Northwest Airlines Glitch : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Northwest Web Customers at Risk

.c The Associated Press EAGAN, Minn. (Jan. 7) - Northwest Airlines is alerting customers who recently made purchases on its Frequent Flier Web site that their credit card numbers and personal information were unprotected because of a programming glitch.

Northwest spokesman Jon Austin said the risk of hackers getting the information is small, but one the airline is taking seriously.

``We want to be able to take care of this ourselves because it is a problem we created and one we want to help resolve,'' he said.

The problem arose when a computer programmer doing maintenance on the site put the system back on line, but forgot to restore the security system.

When a customer didn't see a small ``lock'' icon as he placed his order in mid-December, he notified the carrier that the information was not secure.

Austin did not say exactly how long the site was unsecured or how many passengers were affected. Northwest is now notifying passengers who made purchases at the time about the security lapse.

-- Martin Thompson (, January 08, 2000


Clearly not a Y2K glitch, but one of the interesting side-benefits of Y2K may be that ordinary citizens pay a little more attention to sloppy practices like this in the future.


-- Ed Yourdon (, January 08, 2000.

Northwest nearly killed my wife and me on our way back from Albuquerque last summer. Had a wing slat stuck, went into a steep bank over Lake Michigan -- flew in a circle for a *long* time, but heard nothing. (This happened right after the "we'll be landing soon" message.)

They finally came on the PA and fessed up to the problem, claimed that they *thought* they'd fixed it, and were going to attempt to land. Sheesh, talk about white knuckle time.

When they came in, my wife and I both thought they were going to abort the landing because the damn thing was coming in *so* incredibly fast. I don't know how fast we were going when we touched down, but it was obvious that it was *flight* speed and not *landing* speed.

The instant the tires hit the runway, they applied the thrust reversers full blast, and they *continued* for the whole length of the runway. For all the noise and being thrown forward in our seats, by looking out the window it didn't look like we were slowing down very much at all.

When it finally slowed down and turned at the far end of the runway, we saw two rows of firetrucks lined up with their lights flashing. Herr Kapitan comes on the PA and says not to worry, he told them there was no problem, but they decided to have a drill anyway.

Yeah, right. And I'm the Pope of Rome.

My SWAG is that they ended up landing with NO slats on *either* side, hence the escape velocity landing (necessary to maintain lift and control from the remaining control surfaces).

They then held us hostage on the plane for several MORE hours, and then took off AGAIN for the final destination.

At no point did they roll out a new plane.

At no point did they offer to put us up in a hotel.

They *did* make some noises about possibly chartering a *BUS* to stick us in to drive us halfway across the state! (gee, getting off a bus in Lansing at three AM after a day in airline hell, sheesh)

Throughout the entire fiasco they were *incredibly* rude and abusive.

During our captivity in kzoo, they "allowed" some *passengers* to hand out nuts and drinks while *they* (the employees) sat on their asses jawboning with each other.

This was during their infamous work slowdown. The irony, of course, is that the initial *takeoff* was delayed for *hours* due to one sham excuse after another. (When some passengers spoke up and said they *knew* it was BS and nothing more than work slowdown crap, the "workers" smirked at them.)

If someone aimed a gun at my head and said "fly Northwest or I'll shoot you", I'd say "go ahead and shoot me".

Anyone who got screwed by Northwest vis-a-vis a *website* got off lucky IMO.

They don't seem capable of change either. A month or so ago, some fool pilot of theirs didn't like the "hot breakfast" he was served in Detroit, so he gets off the plane (which was about to take off), takes a limo to a restaurant, buys a bag meal, drives back to the airport, gets back in the plane, eats his meal, then takes off -- after leaving the *passengers* sitting in the plane for an hour and a half.

I used to have to fly Republic a lot, and I hated it. I couldn't believe *anyone* could be ruder or stupider than Republic employees.

They put us on the wrong plane when we were rushing out to ND to see a relative who was in the hospital dying from a gunshot wound to the head -- when we got off the wrong plane before it took off, and told them what they did, they pointed to the plane pulling away from the next gate, and said tough luck, wait a few hours. I told them why we were desperate to be on the *right* plane -- because of the dying relative -- and the bit*c looks me in the eye and says "yeah, right".

Anyway, like I said -- I never thought anyone could be stupider or ruder than Republic. Well, Northwest proved me wrong.

In summation, this is one event that may very well *not* be a y2k error, considering that the company involved seems incapable of doing *anything* right.

-- Ron Schwarz (, January 08, 2000.

Pretty much what Ron said -- indeed, it was the horror stories I've heard about Northwest from all sides that made me sure to never bother with them as an option. Them good Minnesotans in MST3K got in as many slams on Northwest as they could over time, which leads me to think they must have been shafted once as well.

-- Ned Raggett (, January 08, 2000.

Dittos from Kookville. I've called them Northworst for years. The only airline who've lost my luggage, messed up my schedule on connecting flights, and seem to have a high percentage of employees with the same IQ of dirt.


-- Y2Kook (, January 08, 2000.

Northwest is the only airline that ever lost my luggage, and they managed to do it on both directions of the same flight. Sheesh.

-- Brooks (, January 08, 2000.

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