Northwest Airlines Reviews | Glassdoor

Northwest Airlines Reviews

Updated April 9, 2017
83 reviews

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3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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Northwest Airlines President and CEO Ed Bastian
Ed Bastian
17 Ratings

83 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good employer, strong base compensation and good benefits (in 4 reviews)

  • The beset airline on the planet, in house training was unbeatable (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • unions were a pain to deal with (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Join the airline, see the world!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Analyst in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The travel benefits are obviously a big draw. Organizational structure, high turnover, and challenging environment allow for competent people to take on a lot of responsibility early on.

    Cons

    Below-market pay, benefits, and job security (offset to some extent by travel benefits).

    Advice to Management

    Don't sell us short.


  2. "Working for Northwest Airlines is like riding a Roller Coaster - exciting, moving fast, and scary at times."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    In my department, there is constantly a lot going on. I am constantly challenged with new technical problems. Information Services is fast-paced like a small company, challenges me personally and professionally. The people I work with enjoy the work, the industry and being close to the action. My favorite pasttime is vacationing, My wife and I enjoy taking the kids to new places and old places - Florida, New York City, Mexico, Europe, Japan and many other places. It is fun.

    Cons

    The company is either in feast or famine mode. It's either making very profitable or losing money like you wouldn't believe. This has led to a some layoffs, one bankruptcy, and many occasions where I wondered if I would have a job in six months. I left the company and returned after seven years of working elsewhere. I missed the culture, the industry, and the flight benefits. There are quite a few who have left and have returned. How many companies can claim that?

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be open and honest with us and continue to respect us for who we are.


  3. "My life was enhanced by my working for NWA."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Flight Attendant in Honolulu, HI
    Former Employee - Flight Attendant in Honolulu, HI
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people you work with. The flexible lifestyle and travel opportunities. The incredible opportunity for personal growth. You are exposed to many points of view and lifestyles by virtue of who you work with. You passengers too add to your knowledge should you take the opportunity to engage them in conversation. There is no better education than travel . It stimulates an individual to learn more about every aspect of a destination be it cultural or political It stimulates one to read and reflect on every nation's influence on the greater global community. In essence, travel promotes world peace and understanding.

    Cons

    The flexibility in the job comes at the price of jet lag and being gone holidays. The pull of gravity on the body as one ages is challenging as is being exposed to the levels of radiation as a result of flying over the pole. In actuality, being a member of a flight crew is hazardous. We are expected to handle a multitude of situations graciously yet successfully and flawlessly at thirty thousand feet. All without offending anyone! We are exposed to communacable diseases and the threat of terrorists. It seems the obnoxious drunk is the least of the worries and responsibilities in todays world.

    Advice to Management

    Stop setting the company and the employees up to fulfill unrealistic public expectations based on some flamboyant add campaign or price war. And stop apologizing for the lack of food service and other extravagances. Most passengers complained about the food anyway. Airline management needs to remember that they are in the business of getting their passengers to their destination safely and as close to schedule as possible. The price wars came at the price of labor taking pay cuts. If you pay your people what they are worth, they will be loyal to you to a fault..If not, everyone suffers.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "I miss the red tail"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Manager, Corporate Purchasing in Eagan, MN
    Former Employee - Staff Manager, Corporate Purchasing in Eagan, MN
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Good people (hardworking yet still very social at lunch and after hours)
    - Colleagues and leadership demonstrated intelligence and high levels of competence (I found that lacking at Delta)
    - Driven to challenge yourself and grow
    - Good mentorship and recognition from superiors

    Cons

    - Was acquired by Delta

    Advice to Management

    NW will be remembered as of the best managed legacy carriers.


  6. "Great airline to work for...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESC in New York, NY
    Current Employee - ESC in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Get respect no matter what department you in.

    Cons

    Like any union job, lazy workers never gets fired and always gets represented by shop stewards..


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analysis Associate in Eagan, MN
    Former Employee - Analysis Associate in Eagan, MN
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Airlines full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefit, great culture... I was so sad NWA has been ended due to the merger with Delta.

    Cons

    Union environment was not that pleasant.


  8. "They Really Did Know How To Fly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Flight Attendant in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - Flight Attendant in Detroit, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Airlines part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    1) The aircrafts were fun to be on. I loved the DC9's/727's the best.
    2) The people were great, from ticket counter to gate/baggage handlers. You were family with all.
    3) Great environment to be in.
    4) Picking flights were easy.

    Cons

    1) Advertising...used to be a lot in print and TV commercials. Went from that to bleh.
    2) Hard to get to A-level pay grade
    3) Trying to transfer domiciles was difficult when being junior and the domicile station was senior.
    4) Pay should be not in line with competition, but should be in line with having the best F/A's in the industry.
    5) Difficult to shake the image of "northworst" when strikes occurred.

    Advice to Management

    All the perks/benefits/golden parachute that top management have....shower some of that on the people that make the company what it is...you can have all the authority but if you don't care about your people they will make sure everyone else knows. Respect runs both ways.


  9. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - RSA and CSA in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - RSA and CSA in Detroit, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Airlines full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Everyone works together, excellent training program and follow-up through probation. Knowledgeable and fair management staff.

    Cons

    Reservations sales agents have metrics to adhere to. Inbound sales skills required to meet and exceed sales goals.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Never a dull moment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Agent in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - Customer Service Agent in Detroit, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Airlines full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I love all the people I worked with; they are a stellar group of individuals. The work was interesting with a variety of options to choose from, there is a job to fit any personality type, and the flexible shifts were a blessing. If I hadn't been injured I would still be there.

    Cons

    The union; joining the union was a requirement I would rather have avoided. I've worked for both union and non-union companies and in my experience it is my opinion that they are a waste of my monthly dues. I would rather have saved that money and not had the union. They have outlived their usefulness and it's time for them to go the way of the dodo. If they were worth the thousands of dollars I paid them over the years I would still be working at Delta airlines.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the union to get rid of the dead weight, unproductive and disruptive employees, the ones who show up, punch-in and out but then disappear and/or don't actually do anything except collect a paycheck. That would allow you to retain and hire positive, functional/working employees who want to work, which in turn would boost morale, increase productivity and ultimately revenue.


  11. "Outstanding company to work for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Airline Pilot in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - Airline Pilot in Detroit, MI
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Airlines full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good pay, good hours, and the checks always cashed until the bankruptcy; however the management decided to save the pensions.

    Cons

    Difficult management style, abrasive memorandum which was not needed or necessary.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees like customers.


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