2011 News Releases

“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 flyMKE.com. 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 www.harrisinteractive.com

May A Record Month For Number Of Passengers Using General Mitchell International Airport

July 7, 2011

MILWAUKEE (July 7, 2011) - Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today announced that 883,950 passengers used General Mitchell International Airport in May, a 5.61 percent increase over last May’s 836,961 passengers. May marked the 21st straight month of record passenger numbers at Mitchell. For the first five months of the year, passenger numbers are up 3.16 percent over the same period in 2010.

“The continued strong growth in passengers and flights encourages business investment in the region, as it is becomes increasingly more convenient to use Mitchell International,” Abele said. “The airport’s low fares and dozens of nonstop destinations, along with Milwaukee’s reasonable hotel and meal costs, also makes our community an attractive choice for meeting and convention planners.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “We are well-positioned as a gateway to Wisconsin, and an increasing number of passengers find Mitchell the most convenient gateway to northern Illinois and Chicago as well. Our low fares and reasonable parking fees are a powerful draw.”

Market Data: Airport Council International in May released final passenger rankings for 2010 showing that Mitchell jumped up 11 places, making it the 34th largest U.S. airport, surpassing airports such as Cleveland; Raleigh-Durham; Nashville; Sacramento; Austin; San Jose and Pittsburgh.

U.S. Department of Transportation data for 4th Quarter 2010 (most recent) show that the average airfare out of Milwaukee dropped lower than the average at 93 other U.S. airports. Mitchell’s average fare was $98 less than O’Hare’s, $78 less than the nation’s average and $16 less than Midway’s.

Mitchell ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world in 2010, according to Airports Council International.

With 56 markets, Mitchell has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data published by the Brookings Institute. The ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Kansas City; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation & Public Works, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airports capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

April Passenger Numbers Soar To 20th Straight Record Month

June 2, 2011

Mitchell International Jumps Up 11 Places In National Passenger Ranking

MILWAUKEE (June 2, 2011) - Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today announced that April was the 20th straight month of record passenger numbers at General Mitchell International Airport. The total of 844,453 passengers is a 1.42% increase over April 2010. Airport Council International’s newly released final passenger rankings for 2010 show that Mitchell jumped up 11 places, making it the 34th largest U.S. airport, surpassing airports such as Cleveland; Raleigh-Durham; Nashville; Sacramento; Austin; San Jose and Pittsburgh.

“The economies of Milwaukee County and southeastern Wisconsin benefit from this remarkable growth curve that began in fall 2009,” Abele said. “Strong nonstop service with fares among the nation’s lowest draws business, conventions and vacationers to our beautiful community. That brings in revenue, and revenue in turn supports and creates jobs for Milwaukee County and area residents.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “Our Wisconsin and northern Illinois customer base grows each month as passengers discover that Milwaukee is the lowest-fare airport in the region.”

Market Data: U.S. Department of Transportation data for 4th Quarter 2010 (most recent) show that the average airfare out of Milwaukee dropped lower than the average at 93 other U.S. airports. Mitchell’s average fare was $98 less than O’Hare’s, $78 less than the nation’s average and $16 less than Midway’s.

Mitchell ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world in 2010, according to Airports Council International.

With 56 markets, Mitchell has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data published by the Brookings Institute. The ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Kansas City; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation & Public Works, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

Record 1st Quarter For General Mitchell International Airport

May 5, 2011

March 19th Straight Record Month

MILWAUKEE (May 5, 2011) - Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today announced that March was the 19th straight month of record passenger numbers at General Mitchell International Airport. The total of 896,158 passengers represents a 3.78 percent increase over March 2010. In first quarter 2011, the airport served 2,256,103 passengers, up 2.88 percent over the same period in 2010.

“The airport is a major economic driver and plays a tremendous role in bringing both business and tourism to Milwaukee County,” said Abele. “When you’re in the airport, you can see and feel the vibrant energy of a growing number of passengers. Mitchell International has created a buzz with the region’s lowest airfares.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “Once northern Illinois, northern Chicago and Rockford travelers find out how easy and affordable it is to fly out of Mitchell, they become our loyal customers, and we appreciate that.” Bateman added, “We saw 11 percent growth this March over last in passengers using Mitchell’s AirTran and Frontier hub operations to transfer from one flight to another. Air Canada, Continental, Delta, Southwest, United and US Airways all showed increases in March passengers year-over-year.”

Market Data: U.S. Department of Transportation data for 4th Quarter 2010 (most recent) show that the average airfare out of Milwaukee dropped lower than the average at 93 other U.S. airports. Mitchell’s average fare was $98 less than O’Hare’s, $78 less than the nation’s average and $16 less than Midway”s.

Mitchell ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world in 2010, according to Airports Council International.

With 56 markets, Mitchell has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data published by the Brookings Institute. The ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Kansas City; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation & Public Works, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation. For more information on Mitchell International, visitwww.mitchellairport.com.

February 18th Straight Record Month For General Mitchell International Airport

April 1, 2011

MILWAUKEE (April 1, 2011) - Interim Milwaukee County Executive Marvin Pratt today announced that February was the 18th straight month of record passenger numbers at General Mitchell International Airport. The total of 652,380 passengers represents a 0.72 percent increase over February 2010.

