Cheers to David Tait from Travel Industry TODAY for an amazing review of MKE, following a few “Whoa Betsy” moments at the airport involving a ping-pong table, an out-of-print copy of “SkyGods” and MKE’s “excruciatingly polite” TSA agents. Read why Milwaukee is all the buzz!
Mommy travel blogger Mara, of The Mother of All Trips, recently documented her “perfect” day of family fun in Milwaukee, including her visit – with two tired children – to what she calls “one of the most family-friendly” airports around: MKE! Read about her kid-friendly finds all about town, from the Milwaukee Art Museum and Public Market downtown Milwaukee to treasures found right in the terminal, including MKE’s beloved flight museum and used bookstore.
Congratulations to Chelsey O. from Milwaukee, Wis., who is the winner of MKE’s iPad2 sweepstakes! Thanks to everyone who participated and for helping spread the word about what makes MKE the smart choice for travelers in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Keep an eye out for the next giveaway by following us on Facebook.
On the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, more than 170 firefighters from around the state, including Mitchell Airport firefighters, participated in an honorary 110-story climb to raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The 9/11 climb is a nationwide event to remember the 343 firefighters who lost their lives that day. View photos from the Greenfield Patch of MKE Airport firefighters participating in the climb.
Across the United States, “Travelers just love alternative airports” like MKE, according to a recent survey that has taken flight among the travel media. Budget Travel ’s Brad Tuttle reported on the survey, stating that “the alterna-airport experience is not only less stressful and (dare we say) happier, but cheaper as well.” MSNBC’s travel reporters concurred, covering the story in “Overhead Bin.” And in Ed Perkins’ recent Chicago Tribune article, the travel columnist advises readers to “Check alternative airports…just click on that ‘search alternative airports’ box — it costs you nothing — and you can sometimes knock your air travel bill down significantly.”
Beginning October 1, travelers heading to Mitchell Airport via I43/94 from downtown and points north will not be able to exit at the Airport Spur (Hwy 119) Exit. Please use Howard Avenue and follow the detour to Howell Avenue. Travelers from downtown are also encouraged to use I-794.(Download Map)
This change does not affect travelers using the I-894 Bypass or those traveling to the airport from the south. For additional information on the Mitchell Interchange project, visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation web site at Plan94.org.
The dedicated service men and women have a new home away from home as MKE welcomes the new USO Lounge to Concourse D. A retreat for traveling military members and veterans, the lounge provides a comfortable place to watch TV, use the computer, read, relax and enjoy snacks and beverages. MKE is proud to serve its military community and honored by the positive reviews received on opening day. The lounge is accessible to traveling military with a valid boarding pass no matter what concourse they are flying out of.
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!
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!
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 flyMKE.com for a full listing of cities served nonstop by MKE.
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 MitchellAirport.com!
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.
Cheapflights.com 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.
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 www.frontierairlines.com.
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.
Food & Wine magazine recently introduced its “Ultimate Airport Dining Survival Guide,” featuring 25 of the best places to eat and drink in airports nationwide. Mitchell Airport’s Usinger’s restaurant in Concourse D made the list, thanks to its offering of tasty Milwaukee staples, including bratwursts, summer sausages and beer. Check out the full list of airport eats and make sure your next MKE visit includes a stop at Usinger’s!
Calling all Facebookers! If you’re a fan of Mitchell Airport, make sure to fly over to our Facebook fan page and “Like” us for your chance to win some great prizes, including an iPad2. Click the “Enter to Win an iPad2” link for details and to enter. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!
- At 3,500 fans, an iPod Touch (8GB) will be awarded to a randomly drawn entrant
- At 5,000 fans, an iPad2 (16GB) will be awarded to a randomly drawn entrant
We’ve already reached our 2,000-fan milestone. Congratulations to Lori R. of Saginaw, Mich., who was our first sweepstakes winner and is now enjoying her new iPod Nano!
Passenger numbers for Mitchell Airport have climbed to new heights. MKE saw record growth for the 20th consecutive month, serving 844,453 passengers in April 2011, resulting in a 1.42 percent increase over April 2010. Airport officials give much of the credit to the recent introduction of several low-fare carriers, including AirTran, Frontier and Southwest. In addition to fares that are on average $98 lower than O’Hare, $16 lower than Midway, and $78 lower than the national average according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, MKE boasts affordable parking and a strong convenience factor. Make sure to check out MKE’s new interactive map of nonstop destinations.
Compare fares and check out all of Frontier’s nonstop destinations at www.frontierairlines.com.
Turquoise waters and swaying palms turn from a dream to reality, thanks to AirTran’s new Saturday nonstop service between MKE and Cancun, Mexico (CUN). The airline also recently introduced a third nonstop to Akron-Canton Airport (CAK), adding greater flexibility for travelers between MKE and Cleveland.
Compare fares and check out AirTran’s list of nonstop service offerings at www.airtran.com.
