I don’t really have time for this tonight, but I kind of have to rant.
While it wasn’t unexpected, I’m still kind of annoyed–well, ticked, really–about the Northwest/Delta merger, both for rational and irrational reasons. While the Atlanta and Detroit hubs are likely safe from any service cuts, there’s definitely a potential for service reductions at MSP. While it’s unlikely MSP will lose its hub status, a reduction in overall flights, especially direct flights, seems likely regardless of whatever PR is currently being spewed from either company. It wouldn’t be surprising for us to see a cut in international flights as well, with more emphasis being put in the Detroit and Atlanta hubs for those kinds of services.
The fact that we can fly direct pretty much anywhere in the United States is one of the great privileges of living in the Twin Cities, and without that we’re one step closer to being the proverbial cold Omaha. (Or St. Louis after the TWA/AA merger, for that matter.) And, really, if NWA has to merge with someone, couldn’t they go with an airline that at least knows a little about customer service? Continental, perhaps? Nooo, we have to get stuck with Detla.
I’m still a bit ticked about my last Delta experience, which included disabled airplanes, parts being flown to the Twin Cities from Atlanta, a late arrival for a connection in Cincinnati, zero help from staff in finding alternate flights, a connection from hell at Hartsfield and a skanky, stick-floored Delta-booked hotel room in Tennessee. Delta fucked over my trip in enough ways that I decided to take a ten-year break from them, about five of which are still remaining, but it looks like I may soon have no choice.
That said, I can’t by any means say that my history with Northwest has been pleasant. Decrepit planes, poor customer service, comparatively high prices… I don’t think I’ve had a single NWA trip in the past decade that didn’t have some element of stupidity attached to it. We all know Northwest is one disheveled mess of an airline, but you know what? It’s our mess of an airline, that weird, slightly psychotic member of our Minnesota family we still care about even though it hasn’t been nice to us in a long, long time. Northwest has been here since the 1920s, and now we’re faced with the prospect of our “hometown airline” being based in… Atlanta.
Since I seem to be in the “irrational reason” category now, so you know what else? Delta’s airplanes are ugly. UGLY. Seriously, NO WHITE AIRPLANES. Yes, NWA discarded one of aviation’s greatest logos with the newest design, but overall the look of their planes still kicks Delta’s Wonderbread ass.
So, in whole, less service, more transfers, and uglier airplanes. Lose, lose, lose.