Case Analysis: Northwest Airlines and the Detroit Snowstorm

Topics: Northwest Airlines, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, US Airways Pages: 3 (1112 words) Published: August 30, 2010
(Case Analysis: Northwest Airlines and the Detroit Snowstorm

1. What exactly went wrong? How bad was this situation?
Ans: There was a snowstorm on Saturday, January 2nd, which was very serious and caused over 10 inches of snowfall. Northwest Airlines had been too late to halt the departure of their planes from other cities to Detroit, on of its largest hub. They made the decision to let 30 planes land in Detroit on Sunday, neglecting those 14 inches of snow and the severe weather condition. Luckily, all the planes were landed successfully without any major accidents or disasters. However, the planes had to sit on the tarmac for over 8 hours before they could deplane their passengers. All the food, water and drinks were used up after two or three hours of waiting on the taxiways. There were infants as well as old people onboard, which made the situation even critical. The lavatories were out of function as the maximum capacity had been reached. The temperature was around 20s outside the plane, which meant that it was impossible to open the emergency door to deplane the passengers. Some of the passengers were fed up by the conditions and went out of control, making the situation of the cabin even worse. 2. Could this situation have been avoided? If not, could it have been mitigated (and if so, how)? Ans: This situation could possibly have been avoided if Northwest Airlines had cancelled the departure of their planes to Detroit earlier. Other airlines had not encountered such a serious situation, while the planes of other airlines were just needed to wait for around an hour. The SOC director at the headquarter of Northwest Airlines had made some bad decision to cause the disaster. In addition, the situation could also been mitigated after the decision of the SOC director. Northwest Airlines had not tired their best to seek for help from the other airlines. The situation would be much more better if they asked more of the other airlines for lending...
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