Dallas travelers rejoice! Mitchell Airport welcomes the return of American Airlines’ mainline service between MKE and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW). American Airlines launched the twice-daily flights earlier this month, which were previously handled by American Eagle. Check out all of American Airlines’ service offerings at aa.com.
This May, Frontier will add a bevy of service, from east to west. On May 13, a fourth frequency from MKE to Boston Logan (BOS) will be added, in addition to nonstops between MKE and San Francisco (SFO), and MKE and Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). On May 14, Frontier will launch nonstop service between MKE and sunny San Diego (SAN). And, the seasonal MKE-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) connection will be extended until May 12 (originally scheduled to end April 17).
In other new service news, Frontier recently launched twice-daily nonstops from MKE to Manistee, Mich. and Rhinelander, Wis., replacing Great Lakes Airlines on those routes. Furthermore, a fourth frequency from MKE to New York-La Guardia (LGA) was added. Visit FrontierAirlines.com to book your next trip!
Mitchell Airport’s passenger numbers continue to climb, tallying record growth for the 18th consecutive month. MKE served 652,380 passengers in February 2011, resulting in a 0.72 percent increase over February 2010.
The New York Times featured a helpful round-up of airfare comparisons from airports nationwide in its recent article, “Which Airports Have the Most Unfair Fares?” How did MKE’s fares rank among other airports? The airport landed second best among the nation’s 50 busiest airports, coming in at $75 “underpriced.” Check out the article to find out which airports fall on the “overpriced” and “competitively priced” lists.
A group of 225 World War II veterans were greeted by thousands at Mitchell Airport as they deplaned their Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, returning from a complimentary visit to their WWII memorial in Washington D.C. The mid-April trip was hosted in part by the Honor Flight Network, a national program that sent 22,149 veterans to see their memorial at no cost in 2010. Wisconsin currently hosts six Honor Flight hubs, with the Stars and Stripes branch serving Milwaukee and the state’s southeastern region. To date, Stars and Stripes has flown more than 1,000 Wisconsin veterans to Washington D.C.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation and Frontier Airlines recently teamed up to grant a young girl’s wish: sending five-year-old Aliann Winchester of Waukesha, Wis. and her family to Disney World. A bevy of smiles were captured at the family’s send-off at Mitchell Airport, along with plenty of excitement from Aliann: “I’m looking forward to seeing Ariel, princesses and swimming!” Visit our Facebook page for the full story.
Mitchell Airport recently hosted travel blogger Beth Blair of The Vacation Gals and her family, who experienced MKE’s family-friendly attributes first-hand. Beth’s comprehensive review covers all of MKE’s kid-oriented nooks and crannies, including concourse play areas, shopping (the Renaissance used book store was her family’s personal favorite) and yes – even the family bathrooms with kid-sized amenities. Check out her full review for helpful tips, fun photos and notes about other MKE features and amenities!
Sightsee in the city that never sleeps, or visit the bar where everyone knows your name, with Frontier Airlines’ new nonstop service from MKE to New York (LGA) and Boston (BOS), respectively. Twice-daily nonstops from MKE to LGA begin April 4, while twice-daily service from MKE to BOS launches May 13.
Also, travelers looking to break away from the snow will enjoy Frontier’s extended daily seasonal service to sunny Fort Lauderdale (FLL), now offered through May 12, 2011.
Check out all Frontier’s destinations from MKE!
Reaching some of your favorite sunny destinations is now easier than ever, thanks to AirTran Airways’ new and increased service to Cancun (CUN), Tampa (TPA) and Phoenix (PHX). Service from MKE to TPA and PHX will increase to twice-daily beginning May 3, while new twice-per-Saturday nonstops from MKE to CUN launch May 28.
Check out AirTran’s list of nonstop service offerings at www.airtran.com!
For more than 20 years, Mitchell Airport has offered a series of Fear of Flying workshops to help its passengers conquer flying phobias. Those sessions have captured the attention of travelers nationwide. CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg listed MKE’s unique workshops as one of his Daily Travel Tips, noting that the sessions help travelers understand elements, such as how a plane works and the causes of those unfamiliar inflight noises.
Travelers won’t miss a romantic beat with their significant others this Valentine’s Day, as Gogo is offering complimentary Facebook service on several major airlines.
Throughout February, MKE passengers on AirTran, American, Delta, United or US Airways just need a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or mobile device to enjoy a little inflight flirting.
Thanks to everyone who helped Mitchell Airport exceed its 1,000 Facebook fan milestone in January! As the MKE fan base grows, so will passenger benefits. MKE will continue to provide fans with timely news and weather updates, in addition to rewards. For example, MKE recently treated select fans with airline gift cards and airport restaurant vouchers. Be sure to stay engaged and check back often for future giveaways. Thanks for joining in on the fun!
Thanks to all of our loyal travelers who helped Mitchell Airport set a new all-time record of 9,848,377 passengers served in 2010! Check out our Facebook page for glimpses of the past year’s record-breaking celebrations, and how we rewarded our passengers along the way. Here’s to another great year of travel in 2011!
