52 States in 8 Months

How Delta/NWA became my favorite airline

Posted in St. Louis and Columbus by Ulf on June 21, 2009

250px-Northwest_Airlines_Logo.svgYou might remember that I don’t like Frontier Airlines. Here comes a better story! On my way from Philly to St. Louis I decided to go by NWA. They have a hub in Detroit, Michigan. Therefore I had to go from Philly to Detroit and then from Detroit to St. Louis.

Jun 09, NW1765, Philadelphia -> Detroit, Departure 9:17am, Arrival 11:08am.
Jun 09, NW1681, Detroit -> St. Louis, Departure 12:05pm, Arrival 12:46pm.

Unfortunately there was a thunderstorm over Philly, so all planes where grounded. This included not only NW1765, but also the flight NW1775 which was supposed to leave Philly early in the morning:

Jun 09, NW1775, Philadelphia -> Detroit, Departure 7:20am, Arrival 9:17am.

Now,bild9794 how did NWA become my favorite airline? When it became apparent that NW1765 wouldn’t make it to Detroit in time for my connection flight, they booked me into NW1775. And I didn’t even have to ask for it, they proposed this! That was really a nice service! But that’s not the end of the story: After the thunderstorm was over, a large number of planes wanted to depart from Philly airport. We spent about 30 minutes on the taxiway. The result was that NW1775 arrived in Detroit at 12:10pm, almost three hours late.

bild9796But you know what? NWA is a nice airline! While we were taxi’ing in Detroit, I noticed that NW1681 was still at the gate (although it was scheduled to depart at 12:05pm). The machine really waited for us (or maybe even for me alone). All passengers were already seated, the overhead bins were closed, but the gangway was still open! So the end of the story is: We arrived in St. Louis at about 12:50pm, perfectly in time!
Thank you, Delta/NWA!

A short note on the DC-9 planes they’re using: They’re really quiet since the engines are tail-mounted, but the intercom system is rather strange. Both on NW1775 and on NW1681 I could understand the captain very well, but whenever the cabin crew made an announcement, there was almost pure static coming out of the speakers…

Edit: Andi, I remember that you once got a free upgrade to first class. Seems like I’m not the only one who likes NWA’s great service :-).


My last domestic trip

Posted in St. Louis and Columbus by Ulf on June 18, 2009

I’ve just finished my last domestic trip through the United States. I attended the 2009 American Control Conference in St. Louis, where I published my first paper :-). On my way back I visited some relatives in Columbus, Ohio. I have a lot of stories to tell, but at this point I’ll only mention two new states:

On my way to St. Louis I took the plane, and since the direct connection was awfully expensive I decided to take a flight from Philly to Detroit and from Detroit to St. Louis. Side effect: I’ve been to Michigan now! But I have only been in Michigan for less than a minute since my flight was late. Missouri itself is also green now, but I had seen it from a plane before, therefore Missouri doesn’t really count.


My overall state counter is now at 55 states in 7 months and 17 days. Mission successful, I can return to Germany next week!