Northwest Airlines and Airport Discoveries

Last Wednesday, when I took my dad to the airport so he could catch his Northwest flight back to Newburgh, New York, I parked the car so we could have a longer visit. Even though I haven’t flown Northwest for awhile, I have thousands of miles saved up in its frequent flier program. They are so hard to use, and I keep finding cheaper flights on other airlines. Being that it’s been awhile, there have been some changes since my last flight.

As my dad used the check-in kiosk, I saw on the computer screen a $15 symbol on some of the seats. This is not brand new, but it was new to me. Over a year ago, the airlines started offering passengers the option to pay for more leg room. The seats with the $15 were the seats still left with the extra leg room. (Read USA Today article.) My dad got one of these seats because he’s a Silver Elite member. Most of the other seats were taken, but there were about 4 of the $15 seats left. What this means, I don’t know. Maybe most people aren’t willing to pay for the extra leg room.

What my dad also got was a quick trip through security. At the Columbus International Airport, if you are a member of certain frequent flier programs, or have some sort of preferred flier status, you can use the special security line. As opposed to the several people waiting with their socks off in the lines for the masses, my dad breezed through.

Next time I fly, I’m going to see if my frequent flier miles will at least get me a fast trip to the gate. I am looking into booking flights for next summer. Denmark is on our list and we have enough miles saved up for the four of us to get there. The problem is, it’s hard to plan that far enough in advance when we are working out the details of life in the here and now.

By the way, if you are waiting at the Columbus airport, Wendy’s offers the cheap menu. Hamburgers are $1. Just one more deal my dad pointed out.