Both AirTran and Southwest treated their passengers traveling on special Super Bowl flights to a tailgate party a la Lambeau. Brats, beads, contests, giveaways and fun were on tap at the gates.
Delta Air Lines also added special nonstops from MKE to Dallas Fort Worth that carried excited Packers fans to the Super Bowl, and ecstatic Packers fans back home.
Check our Facebook page for photos of the celebrations!
From the birthplace of jazz to The Sunshine State, AirTran has passengers covered with new nonstop service. AirTran is currently offering twice-daily nonstop service between New Orleans and Milwaukee, and Phoenix and Milwaukee. Additional thrice-daily seasonal nonstop service launches today, and new nonstop service between Tampa and Milwaukee will begin March 8, 2011.
Compare fares and check out AirTran’s list of nonstop service offerings at Airtran.com!
Traveling through Mitchell Airport is a little sweeter these days, thanks to the recent opening of Bartolotta’s Northpoint eatery. The shop is a twin to Milwaukee’s well-known Northpoint snack bar on the Lake Michigan waterfront, serving old fashioned custard and its famous tasty burgers, fries and shakes. Northpoint is located in the main concession mall, so passengers and meeters ’n greeters can enjoy a treat.
Ideal for both hurried travelers and those with time to spare, Mitchell Airport’s new restaurant, Cooler by the Lake, offers sit-down dining and grab ‘n go service. Located in Concourse E, the new eatery also features a full bar with widescreen televisions.
For the first time in Mitchell Airport history, more than 9 million passengers were served in one year! The news followed 14 consecutive months of record passenger growth at MKE, and made one lucky traveler’s day. Vatsa Veeravalli of San Antonio, TX was the 9 millionth passenger, arriving via Frontier Airlines. To commemorate the occasion, the airport presented him with a rolling suitcase filled with airport logo items and Frontier Airlines surprised him with a $500 Frontier Fly Bucks gift card. Visit our Facebook page for a glimpse of the celebration.
Passengers will have no trouble staying connected while in the skies this holiday season, thanks to Google Chrome teaming up with AirTran and Delta to offer free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on every domestic flight. Now through January 2, 2011, passengers on AirTran or Delta just need to bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or mobile device, and the airlines will take care of the rest!
Mitchell Airport’s Nonna Bartolotta’s and Alterra Coffee recently earned top spots in the Airports Council International – North America 2010 Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest! The Italian-style restaurant was awarded Best New Food and Beverage Concept, while the local coffee roaster won Best Green Concession Concept. We couldn’t be more proud of their steady delivery of outstanding food and beverages to MKE passengers.
Escape the chill with ease this winter, with new nonstop service to Mexico and the Caribbean offered by Funjet Vacations. Starting December 18, Funjet Vacations will feature round-trip charter and value flight getaways from MKE to the sun-drenched destinations, with service via AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines:
- Cancun/Riviera Maya: December 18, 2010 – April 27, 2011
- Cozumel: January 29, 2011 – March 26, 2011
- Jamaica: December 26, 2010 – April 23, 2011
- Puerto Vallarta: December 26, 2010 – April 24, 2011
- Punta Cana: December 26, 2010 – April 25, 2011
The new service includes Funjet Vacations’ expanded flight options to Cancun/Riviera Maya with all new service via Frontier Airlines. Plus, new Sunday flights to Punta Cana and Saturday flights to Jamaica will be added in 2011! MKE travelers can book their Mexico or Caribbean vacation package by calling their travel agent or visiting www.Funjet.com.
Those venturing westward will enjoy Frontier’s new seasonal nonstops to Seattle/Tacoma (SEA), aka the “Emerald City,” and sun-drenched Phoenix (PHX). Beginning December 16 and lasting through January 4, 2011, Frontier will offer twice-weekly nonstops from MKE to SEA. A second daily nonstop from MKE to PHX will be offered February 14 through April 17, 2011.
Visit www.frontierairlines.com to get your trip started!
As Mitchell Airport’s passenger traffic grows, we are happy to say so does our fan base. If you’re a member of Facebook, fly on over to Mitchell Airport’s fan page, “Like” us and click on the Win Free Airfare tab for details on how to enter for a chance to win. Share it with your friends – the faster our fan page grows, the more chances for you to win!
We’ll reward a few lucky fans with a voucher from the MKE airline of their choice when we hit these milestones:
- When 500 people “like” us, we’ll award a $100 airfare voucher
- At 750, a $250 voucher will be awarded
- At 1,000, a $500 voucher will be awarded
We’ll randomly draw from all the entrants. Winners of the $100 and $250 vouchers also will be eligible to win the subsequent vouchers. And along the way, we’ll also randomly draw for $10 certificates, good at the Famous Famiglia or Quizno’s in MKE’s concession mall.
It was a summer for the record books at Mitchell Airport! Not for the heat index, but rather for the record number of passengers who traveled out of the airport in June, July and August.
In August alone the airport’s passenger count increased nearly 20 percent compared to August 2009, marking the twelfth straight month of record passenger growth and surpassing the previous highest single-month records in June and July 2010.
