One the way back the plane was delayed again. Why? No idea. This time they got us to Memphis and told us there were no more flights to Boston until morning. If we wanted our luggage, there'd be a 3 hour wait. So instead they handed us hotel/meal vouchers, an absurd little overnight kit and sent us to a crappy hotel. While on the way from finding we'd have to stay overnight to finding we couldn't get our bags, I got a phone call from my agency telling me my assignment was ending on 1/9. Merry Christmas! You're fired! No, this isn't Northwestern's fault, but it didn't make the trip back any better.
The next morning, we flew back to Boston, but you guessed it! The flight was delayed 40 minutes. When we arrived, we went to the baggage claim area and our bags didn't come out. We went into the claim office and had a woman who didn't know how to type, read, speak clearly or talk to customers try to find our bags. I don't know why I bothered to mention those things except that her job requires her to type, read, speak clearly and talk to customers. She also walked very slowly when wandering out to find someone to ask about our bags.
It seems they'd transferred our bags to Continental the pervious night when we thought we might be able to get a flight home on that airline and then never transferred them back when it was discovered we couldn't. This means that had I said "sure, we'll wait 3 hours for our bags" when in Memphis, they'd have come to us after 3 hours and said "sorry, your bags are in Boston". They told us they couldn't find emilytheslayer's bag, only mine and filed a claim for her bag. We went to Continental to get my bag and they had both, quickly and efficiently. It also turned out that when Northwestern (who has amusingly decided to abbreviate their name as NWA) said they had my bag, they meant her bag. They confused the tags. Fun!
Fortunately, they no longer matter and we'll never be flying them again.