There are plenty of milestones in any airline merger, but for me, the Delta/Northwest merger just passed some major ones. I now consider Northwest to be dead, and as a passenger, you should too.
So what exactly happened? First of all, nwa.com has now officially been decommissioned. This was the last view of the site before it was shut down early Sunday morning.
If it were as simple as just shutting down a website, Delta would have done this long ago. But when you shut down the site, there are a lot of other pieces that need to fall into place. First of all, Northwest and Delta reservations are now housed on a single system. So (thankfully) no more mixing of Northwest and Delta confirmation numbers for the same reservation.
Also, the famed NW code is toast. If you’ve seen both Northwest and Delta flight numbers for your flights in the past, you won’t anymore. It’s all Delta, all the time. Before nwa.com died, I looked up flight information to see what Northwest flights were planning to operate between LA and Minneapolis on Sunday.
Yep, none. There is no longer such a thing as a Northwest flight. But wait, there’s more.
Along with these changes comes the end of the Northwest call sign. If you listen to Channel 9 on United, you will never hear a pilot call out a Northwest flight number again. They’ll all be using Delta from now. Also, if you use FlightAware or other flight tracking sites, you’ll need to look for Delta flights.
If you had a Northwest confirmation number for an upcoming flight, you’ll want to go make sure you have the Delta one now. And even if you were booked on Delta, it’s worth going back in to double check your flight number. There have been a lot of changes lately as the airline struggled to squeeze all those flights into the finite range of numbers.
So that’s that. Goodbye, Northwest. Your time is up.
What really impresses me is how quickly DL has been repainting the fleet.
Dear Delta, Please bring back the operational procedure of allowing the DC-9s to back up from the gate using thrust reverse like it used to be. Sure it’s more expensive and causes hearing loss for half of the ramp crew. But seeing a plane back up on its’ own is cool enough to be worth it to me. Thank you.
Having grown up in Michigan, I have a love/hate relationship with Northwest. I had to fly them often out of necessity because of their hub in DTW. NW holds a special place in my heart because part of their legacy is my favorite airline, North Central. I have fond memories of flying in the NC Convair 560’s from FNT to DTW back in the late 70’s/early 80’s.
Having just traveled to two airports in Florida, then Chicago and New York the past two weeks I’ve noticed much of the signage was now “DELTA / NORTHWEST” – (as they’ve consolidated signs.)
I’m guessing now airport staff will have to return and cover up the/take down all Northwest parls of their recently consolidated signage.
Bryan I’m a former Michigander too and it was always a toss up between driving to DTW or taking the 35 minute GRR-DTW NW flights…
Way back when I was young and writing to airline offices for pictures of their airplanes, I wrote to the folks at NW. About three weeks later I (actually my Mom) had to go the post office to pick up a package. It was a mailing tube from NW and it was filled with posters of their DC-6B, DC-7C, Boeing 720, and DC-8. Ever since that day and even working next to the NW gates in PDX, the airline has had a soft spot in my heart.
Sadly, it’s Delta.com that should have been decommissioned. The nwa.com website was FAR more functional…
Awww, will always fondly remember watching those silvery 747s and DC-10s trundling down the runway of LGW when I was a kid, emblazoned Northwest Orient as was then (always thought the name sounded rather exotic). Are you planning to do an “In Memoriam” post?
It’s a sad time in snowy MSP…for all it’s faults, NW was still a great place to work (several years ago) and has served us well as a hometown airline. Gary is right…NWA.com was far superior to delta.com…and I have to say that I’m finding it much more difficult to find award tickets on DL. For example, a flight to Singapore is 120k every day for the rest of the year, where in the past it was easy to get it for 60k, nearly year-round. CF, while you are saying goodbye to NW, I’m seriously considering saying goodbye to DL as well and am looking to switch my allegiance to CO/UA.
Count me in the camp that thinks that NWA.com was far superior to what Delta.com is. I’m sure there was politics involved with the IT dept’s over that one.
