Northwest Airlines has reduced the amount of time it asks customers to arrive at airports to 75 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights. The carrier continues to ask customers to arrive 120 minutes prior to departure for international flights.
The change sets advance arrival times to the lowest level in the company`s history. On November 1, Northwest cut arrival times from the 120 minutes suggested following the resumption of operations in mid-September, to their historical level of 90 minutes for domestic flights.
Last month, the airline launched a $1.8 million program to shorten security lines by adding 25 new state-of-the-art checkpoint lanes at its three domestic hubs, as well as on select concourses where it holds responsibility for security including Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington D.C. (Reagan National), Miami, Kansas City and Milwaukee. Already, five new lanes are in operation at the carrier`s Minneapolis/St. Paul hub and two are in operation at its Memphis hub. The carrier plans to increase security checkpoint capacity 33% at the new Edward H. McNamara terminal and the Northwest WorldGateway at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Detroit, scheduled to open on February 24, increasing the number of security lanes from twelve to sixteen.
Northwest customers are also benefiting from growing use of the carrier`s innovative check-in technology, such as Internet check-in at nwa.com, and its 260 E-Service Center self-service kiosks located in 41 airports nationwide. The increasing use of these services by Northwest customers also played a role in the airline`s decision to reduce airport arrival times a total of 45 minutes during the course of a single month.
The usage of online check-in at Northwest, the only major network carrier to offer Internet check-in, soared over the Thanksgiving travel period. A record 5,402 customers checked-in online on Wednesday, November 21, and 5,247 customers checked-in online on Sunday, November 25. To date, more than 860,000 online check-ins have occurred since the introduction of nwa.com Check-In in May of 2000. Northwest`s Internet check-in program is available to all customers flying on E-Tickets within the United States and allows travelers to print their own boarding passes, change flights, change or confirm seat assignments, add or change a WorldPerks number in a reservation and obtain WorldPerks Elite upgrades or “E-First” electronic upgrades to First Class.
Northwest also is able to deliver shorter line waits as a growing number of customers take advantage of the many services offered by Northwest`s 260 E-Service Centers located in 41 U.S. airports. Northwest experienced record usage of its self-service devices during the period, including 12,311 transactions on Sunday, November 25.
Northwest customers holding E-Tickets can also check-in at any Continental Airlines “eService” Center.