In the first eight months of 2010, the airport served 6.6 million passengers, a 30 percent increase over the same period in 2009.
Plan your next trip at www.mitchellairport.com.
Retrace the steps of Mark Twain or take in a number of historical sites in Hartford, CT, one of the most history-rich cities on the East Coast, thanks to new service from Frontier Airlines. The new twice-daily nonstop flights between MKE and Bradley International Airport (BDL) began September 27.
Travelers can also now step back into the days of the Alamo or stroll the beautiful San Antonio River Walk with new four times-weekly nonstop flights from MKE to San Antonio International Airport (SAT), beginning November 19, 2010.
Those looking to take a break from the chilly Midwest this winter can still escape to sunny Florida. Frontier will move its seasonal service between Milwaukee and Tampa International Airport (TPA) to nearby St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport (PIE), starting Nov. 18, 2010.
Check out all Frontier’s destinations from MKE!
Thousands of friends, family members and supporters cheered and offered thanks on Sunday, September 19 as 200 World War II veterans arrived at the airport following a one-day Honor Flight to visit the WWII monument in Washington D.C. The flight was an opportunity made possible by Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, Inc., an organization dedicated to flying WWII veterans to see the memorial honoring their service, a once-in-a-lifetime trip nearly 500 more area veterans are still waiting their turn to take. Sunday’s flight was the seventh flight from Mitchell since the program began in November, 2008. The next Honor Flight is scheduled for November.
Travelers hankering for something authentically Milwaukee can now drop in on the newly opened Usinger’s deli and bar on Concourse D at Mitchell Airport. Devoted to the craft of sausage-making and honoring deliciously famous family recipes since 1800, Usinger’s offers waitress service or a grab-and-go menu of sandwiches, sausage and other meat and cheese dishes. For travelers looking to linger, grab a local brew and belly up to the bar — Usinger’s offers outlets for laptops and cell phones. Passengers departing from any concourse can use their boarding pass and ID at the D security checkpoint to enjoy a bite at Usinger’s.
Passengers traveling through Mitchell Airport will notice something different about the security process as they head toward their flight. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has installed new advanced imaging technology to safely screen passengers for metallic and nonmetallic objects concealed under layers of clothing. The new imaging technology, commonly referred to as full body scanning, will eliminate the need for TSA agents to make physical contact with passengers during the search process. Security protocol will remain the same as passengers walk into the imaging portal. Once inside, passengers will stand in a position and remain still for a few seconds while the technology creates an image of the passenger in real time. Advanced imaging technology is just one of TSA’s many layers of security, all of them working to protect our nation’s transportation system and keep passengers secure while traveling.
From the French Quarter to the Washington Monument, and many places in between, AirTran Airways has your destination covered, introducing new, additional and returning nonstop service options from its hub at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport (MKE):
New service offerings will include:
- New, nonstop flights to New Orleans in October
- New, nonstop flights to Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla., in November
- Adding a third daily flight to Boston this July
- Adding a fourth daily flight to Washington/Reagan National this October
- Returning seasonal service to Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale in November
“>From north to south, and east to west, we are building a route network in Milwaukee that will be more convenient for travelers,” said Bob Fornaro, AirTran Airways’ chairman, president and CEO. To snag a great deal on one of these destinations, visit www.airtran.com.
If your ideal winter escape includes an umbrella in your drink rather than one in your hand, Frontier Airlines has a nonstop for you! Beginning December 19, Frontier will offer new, twice-weekly seasonal nonstop service between Milwaukee and Cancun, Mexico, through May 1, 2011, with a third flight operating February 1 – April 15, 2011. “This is a period of substantial growth for Frontier and we are excited to add an exciting new nonstop destination out of Milwaukee,” said Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s VP of strategy and planning. To plan your smokin’ hot vacation to Cancun, check out cool deals on www.frontierairlines.com.
Frontier Airlines now offers flight service for its four-legged (or winged) friends! For a nominal fee, travelers can bring pets aboard, including small dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters or small household birds, as long as they meet the weight and size stipulations. “We received a lot of feedback on our pet policy and determined they would be a welcomed addition to the Frontier travel experience,” said Ian Arthur, Frontier Airlines’ vice president of marketing and branding. Now isn’t that just purr-fect! For tips on traveling with pets, check out Frontier Airlines’ pets page.
It is famously said that there are just two seasons in the Upper Midwest: winter and road construction. While we can’t change the weather, we can work around it to make sure getting to Mitchell Airport is still as easy as possible while the I-94 north/south corridor is under construction. Check out the latest updates and detour information at www.flymke.com/drive, and to avoid any unwanted surprises on your next trip to the airport, be sure to add 15 minutes to your travel time.
On May 17, AirTran’s custom-painted plane with throwback Milwaukee Brewers colors and logo was unveiled at MKE. Present for the reveal and to celebrate the aircraft’s new look were Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers, mascot Bernie Brewer, the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages and AirTran, Brewers and YMCA executives among other VIP guests. Kids from the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee pulled the 120,000-lb aircraft 20 feet at the event to earn $50,000 for their summer sports program. For grand slam flight deals or to book your summer travel, check out www.airtran.com.
