Northwest Adapts Refund Policy

ST. PAUL, MINN. - (August 21, 2003) - Northwest Airlines today announced two changes to its nonrefundable ticketing policy that eliminate requirements that customers notify the airline in advance to cancel their reservation and identify an alternative itinerary at the time of the cancellation. Both changes take effect for travel beginning Friday, August 22, 2003, and apply to all flights operated by Northwest and Northwest Airlink.
Previously, to retain the value of the ticket, nonrefundable ticket holders were required to both notify the airline or their travel agent in advance, and identify alternative travel dates, or the value of their nonrefundable ticket would be forfeited.
“Northwest continues to change with the evolving needs of our customers,” said Jim Cron, vice president of domestic pricing and yield management. “The policy changes announced today provide consumers with the freedom and flexibility they seek when choosing an airline in today’s competitive marketplace.”
On Northwest, nonrefundable tickets can be used up to one year from the date of the first flight of the customer’s itinerary.
For domestic travel, a $100 change fee on nonrefundable tickets will continue to apply for each change made, as well as all other fare terms and conditions, and any difference in fare when changing travel plans. However, since Northwest customers will no longer be required to identify a travel date in advance when changing their ticket, many customers are expected to save on change fees that would have been paid through making multiple changes under the previous policy.
Northwest Airlines is the world`s fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,500 daily departures. With its travel partners, Northwest serves nearly 750 cities in almost 120 countries on six continents. In 2002, consumers from throughout the world recognized Northwest’s efforts to make travel easier. A 2002 J.D. Power and Associates study ranked airports at Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul, home to Northwest’s two largest hubs, tied for second place among large domestic airports in overall customer satisfaction. Readers of TTG Asia and TTG China named Northwest “Best North American airline.”