Northwest Airlines has recently implemented a number of e-commerce product and service features to meet customer demand, including a series of enhancements to nwa.com and an accelerated deployment of Northwest’s self-serve, check-in kiosks (e-service centers). Highlights of these initiatives are summarized below:
Handheld WorldWeb: Northwest has customized its website for travelers who use browsers and handheld computers, like Palm Pilot. Now, most handheld users can view a condensed version of nwa.com by pointing their handheld browsers to Northwest’s Handheld WorldWeb at http://webx25.nwa.com/palm-cgi/index.cgi. Handheld WorldWeb has several features for cookie-enabled browsers (e.g. AvantGo, ProxiWeb, etc.) such as WorldPerks account and information display and the ability to download Northwest’s flight schedule. Handheld WorldWeb also provides an instant link to Northwest CyberSavers, the airline’s low weekend travel deals, and simplified airport maps for Northwest’s hub cities in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit and Memphis.
Refunds and Exchanges Online: Northwest is the first airline to offer its customers the ability to obtain refunds and exchanges online at nwa.com. E-Ticket customers simply enter their E-Ticket number and Northwest automatically calculates the refund or exchange on the unused portion of the E-Ticket and credits the charge card used to purchase it. This capability is available to all customers, regardless of where the E-Ticket is purchased. Customers can also use the site to check on the status of a previously requested refund, obtain refund and loss-of-tickets procedures for Northwest paper tickets, and find refund procedures for Northwest alliance partner tickets, including KLM and Continental Airlines.
Itinerary Planner: Northwest’s new “View Travel Reservations” feature allows customers to view their itinerary from the time their reservations are made until 24 hours after they have completed their trip. It works for all reservations, including those made through Northwest Reservations or any travel agent.
Quick Trip: Customers need to go no further than Northwest’s home page at nwa.com to check travel options by best schedule or lowest price, purchase tickets, check their WorldPerks account balance, obtain current flight and gate information, or book award travel. Making flight plans is easier than ever at nwa.com.
First-Time Ticketing Bonus: Through Dec. 31, 1999, customers who purchase tickets for the first time via nwa.com can earn 4,000 WorldPerks Bonus Miles. This offer is valid for WorldPerks members with mailing addresses in the U.S., Canada or Japan. In addition, all customers can still earn 1,000 WorldPerks Bonus Miles for all tickets purchased online through March 31, 2000.
Customers who purchase holiday sale fares online will save an additional 5%, good for travel between Dec. 16-Jan. 8, 2000.
Meeting and Convention Travel Online: Northwest’s meeting, convention and incentive travel programs offer products and services to help plan and manage air travel for small or large groups sharing a common destination, or for individuals attending a meeting or convention. Northwest is proud to announce that its Association Dollars Off Certificates (ADOCs) can be booked online. Contact a Northwest meeting planner at 800/328-2216 for more information.
Northwest expanded its popular E-First Upgrade Program to all of its E-Service Centers in the United States. This program allows qualifying E-Ticket customers to use the E-Service Center to upgrade to first class on select domestic nonstop flights for a nominal fee in 19 cities.
Northwest has introduced self-service kiosks in Atlanta and added terminals in its U.S. hubs, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit and Memphis. Today nearly 100 kiosks are available to Northwest customers for self-service check-in at Northwest’s hubs.
In November, the consultants at Quidnunc, a global e-business consultancy, analyzed the largest U.S. travel industry web sites. Northwest Airlines’ site topped all other carriers in the “Online Travel Suppliers” category. In November, Northwest’s nwa.com was also selected by Interactive Week Magazine as one of the top 50 web sites, and it was given the highest rating as a travel web site by Inside Flyer Magazine on the basis of its value and use for frequent flyers.
“Every day we work hard to find more ways to enhance Northwest’s web site and make it the most traveler-friendly and comprehensive in the industry,” said Al Lenza, Northwest vice president-distribution planning. “It’s nice to be recognized for these efforts, but we will continue to look for ways to build on our success and make all of Northwest’s e-commerce tools valuable and accessible to all of our customers.”