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star Jul 18, 03 8:58 am

Customer Service Crock...
I tried to book a flight on Northwest's website for the second time in four months - unsuccessfully. Each time I get through the entire process and when it says 'confirm' (for the last time) the page opens to read 'fight full, choose another'. Then it includes the flights I already tried to choose in the new options. ??? So, each time I have then called NWA's 800 number and managed to book the EXACT SAME FLIGHTS over the phone. OK, so I got the flight, but I thought I should be a good citizen and notify NWA of the problems with their website. The first answer I receive gives me airline-speak for 'you didn't know what you were doing'. Pissed off - I wrote again and received the same basic nano-speach as the first time telling me that flight status can change even while I'm trying to book over the web, blah, blah, blah... I've told them - twice - that if the flight status changed to 'full' then I shouldn't have been able to book it, for a cheaper price no less, over the phone. And, all legs of the flight are still listed as available on their website today. I guess, quite mistakenly, I thought I would be doing them a favor and they would check their website for errors, but each letter gave me a virtual pat-on-the-head, go-out-and-play-now kind of attitude.
I will choose Northwest as a last resort from now on!


travelnick Jul 18, 03 10:20 am

Sorry to hear that Star. I've never once had the problem you've mentioned and I've booked 50+ flights over the last couple of years on Maybe I've been lucky, who knows. It sounds like myabe an oversold capability or something. Could it be the route, was it the same route you had a problem with before? Yeah, sometimes customer service/support is of no use. Did you try emailing their web technical support?

AviationFan Jul 18, 03 12:01 pm


I think I know what you mean. While I have very rarely had any trouble with Northwest's web site, I ran across a couple of other glitches in the system. In those cases, I did a little research to see what exactly the problem was, how to work around it, and (as a byproduct) how it could maybe get fixed by Northwest. It can be demotivating to not find anybody to listen to your input and take it seriously - but that seems to be a problem common to all large corporations. They probably get so much "feedback" of questionable value that a really good comment every now and then (like the one you tried to submit) totally disappears in the noise. It's not nice, but that's how it is.

With all that said, I believe Northwest was (and still is) praised industry wide for having one of the best internet sites out there. Your experience was bad, but maybe you should give them another chance sometime - you might find out that it was really just a rare glitch.

- Martin

d56auction Jul 18, 03 2:42 pm

My experience with the on the phone customer service folks is that, although they are very nice and usually helpful, I get the impression that they aren't particularly well schooled with the operation of the website and there is certainly inconsistency with what I see at the website and what may or may not be available when talking to an agent regarding fares or availability.

jimc_usa Jul 20, 03 7:14 am

I have had better luck emailing the webmaster

star Jul 20, 03 8:15 am

Thanks everyone for your replies. I will try those suggestions.


tc fly girl Jul 20, 03 7:44 pm

the only trouble I have ever had booking on (and i've booked nearly a hundred flights) is when I try to build a flight with multi cities and I choose the times.
Even if they appear to work, connection-wise, an error comes back and says there are no available flights.
the last time I did this, I called and got the flights I wanted and later figured out what I had done wrong.
Perhaps you experienced a similar glitch.
I would have understood what I did wrong if the error code was more accurate like:
try different times, these don't work, dummy!
The web site is the best! I find it easy to make reservations and easy to navigate in general. Don't give up.

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