Are you voting for NW in the Freddies?

 
Old Jan 23, 08, 12:10 am
  #1  
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Thumbs up Are you voting for NW in the Freddies?

NW got a lot of my votes this year.

They didn't get my vote on the Best Award (Cash & Miles didn't do it for me) - I just didn't vote for anyone on this one - no one really had any good promos this year (at least out of the airlines listed that I fly).

Although UA's Fly 3 promo was a great promo earlier in 2007, I did give NW the vote with Elite ExtraPerks - it wasn't a great promo unless you were doing a lot of miles, but it was a step in the right direction & much appreciated (though I didn't really reap too many benefits - 2,500 EQM for 2008 & a Silver Elite give away to a coworker who wasn't requalifying). If UA runs another Fly 3 in '08, I'd probably vote for it. Biz travel will be down in 2008 due to the economy hitting a slump - I'm hoping that there will be a lot more promos (although I'd rather have a booming economy, of course).

The best affinity card went to SPG for me - NW's card is good, but Amex is my favorite card issuer & the SPG points are just so flexible, I'd be suprised if SPG ever loses this category amongst the FT population.

NW got the best Newsletter from me - I like the fact that it's mostly electronic (though I got a nice calendar from them this year that's now hanging in my coworker's office) - UA still sends me an outdated newsletter via snailmail which is a waste of paper, IMHO. NW's emails are sufficient & to the point and can be read & saved/deleted if need be. UA's paper newsletters are just not necessary. BA, AA, F9, and DL send me e-Statements, but I rarely, if ever, read those.

NW, IMHO, has the best website - anyone who's ever used United.bomb or Crapinental.com will probably agree. NW's range of wireless functionality is great as well. The best WAP site also! (they should have a category for this too).

As far as Best Elite Program - NW won this one for me too...I'm a NW Plat, BA Silver, UA PremEx, and AirTran lifetime (thanks, FT!) - and NW just has great people working for it. UA still treats me like crap. Everyone I know who flies UA (I live in the DC area & UA's the preferred provider for my company) talks about how great UA is as a 1K - well, maybe if you're giving them 100,000 miles a year, they'll treat you well - but as someone who's been 2 years as a Premier & 2 years as a PremEx, during which time I've been 1 year as a NW Silver, 1 year as NW Gold, and on my 3rd year as a NW Plat - let me tell you, NW mid-tiers get treated way better than UA midtiers. Unless you're a 1K on UA, I don't see why people would ever be loyal to that airline...

Best reward redemption went to UA for me - I hate to say it, but I as I still have to fly UA for work on occassion, I earn their miles. And their miles, whereas are harder to earn (25% bonus for Silver, 100% for Gold & have no idea about 1k), are easy to redeem out of DC. I've never had a problem getting a standard award - nor have I had a problem upgrading to a biz class fare on a reasonably priced ticket to Asia, or using miles book a biz class ticket to Asia. Granted, NW's biz class product is way superior to UA's current biz class product (though UA's new Biz class product does look comparable), UA miles can be redeemed pretty easily on partner airlines. That & the 15K award for travels under 750 miles is a good then when you're DC based & are having an on-again-off-again affair with a girl in TYS!

Best customer service? NW - no discussion needed. NW Scoop is great - Kristine Fitzgerald with NW baggage is amazing. The Elite line is hands-down the best elite line out of all the majors (I've only experienced UA, CO, NW, US, BA, and Air Tran as an elite member). The FA's are generally nice people (unlike the UA prison matrons). The lounge staff are generally really great - even at the larger clubs like DTW/MSP where they get a lot of customers. Hit up the IAD RCC's & you'll see some people who are just not friendly!

Best overall program? NW - they've done a lot to keep their loyal flyers loyal this year, so I'm happy to repay them with my loyalty by voting for them in the Freddies...
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Old Jan 23, 08, 12:30 am
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
NW got a lot of my votes this year.

NW, IMHO, has the best website - anyone who's ever used United.bomb or Crapinental.com will probably agree. NW's range of wireless functionality is great as well. The best WAP site also! (they should have a category for this too).

As far as Best Elite Program - NW won this one for me too...Unless you're a 1K on UA, I don't see why people would ever be loyal to that airline...

Best customer service? NW - no discussion needed. NW Scoop is great - Kristine Fitzgerald with NW baggage is amazing. The Elite line is hands-down the best elite line out of all the majors... The lounge staff are generally really great - even at the larger clubs like DTW/MSP where they get a lot of customers.

Best overall program? NW - they've done a lot to keep their loyal flyers loyal this year, so I'm happy to repay them with my loyalty by voting for them in the Freddies...
I fully agree with those points and also voted NW in those areas. (AS got mine for best award with the one ways & AA got mine for best newsletter & communications.)
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Old Jan 23, 08, 6:09 am
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Sorry, guess I am just too happy with NW. Voted straight
line for NW as best of everything. Now let me go back and
check I did'nt vote for them as favorite Hotel program as well
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Old Jan 23, 08, 8:42 am
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Elite Extra Perks were a step in the right direction, offering international upgrades finally.

NW's award redemption is subpar, definitely below any Star Alliance or oneworld carrier.