Pratt said, “Mitchell International is the gateway to Wisconsin and increasingly, northern Illinois. A strong, thriving airport is vital to the continued growth of business, industry and tourism in our region.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “We see continued growth in passengers transferring from one flight to another at Mitchell Airport as part of the AirTran and Frontier hub operations. Additionally, Delta; Southwest; United; Continental; US Airways; Air Canada and American provide the competitive nonstop air service and low airfares that are a magnet for travelers from an increasingly larger area.”

Market Data: U.S. Department of Transportation data for 3rd Quarter 2010 (most recent) show that the average airfare out of Milwaukee dropped lower than the average at 92 other U.S. airports. Mitchell’s average fare was $99 less than O’Hare’s, $77 less than the nation’s average and $8 less than Midway’s.

Mitchell ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world in 2010, according to Airports Council International.

With 56 markets, Mitchell has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data published by the Brookings Institute. The ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Kansas City; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation & Public Works, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation. For more information on Mitchell International, visitwww.mitchellairport.com.

17th Straight Record Month For General Mitchell International Airport

March 3, 2011

More than 700,000 Passengers in January

MILWAUKEE (March 3, 2011) - Interim Milwaukee County Executive Marvin Pratt today announced that a January record number of passengers, 707,565, were served at General Mitchell International Airport. The total is almost 26,000 more than the number served in January 2010, and represents a 3.8 percent increase. January was the 17th straight month of record passenger numbers at Mitchell International.

Pratt said, “It is truly remarkable for our airport to achieve record growth 17 months in a row. The increase in nonstop low-fare air service has given a boost to our efforts to attract business, conventions and visitors to our area.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “Mitchell Airport’s AirTran and Frontier hub operations have been highly successful, averaging nearly 200,000 transferring passengers a month. With Southwest’s powerful name recognition and a good number of nonstop flights on Delta, Mitchell enjoys the kind of competitive air service that is greatly admired by other mid-size cities.” Bateman added, “Each of our nine airlines has benefitted from the increased number of passengers from Wisconsin and northern Illinois attracted to Mitchell by our robust nonstop, low-fare service.” 

Market Data: U.S. Department of Transportation data for 3rd Quarter 2010 (most recent) show that the average airfare out of Milwaukee dropped lower than the average at 92 other U.S. airports. Mitchell’s average fare was $99 less than O’Hare’s, $77 less than the nation’s average and $8 less than Midway’s.

Mitchell ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world in 2010, according to Airports Council International.

With 56 markets, Mitchell has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data published by the Brookings Institute. The ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Kansas City; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation & Public Works, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

County Executive Holloway Announces A Record December And 2010 For General Mitchell International Airport

January 26, 2011

9.8 Million Passengers in 2010,Up 24%;
Both 8 and 9 Million Passenger Records Broken in 2010;
December is 16th Straight Record Month

MILWAUKEE (January 26, 2011) - Milwaukee County Executive Lee Holloway today announced that a record number of passengers, 9,848,377, were served in 2010 at General Mitchell International Airport. The total is 1.9 million more than the 7,935,124 passengers in 2009, a 24.11 percent increase. The airport broke the 8 million mark in October and the 9 million mark in November.

December marked the16th straight month of record passenger growth. The airport served 774,341 passengers, an increase of 6.36 percent (46,274 passengers) over last December’s 728,067 passengers.

Holloway said, “In the first three quarters of 2010, Mitchell ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world, and is the only U.S. airport on that list.” He added, “We can see the positive impact on the economy in the number of businesses that have begun construction or opened recently in the airport area.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “More than 2 million passengers transferred planes at Mitchell in 2010, using the AirTran or Frontier hub operations at Mitchell. This is a half-million more than changed planes here in 2009, and shows the significant benefits of having two airlines hub at our airport. Delta serves the third-largest number of passengers at Mitchell, and of course, the addition of Southwest to our airline family has been huge in raising the profile of the entire airport.” Bateman added, “Passengers in Wisconsin, Chicago, northern Illinois and Rockford are taking full advantage of airfares on average $93 lower than O’Hare’s, plus the ease and convenience of Mitchell.”

Market Data: U.S. Department of Transportation data for 2nd Quarter 2010 (most recent) show that the average airfare out of Milwaukee dropped lower than the average at 93 other U.S. airports. Mitchell’s average fare was $93 less than O’Hare’s, $78 less than the nation’s average and $10 less than Midway’s. Out of the nation’s top 100 airports, Mitchell was one of only three at which average 2nd Quarter airfares were lower in 2010 than in 2009.

Mitchell ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world in 2010. Placements are: 1st Quarter (4th fastest-growing), 2nd Quarter (3rd fastest-growing) and 3rd Quarter (16th fastest-growing). The rankings, provided by Airports Council International, are not yet available for the 4th Quarter. Mitchell is the only U.S. airport on this worldwide ranking.

With 56 markets, Mitchell has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data recently published by the Brookings Institute. Mitchell’s rank in a similar 2004 study was 34th. The new ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Kansas City; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation & Public Works, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.