Northwest Airlines Can Go To Heck

Jul 16 2006

So, I went to Japan again. When Golden Week rolls around and tickets drop below $350, there’s really no reason to stay away. But I need to stop shopping for tickets based on who offers the cheapest price. I was already insulted by United Airlines last time, and this time Northwest stepped up to the plate and proved that, given the chance, they can truly make flying as miserable an experience as possible for everyone involved. 1. Do you like advertisements? No problem! The screen 8 inches in front of your face simply won’t turn off for the first 40 minutes of the flight! You don’t even have to lift a finger in order to see a nude man diving off a rock in order to convince you to buy Bulgari cologne! After all, you *love* Bulgari cologne, and that’s why you’re flying coach today. 2. Do you like grating, feedbacky PA announcements? *Northwest has you covered*. Every few minutes, you can count on somebody getting on the PA to let you know some dang thing or another, usually about duty-free shopping. You know, just in case you had your head rotated 180 degrees and didn’t notice the screen. 3. Is English not your native language? Northwest flight attendants will not hesitate to scowl at you and say “what!?” every time you try to make yourself understood. If you ask for something, you can count on a brusque and exasperated response every time. After all, it’s not like the flight attendants are there to help you and make your trip more pleasant or some such nonsense. If you persist, they’ll fetch the only bilingual (and only polite) flight attendant on the plane, from up in First Class. 4. Do you like gossip? Here’s a tip: sit in the back of the plane! Try to get the very back row, near where the flight attendants sit. I sat there, and I got to hear all about how much of a pain the safety training to become a flight attendant is, how people from Washington D.C. are all rude, and which swear-word best describes a certain famous doctor one of the attendants once encountered on a flight. You can even ask them to be quiet, and they’ll keep on going, knowing that you’ll enjoy the flight more if you have access to such useful information. 5. How about Linux boot screens? Just leave your screen alone for the entire flight. Halfway through, it’ll suddenly encounter an error and reboot! There’s Tux smiling at you! How cute! I’m sure that while the PA and entertainment screens are so miserable, the integrity of the plane itself is *just fine!*