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Old 01-02-2003, 12:15 AM   #1
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FLL-MEM-SEA F-class NWA

Jan 1st 03 was my return from the DEC. 23rd SEA-EWR-FLL. I was scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. from FLL to MEM and connecting onto Seattle. I would also be traveling as an unaccompanied minor since I was by myself and I was under 15.

NW 1599 FLL-MEM
Sch. Departure: 2:30 p.m.
Act. Departure: 2:28 p.m.
Sch. Arrival: 3:56 p.m.
Act. Arrival: 3:32 p.m.
Aircraft: Boeing 727 (NW is phasing them out at the end of the month)
Seat: 1B
Meal: None
Gate:C8

We arrived at the Northwest ticket counter at 12:45. I wanted to get their with enough time cause I know that they were going to implement x-raying all checked bags that day, and because it was new years day, so I knew it would be packed. Upon arrival their was a large line for the kiosks. We proceeded to the first-class line where it looked as though no agent was present. We waited about 2 minutes and we were motioned to come over to a station further down. As luck would have it we had the same check-in agent that checked us in on my Oct. 28th trip report who gave us problems. As soon as he pulled up my reservations he started with us. "How did you get in firstclass"?, he asked. I showed him my gold elite card and said, "Yeah but your an unaccompanied minor you can't be up there." My dad protested to this without hesitation saying, "Yes he can, we do this all the time". No response from him. We did all the U.M. paper work and he handed me my boarding pass for 1B and 16F on the connection in MEM. I asked him about the firstclass on the MEM-SEA and he said ask in MEM. He also didn't bother to put a first-class priority sticker on the bag. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't get the upgrade so I decided I would check at the gate.

Security was very smooth and I was surprised because I thought it would have been a mess, being new years day. We were cleared within 5 minutes. We arrived at gate C8 for my flight to MEM. When I arrived at the gate their was a A320 and I figured there was an airplane change. Although when I returned a few minutes later the 727 was parked at my gate and the A320 was parked at the gate next door. Anyone know why they had the A320 their before and moved it to the gate next door?

I approached the podium and asked her to check my upgrade for the MEM-SEA. She informed me that I was, indeed, on the stand-by and to ask in MEM. Boarding began shortly there after and I boarded and parked my butt in 1B. The 727 had a configuration of 2x2 with 4 rows. First-class was full. I was offered a pre-take off drink and chose a Pepsi. We pushed back and headed out for departure. At this time my seat mate began conversation with me.

After take-off the F/A's asked what we would like to drink. I chose another Pepsi. She then came with a basket of little snacks containing, spinzels, almonds, and something I had never seen before, a party mix. I chose a spinzel and a party mix. I saw the flight attendants take out 3 meals from the galley and go into the cockpit with them. How come the paying first class customers dont get meals but the pilots do? I wasn't terribly upset about not getting a meal. I had eaten a hamburger in FLL at chili's and i was expecting a big dinner on my next segment. This 727 was configured with my row right next to the galley which really gave me a lot of attention from the flight attendants. The first class seat on the 727 is similar to the one on the A320. It is blue cloth and very spacious with good support, but bad recline and the legroom looked ok. I was sitting in the bulkhead and that had good legroom since it had a cut-out for your feet so I was only guessing on the legroom in the other seats. If you ever fly on the 727 I highly recommend sitting in the first row. It has the best legroom and you get a lot of attention from the F/A's since the row is right next to the galley. The flight attendants were very nice. They came around to me at least 3 times asking if I needed anything or if I wanted more ice for my drink. One of the F/A's, Clement, gave extra special attention to passengers and made conversation with them and cracked jokes. He did a very good job and you could tell he enjoyed his job. More friendly NW staff as usual.

By this time my seat mate had still been talking to me for quite awhile. She was getting a little bit annoying and would NOT shut up. I didn't want to be rude though so I kept talking to her. She got up to use the restroom. The other flight attendant, Judy, came over to me and asked if the lady was bothering me. I told her no. I thought that was a little funny.

