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Plan Ahead to Save During Midwest Airlines' Winter Wonder Sale

RedDogC130

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Midwest Airlines is offering sale fares for travel Nov. 11, 2009 through May 26, 2010. Purchase Sunday, Nov. 1 through midnight, Central time, Tuesday, Nov. 10 and at least 10 days in advance of travel.



Sale fares are available to and from the airline’s hubs in Milwaukee and Kansas City, with easy connections to cities throughout the United States. For flight information and reservations, visit midwestairlines.com, call the Midwest Airlines Contact Center at 800-452-2022 (in Milwaukee, 414-570-7000), or contact a travel consultant.

SO they are still going to operate the airline just with Republic aircraft....I guess I have misunderstood the whole thing so far...I thought the Midwest name was going away?
 
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Colonel Savage

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The name stays. It's the pilots, aircraft, agents, cabin crew, schedulers, mechanics, and others that go away.
 
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10nCLR

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Big Changes
http://www.jsonline.com/business/68119802.html

Passengers can expect more efficient aircraft, lower fares

By Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Oct. 31, 2009
Seat facts
With Midwest Airlines taking its Boeing 717 jets out of service, the carrier's widest seats are disappearing. Here is a comparison of seat width and pitch - the distance from any point on one seat to the same point on the seat in front or behind it - for Midwest Airlines, AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines. Dimensions vary based on type of aircraft and class of service.
• Midwest: Seat width, 17.8 to 20 inches; pitch, 30 to 38 inches, on Embraer 170, Embraer 190 and Airbus 319 jets. Seat width, 17.3 inches; pitch, 31 inches on Embraer 135 and Embraer 140 regional jets.
• AirTran: Seat width, 18 to 22 inches; pitch, 30 to 37 inches, on Boeing 717 and Boeing 737 jets.
• Southwest: Seat width, 17 inches; pitch, 32 inches, on Boeing 737 jets.

Starting this week, air service from Mitchell International Airport undergoes some big changes:
• Discount carrier Southwest Airlines begins flying here Sunday morning, a move that industry experts say has already lowered fares in Milwaukee.
• On Monday night, the last Midwest Airlines flight using a Boeing 717 jet, featuring Midwest's legacy pilots and flight attendants, will land at Mitchell International. Midwest's new owner, Republic Airways Holdings Inc., is replacing them with more-efficient aircraft - primarily the 99-seat Embraer 190, as well as the 136-seat Airbus 319 - and less-expensive crews, so Midwest can better compete on price and restore some service that had been cut last year.
• Discount carrier AirTran Airways, meanwhile, has become Milwaukee's second-busiest carrier, and Delta Air Lines is continuing to merge its operations with the former No. 2 carrier, Northwest Airlines, which Delta bought a year ago.
Gone will be the wide leather seats that were long Midwest Airlines' hallmark.
For years, Midwest touted its wider seats as a big advantage over other airlines. Last year, Midwest began charging extra for the 21.5-inch wide seats in the front rows of the Boeing 717s.
The Embraer and Airbus jets replacing the Boeing 717s have seat widths ranging from 17.8 inches to 20 inches.
That disappoints longtime Midwest customer Susan Foley, who twice this year took Midwest flights from Milwaukee to Phoenix, and then flew Southwest from Phoenix to San Diego, where her brother lives.
Recently, Foley booked Southwest flights from Milwaukee to Kansas City, and Kansas City to San Diego, because she was unable to get a wide seat on Midwest. Her roundtrip fare: $280. "I would have spent more than that to fly on the old Midwest jets," Foley said.
Seat width, however, is not a major factor for most passengers, said aviation consultant Scott Hamilton, of Issaquah, Wash.-based Leeham Co.
"The general public cares about low fares, on time, no lost luggage and landing in one piece," Hamilton said.
Pace of changes

Airlines often come in and out of markets, says Robert Herbst, an industry consultant who operates AirlineFinancials.com. But the recent pace of changes seems high for a medium-sized airport like Milwaukee's, he said.
"Certainly, it's getting hit at least at the top of the range," Herbst said.
That's good news for local passengers seeking low fares and more destinations.
Fares for flights departing from Milwaukee this fall have dropped 20% compared with fall 2008, according to Kayak.com. Flights booked through Orbitz.com departing from Milwaukee between the day after Labor Day and the Sunday before Thanksgiving are 21% cheaper than they were during the same period last year.
That trend will continue. Travelocity.com says the average airfare for a Milwaukee departure from November through March will be 30% less than the national average.
Herbst expects Southwest will eventually raise its fares but will keep them among the lowest in Milwaukee.
Southwest begins its Milwaukee service with 12 daily nonstop flights to Baltimore, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.
Its arrival in the market already has helped force lower fares from Milwaukee, according to data from Travelocity.com and other online booking services. Also, Southwest, unlike many airlines, doesn't charge for the first two pieces of checked luggage for each passenger. That could amount to a savings of up to $80 for a round trip, said Kevin Krone, Southwest's vice president of marketing, sales and distribution.
Krone says Southwest's fares will attract new passengers to Mitchell International, including some from the northern Chicago suburbs.
Additional service driven by AirTran's lower fares helped Mitchell International record its busiest month ever in September, with a total of 648,779 passengers - a 16.85% increase over September 2008.
Smaller market share

