Sometimes it seems that I am chronicling the dismantling of all those things that make up my memories. When I first visited the United States, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I flew on Loftleiðir, which then was wildly popular among young people and very, very cheap. I had a connecting flight in the U.S. from New York to Minneapolis on an airline with the name Northwest Orient and it sounded like poetry to me – even though I had no idea of the meaning of Orient in the airline’s name. Much later, when I lived in Tokyo, I understood. By that time, however, the airline was simply called Northwest, although the stylized taijitu in the company logo was still a reminder of the Asia connection. That disappeared sometime in the 80s, and still later the name changed to NWA.
We used Northwest and then Northwest together with KLM a lot during our years in Japan. They offered flights to pretty much everywhere, and in the early days of frequent flier programs, their WorldPerks program was right up there with the best. They covered Asia pretty well, and the one year that I had to fly frequently between Tokyo and Pullman, WA – about as far out of the way as it gets – I could easily connect in Seattle with one of their partner airlines. I have also fond memories of spending time at the pool in the Northwest apartment complex in Daikanyama. I’m sure the apartments are long gone, and I can only imagine what kind of shopping there is now.
So it was sad in a way to see the name disappear. Their website is now closed down. There may still be a few planes around that have not been painted with the Delta colors, but that’s just a matter of time. Good bye.