So, is Northwest that much better than United, or are we screwed?

Since I mostly fly United, I’m used to learning about a four hour delay ten minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart. Well, tonight I’m flying Northwest to Detroit, and I’m meeting my brother there. I purposely scheduled it so that we would get in within 15 minutes of each other, but his flight is already showing a 25 minute delay. Now, that’s no big deal, but the flight isn’t for another six hours. If I ever saw a delay at United six hours in advance, I would assume the plane was on a different planet.

So, is Northwest just that good at predicting delays, or is this small delay a sign of what’s to come?

On the plus side I’ll be flying into DTW, so I can just ride the train from one end of the concourse to the other until he gets there without a chance in hell of getting bored….

Filed Under: Northwest
  1. In my experience, when a small delay shows up way before the schedule, it means its a schedule problem, which means it’s already been fixed and the best they could come up with is a 25 minute delay. Like UA its the unexpected ones that are tough. And i would say that chances are you flight will end up being on time. It think NW tends to over estimate delays most of the time to keep expectations low, If the delay is acturally 2 hours, sometimes they’ll post it as 3, rather than annoucing 30 minutes delays everytime a schedule flight time approches.

    With all that said, you never know what new enhancements DL has put in over the last week, so be prepared for anything.

    Here’s somethings to do at the McNamara Terminal of DTW:

    Ride the train without holding on to anything and your eyes closed.

    Buy some fries and feed the birds near gate 45, and see how big the flock gets before security comes and asks you to stop.

    Stare directly into the flashing lights in the tunnel during the fast drum song, and see how long you can make it before falling to the ground with white foam coming out of your mouth.


  2. Well it looks like it was related to a late inbound of the plane that was scheduled to fly DTW-TPA as NW 490 (which turns around as NW 487).

    The delay was probably due to the crappy weather in the DTW area this AM.

  3. @ Sam — LMAO, thanks so much for the suggestions. You know, I’ll actually probably end up giving them all a try.

    @ Chris — Sorry, I should have been clear. My brother is actually flying from LGA to DTW, while I’m flying from TPA.

    @ FortFun — You BETTER take that bump on a later flight!

  4. My UA YYC-DEN flight yesterday was delayed from 3:11PM to 3:34PM and I received notification of it at 8:16AM. I received a 2nd update at 11:36AM advising me of a 3:49PM departure. It wound up departing at 3:51PM. Believe me, when I got notification of the delay that early, I figured it was going to wind up much worse.

    What wound up being MUCH worse was my DEN-EWR flight which was scheduled to depart at 7:12PM. I received a notification at 3:17PM that the departure time had been revised to 10PM. At 6PM it was revised again to 10:20PM. It wound up departing at 10:37PM (and arrived at 4AM – UGH).

  5. 3 weeks ago I got notification of the 530 pm BOS-DEN being canceled….. at 9AM!

    So sometimes UA is on the ball. Just not very often.

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