Last summer Northwest airlines cancelled about 100 flights, causing much understood frustration from ticket holders. This earned them quite a bit of bad press and a few upset pilots. This summer, the airline is running much better, some days even running 100% on-time.
Northwest had to work with the pilots union and change it scheduling, but it wants to be known as a reliable airline. Part of the changes allows the pilots to bid for 80hrs instead of the old 88-90hrs. The negotiation also allowed 150% pay for any hours over 80.
With airlines cutting everything from flights to free peanuts, having delayed or cancelled flights just makes flying that less desirable. Cheers to Northwest for being able to bring a little positively to the current flying environment.