Northwest Airlines Reviews | Glassdoor

Northwest Airlines Reviews

Updated April 9, 2017
83 reviews

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3.6
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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. Helpful (1)

    "It cannot get any worse."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Airline Pilot in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Airline Pilot in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Still not liquidated. The future must be better than the last 10 years. Bankruptcy is hard to go through, and at least they survived. In this environment it is difficult to have a good job with benefits and pay.

    Cons

    The company has almost no respect or appreciation of employees. Although the market is terrible for airlines, Northwest strategy has always been to beat the employees and compensate them less than standard. They have shrunk for the last several years, so there has been little advancement. Employee morale is terrible. Some of that isn't the fault of nwa, as bankruptcy takes its toll. The money given to the top few for taking a career from the employees speaks a lot about nwa and corporate America.

    Advice to Management

    Quit looking out for yourself and start trying to pull everyone together. Ever hear of Southwest Airlines.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Death of a proud airline in the name of stockholders' dividends...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Detroit, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    This industry affords employees the opportunity to travel and learn about new environments. I have worked here 23 years, and I've seen the world. I know Paris like the back of my hand, and my entire goal as a young person was to see Paris. I have been able to know Paris intimately thanks to Northwest Airlines. Not many careers can give a person a child's dream. It's been a pleasure finding different cultures, foods, and ways of life; I would not give up my memories for anything, and for anyone who is adventurous in nature, this is the place to be.

    Cons

    The hours can be completely insane, and unfortunately the climate is extremely volatile. The only positions that I would recommend in the environment would be to try to get a mid level management position. I'm a flight attendant, and it has turned into one of the worst jobs in the world. It's been taken from an elite status to nothing more than a lackey who is yelled at incessantly by strangers for any myriad of reasons. Management can buffer themselves from such atrocities and do whatever work their ivy league towers have bred them to do in today's workforce.

    Advice to Management

    Start looking at business as not just business. This mantra that allows senior management to treat human beings as expendable parts of doing business is morally wrong and we've turned a blind eye to it for the last 20 years in the name of making money for the stockholder. Hold yourselves accountable to the world and the the ethics you were most certainly taught as a young person. When you look in a mirror, and if you reach down to the breadths of you soul, do you like what you see? Be honest--new concept.


  3. "Don't work for Northwest Airlines!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Honolulu, HI
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Honolulu, HI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    travel benefits, great people to work with, exciting places to visit,

    Cons

    low pay, high stress, away from home and family two weeks a month, difficulties dealing with upset passengers, dehydration, lack of sleep,

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees!!!!


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  5. "Northwest Management Needs To Make It A Good Place For People To Work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Eagan, MN
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Eagan, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    In the past, the reason for working for Northwest Airlines was the travel benefits. Since 1980 there has been a marked decline in the travel benefit. Today, in 2009 most employees travelling standby (i.e. non-revenue) find it nearly impossible to get on flights because of newly increased over-booking policies. Thus, the standby travel benefit is no longer a actual benefit.

    Cons

    Some of the downsides of working for Northwest Airlines are:

    1. Job insecurity
    2. Non competitive/Low wages
    3. Incompetent Management Staff
    4. Insensitive Management Staff
    5. Out of tune Management Staff
    6. Management by Intimidation
    7. Non-diverse workplace

    Advice to Management

    Dear Senior Management,
    Please take this letter with the sincerity that it was written. You're facing a very serious internal problem with your employees. Internal descension is impeding your ability to progress. Incompetent, insensitive, and out of tune management has a direct effect on your employees moral. With the Delta merger there needs to be a complete house cleaning. This cleaning needs to start at the very top management level. Longevity does not equate to competence. This is 2009 and a global diverse economy and world. Your business and business model must reflect this. As I walk around here in Eagan, Mn in NW Building A, I see no diverse management in the upper levels of the company. What a shame when we call ourselves a global company. Does anyone speak spanish or cantonese or represent those nations? Why are your employees so unhappy? Unhappy employees are not as productive as happy employees. Spreadsheet statistics have proven this. The old days of non-communication, and management by intimidation are OVER. Get serious about making Northwest Airlines a better place/good place for people to work.

    Signed,
    A current employee


  6. "This place makes me sick sometimes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Agent
    Current Employee - Sales Agent
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Free flights are the best thing here!