Midwest remains Milwaukee's No. 1 carrier. But its market share, once around 50%, was at 35.5% in September. Some of that share was lost when Midwest's previous owner, TPG Capital, cut service from Mitchell International and other airports by around 40% in 2008 after fuel prices spiked and demand for air travel declined.
Midwest's $31 million sale to Indianapolis-based Republic on July 31 gives the airline more financial stability, said Jim Reichart, Midwest's director of advertising and brand. Midwest has recently restored service to Los Angeles, St. Louis and Louisville, Ky., and plans to add more flights next year.
Republic's ownership also brings a lower cost structure, Reichart said. That doesn't mean Midwest is matching every discount fare, but it does mean it can be more competitive with the likes of Southwest and AirTran.
That could change the marketing focus for Midwest, which for years charged higher fares - while advertising a higher level of service.
"You may see price becoming a more prominent element in advertising," Reichart said.
Some of Midwest's lower costs are coming through the use of Republic flight crews who have less seniority, and earn lower salaries, than the so-called legacy Midwest flight crews - pilots and flight attendants who worked for the company prior to its acquisition by TPG. The last remaining veteran Midwest pilots and flight attendants will be laid off this week, after the last Boeing 717 in the Midwest fleet is removed from service on Monday.
Those jets are being replaced mainly by Republic-staffed Embraer 190 jets and by Airbus 319 jets from Denver-based Frontier, which Republic bought on Oct. 1. Midwest also is using Embraer 170 jets and regional aircraft staffed by Republic crews.
"All the people who you used to see when you walk onto a Midwest Airlines flight aren't there anymore," said Tony Freitas, chairman of the Midwest unit of the Air Line Pilots Association.
The Midwest legacy crews' chances of working for Republic will depend on the outcome of negotiations to merge the seniority lists of union employees from Midwest, Republic and Frontier. Virtually no progress has occurred, and officials from Midwest's pilots union say Republic management should get involved to speed up the process.
Republic Chief Executive Officer Bryan Bedford hopes to see the seniority issues resolved as quickly as possible. But company executives cannot impose their vision of a fair integration, which needs to be resolved among the unions, said Republic spokesman Carlo Bertolini.
Passenger service

Most passengers probably don't care about the staffing issue, said aviation industry consultant Michael Boyd, who operates Boyd Group International Inc., based in Evergreen, Colo.
But, along with ticket prices, passengers do care about service, said Kevin Healy, AirTran senior vice president of marketing and planning. He said Midwest will have a tough time advertising itself as "The Best Care in the Air" as it replaces its veteran flight crews.
AirTran, with a 24.5% market share in September, is credited with helping drive down fares in Milwaukee. Healy also said AirTran offers better amenities, including large overhead bins, new wireless Internet service, and assigned seats.
Southwest boards passengers by zones, instead of assigning seats. The zone boarding hasn't been an issue, said Krone, who said Southwest offers roomier cabins than many of its competitors.
Meanwhile, Midwest will maintain a high level of customer service despite the changing flight crews, Reichart said.
Republic crews flew some of Midwest's planes under contract before Republic bought Midwest, and customer surveys showed no decline in the level of service during that period, he said.
 

dougdrvr

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The name stays. It's the pilots, aircraft, agents, cabin crew, schedulers, mechanics, and others that go away.
And rip the "connect: stickers off the planes. Rumor is they are going to try to use the MIDEX call sign and the YX code, while the certificate is turned in Tuesday. If it doesn't make your blood boil, then you have none in your veins........
 

Aerosurfer

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And rip the "connect: stickers off the planes. Rumor is they are going to try to use the MIDEX call sign and the YX code, while the certificate is turned in Tuesday. If it doesn't make your blood boil, then you have none in your veins........


Ummmm yeah....... I doubt that one. Connect stickers are supposed to come off, but the rest makes no sense
 

CoolSidePillow

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And rip the "connect: stickers off the planes. Rumor is they are going to try to use the MIDEX call sign and the YX code, while the certificate is turned in Tuesday. If it doesn't make your blood boil, then you have none in your veins........

Beyond boil. Vaporizing
 

Colonel Savage

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Wonder who TPG has their sights on next. Got a feeling we're going to see this senario again.
 

Jetjockey

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king10pin02

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And rip the "connect: stickers off the planes. Rumor is they are going to try to use the MIDEX call sign and the YX code, while the certificate is turned in Tuesday. If it doesn't make your blood boil, then you have none in your veins........

this is not possible, only one call sign per certificate. the "Brickyard" call sign will be used for these flights. The "MIDEX" call sign goes away when the Midwest certificate is returned to the FAA next month.
 

CaptSeth

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this is not possible, only one call sign per certificate. the "Brickyard" call sign will be used for these flights. The "MIDEX" call sign goes away when the Midwest certificate is returned to the FAA next month.

All you need is the opspecs for it. I've operated as Air Berlin, Copa, Reach, BlueScan, all with the same carrier.
 
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