Case Analysis: Northwest Airlines and Detroit Snowstorms

Northwest Airlines was among the significant and most celebrated of the American Airlines. This airline was formed in 1926 to provide air transport for Americans to different destinations of the world.  Notably, the Northwest Airlines performed well until 1999 case that ruined the airline’s reputation and left the management trying to convince people that it would never happen again. In 1999 , the Northwest Airlines faced a problem, making over 6,000 passengers remain stranded at the Detroit airport for more than eight hours. According to the Northwest Airlines management, the delays occurred because of mechanical problems and poor weather conditions.  After that, the Northwest Airlines lost most customers since, despite the fact that they even offered the passengers compensations, people could not trust the company their money and lives anymore.

This paper investigates the Northwest Airlines case in terms of what exactly happened, if the problem was avoidable, and what was the possible cause of the problem.

What exactly went wrong and how bad this situation was

In 1999, the Northwest Airlines faced a frustrating and an unusual problem that resulted to the decrease of its popularity and profitability. The Northwest Airlines had to delay over 6,000 passengers onboard for over eight hours. This was an unusual act that made the company a national headline on all media. The exact problem was that the airplane that people had boarded faced mechanical problems which the company had to repair. However, the Airlines was also affected by snow that turned into ice and the plane could not take off making over 6,000 passengers remain at the airport for at least 8 hours. The situation got worse and other planes remained stranded with blocked toilets that were overflowed. Additionally, they lacked a snow management plan and did not have means of communication.

Possibilities of Avoiding the Situation

Despite the fact that the situation was a serious one, there was a way for the Northwest Airlines management to avoid it. All that the management had to do was to put basic things in order for proper functioning of the Airlines.

The management of the Northwest Airlines were obliged to ensure that their communication system worked perfectly. The aim of the communication system was to promote coordination with other departments on their progress. The use of the communication system would have enabled the company to handle the situation within three hours. Additionally, there was a need to have a snow management plan. This would probably have enabled the Airlines to detect that snow was going to occur and hinder passengers from boarding the plane.

The Person Behind the Case and the Cause of the Situation

The management of the Northwest Airlines bares all the blames for the whole issue. As noted before, the case, that the Northwest Airlines faced, was avoidable only if some crucial measures had been taken in advance. Notably, they did not have snow emergency plan and this made it impossible for the management to get along with company’s services. The management of the Airlines was the one to be responsible for the functioning and structure of the Airlines. The case emanated from their poor management. Bad weather conditions only contributed to the problem.

The Step that the Northwest Airlines Should Take in Response to the Situations

After delaying a flight of over 6,000 passengers for over eight hours, the Northwest Airlines needs to take professional and bold steps to settle the whole issue. The first step that the Northwest Airlines has to take is to use all means of media and apologize to all the people affected by their case. The management has to accept that it is their fault and promise to improve their services. Furthermore, they need to come up with a system that they will use to refund all the affected passengers.

In conclusion, the Northwest Airlines case was a serious one; notably, at least 6,000 people remained inside the plane for over eight hours due to mechanical and weather conditions. Normally, the weather conditions affect Airlines services but they usually have means of dealing with them. The case of the Northwest Airlines was serious because of their poor management and organization. The case would have been avoidable if they had had a proper management.

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