    Cons

    The brown nosers seem to have the best chance at slacking while you are grinding it out for the same pay.

    Advice to Management

    Be equal when treating employees. Favoritism is one thing but working us like dogs and then other like pampered queens is another.


  7. "Airlines have become a commodity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flight benefits, allows for great opportunity to see the world.

    Cons

    Low pay, so when you do get a chance to travel you can rack up credit card debt... Also the industry as a whole has taken a beating in the last few years and they have not figured out how to change there business model to make money.

    Advice to Management

    Learn that the people are what make the airline of choice for passengers not the bottom line. It is easy to point fingers at all the external factors that have caused the problems. It is time to come up with a revolutionary new business model or become extinct


  8. "Good company, mixed leadership, not rewarded on output and instead rewarded on time there."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Bloomington, MN
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Bloomington, MN
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Northwest Airlines has been around for a long time and there is a lot of history in the company. The industry is constantly growing and changing which can be exciting as well. Also, no one can complain about getting first class round trip to london:)

    Cons

    Work/Life balance is not respected. Management in some departments differ greatly than other departments and there are a lot of disgruntled employees.

    Advice to Management

    A better work/life balance would be nice. It would be great if we were rewarded with more flexibility as well. The job is 8-5 and there are no if's and's or but's. If you have a funeral/wedding/family gathering that might put you in 1 hour late you can't make it up an you MUST waste a 4HR PTO on it.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "NWA should have been the surviving airline."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Eagan, MN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Eagan, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The opportunity to travel around the world at little to no cost, until you arrive. That has always been the only motivating factor in working for Northwest Airlines. The airline has lied to its employees over and over and mistreated them for years and has now reached the pinnacle of mistreatment in the lies that have been told. "The best people for the best teams" was how this merger began, but that is not how it's ending. It's all political in who's butt you are willing to kiss. It used to be the "hometown airline" but since it isn't any longer it's hard to find anything positive. The state of MN should have put up a bigger fight against the merger.

    Cons

    Treatment and growth potential; the fact that it is no longer the "hometown" airline in MSP is horrible. NWA should have been the surviving airline, not Delta and it could have been. NWA is the airline with cash available - Delta has none - NWA easily could have taken over Delta, but the CEO wanted the easy way out. The employees and the state of MN have been lied to about how many jobs and opportunities would remain in MSP and now any jobs that make it through the cuts are still going to have to relocate to ATL, and most with a cut in pay, it's a crime.

    Advice to Management

    Speechless


  10. "Manage your perception... because its in the gutter."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Eagan, MN
    Former Employee - Analyst in Eagan, MN
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Travel Benefits. I traveled the world in the 2 years that I was there... many times in first class! Working for an airline allows you to see and maintain friends across the globe. I was able to travel home to see family whenever I wanted free of charge. I met some great people at NWA. The company was heading into chapter 11 right around the time I was hired so there was a huge influx of new hires so making friends in an unfamiliar city was a breeze. I gained valuable experience during my time at NWA and I'm thankful for it.

    Cons

    The executive view towards management and labor relations is the the textbook definition of what not to do. Granted, the labor unions demands and expectations have been (in my opinion) unrealistic and unproductive. Senior leaders need to reflect on how to better manage perception and manage expectations. Also, NWA recruits from top 10 colleges and universities but has no system to develop talent and retain their best employees. Basically your left to fend for yourself play politics and maneuver. In closing everyone I worked with was professional and really nice. I am thankful for NWA because they gave me a decent springboard to start my career and is the reason I am happily employed at another company.

    O yeah its freezing in Minneapolis.

    Advice to Management

    Work on communication!


  11. "I'm looking forward to being screwed by Delta--tired of NWA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Memphis, TN
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Memphis, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Travel benefits, health benefits, ability to make a part-time job pay as a full-time job, ability to work in my hometown, ability to work around my schedule, able to work as a union employee, ability to work domestic or international flights.

    Cons

    Management--some of the worst in the industry. Good 'ole boy management rotating between all airlines. Inability to see the problems that might bite you in the ass. Inability to see the forest for the trees(can't go hunting for dollars when you are on the ground looking for pennies). Headquarted in the "frozen trundra".

    Advice to Management

    Get the hell out --so someone else could give it a try


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