We began our descent into MEM and touched down at 3:23 p.m. We taxied to gate B41. Here, I was picked up by a NWA agent to escort me to the U.M. room since I had about 40 minutes till boarding. On the way there we stopped at gate B34 to ask the agent about my upgrade. She gave me my new boarding pass for seat 4B, first class. When I arrived in the U.M. room it was empty. I noted that the room was not equipped with drinks or any other kind of snacks. I used the telephone to call my sister, dad, and friends. More kids started to show up. I was then picked up from the room and brought to my gate, B34 from my trip to SEA.

NW 881 MEM-SEA
Sch. Departure: 5:10 p.m.
Act. Departure: 5:08 p.m.
Sch. Arrival: 8:03 p.m.
Act. Arrival: 7:43 p.m.
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 4B
Meal: Dinner
Gate: B34

Upon entering the A320 I noticed the flight attendants chit-chatting in the galley. As they started to board the middle of coach the F/A's stopped talking and started welcoming passengers aboard. No pre-take off drink served to First-class. The flight was a usual 2x2 configuration with 4 rows. First class was full. Upon taxi and take-off my seat mate made no attempt at conversation.

A half hour after take-off the white linens were handed out, the dinner cart was then wheeled around in first. The choice was either beef Burgundy or chicken tortellini. When she arrived at my row the only choice that was left was the chicken. She also didn't have any more dinner rolls to offer me, but she said she would look around for some more. The chicken didn't look all that bad.

All the food was served on 1 tray and not in courses. The tray contained, 3 plump shrimp with a curry sauce (appetizer), a small small salad with 3 pieces of lettuce (I'm not kidding) and 2 orange slices and a strawberry and walnuts with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The main dish, a chicken breast surrounded by 5 tortellini's and a few mushrooms in an alfredo sauce. The started with the salad which was pretty good but I didn't care that much for the dressing. Instead of going for the appetizer next I ate the main dish. The portion was a bit small but it was still pretty good. Then the shrimp. The shrimp was fantastic dipped in the curry sauce. I think it was the best part of the meal.

After I had finished she came back with a roll and said she had found one. I took it and it was as cold as an ice cube. I cut it open and spread butter on it and ate it. My tray was then cleared away and I was offered dessert. It was the usual ice cream sundae. I chose my usual, chocolate sauce and plenty of walnuts. I was happy to see that the ice-cream wasn't so hard and frozen this time and they had defrosted it so it wasn't impossible to cut. The food was pretty good. The only minus was the salad. I would give the catering an 8 out of 10.

The staff was very friendly on this flight as well. The flight attendant running the first-class cabin made you feel like if you asked for something it wasn't a bother or a problem. She also seemed like she enjoyed her job. More friendly NW staff. Although I was never offered a re-fill on my Pepsi during dinner. It wasn't a problem though because I had dranken to much soda and drank the water that came with the meal instead.

Even though this flight is about 4 hours no entertainment was offered. God I hate Northwest for not showing entertainment on U.S. flights. I urge all of you to write letters to northwest complaining about this. Anyway I read my book the rest of the way and talked a little with my seat mate, who was an editor for car and driver magazine. Very impressive.

We began our descent into Seattle and arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Since the jerk gate agent didn't put a priority sticker on my bag we had to wait about 15 minutes till it came off. A nice flight. Great staff, good meal, moderate seat, and early arrivals.
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:17 AM   #2
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Good trip report. I'm sorry to hear that you were challenged as an elite UM. It seems common for airline employees to invent rules that they think are reasonable.
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Old 01-05-2003, 01:41 PM   #3
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Yeah, this isnt the first time it's happend. Once when i was on Continental a gate agent accused me of using the elite card fraudulently, claiming that it was my fathers because i didn't have any id cause i was only 13. I kept telling him i was under 18 i didn't need id but he wouldn't listen. Finally he made such a big deal about it and said it was fine. He needs to get a life. After that i had NW write me a letter saying i was 13.
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Old 01-05-2003, 06:04 PM   #4
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I am sorry to hear that in this world, you do not gain respect simple because you are younger and the usual suspect so to speak. The gate agent's behavior should have been reported to his/her superior.

