Archives for August 2011

Ping-Pong at MKE garners smiles and national attention

August 11, 2011

From the popular Mitchell Gallery of Flight museum, to, yes – Ping-Pong – there’s never a lack of fun at Mitchell Airport. To help celebrate Milwaukee’s “Summer of China” events, which included an exhibit of Chinese art and architecture at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Visit Milwaukee set-up complimentary Ping-Pong tables for MKE passengers. The activity generated plenty of smiles, as well as national media attention – including a post by Harriet Baskas on her popular Stuck at the Airport blog!

Rows of Harleys (parked for free) @ MKE = summertime

August 11, 2011

It’s officially summer at Mitchell Airport when the Harley-Davidsons line up in the special motorcycle parking area. And, the best part? It’s FREE. Visit MKE’s parking page for information about all of the affordable parking rates!

Fan of Mitchell Airport? Enter the contest and “Like” us on Facebook for a chance to win

August 11, 2011

Fly over to the “Enter to Win an iPad2” link on our Facebook fan page and “Like” Mitchell Airport for your chance to win. At 5,000 fans, an iPad2 (16GB) will be awarded to a randomly drawn entrant. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!

Peter Greenberg names MKE favorite alternate airport for Chicago region

August 11, 2011

Travel guru and CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg recently touted Mitchell Airport as his favorite alternate airport– and a potential solution for avoiding flight delays. His article lists the 10 worst U.S. airports for delays, with Chicago’s O’Hare coming in at number two. Peter’s advice: choose “Milwaukee instead of Chicago.”

Visit for a full listing of cities served nonstop by MKE.

MKE instead of ORD: New study reveals “alternative airports” are taking off

August 11, 2011

Fans of Mitchell Airport already know that MKE is a smart Chicago O’Hare alternative offering low fares, affordable parking, convenient amenities and a healthy list of nonstops. To get a bird’s eye view of nationwide usage of “alternative airports,” MKE commissioned a study with Harris Interactive. The survey found that nearly half of U.S. adults who’ve traveled on an airplane in the past year have flown through an alternative airport, and a whopping 92% would do so again! Plus, 77% said flying through an alternative airport brought less stress than flying through a major airport, and 88% said they’ve had a happy experience at an alternative airport. For more results, check out MKE’s news release on!

New access lanes open for drivers heading north to MKE

August 11, 2011

MKE passengers driving to the airport from the south will exit on new access lanes built during the reconstruction of I-94. Make sure to watch the signs, as drivers will approach the exit a little earlier than before.

For more information, click on this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

Travelers! Escape Illinois tollway increases by flying from MKE

August 11, 2011

The Illinois tollway system is proposing increased rates of $0.35 for those who use I-PASS, and as much as $0.90 at many of the state’s toll plazas. Wisconsin and northern Illinois residents: steer clear of the tolls by traveling via MKE as an alternative to Chicago’s O’Hare.

MKE ranked third most affordable airport in the nation

August 11, 2011 named MKE the third most affordable airport in the nation! The site’s 101 airports affordability list allows travelers to see how their favorite airports stack up in terms of airfare. Rankings are based on Cheapflights’ 101 most searched airports, and consider the average airfares users found in June on flights to the site’s most popular destinations, including Orlando, London Heathrow, Las Vegas and Cancun. As a smart alternative to Chicago’s O’Hare, MKE passengers are taking off smiling, with average airfares coming in at $274, compared to O’Hare, which came in at $462 and ranked 85th out of 101.

This winter, sunny skies and swaying palms are just a nonstop away via MKE

August 11, 2011

With fall right around the corner, Frontier Airlines is helping travelers kick start their winter vacation planning with newly announced nonstop service to sunny Florida.  Starting December 15 and lasting through April 15 2012, Frontier will offer thrice-weekly nonstop service from MKE to Tampa (TPA).

