NW's Buy on Board program (FLL-SEA)
Jan. 3rd 2004
Northwest Airlines 249 FLL-DTW
Depart: 8:06 am (on-time)
Arrive: 11:18 am (on-time)
Seat: 5C (coach, first was full)
Meal: Buy on Board
I arrived at the FLL ticket counter at 7:00 am. I had checked in the night before online, but i needed to check a bag with the counter agent. When I arrived at the first-class check in there was no one in line. I was helped without a wait. After informing the agent of my situation, my bag was promptly checked with priority stickers all the way to seattle.
Security was literally a mob scene. I hoped that I would be able to utlize the firstclass/elite security check point, but this didnt work out to well. A jetblue flight departing to JFK at 7:45 was leaving in 30 minutes. The TSA was trying to get all those passengers through the security check point quickly, so they moved all of them into the firstclass/elite line. Hence, the line was long, and wasnt moving at all. It was now 7:30 and i still hadnt been through security. I was getting concerned, but the line continued to move slowly. We finally made it to the front, where I was quickly processed and ran over to my gate. The agent who had checked me in was running the gate and as soon as she saw me approach the podium to check on my upgrade, she informed me I wouldn't get it today. I wasn't to upset though, because I had the bulkhead seat and I would get to try the buy on board meals NW now offers.
Boarding began, and the firstclass call was made. Shortly after the elite call was made, and i approached the boarding door. A new agent was taking the BP's and scanned mine while saying, "Your platinum?" Becuase of former harrasment from agents hence my young age, I got a little defensive.
"Yes I am, would you like to see my letter that I have with my birthdate on it?"
"No, thats ok" (with a puzzled look)
I felt a little sorry afterwards. I didnt mean to come off as such a jerk, but i do get very sensitive about this stuff. I stowed my luggage in the overhead, and found my comfortable bulkhead. Our taxi was quick, and we were in the air in no time. An announcement was made of the choices they had to offer for the buy on board program. Choice number one was a "breakfast sandwich" with fruit and yoghurt for $7. Another was the "breakfast sandwich" with a granola bar for $5. I believe the third choice was a cheese crossaint for $5. I decided to get the breakfast sandwich with fruit since i was very hungry. I paid the $7, and was quite disappointed with the presentation of the meal. It was in a small paper box, with the TGIFridays logo all over it. Inside a sandwich was wrapped up in some paper, a fruit bowl with kiwi and pineapple, a yoplait yoghurt, a water, and a comment card.
I started with the fruit, which I must say was some of the best I have ever had on a plane. It was extremly fresh, and tasted as if it had just been cut. The "breakfast sandwich" was another story. Now when they said "breakfast sandwich" I pictured some type of sausage biscuit, or turkey crossaint. Some type of breakfast meat on a roll. This was nothing more than egg salad dumped on top of a wheat roll with a brown slice of lettuce. I took a bite, and it tasted funny. I was very hungry, so I continued to eat it, but stopped half way through. I was very disappointed. This meal was horrible, and worth no where near $7. Another odd thing i noticed. On the comment card it states that a discount coupon for TGIFridays is included with our meal inside. But i searched through that box like a hunting dog, and didnt find any discount cert. I finished my meal off with the yoghurt which was typical yoplait. The FA's came around and collected our trash. Overall, I was really disappointed with the meal. This meal was equal to what they use to serve complimentary, except this time I had to pay $7. NW should really consider a hot choice for this buy on board program.
The staff was mostly pleasant, except for one who never smiled, and looked grumpy. I had a quick snooze, and before I knew it our descent was announced for DTW. We landed and taxied into Gate A72. I forgot what my connecting gate was, but i think it was something like A38. I had about an hour to kill in DTW, so I just walked around and observed the fountain. I also was able to catch a glimpse of 2 744's and an A330.
Northwest Airlines 215 DTW-SEA
Depart: 12:28 pm (late by 30 minutes)
Arrive: 2:12 pm (late by 40 minutes)
I was able to snag an upgrade on this flight. I was also hoping I could give up my seat in exchange for a $300 travel voucher. I checked with the curteous (you dont find that much in DTW) agent, who placed me on a volunteer stand by list. He told me that they proabaly wouldnt need me, but just in case. The crew was late coming from their connecting flight, and boarding didnt begin till 12:30. I was told to board, they wouldnt need me today. The agent scanned my BP, and I walked down the jetway to my seat. The aircrafts interior looked very worn down, and the walls were a dark beige color. Pre-departure beverages were offered and i chose a pepsi (wished they served coke). I began a conversation with my seatmate who had been serving in Afghanistan, and was now on break. Push back was quick, and I was surprised to see the wait was very minimal for take-off. After we reached our cruising altitude the FA came around to take beverage orders. I chose a pepsi, which was brought with a snack basket containing spinzels or almonds. I asked him where the glazed walnuts had gone, and he told me that they alternate between them, and that the walnuts should be back in a few months.
After he came around with the meal cart. The choices today were Mustard Chicken, or Beef short ribs. My seatmate chose the Chicken, as did I. It was presented all at once with no linens or hot towels. The tray consisted of a bowl of salad with ranch dressing, shrimp with mango sauce (appetizer), a plate of chicken in a mustard sauce with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and a slice of chocolate cake. I devoured the meal quickly, and was 100% pleased with it's size and quality. My tray was cleared away and I was offered more beverage.
The staff was very pleasant and attentive. I even had a conversation with one of them about the movies on NW. She told me that the video systems just break down to much and it was to hard for the employees so NW got rid of them. She also joked with me, asking if my army seatmate had convinced me to enroll.
Another snooze, this time in the big blue seat (no adjustable headrest), and we were in Seattle in no time. Our taxi to S9 was quick, and I deplaned shortly after.
Northwest's F product amazes me every time, but I was disappointed with the buy on board. I also think they should provide the buy on board meals to elite members who are seated in coach (possibly only plats) for free. I continuously compare CO and NW, and I must say that NW now outranks CO in my book.
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