SCOTT JAGOW: If you're flying Northwest Airlines anytime soon, you could get an e-mail from the flight attendants union. The union's inviting passengers to sign up for possible notification of walkouts. 'Cause by the end of the week, the flight attendants could start some kind of strike. Annie Baxter reports.

ANNIE BAXTER: The union says an email heads-up would likely precede a conventional walkout that would ground all Northwest planes.

But the union says it would likely keep its plans secret if it opts for a so-called CHAOS approach, which involves temporary, targeted work stoppages on select flights. The flight attendants don't want to tip their hand to Northwest and ruin the element of surprise.

Travel expert Edward Hasbrouck says the union's e-mail alerts might not spare travelers much hassle, but they could be an important gesture.

EDWARD HASBROUCK: This is part of a strategy in which flight attendants want passengers and potential passengers as their allies in their dispute with the airline.

Northwest is still seeking a court injunction against a strike. A ruling could come as early as Friday.

I'm Annie Baxter for Marketplace.