As a MSP local I’ve written my memoirs and memories on this and other blogs. No need to repeat myself. But similar to what JF mentioned, my allegiance to an airline just isn’t what it used to be when they were truly “local.”
Never say never, some start-up could always try to take the NW call-sign in the future (think Pan Am, it never seems to die!)
Re IT — Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe NW’s head of IT is now the head of IT at Delta. Even if nwa.com was better, I’m guessing for integration reasons it made more sense to keep the Delta infrastructure but I bet you’ll see whatever worked best at NW get pushed over to Delta in the next year or two now that the integration is mostly behind them.
the red tails….gone but not forgotten….
not exactly dead….or else why would the widget POINT to the NW???? on all the delta jets….
(warning: ridiculous emotional rambling about an airline ahead)
I too had a real fondness for NWA as an airline. Until a year ago, I lived in tiny-air-market Madison, WI, where NWA was the only major airline that provided mainline service and didn’t use RJs for most flights — up until I moved, I could still catch an A320 or A319 from MSN to DTW or MSP, on a half dozen flights a day, while UA, CO, etc. were all flying EMB or CRJ tin cans and cutting flights. I flew frequently for work, and personally, and just the comfort of getting on a real plane despite living near such a small airport always endeared me to NWA.
…As I was growing up, my dad travelled extensively for work — hundreds of thousands of miles a year, much of it to Europe. He flew NWA exclusively, and they always got him home to us safely. I don’t think I paid for an airline ticket once in my life until I was in my late 20s, he had so many award miles for us to use.
…Then, of course, there was that lovely moment two years ago when I made the silly and delirious decision to fall in love with someone in California, and for a year before we met in the middle and moved to Colorado, I flew from MSN to SFO to see her at least every other weekend. All of those flights (except one) were on NWA. Not one bump or cancellation and only a handful of minor delays. I still remember, sleepy and depressed from having to leave my sweetheart for another two weeks, stepping on the final leg of my journey home from MSP to MSN at 10 at night, and having a flight attendant recognize me and say, “You again? Welcome back!” with a smile. Surrounded by hard-core business fliers, and me with my weekend backpack and blue jeans, I felt like a king.
Thanks, NWA. I’ll miss you.
Sad to see the Northwest Airlines brand name go away. Even sadder (more like frustrated) to have to now use delta.dumb.
Sure they had their issues, but Northwest took good care of me. It was good to talk to real midwestern valued people when a problem did come up. And the more I flew, they took VERY VERY good care of me.
I’m giving Delta a chance, but they have to get their mindset and technology out of the “old South” and be honest when saying they will take “best of both” airlines. So far the loyalty program is far from that, but inflight is an improvement.
Daren S wrote:
I’ll do it at the end of the year as I usually do.
I think you’re right on. I liked nwa.com a lot even though Northwest was far from my favorite airline. They’ll keep what they can, but ultimately, they had to get all their different systems to talk and this one worked best with the others.
Brian Lusk wrote:
I agree that nwa.com was a better web site, but at least in one aspect the transition was an improvement: Northwest eCerts were converted into Delta eCerts, which have more generous terms and conditions.
I used to fly NWA a lot, and not so much Delta, but I have to agree that the nwa.com site was better and more intuitive than the Delta site. I guess it’s no use complaining now, since we’re all stuck with delta.com for the forseeable future!
This has really bummed me out, and frustrated me. I emailed Delta on Monday and complained about how difficult it was to get the search results I wanted on delta.com and explaining that this is the main reason I had continued to use nwa.com up until the very end. The response from the airline was two-part. First, directions on how to locate the flight schedule; and second, directions on how to use “full search options” for reservations. I feel like no one even read my message! I’ve decided to use Kayak to find what I’m looking for and book it at Orbitz if need be for the foreseeable future. I have come to understand from a friend of mine that works for Delta (formerly NW) that there is a pervasive mentality that causes shock and horror to everyone when anyone suggests that a product or process is possibly less than 100% perfect. So, I’m not holding my breath that they’ll adopt the good parts of nwa.com any time soon.
rip NWA. you were awesome! I hope that the good of you gets passed onto Delta – for they need it desperately!