Airplanes weren’t the only things flying at MKE during the recent grand opening of the Famous Famiglia Pizzeria in the main terminal food court. The quick-serve Italian restaurant, which offers pizza, pasta and salads, hosted an entertaining dough-throwing show while travelers waited for their slice of heavenly pie!
Visit us on Facebook to see a video of the high-flying pizza pro and get the latest airport news, updates and events.
Rain dwellers and sun seekers rejoice! Midwest Airlines’ new nonstop seasonal service between Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport (MKE) and sun-drenched San Diego begins April 19, while service from MKE to Seattle/Tacoma, aka the “Emerald City,” starts May 14.
Introductory one-way pricing, beginning at $99, is now available on both routes. Book your getaway to either of these gems by visiting midwestairlines.com.
If you’re heading to the Big D, and we do mean Dallas, grab your partner and pony up to AirTran’s new twice-daily, nonstop flights from MKE to Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW), which started April 6. For fares worthy of a “yee haw,” check out airtran.com.
AirTran Airways now has one more reason to call Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport home! Following the low-cost airline’s establishment of MKE as its second major hub earlier this year, it has now opened a new crew base at MKE that includes more than 50 Boeing 737 pilots and 50 flight attendants. The new base comes on the heels of major growth for AirTran, which expects to grow its daily flights from MKE to 56 by this summer. “With the right prices, we will attract customers from northern Illinois and keep Wisconsin residents from driving to Chicago for flights,” said AirTran CEO Bob Fornaro.
At MKE, our New Year’s resolution was to serve more travelers than ever. So far, so good. While nationwide passenger counts declined compared with 2009, MKE’s January passenger count soared with a 43.14 percent increase, and February and March also saw double-digit increases, making it the busiest first quarter on record.
Travel writers and experts have been examining the impressive growth at Mitchell Airport, especially since the roster of low fare carriers grew after Southwest Airlines joined the party last November. The latest look came from Travel Weekly writer Michael Fabey who explained in a recent article how airlines and passengers are reaping the rewards of competitive airfares by using Milwaukee’s Mitchell as an alternative airport to Chicago, calling Mitchell Airport “ripe for growth.” According to the U.S. Transportation Department, MKE’s annual passenger count grew by about 54 percent, to about 7.5 million, between 2002 and 2009, while total passenger traffic for the nation grew by only about 9 percent during those years.
When you’re traveling through MKE and you’ve got a serious case of the munchies, check out the newest additions in the main terminal food court. The newly renovated row of quick-serve restaurants now includes Quizno’s, and will welcome Italian eatery Famous Famiglia later this spring.
From airsick bags to skywriting, Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport (MKE) has pulled out all the stops in its marketing campaigns to show Illinois travelers how choosing MKE over O’Hare (ORD) helps them “feel better.” USATODAY journalist Harriet Baskas examined past and current airport marketing campaigns, among them, Mitchell Airport’s 2005 marketing campaign “Avoid the Chicago ORDeal.” Today, Mitchell Airport concentrates its efforts on the many positives of its airport (versus the negatives of its neighbor) after focus groups revealed northern Illinoisans already knew what’s wrong with O’Hare. “Just tell us what’s right with MKE,” they say.
Delta Air Lines is taking savvy travel to new heights at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport (MKE) , offering mobile check-in and electronic boarding passes. Travelers can use their Web-enabled cell phones to access delta.com, follow a few easy steps, and receive a bar code allowing them to breeze through security without touching a kiosk or fumbling with a paper boarding pass. MKE is one of a growing number of airports at which airlines are offering this technology.
From Milwaukee :
* To Albany for as low as $159 one-way
* To Albuquerque for as low as $143 one-way
* To Austin for as low as $159 one-way
* To Baltimore for as low as $90 one-way
* To Birmingham for as low as $133 one-way
* To Boston for as low as $87 one-way
* To Cleveland for as low as $86 one-way
* To Columbus for as low as $86 one-way
* To Dallas for as low as $131 one-way
* To Denver for as low as $96 one-way
* To Detroit for as low as $148 one-way
* To Ft. Lauderdale for as low as $101 one-way
* To Hartford for as low as $137 one-way
* To Houston for as low as $146 one-way
* To Indianapolis for as low as $86 one-way
* To Jacksonville for as low as $137 one-way
* To Kansas City for as low as $59 one-way
* To Las Vegas for as low as $137 one-way
* To Little Rock for as low as $133 one-way
* To Long Island for as low as $96 one-way
* To Los Angeles for as low as $116 one-way
* To Louisville for as low as $86 one-way
* To Manchester for as low as $101 one-way
* To Nashville for as low as $90 one-way
* To New Orleans for as low as $159 one-way
* To New York for as low as $94 one-way
* To Norfolk for as low as $139 one-way
* To Oakland for as low as $116 one-way
* To Oklahoma City for as low as $151 one-way
* To Ontario for as low as $159 one-way
* To Orange County for as low as $159 one-way
* To Orlando for as low as $123 one-way
* To Phoenix for as low as $120 one-way
* To Pittsburgh for as low as $89 one-way
* To Raleigh/Durham for as low as $124 one-way
* To San Diego for as low as $116 one-way
* To San Jose for as low as $148 one-way
* To St. Louis for as low as $86 one-way
* To Tampa Bay for as low as $123 one-way
* To West Palm Beach for as low as $137 one-way
If you’re still at the coffee shop, be sure to pick up a copy of today’s USA TODAY and turn to the front page of the Money section, or read it online. In Ben Mutzabaugh’s thorough report of Mitchell Airport, in which he calls MKE “a flashpoint for discount competition,” you’ll hear from the discount airline executives themselves on what they say is behind all the buzz at Milwaukee. And it’s not the beer.
