Northwest Airlines is not going to create a low cost carrier within a carrier a la United and Delta (or like past failed operations at United, Continental, and USAirways). Smart move.

Northwest has, more than any of the other major carriers, transformed itself into a hybrif of low cost carrier and full service carrier. Their labor costs remain high. They’re a victim of their own relative success in that they haven’t had bankruptcy as a real stalking horse to reign in union contracts. But they have successfully controlled their other major expenses, and if they can bring their labor costs in line with their post-bankruptcy competitors they should survive without risky ventures that threaten to cannibalize their existing business.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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