I was once told when I was younger that, I cannot fly in First Class because I might disturb the other passengers who deserve the right to be, "without the distraction of little children (I was 16) running around and disturbing the peace and tranquility that First Class offers.” She also went on to add, “that I would not appreciate the more elegant foods offered, as little boys prefer hot-dogs and French fries.” She asked me if I knew what “grilled lamb with chiffonade of basil in au jus was” and I explained to her that it was a piece of lamb grilled with basil that has been cut the French style and then the lamb juices were than reduced and placed over the meat as a sauce. I blew her socks off and she withdrew her complaint. I have never forgotten that experience for as long as I have lived.

Now that I am 25 I do not encounter problems like that anymore, however I can sympathize at the how annoying it must be to have to deal with that. I also must congratulate you at 15 making GOLD status with Northwest Orient Airlines. I am curious how do you rack up so much mileage each year? Do you travel for work of simple because you enjoy travel?
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Old 01-05-2003, 06:14 PM   #5
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First off, i'm not 15 i'm 14. 2nd, I fly frequently between my mother and father. My mother living in Seattle,Wa and my father living across the country, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I also went to europe last summer, which helped me attain gold.

When you were telling that story about going firstclass, were you booked in firstclass or did you upgrade or something? because if you were confirmed in first how could she deny you first class?
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Old 01-06-2003, 01:21 PM   #6
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First of all, I am sorry if I offended you NorthwestGold in any way, that surely not my intention. I thought that I had read in your post that you were 15, so I will chuck that up to confusion on my part.

Second, I was just curious as to how you attained gold status because I was impressed that someone of your age had accomplished something that many will never attain their whole lives. It was meant as a compliment and not an insult, so again I apologize if I offended you in any way.

As for the first class ticket experience, it was one of those $100 dollar upgrades where you could purchase an upgrade the day of travel if there was availability on the flight. I neglected to mention that in my post, again, I am sorry.
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Old 01-06-2003, 09:02 PM   #7
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I was not offended in anyway. I'm sorry if i made you feel that way. I was just pointing out that i was 14 and not 15. What i said in my post was, that since i was UNDER 15 i would be going as a UM. The reason i say UNDER is because the UM policy states that anyone 15 or UNDER has to go UM. Sorry to confuse you. Again, I was not offended sorry to make it seem that way.
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Old 01-06-2003, 09:11 PM   #8
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Heh, are you looking forward to reaching the magic age for when you don't have to travel as a UM?

It would be pretty easy to claim that you're older, though, since you don't need to present any ID, right?
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Old 01-07-2003, 06:06 AM   #9
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From my limited understanding of the rules and regs, (please correct me if I am wrong) if he were to lie about his age and pretend to be older, than wouldn't need ID?
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Old 01-07-2003, 08:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Children ages 15-17 traveling alone need one of the following:
Driver’s License
Passport
Credit card
School I.D.
Company I.D.
Library card
Birth Certificate
Social Security card
Organization I.D. (such as athletic club, etc.)
Proof of auto insurance in customer’s name
Library card?
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Old 01-07-2003, 08:27 PM   #11
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Credit card as appropraite id?
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Old 01-08-2003, 07:37 AM   #12
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Yes, and my point was that it's up to you to inform the airlines of your age.
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Old 01-16-2003, 10:56 PM   #13
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I was actually thinking about doing that. Those UM fees can get pretty pricey. What I can do is use my school I.D. It doesn't have my birthdate on it though. Do you think they would still accept it? Also, I could just check-in online (with NW) and go straight to the gate or check-in at the kiosk and not check bags.
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