Northwest Airlines Reviews | Glassdoor

Northwest Airlines Reviews

Updated May 28, 2017
84 reviews

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84 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. "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.


  2. "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


  3. "Great place to earn some free flights!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CSA Coordinator in Eagan, MN
    Current Employee - CSA Coordinator in Eagan, MN
    Recommends

    Pros

    The flight benefits are great. If you like to travel, and are willing to put forth a little time and effort learning how to use the travel benefits, it is well worth it! Being a smaller company, management knows many of the employees, so you're not just a number as in many bigger companies.

    Cons

    A very competivie industry right now, so pay remains lower than outside the airline industry. But you can far more than make up the difference with flight benefits if you try. There is also uncertainty right now about what will happen as Delta takes over NW, the parent company of Mesaba.

    Advice to Management

    I think management is doing a good job given the curves that have been thrown, i.e. Bankruptcy a couple years ago, takeover by Northwest Airlines, and then takeover by Delta Airlines.


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  5. "Promotions go to very unimpressive game players."

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A flexible work schedule allows for choices with regards to family.

    Cons

    Depending on your position you are either the bug or the windshield. Generally neither is great but the windshield goes on without much change. Interesting how employees within the same company have totally different experiences. I am not only "Just a number" but even less. I KNOW that I give more than 90% of the work force. There is no way to get respect or recognition. Those who do, have generally found a way to get what they don't deserve. Almost 30 years and it means nothing and those rewarded played somebody.

    Advice to Management

    You show no signs of wanting the truth.


  6. "Northwest doesn't care about good employee relations."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Minneapolis, MN
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    For Days off, health insurance.

    Cons

    Management is cut throat, not worried about employee moral.

    Advice to Management

    They would be surprised at how much better their employees would perform w/basics like respect, acknowledgement and better quality of life issues


  7. "NWA, it is what you make it!"

    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
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fast paced, exciting and ever changing industry. Whether your skillset be in maintenance, call centers, pilot, IT, customer service or managment, NW/DL has the position for you.

    Cons

    Working with the handful of co-workers who cannot see the forrest through the trees. That's likely to be the case in most companies though. Because an airline is a lot more than just a service provider for the travelling public, there are a lot of up's and down's that go along with it. When prospective employees submit their resume', they should write down what it is they seek to gain from the airline and keep it for future reference. In most cases, those who complain the most about the airline would likely see they have gotten everything they'd originally sought after, and more.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communication lines open, continue engaging your employees and produce results rapidly.


  8. "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


  9. "Needs Improvement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working at the airport is always a fun job. Meeting new people and learning about aviation customer service is interesting. You do get discounts on flights, which depending on how much time you have available to fly is a perk. The trade system with other employees is also good when you want someone to finish your shift or start it.

    Cons

    The initial starting pay. For the amount of work and responsibility that goes into this job, I personally believe it's a joke. And while you do get discounts on flights, they are not as good as they SHOULD BE. Sometimes you find yourself paying the same as passengers. From what I've heard from the senior agents, who have been there 20-25 years, they are not pleased with how many pay cuts have been issued, and have no idea where they will end up in the whole NW DL merger.

    Advice to Management

    Increase the starting pay and work on better flight benefits. Like...how about...really flying FOR FREE.


  10. "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.


  11. "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!


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