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NORTHWEST AIRLINES DENIES DELAY PATTERN

Northwest Airlines says two lengthy flight delays this week involving its employees are not part of a pattern.

On Sunday, 101 Northwest passengers were stuck on a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport for 3 1/2 hours before the Washington-bound flight was canceled due to poor weather.

The next day, a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight bound for Amsterdam was canceled after a six-hour delay in Chicago due to an engine problem. The jet was being serviced by a Northwest ground crew.

By the time the 276 passengers left the plane at O'Hare International Airport, some were screaming at airline workers and a woman fainted while waiting in a hourlong line for a hotel voucher.

Northwest has admitted that the Minneapolis passengers in the first incident should have been treated better. It announced late Wednesday that passengers would be given free tickets, along with an apology.