NW's elite program is good for domestic upgrades, and again elite extra perks is a step in the right direction, and I'd probably rather be a Northwest Gold than midtier with AA or UA. But for top tier, AA EXP and UA 1K have NW Plat beat hands down. UA 1Ks get 8 confirmed at booking domestic upgrades a year (2 per eqch quarter they fly 10k miles) *and* 6 systemwide upgrades which allow confirmed international upgrades from most fares. AA EXP's get unlimited complimentary domestic upgrades at their upgrade window and *8* confirmed upgrades valid internationally from any fare.

I had to knock UA on award redemption, though, for their filtering out otherwise-available Star Alliance awards (a simple search in the UA forum for 'starnet' will reveal tons here)... but they're still better for redemption than NW.

I used to like NW's website a lot relative to the competition. It's no longer legions ahead. Frankly didn't vote in this category, and didn't vote on member communication either.

Anyway, NW has some things going for it, but top tier elite isn't the best, and award redemption really does lag (both in terms of availability and number of miles required for international premium class awards).
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Old Jan 23, 08, 11:01 am
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Yes

Yes I Have
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Old Jan 23, 08, 1:03 pm
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And voting is open to everyone, so make you tally!
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Old Jan 23, 08, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by gleff View Post
NW has some things going for it, but top tier elite isn't the best, and award redemption really does lag (both in terms of availability and number of miles required for international premium class awards).
I disagree on awards, maybe because I don't include MSP in award travel I have it better than others, but on nwa.com last year I booked AS, DL and CO award flights using standard awards or mix of Pass & Standard. NW offers online award booking of CO, DL, AS & KL + all the others if you call. AA may have good domestic availability, but combining it's partners and great web site, I think NW tops everyone for awards. Being elite does make a difference though.
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Old Jan 23, 08, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by gleff View Post
But for top tier, AA EXP and UA 1K have NW Plat beat hands down. UA 1Ks get 8 confirmed at booking domestic upgrades a year (2 per eqch quarter they fly 10k miles) *and* 6 systemwide upgrades which allow confirmed international upgrades from most fares.
Admittedly, I don't know much about UA and AA's elite programs, but wouldn't a NW Plat get a whole lot more domestic upgrades than even top-tier UA and AA because of the required 500-milers? As a NW Plat, upgrade percentages can be very, very high (nearing 100%), but having to burn certificates (say up to 8 on a transcon) would seem to severly undercut the number of upgrades if you wished to upgrade every single flight, as you can on NW. I guess I just don't see the allure of being top-tier elite on UA or AA when nearly all of your flying is domestic (as mine is). An explanation of UA or AA's programs, relative to NW, regarding upgrades might help me. For example, I guess, is there *any* way to sit up front on UA if you don't want to burn the certificates (like a gate upgrade)? If there isn't, I just really must be missing the allure!
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Old Jan 23, 08, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by DCAflyer81 View Post
Admittedly, I don't know much about UA and AA's elite programs, but wouldn't a NW Plat get a whole lot more domestic upgrades than even top-tier UA and AA because of the required 500-milers?
No. AA doesn't require EXP's to use 500-milers.

UA does, but they also give enough confirmed at booking (total of 14 a year!) in addition to 500-milers that most 1Ks are up front most of the time, complimentary, without purchasing additional 500-milers.

Although there is some potential tradeoff with UA between sitting upfront domestically (where NW has the edge, though I'll take UA's onboard product over NW) and sitting upfront internationally (where UA is better though NW did improve last year).

I guess I just don't see the allure of being top-tier elite on UA or AA when nearly all of your flying is domestic (as mine is).
Yes, if you are entirely domestic then NW is a good option.

Although UA miles are still more valuable, especially if you have any desire to redeem for international premium class awards.
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Old Jan 23, 08, 7:39 pm
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The NWA website

I think I reflexively voted for NWA.com, but I don' t think I will next year. The redesign stinks.
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Old Jan 23, 08, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by gleff View Post
UA does, but they also give enough confirmed at booking (total of 14 a year!) in addition to 500-milers that most 1Ks are up front most of the time, complimentary, without purchasing additional 500-milers.
Well, as a multi-year Premier & PremEx, I've only been able to use 500-milers twice in my life. Both were in December 2007. As a Gold or Silver, I got upgraded more than that. Again, UA's got a good elite program if you're 1K or UGS, but as a Premier or a PremEx, I'd rather sit on NW in F than UA in E+. But others may feel differently...also, a lot of people complain about the lack of IFE on NW domestic flights...I actually like it - it's a great opportunity to listen to music, read, and sleep - whereas I'm often pulled into the movie on other carrier longhauls and I don't like the fact that the FA's get mad at you if you don't lower your window shade. Part of the fun of the window seat is staring out the window!
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Old Jan 24, 08, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
Well, as a multi-year Premier & PremEx, I've only been able to use 500-milers twice in my life. Both were in December 2007. As a Gold or Silver, I got upgraded more than that. Again, UA's got a good elite program if you're 1K or UGS, but as a Premier or a PremEx, I'd rather sit on NW in F than UA in E+.
Exactly, better to be a UA 1K than a NW Plat, but better to be a NW Gold than a UA 1P.
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Old Jan 24, 08, 9:25 am
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Just got UG'd for my 3rd flight on UA tomorrow - a 6:15AM RDU-IAD flight...I agree, UA1k is probably better than NW Plat, but even though I flew well over 100K miles last year, I still think that the NW provided me with better value as I'm 95% domestic (and being DC based, 1K's are a dime a dozen...)
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