- Discover why even competing carriers look to Southwest Airline’s expansion at MKE as an opportunity to help “raise the profile of Milwaukee as an alternative airport for greater Chicago.”
- Learn why AirTran’s strategy is to “reach down into that northern Illinois area” and why the CEO thinks “there’s a lot of potential from north Chicago.”
- Read how Midwest Airlines is planning to reinvent itself to hang on to its current “No. 1 carrier” position at MKE
“In our market, we certainly believe a rising tide lift all ships,” says Airport Director Barry Bateman. “The competition in this market has been good for the airlines, but especially beneficial for travelers in the greater Milwaukee and northern Chicago regions seeking more destinations at lower prices.”
AirTran and Akron Canton Airport (CAK) recently celebrated new service to Mitchell Airport with Harley-themed festivities. Passengers can now fly from CAK, an alternative airport for the Cleveland, Ohio region, to MKE, on AirTran’s new thrice-daily nonstop flights.
The new service, flown on Skywest Airlines, allows passengers to connect in AirTran’s Milwaukee hub to many West Coast cities. In addition, “The new flights provide important new options, low fares and excellent access to the northern Chicago region,” said Rick McQueen, president and CEO of Akron Canton Airport. AirTran’s creation of a Milwaukee hub will create more than 300 jobs locally for crew members, customer service agents and other personnel. Plan now for spring break travel at www.AirTran.com!
From Cali to Carolina, the “Best Care in the Air” will get you there! Beginning April 1, Midwest Airlines will offer twice-daily nonstop service from Milwaukee to Raleigh/Durham, N.C., and thrice-daily nonstop service from Milwaukee to St. Louis. If the West Coast is more your style, Midwest will offer once-daily nonstop service from Milwaukee to San Francisco, beginning April 19.
Visit www.MidwestAirlines.com to get your trip started!
At MKE, parking rates remain cheap, not steep, and passengers can arrive at their destination with more money to spend on souvenirs. While covered daily parking at MKE remains at $12 a day maximum, rates at O’Hare recently rose to $31 a day maximum. If your trip lasts three days, you could save $57 on parking rates by flying out of Mitchell Airport!
Travelers who park in MKE’s SuperSaver lot pay just $5 a day. The math: three days = $15. At O’Hare, the Lot E parking max is $17 a day. The math: three days = $51. Total savings = $36! Check out how much you can save by flying, and parking, at Mitchell Airport.
For Illinois travelers, MKE is a low-cost and stress-free alternative to other Chicago airports. But by looking at the license plates in our parking lots, you already know that! In 2009, the number of Illinois license plates at MKE grew more than 23 percent compared to 2008, with significant increases for 11 consecutive months. For the last six months of 2009, the Illinois vehicles parked at MKE accounted for 10 percent of the total.
Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “The number of passengers from northern Illinois and the northern Chicago suburbs taking advantage of Mitchell’s low-fare service continues to grow. Milwaukee/Chicago is a busy region for air travel, and Mitchell International has become one of the most price-competitive airports in the nation.”
Our passengers are more than just travelers, they are our friends! If you’re a member of Facebook or Twitter, why not flitter over to MKE to see what’s going on. Join our Facebook fan page, and follow us on Twitter @MitchellAirport for news, updates and special offers.
And, just to sweeten the deal, friend: Become our 500th follower on Twitter and you’ll win a goody bag filled with sweet Mitchell Airport swag!
MKE travelers aren’t our only shining stars! Randy Larson, manager of the news and gift shops at Mitchell Airport, was recently honored as Top Manager by the Paradies Shops. Larson was considered for the award among managers from 80 of the top performing The Paradies Shops around the country.
Read what major media outlets said about MKE in 2009:
CrankyFlier.com / December 2009
Travel writer Brett Snyder, better known as the Cranky Flier, spent part of the holidays flying, and blogging, his way across the country during the busiest travel times of the year. Lucky for us, a red-eye flight landed him in MKE where he had time to explore and give MKE rave reviews!
USATODAY.com / Today In the Sky / September 2009
Travel columnist Ben Mutzabaugh discusses falling fares from MKE. On the heels of MKE’s introduction of low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines, Mutzabaugh also credits other leading low-cost carriers, AirTran and Midwest, for driving down fares.
