest fare with the mjost direct route so you just put up with it. Get use to the surly FA because they do not care anymore and can you blame them??

Anonymous said...

All this while the top execs reward themselves for their gifted management skills! This style of management has become commonplace across the United States today...when will the hot air come out of the management balloon?

Anonymous said...

the stock price is so low because all the common stock will soon be worthless as the company emerges from bankruptcy.

The flight attendants have a right to be angry. They (and other NW employees) took 40% paycuts, supposedly necessary to keep the company in business. Now the executives have awarded themselves $400 million, the CEO alone got $26 million. Basically all money taken the employees.

Not bad for driving a company into bankruptcy, hiring a bunch of lawyers to take you by the hand through the bankruptcy process, and then taking the credit for such a great job.

Anonymous said...

The current stock price that you are quoting is NWAC which is in Bankruptcy. When the company exists BK the new stock will not be trading at $0.15.

As far as the complaining crew members -- its a shame that they have chosen to express themselves in front of customers, but given that they have given up 40% of their pay while their executives are taking home millions in bonuses they have every right to be unhappy.

You can rest assured however that if you are ever in a situation where you must depend on these crew members for your survival, you will be impressed and forgive their lack of discretion in the gate are.

Ian said...

They've put up with years of abusive treatment from NWA management. They earn less now than they did 10 years ago. It doesn't surprise me that the quality of service has dropped and they are now openly complaining.

Barry Dahl said...

Yes, I agree that this falls at the feet of management. A good friend is a flight attendant with NWA and she and her co-workers do have my sympathy ... not that its worth anything to them. My brother-in-law is also a 20-year pilot with another "major" airline who has lost over 60% of his pay in the past five years, and after mergers now has people with two years of flight experience listed higher than him on the seniority list.

Most of the US airlines are completely mismanaged. I've flown several Asian airlines during the past year (Cathay in particular) and had a completely different (pleasant) experience, so I know that it can be done even in today's economy.

Anonymous said...

I have little sympathy for the flight attendants. As a flier with over 1,500,000 miles on NWA, I am tired of hearing them complain about their jobs and customers. They are one of the rudest groups of people I have ever met. Ever since 9/11 they have been given free-reign on how they can talk to customers, with little repercussions.

Yes the pay cuts are terrible, but the days are over when anyone can depend upon one company or industry as a life time career. It's time for this bitter group of workers to find a job they like - in the long run they are only hurting themselves by staying.