On Tuesday, United Airlines won concessions from the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association and a preliminary agreement from ground workers in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Those two unions represent the same groups of workers at Northwest.
Northwest made another cost-cutting move on Wednesday - it stopped carrying magazines on its planes and in its passenger club lounges. Spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said it would have cost $565,000 to keep providing the magazines in the coming year. World Traveler, Northwest's monthly in-house magazine, will still be available. And last week, Northwest said it would drop free pretzels on all domestic flights beginning June 9.
Northwest is also considering a $2-per-bag fee for skycap baggage-check service. About 15 percent of Northwest passengers use the service, which handles about 4 million bags a year.
United Airlines has had success with its recent fee for skycap baggage checks in Seattle, so Northwest is running a trial fee in that city this month to see how passengers react.
American Airlines, which ditched all but in-house magazines in the fall of 2001, also has been experimenting in Seattle with charging $2 per bag for curbside bag checks.
Northwest shares fell 18 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $5.91 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where the company's shares have traded in a 52-week range of $4.20 to $11.83.
The union representing Northwest Airlines' mechanics says it is preparing for "what looks like an inevitable strike" over the carrier's drive to cut members' wages and jobs.
Union representing Northwest mechanics says it is preparing for strike over the carrier's drive to cut member's wages and jobs.
Northwest managers have told union leaders for mechanics at Detroit Metro Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport that the airline will add security at the two Northwest hubs.
The carrier said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its cash had fallen to $1.7 billion as of Wednesday, down from $2.1 billion on June 30.