Elliott.org / September 2009
Nationally recognized travel writer Chris Elliott, who also writes a regular travel column for MSNBC.com and serves as reader advocate for National Geographic Traveler, ranked MKE as the least expensive travel destination for fall 2009 travel in a September 10 posting on his blog.
Airport Business / May 2009
Following AirTran Airways’ announcement of a 50 percent expansion in service from MKE, Airport Business assistant editor Brad McAllister wrote, “While most airports across the U.S. struggle to maintain air service, Milwaukee has turned vibrant.”
Have friends in Akron/Canton/Cleveland? Think they’re man enough? One lucky dude will win the Milwaukee Mancation!
- nonstop airfare to Milwaukee on SkyWest Airlines/AirTran Airways,
- a weekend stay at the Hilton-Milwaukee City Center,
- 2 tickets to the March 6, 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks game,
- services fit for a king at the Well-Spa at the Pfister,
- tour and lunch at the Harley-Davidson Museum,
- tour of the MillerCoors brewery and
- dining at their choice of Milwaukee’s fabulous restaurants including Safehouse, Milwaukee Chophouse, Miller Time Pub, Kil@wat or Mason Street Grill.
Plus, a one-year lease on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle!
While the rest of the country was counting down to the new year, Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport (MKE) was counting the upswing in passengers for another record month. The December 2009 passenger count was the busiest on record for that month, totaling 728,067 passengers, a 33.91 percent increase from December 2008. And for the first time, MKE saw more than 700,000 passengers in the month of December.
Passenger numbers at MKE continue to grow due in part to more flights from AirTran, Midwest and Delta, and the November addition of Southwest Airlines to the MKE lineup. Averages fares out of Mitchell International Airport continue to be lower than the average at 75 other U.S. airports, according to the latest U.S. Department of Transportation statistics (2nd Quarter 2009).
Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “The number of passengers from northern Illinois and the northern Chicago suburbs taking advantage of Mitchell’s low-fare service continues to grow. For the last six months of 2009, the number of Illinois cars in our parking areas averaged over 10 percent. Milwaukee/Chicago is a busy region for air travel, and Mitchell International has become one of the most price-competitive airports in the nation.”
If it’s true that birds of a feather flock together, then Akron Canton Airport (CAK), (also an alternative airport for travel to Cleveland, Ohio), can be our co-pilot any day! CAK celebrated AirTran Airways’ new, three daily nonstop flights from CAK to Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport (MKE) with a Harley-Davidson-themed launch. Marking the inaugural flight to Milwaukee on January 5, CAK staff and airport passengers donned leather vests and celebrated around a Harley Davidson motorcycle parked in the terminal. “This opens Northern Chicago to our passengers,” said Rick McQueen, president and CEO of Akron Canton Airport. “We are delighted to work in close partnership with SkyWest and AirTran Airways to launch new service to Milwaukee. The new flights provide important new options, low fares and excellent access to the Northern Chicago region.”
The November 2009 passenger total at General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) set a record as the airport’s busiest November ever, thanks in part to the launch of Southwest Airlines service. More than 725,000 passengers, a 37.96 percent increase compared to November 2008, passed through MKE in November. Following new and increased service offerings, 34 percent more airlines seats were available – room for November’s 200,000 additional passengers. “With 12 airlines and nearly 220 daily departures, MKE has become one of the most price competitive airports in the nation,” said airport director Barry Bateman.
Travel writer Brett Snyder, better known as the Cranky Flier, spent part of the holidays flying, and blogging, his way across the country during the busiest travel time of the year. Lucky for us, fate and a red-eye flight brought him to General Mitchell International Airport where he had time to explore before he gave glowing reviews of Midwest Airline’s Best Care Club and the airport’s Renaissance Bookstore, and even complimented MKE’s short security lines!
MKE travelers aren’t our only shining stars! Randy Larson, manager of the news and gift shops at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport, was recently honored as Top Manager of the Year at the Paradies 31st Annual Management Seminar and Merchandise Show. Larson was considered for the award among managers from 80 of the top performing The Paradies Shops around the country.
With more than 250,000 passengers expected to travel through MKE between Christmas and New Year’s, pack these easy tips to make holiday travel a cinch!
- Avoid Bag Humbug: Remember to review the TSA’s 3-1-1 program for details on what can be packed in a carry-on to avoid having to toss anything valuable. (www.tsa.gov/311)
- No Surprises: When traveling with gifts, stay on security’s nice list by leaving gifts unwrapped so they can be properly screened. This includes carry-on bags and checked baggage.
- Take Your Time, Warm Your Heart: Arrive 1½ – 2 hours early to allow time for check-in and clearing security, and for grabbing a gingerbread latte, of course.
- Park and Slide into Savings: Airport’s SuperSaver lot costs just $5 a day and you can take the free sleigh…errr, shuttle to the terminal.
