Review of Northwest Airlines flight San Francisco Detroit in First

Airline Northwest Airlines
Flight NW 342
Class First
Seat 1B
Aircraft Boeing 757-200
Flight time 04:40
Take-off 01 Nov 08, 12:40
Arrival at 01 Nov 08, 20:20
NW 4 reviews
By 3339
Published on 19th February 2014
This report falls under the historical category since NWA no longer exists. For a couple of years in the early 2000's, I used to be a Silver Elite member of NW's Worldperks program. Back then the airline had an agreement with CO and elites at both carriers used to be able to get upgraded for free. NW's membership in Skyteam also provided me the opportunity to sample AF's product several times. Ever since I was a kid I was always mesmerized by AF's product and promised myself that one day I would fly with them. At the same time, I also was a member of AF Frequence Plus program and slowly switched my earnings in Skyteam to AF when NW decided to merge with DL. I used miles from my AF account to redeem for this flight.

I was happy being a lowly Silver with them. Upgrades cleared most of the time and my success rate was about 85-90%. At the time there were not a lot of websites dedicated to travel reports and reviews, and savvy travelers consisted of a very small group of people. My sister was Platinum with NW which was the highest level and her benefits were not that different from mine, so there was not an incentive for me to achieve a higher status.

This is a vague report because I did not take notes of this particular trip and never posted a report on it. However, when I went through my picture database, I came across some images that I took from this trip and decided to share them with this community. My trip was booked as SFO-DTW-BOS by AF. Checked in was accomplished through the self service kiosk and soon I made my way to the gate.

I remember boarding on time and being asked by a couple if I wanted to switch from 2C to 1B so that they can sit together. I changed my seat and after the door closed and the plane was taxiing to the runway, it made a stop and returned to the gate. The captain informed us that there was a mechanical issue with the ventilation and advised that maintenance will come onboard to fix it. We finally left about 1 hr. later and unfortunately I missed my last connecting flight to BOS.

View from seat 1B

photo SFO-DTW (6) (850x638)photo SFO-DTW (5) (850x638)

Hot towels were passed and the lunch service began. The cheerful purser took beverage orders and a basket with butter flavored pretzels and mixed nuts were passed.

photo SFO-DTW (1) (850x567)photo NW SFO-DTW (3) (850x551)

Lunch consisted of a warm turkey sandwich with melted cheese, a side salad, potato crisps and a packaged chocolate peppermint brownie. There was no choice and this seemed like a major downgrade in their meal service.

I remember that later during the flight I decided to purchase a snack box since I was not too satisfied with the sandwich. The box had a nice assortment of product and included a souvenir card.

photo SFO-DTW (3) (850x548)photo SFO-DTW (4) (850x638)

The flight was uneventful and we finally arrived in DTW. As expected, there was a huge line of passengers trying to get rebooked and most people were accommodated at a nearby hotel. There was a Westin property inside the terminal and the nice FA told me to request that hotel since I was flying in F. Unfortunately I was sent to the same hotel that everybody went and couldn't enjoy the Westin.

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Northwest Airlines

Cabin crew9.0

San Francisco - SFO


Detroit - DTW



This was one of my last flights with NW and I really felt disappointed with the cutbacks in catering. It seemed ridiculous that a meal service in F did not offer a choice. The service was great with the purser being one of the nicest ones that I have met with this carrier. During most of the time that I flew NW, FA's ranged from indifferent to adequate, but very few were truly great. It is surprising that in the end I encountered really great ones on my last few flights with this carrier.

The late inbound made me lose my connection, but I took it as an opportunity to experience one last time DTW as a NW hub with all the planes and signs still displaying NW prominently. The following day with camera in hand I took a tour of the terminal and snapped a few pictures for posterity. Stay tuned for the DTW-BOS part with lots of NW memories.

Information on the route San Francisco (SFO) Detroit (DTW)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 99923 by
    lagentsecret 12385 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    Nice memories

    Cranberry Vodka, if I'm not mistaken

    The sandwich looks rather yummy

    There is a chocolate peppermint cookie : weird mix ! how did it taste ?

  • Comment 99924 by
    jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

    Just cranberry juice, but cranberry vodka is a great drink.

    The sandwich tasted fine, but the lack of choice and small amount of food is not really adequate for a flight of this length.

    That combination of peppermint and chocolate in a brownie does not appeal to me, so I did not bother to try it.

  • Comment 99929 by
    Numero_2 TEAM 10143 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this collector flight.
    Fortunately the ventilation problem was detected and fixed before take off. ;)
    The catering is a bit poor for such a flight length.

    The time I've had a misconnection in MUC with LH, they didn't send me to the Kempinski which is next door to the Terminal 2, but they preferred give me a room in a cheaper property reached after a twenty minutes taxi ride !

  • Comment 99934 by
    marathon GOLD 9849 Comments

    Nice collector FR of bygone times. I flew NW a couple times, but I unfortunately do not have enough pictures to make a FR out of these flights. Maybe as a bonus of a future flight to a relevant destination. Thanks for sharing !

  • Comment 99945 by
    Chibcha SILVER 479 Comments

    How shameless of them to charge you for that box!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 100037 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5886 Comments

    Thanks for this flashback flight-report! It really takes me back. It's soooo crazy to think that not so long ago, SILVERS cleared on upgrades most of the time. There has really been an explosion of Elites since the merger and now, as a Platinum, i'm just a little over 75% upgrades...less than when you were a silver a few years ago! least the domestic F catering hasn't gotten any worse, LOL.

  • Comment 100039 by
    jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

    Ah those were the really good old days. Knowledge is the great equalizer and made elite status more egalitarian.

    Before my my loyalty with NW, I was a devoted US fan. As a Silver Preferred with them, I was given a coupon to upgrade to Envoy Class (J) on any route systemwide. That was an incredible benefit for people who just flew 25,000 miles per year. How times have changed.

    • Comment 288443 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5886 Comments

      Ugh...don't remind me. DL just took away SWUs for PLATS....They were almost impossible to use (only on super high Y, B, M fares) but at least it was something. Now we have absolutely NO upgrade instruments for long-haul flights. Yet another reason why AA's looking better and better to me...well, except for the hard product in J (outside of 77W).

  • Comment 100059 by
    KL651 TEAM 4523 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Somehow I miss NWA and its nice livery, even if their onboard service was so-so...

    The meal you got back then doesn't look bad by today standards, but at the time it might have been a downgrade.

    • Comment 288451 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      NW was one of the first carriers who started this downgrade trend. I remember that on another NW flight that I took (either SFO-DTW or MSP) before this one, the lunch service consisted of shrimp cocktail appetizer, hot meal and ice cream with choice of toppings. Before arrival fresh baked cookies were distributed.

      After 9/11, airlines started cutting catering drastically, with UA racing to the bottom by offering soup and sandwiches or salads in F on domestic routes.

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