Compare fares and check out all of Frontier’s nonstop destinations at

Southwest and AirTran broaden nonstop network from MKE

August 11, 2011

Partner airlines Southwest and AirTran are adding new nonstop flight options from MKE. Beginning September 6, AirTran will add two more daily roundtrips between MKE and Des Moines, Iowa (DSM) and two more daily nonstops to Akron-Canton Airport (CAK), an alternative airport for Cleveland, Ohio. Also on September 6, Southwest will launch two daily roundtrips between MKE and St. Louis, Missouri (STL), and a daily roundtrip to Denver, Colorado (DEN) – adding to the once daily trip AirTran already makes to the Mile High city. And for your wintertime getaway, Southwest will launch nonstop service between MKE and Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL) on January 7.

Learn more about Southwest/AirTran nonstop destinations and fares by visiting and

“Alternative Airports” Score Sky-High Approval among Travelers Who Use Them

August 8, 2011

Survey shows 92 percent of U.S. adults who used alternative airports in the past year would do so again; 77 percent who’ve flown alternatively feel less stress than flying through a major airport

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (August 8, 2011) – Offering lower airfares, affordable parking and overall convenience, “alternative” airports score sky-high approval among air travelers who’ve used them.  And the ease of travel is catching on, as 48 percent of U.S. adults who have traveled on an airplane in the past year traveled via an alternative airport.

In fact, 92 percent of U.S. adults who’ve flown through an alternative airport in the past year would do so again, according to an online survey conducted in May among 2,361 U.S. adults by Harris Interactive, commissioned by Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), a recognized alternative to Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD).  Yet, survey results revealed that only 19 percent of U.S. adults who search for air travel online say they always or often search for alternative airports.

“Alternative airports may be one of travel’s best kept secrets, offering those who use them the potential for significant time- and money-savings,” says Pat Rowe, spokesperson for Mitchell Airport. In the study, which explored air traveler preferences pertaining to airports, low fares and convenience emerged as key themes:

  • “Low fares” take precedence. Of those U.S. adults who have traveled via airplane in the past year,  when considering which airport to use, 70 percent selected “low fares” as being most important, followed by “proximity to home” (66 percent) and “access to nonstop service” (36 percent). Average airfares generally are lower at smaller airports near major hubs, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics. Mitchell Airport’s airfares average $108 less than those of nearby O’Hare, and $75 less than the national average.
  • Flying via alternate airports brings “less stress.” Airports appear to play a large role in setting the tone for a trip. According to the study, 77 percent of travelers who’ve flown via an alternative airport in the past year said it brought less stress than flying through a major airport, and 88 percent reported having a “happy experience” at an alternative airport.  When it comes to the effect that stress has on a traveler’s overall travel experience, 68 percent of travelers who’ve traveled via airplane within the past year feel that if their experience with an airport is stressful, it affects their overall trip. The percentage among business travelers is even higher, with 75 percent having that sentiment.

Rowe speaks to the Mitchell experience: “Chicago area travelers drive an uncongested freeway to Mitchell and park in our lots for less, while inbound travelers take advantage of our quick, easy access to Chicago. It’s a much calmer experience than O’Hare, and with our lower fares and many nonstop destinations, they keep coming back.”

Often referred to as “Chicago’s Third Airport,” Mitchell has enjoyed record growth and increasing popularity among northern Chicago travelers over the past several years. The airport estimates about 10 percent of its nearly 10 million annual passengers reside in neighboring Illinois.

Besides Chicago, many other large U.S. cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston and Miami, are served by alternative airports. Identifying them can be as simple as check-marking a box or two in an online fare search. Since alternative airports aren’t always automatically included, travelers can simply select the ‘advanced search’ option to include nearby airports in their fare search.

Travelers should also keep in mind that flights and fares on certain airlines, most notably Southwest Airlines, which serves MKE, aren’t accessible on most online travel booking sites. So, travelers should also compare fares directly on the airline website.

For additional information about Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport (MKE), the low-fare and convenient Chicago O’Hare alternative, visit Learn more about some of the nation’s alternative airports via travel expert Peter Greenberg’s America’s Best Alternate Airports list.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery omnibus product on behalf of Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport from May 17 – 19, 2011, among a total of 2,361 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,689 ever search for airline travel online and 873 have traveled on an airplane in the past year. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Harvest PR & Marketing.


About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods.  Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us and our clients stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, visit