- Precious Cargo: When traveling with children, remember these extra tips…
- Have a silent flight by keeping kids busy with dry snacks, coloring and activity books, portable video game systems and portable DVD players.
- Take advantage of the children’s indoor play areas and family restrooms conveniently located on all three concourses. No snow boots required.
- Make the security process a bit more jolly by remembering that strollers must go through the security screener, so collapse and prepare them in advance.
The tree isn’t the only thing being trimmed at MKE this holiday. Elf-sized airfares and parking costs are attracting holiday travelers in droves. More than 250,000 travelers are expected to use MKE between December 19 and January 3, a 41.3 percent increase over last year. The busiest days? December 23 and the Monday after Christmas, with 19,160 and 19,138 passengers, respectively.
General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) recently celebrated the long-anticipated arrival of low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines (LUV), which launched service to six cities on November 1 including Baltimore/Washington, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay. MKE and Southwest Airlines got the party started by hosting a weekend of kick-off activities, including a convoy of Harley-Davidson motorcycles escorting Southwest Airlines’ first flight from the runway to the gate, charitable Halloween Party, tailgate bash for the Packers vs Vikings game, and an airport “kickoff” ceremony.
According to airport director Barry Bateman, Southwest bolsters MKE’s roster of low-fare carriers, reinforcing the airport’s reputation as one of the most competitive in the United States.
To feel the LUV, visit www.Southwest.com.
Always accommodating the budget-minded business traveler, AirTran Airways will add new flights and service routes from Milwaukee, starting April 6. The lost-cost carrier will offer twice-daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and add another daily flight to its current service to Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Also, AirTran will partner with SkyWest Airlines to offer regional jet service from MKE to six cities: Pittsburgh; St. Louis; Akron/Canton, Ohio; Indianapolis, Des Moines, Iowa; and Omaha, Neb. Flights will begin on:
December 4, 2009 – Pittsburgh and St. Louis
January 5, 2010 – Akron/Canton and Indianapolis
February 11, 2010 – Des Moines and Omaha
To shop low fares to anywhere AirTran flies, visit www.AirTran.com.
If you left your heart in San Francisco, Midwest Airlines may entice you to retrieve it this spring. Starting April 19, Midwest Airlines will launch nonstop service from Milwaukee to San Francisco. But if the East Coast is calling your name, Midwest also will be adding twice-daily service from Milwaukee to Raleigh/Durham, N.C., starting April 1.
To celebrate the launch of the new service, Midwest is offering special pricing starting at $89 one way. Visit www.MidwestAirlines.com to get your trip started!
Whether you’re in search of rodeo, ribs or Tony Romo, American Eagle Airlines can get you to the Big D faster than you can say “More BBQ sauce, please.” Starting January 31, American Eagle will increase its daily nonstop service between Milwaukee and Dallas/Fort to five flights per day. Yeeee haw!
To book your trip, saddle up and visit www.aa.com.
It’s hard enough to find a sandwich for less than $5 these days, but an airport parking spot? Ever attuned to the needs of savvy travelers, MKE has introduced its new SuperSaver parking lot with a 24-hour bargain rate of $5, including sales tax. The SuperSaver also offers free and convenient shuttle service directly to the airport terminal and is the lowest cost parking option at MKE.
In addition to SuperSaver parking, MKE continues to offer hourly covered parking for $2 per hour ($22 per day max), daily covered parking for $12 per day and adjacent surface parking(which contains the cell phone waiting lot) for $13 per day. The first 30 minutes of parking in the hourly and surface lots are free, and motorcycle parking is always free at the covered motorcycle parking area located at the north end of baggage claim drive!
If you’re traveling through or from MKE this holiday season, and have some extra time on your hands, hop on to free Wi-Fi! Through January 15, Boingo has partnered with Google to offer free Wi-Fi to travelers at MKE, and 31 other airports around the country.
With average airfares out of MKE lower than those of 75 other U.S. airports, including O’Hare, it’s no wonder MKE recorded record numbers of fall passengers. Airport officials attribute the bump to an increase in flights and service routes.
“Wisconsin and northern Illinois passengers have enthusiastically welcomed the new low-fare flight options out of Mitchell Airport, filling just about every seat the airlines added this fall,” said Barry Bateman, Airport Director.
If air travel is on your agenda this holiday season, you might find yourself at MKE with a few minutes to spare. In honor of all things festive, we bring you a list of the Top 5 jolliest things to do at MKE this Holiday Season – besides take-off!
1. Finish last minute shopping without having to fight for parking. Surf MKE’s free Wi-Fi through January 15.
2. Search for a vintage copy of A Christmas Carol in the Renassiannce Bookstore.
3. The holidays are a time to relax. Recombobulate in MKE’s much-talked-about “Recombobulation Area” on the other side of security.
4. Find out how people traveled home for the holidays ages ago when you tour the Mitchell Gallery of Flight Museum inside the main terminal.
5. Indulge in a sweet holiday treat or savor a peppermint mocha coffee at Alterra Coffee. There are three, found on concourses C, D and in the main terminal near the entrance to Concourse E.