Northwest Airlines Canceles 240 Flights, Acts All Mysterious About It

Northwest Airlines canceled a ton of flights over the weekend but aren’t talking about why, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The pilots union on Monday blamed Northwest management for causing many of the cancellations because, the union argues, there aren’t enough pilots scheduled to fly the busy summer schedule.

The pilots union claimed that at least 240 flights were canceled. The airline blamed the weather and declined to say how many flights were canceled. According to the Chronicle, they declined to say whether the spike in cancellations would “persist.” Mysterious!

Northwest hits turbulent patch [Houston Chronicle]
(Photo: Drewski2112)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Lewis says:

    [I]The airline blamed the weather and delicious to say how many flights were canceled. [/I]

    Mmm. Delicious.

  2. jblake1 says:

    Anything they say publicly will be seized upon by the pilots union and used against them the next go around over contracts and hiring. They aren’t going to fess up the real reason (non enough crews to fly the schedule/pilots running out of time).

  3. faust1200 says:

    It is accurate. ‘Delicious’ is NWA’s new Transgendered Transportation Transsexual Trainee. It’s one of those quota things.

  4. Ray Wert Jr says:

    @LewisNYC: My thoughts exactly.

    Consumerist, thats a tasty beverage ya got there.

  5. TPIRman says:

    Best. Consumerist typo. Ever.


  6. MasterShake says:

    both my flight to Detroit and my flight back to Washington were canceled due to “not enough crew”. would have been nice if they’d made that determination before i got the airport.

  7. tvh2k says:

    “delicious to say” — my new favorite expression!

  8. skittlbrau says:

    all i know is that nwa better get me to my friend’s wedding this weekend.

  9. troymcclure1 says:

    i work for NWA, and had heard on Saturday that the pilots were planning a ________ (cant call it a work action, now can we). I think that this type of thing will become more common. As a airline crew member, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We work 14 hour days, get paid for 6 of it, and are constantly rescheduled. If you figure all the time we spend each day, and what we get paid, then mcdonalds pays more! so the next time you are boarding a plane, remember, NONE of the crew is getting paid. when it takes 60 mintues to board/deplane, NONE of the crew is getting paid. we are only paid from block out, to block in. From when the plane leaves to when it arrives. nothing more. and then you wonder why the pilots are reticent to bring the planes back to the gate. Instead they keep the plane and all the pax out on the runway. – its because they dont want to go back and NOT GET PAID to sit around. at least if they are on the tarmac, they get paid something. The crews dont get paid while they sit in crappy hotels, they dont get paid when they have to fly to the different cities to start a trip. They dont get paid, but are required to show up 2hours BEFORE the flight even leaves. Some on reserve, sit around for days, not getting paid, just so that someone is there to replace a sick coworker.- so get ready for more of this from ALL airlines. THe workers are just burned out; while the executives walk away with millions. So until the execs can actually fly a plane. We all are at the mercy of underpaid pilots.

  10. othium says:

    The other typo would be “Canceles” –


    I’m not a spelling whiz myself, but I can use the spelling correcter add-on in Firefox to help minimize them.

  11. uchikowasu says:

    I had a flight at 6AM Monday, June 25 cancelled. From the information of a fellow passenger, it was cancelled some time on Friday. I only found out because I was attempting to check in on Sunday afternoon. They did not call either contact telephone number nor did they e-mail. I was lucky to get standby at 9AM. The gate agent was a little ‘miffed’ with his employer. He told all of us what was wrong, not enough pilots.

  12. troymcclure1 says:

    Notice even NWA’s offical release does not mention pilot shortages: NWA Statement Regarding Flight Cancellations
    In recent weeks, severe weather has disrupted air service across the East Coast and Midwest for a number of airlines, including Northwest. As a result, the weather and related air traffic control restrictions have disrupted Northwest’s scheduled operations, causing increased crew duty time and the inability to consistently position aircraft and crews as needed.

    The recent severe weather events have caused Northwest to experience crew shortages, which have resulted in some flight cancellations. Northwest is working to correct the situation.

    Northwest is taking steps to address the situation including:

    1. Relaxing travel restrictions to help ensure flight reaccomodation as quickly as possible
    2. Proactively cancelling flights well in advance to allow adequate time to rebook
    3. Increased use of Northwest’s Automated Flight Rebooking (AFR) system to help ensure quick reaccomodation
    4. Increasing reservations and airport staffing to assist customers with their flights.
    5. Contacting customers regarding the status of their flights including:

    * Extensive use of the airline’s automated notification system, which alerts customers to a change in their travel plans and when possible, automatically provides new flight information.

    * Aggressively promoting recently improved technology to notify customers by email and PDA of any flight schedule change.

    As always, Northwest is advising customers to check the status of their flights at Through, customers can also take advantage of the airline’s convenient “My NWA Info” flight status notification options, which provide customers with current flight information. Flight status updates are also available through Northwest’s toll-free automated flight information line at 1-800-441-1818.

    Northwest sincerely apologizes to its customers for the inconvenience this issue has caused.

  13. phoneloser says:

    For today (26.June.07):

    Systemwide cancellatons due to lack of crews: 181

    Passengers affected: 12,522

    Passengers “lost*”: 4,980

    * Lost passengers include anyone not reaccomodated on NWA flights

    My station tomorrow has 4 flights canceled, for a total of 408 affected pax.

  14. odoketa says:

    My personal favourite? After they effectively cancelled my holiday weekend in DC, I called customer service, where a recorded voice told me ‘due to higher than expected call volumes, we can’t answer your call. Please try again later.’ All menu items led to the same place – a dead end. Not only can we not fly, we can’t even complain!

  15. Buran says:

    @troymcclure1: No, we aren’t. We take Southwest. The airline, that, you know, actually turns a profit because it’s not run by idiots.

  16. cabinaero says:

    @troymcclure1: Speaking as a sympathetic union member (GCIU), this is why I try to shop around by which ariline has shat upon its unions the least. Getting more and more difficult, though

  17. bnissan97 says:

    I read and sympathize with TROYMCCLURE1

    What I don’t understand is why when it comes up for contract negotiations with the unions this sort of thing is not rectified and made better?

    TROYMCCLURE1 quoted “while the executives walk away with millions.” Why doesn’t they union say, ‘Your gonna have to give us some of your millions” and not back down?