Northwest Airlines Customer Service lacks Customer Service

Mortgage and Lending with Waterstone Mortgage Corporation

Recently, I traveled on Northwest Airlines to Washington, DC for a 30th high school reunion.  The night before I traveled, I called about getting exit row seats as I am tall (5'9") and my back has problems occasionally that are aggravated by the cramped seats in the other rows.  The gentleman I spoke with told me that I had to do it online, which I did, and I was charged $45 ($20 for one flight that lasted about 50 minutes, and $25 for a longer flight, about 1-1/2 hours).  However, on BOTH FLIGHTS, there were seats available in the exit rows that weren't taken.  The flight attendants watched as other passengers, who were not assigned these seats nor had paid for them, took them.  I then emailed Northwest when I got home as I felt that I should be refunded the money since other passengers got the same exact seats that I had paid for with no additional charge being incurred by them.

I received the following from Northwest and thought I would take a moment to share it with you as I know many of you do a lot of traveling.  I would suggest that you fly on airlines other than Northwest that do still have good customer service, ie: Continental or Southwest Airlines.  In fact, on the flight itself, I sat next to someone who told me that he was only on the Northwest flight because he had to get home and it was the only one available and that their lack of customer service was the reason he hadn't traveled on Northwest in over 2 years - and he logs about 50,000 air miles a year, he stated!


NW/KL Passenger Refund Form:


I reserved an Exit Row Seat on this flight and on the next one, Flight #1642 from MEM to DCA. I paid $20 for one leg and $25 for the other leg for an exit row. When we were on the plane, there were some exit row seats that were not taken and other passengers used them. I feel that I should NOT have to pay for something that others got for free and would like a refund of the $45 I paid! The stewardess on each flight saw the people move and never had them move out of them. I feel that because I was able, willing and ready to provide emergency help to your other passengers, I should not have had to pay for that SINCE OTHERS GOT THE SAME THING FOR FREE.

I would like to hear back from someone asap at Sue Botelho


From: Northwest Airlines []

Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 5:57 PM

To: Sue Botelho

Subject: Re: PR-Other: (KMM19133233V7905L0KM) Dear Ms. Botelho,

RE: Case Number 6639069

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding your recent travel with us. On behalf of everyone at Northwest Airlines, I am sorry for your disappointment with the fee you had to pay for the seat fee when others sat in the seats without paying the fee.

We offer customers the opportunity to purchase Coach Choice seats on select flights when using self-service check-in within 24 hours of scheduled flight departure time. The program offers choice seats for a minimal fee, based on distance traveled and seat location. I am sorry other passengers moved into these seats who had not paid for them.

However, you paid the correct fee for the seats you sat in and I must respectfully decline your request for a refund.

As our WorldPerks member, your business is important to us and given the opportunity of serving you in the future, I am confident Northwest will not only meet but exceed your expectations.


Sarah Sanders

Customer Care

Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines


Please cancel my WorldPerks account. I will no longer be traveling on Northwest. We have had new airlines come to our airport and it won't be necessary to give my business to someone who would charge one client and not another FOR THE EXACT SAME SERVICE. Thank you.

Sue Botelho


Dear Ms. Botelho,


RE: Case Number 6639069


Thank you for writing and allowing me the opportunity to further review your concerns. I am sorry you were dissatisfied with my first response.


I understand you feel I have not adequately addressed your concerns.

Please know that I thoroughly reviewed your correspondence and unfortunately, there is nothing more I can add. I am truly sorry to disappoint you, as I understand this was not the answer you were expecting.


Again, I apologize. Your support is important to Northwest and I thank you for your additional time and effort. We look forward to the privilege of serving your air travel needs again soon.




Sarah Sanders

Customer Care

Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines




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Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I think poor customer service is industry wide. My last few trips were horrible.

Dec 16, 2008 09:18 PM #1

Typical of NWA - they've had such a lock on the market out of MSP that really didn't care.  Now that the merger is going through - they could care less - if that was ever possible.

Jan 09, 2009 01:05 PM #2
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

There is a reason their nickname is "northworst".  Having lived in Detroit where of course they have a lock on routes I was often forced to fly them.  They certainly aren't on my speed dial anymore.

Jan 13, 2009 02:40 PM #3
Bob Moore

I have also had bad customer service experiences with NorthWorst in July 2009 when they quoted me one fee for r/t fare and charged me double. Got the same old run-around as above, e-mailed twice to Customer service dept. and lastly to Mr. Andersen (CEO) of NWA. They refused to reimburse me for double charging my visa card.  I have been polite and courteous  in my e-mails & no threats made. They stand by their guns it seems. THE CUSTOMER IS WRONG AND NWA IS RIGHT!!! By golly that is why they are number 1 in customer satisfaction I suppose. I've filed a dispute with my credit card co. but I doubt that I will win this either. So who do you turn to??? The attorney general?? The better buisness bureau?? Ralph Nader??? I guess I'll have to eat this one but you can bet your you know what I will NEVER fly NWA or Delta (now that they have merged) and I have let them know this too. I have used NWA for 8 years now flying back & forth to Minneapolis. Not any more tho! They can kiss my &*%.

Aug 24, 2009 11:17 PM #4
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Sue Botelho

USDA Rural Housing Mortgage Pro

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