I flew NW only once LGA – MSP a few years ago. The flights were uneventful but, did notice just how little legroom NW jets had at that time. Joan my travel agent use to call them Northworst Airlines after numerous complaints dealing with them.
I’ve heard from NW (now DL) staff that the original plan was to have nwa.com as the customer interface. There were other NW systems that would have had to be used in conjunction with it that couldn’t handle the combined NW and DL systems. I’m told that their plan is to move some of the nwa.com functionality over to delta.com. We’ll see how/if/when that happens though.
Interesting that many of the NW flights got a Delta code only now — for example, half the NRT operation was still missing from the January Delta timetable, but it’s all there for February.
Additionally, various KLM flights that up till January were Northwest codeshares only, now appear in the Delta timetable as Delta codeshares, though it looks like the range of KLM codeshare flight numbers has actually shrunk. And Northwest is also gone from the list of Delta Connection and codeshare carriers at the beginning of the timetable.
@ Dan Webb:
Nice catch @DanWebb! I’ve been back in MPLS for a bit now and I’ve noticed that more often than not there are more Delta painted planes parked out by 494 than old NWA ones.
I’ve never understood why people capitalize an abbreviation for Minneapolis, “Mpls.” It’s not an acronym.
Do you know anything about why Delta will now automatically re-route people who book flights through other hubs through Atlanta instead without their consent even when the original flights booked are still available? I’ve heard about this ALOT lately and am wondering where they think they get off changing people’s reservations. Do you know of any way to stop this from happening because I hate Atlanta and I’d rather continue to fly through Memphis like I did with NW but I’m afraid to book because of what I’ve heard.
I’ve heard about this a couple times, but I really have no idea why they’d do that. It’s one thing if there are schedule changes and they have to rebook you, but it’s a whole different story if they’re just doing it for kicks. If that happens, you can call Delta and they should put you back on the original flight.
My #1 reason for being a Elite customer with NWA was that I’d rather fly MEM, MSP, or DTW than deal with the headaches from ORD, DFW, or ATL. I live smack dab in the center of the US so these worked great going east. I don’t mind DEN at all and fly United going west. Wish that Delta had a better option going west besides a Regional Jet to SLC.
The day that Delta starts cutting my flight options from the first 3 listed above is the day I go back to United or AA.
The writer has it backwards, deltworst airlines is a disgrace, but Northwest was simply the best. I’ll never fly on that southern piece of crap airline, and look forward to the day when deltworst is out of business. Northwest, you will forever live on as the single best airline in history.
As the son of a NWA mechanic/flight engineer from the 1946-66 years, I fondly remember going with my younger brother and my dad, Victor “Slim” LaMay, down to the old NWA hanger (no longer existing) at the Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, to climb into DC-6B’s, DC-7C’s, DC-4’s and Stratocruiser’s that were hangared for maintence back in the ’50’s. I grew up a NWA brat and loved those years. I am now in my mid-60’s but have a collection of NWA books and documents from those years in my home office.
My oldest niece was a NWA flight attendant for nearly 15 years and is now the same for Delta. I share information on NWA history and stories about her grandfather during his time with the airline. Though she’s with Delta now, she will always be a NWA flight attendant at heart. One of my greatest thrills growing up was being a passenger on a DC-7C flight where my Dad was the Engineer. This was in July of ’63 and the trip took us from Minneapolis to New York. During the flight one of our flight attendants (Stewardess’s in those days) told me that my Dad wanted to see me in the cockpit. I was 16 at the time but what a thrill to open the cockpit door (Yes, you could do those things back then) and have Dad flip down the jump seat and hand me my own headset. What a thrill. I flew the rest of the trip in the cockpit until we started our initial decent into N.Y.
Dad passed on in the late 80’s but this great memory or our time together will always be with me.
I hate Delta, They just can never live up to the legacy of Northwest
I worked got Northwest back in the 80s and 90s, worst company to work for. Upper management allowed harassment turning a blind eye to everything. Good riddance nwa