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Today, Southwest gave the residents of Wisconsin something to talk about around the bubbler. 

We’re adding Milwaukee and General Mitchell International Airport to our network!!!  Starting late this year, the home of the Cunninghams, the Fonz, Laverne and Shirley, the Bucks, the Brewers, and the Packers will become the 68th airport on the Southwest Airlines route map.  (Yeah, I realize the Packers are technically based in Green Bay, but they're the professional football team for the whole state of Wisconsin, so I'll include them here!)

We know many of you in the Milwaukee area are already familiar with Southwest (low fares and GREAT Customer Service!)—but for our Customers that aren’t familiar with Milwaukee, you’ve got a treat in store for you.  Besides having a vibrant business base, Milwaukee is just a lot of fun.  Amazing food (please, PLEASE visit Mader’s for German food!), the arts (the Milwaukee Art Museum has masterpiece buildings designed by both Saarinen and Calatrava!), the home of Harley-Davidson (don’t miss their museum!), sausage, cheese, beer, sports, the lake….and of course, the people.  Good people.  Just don’t plan anything other than watching football on a Sunday afternoon when the Packers are playing. You could be very lonely….  *grin*

Milwaukee is going to be a GREAT addition to our network.  Wisconsin’s legendary work ethic, which mirrors Southwest’s exceptionally productive Culture, is going to make us a great fit in the land of the Cheesehead. 

2009 has turned into a banner year for new cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York LaGuardia, Boston...and now Milwaukee) at Southwest.  Four new destinations this year—the most new airports we’ve added since 1996, when we added Tampa Bay, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, and Providence.  But the significant difference is that in 1996 Southwest was in full growth mode in a robust economy.  Now, in 2009, we’re adding all four of these cities without adding aircraft to our fleet—instead, we’re doing it by continuing to trim unpopular flights from existing markets and redeploying our resources by adding new destinations to our network.  Once again—the enormous power of our Schedule Optimizer gives us the ability to reshuffle the “deck” and deploy our aircraft in a way that allows Southwest to expand our reach without expanding our fleet.

We’re still working out the details of our service at Milwaukee, but we’ll get back to you soon with the specifics.  Welcome to the network, Milwaukee—and from Laverne and Shrley’s theme song—“Schlemeel…Schlemozzle….Hasenfeffer Incorporated…..We’re gonna do it!!!


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Direct to San Antonio or Austin, please, please, please, please, please, please! Thank you so much Southwest! Peanuts are better for you than chocolate chip cookies. Ya'll rock!
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Soooo excited Southwest is coming to Milwaukee. Used to live in Phoenix and flew SWA all the time and absolutely love it! Will you be hiring Milwaukee employees or will majority of the positions be employees transferring?
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I follow the airline industry and here is where I think Southwest will fly in the beginning and why. They say 8-10 NON-stop flights daily to start. Las Vegas - 2 non/stops I think. Vegas is a lock! Gamblers and excellent connections to west coast. Phoenix - 1-2 non/stops. Popular destination and extra connections to Calif. SW will time these two city flights for 4 good connctions to Los Angles, Oakland etc. for example. Orlando - 1-2 non/stops. They are starting in Dec. Disney will load planes. Kansas City or St. Louis - 3 flights. Slightly more likely at KC. These flights are not only for those destinations, but to make connections to various cities in the network. Midway - NO. Why you say. People drive from Milwaukee to Chicago, so the only reason you would fly there is for connections. The flight is just to short. Better to fly to St.L or KC where people from MKE will want to fly or connect. Beside since MKE is Chicago's 3rd airport they will want northern Chicago people to have a long distance flight option. Other Florida destinations are possible(tampa) but maybe not the first set of destinations they pick. Nashville - possible 1 daily flight. Destination underserved plus connections to east coast. Baltimore - possible. They may want to fly to their big east coast operation and stick it to Airtran and their 3 daily non-stops. Minneapolis - No. Better to use the planes on longer flights. Airtran is serving MSP with 3 new non-stops. That is the new competetion, use them instead. They will keep fares inline. Texas non-stops. No. You will connect in ST.L or KC for those. Keep in mind that Airtran is greatly expanding their MKE flights. 30 non-stops now(34 by June 11th) including LAX, San Fran., San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, LGA, Boston, St.L and Washington National Starting June 11th. Airtran has set up MKE not only to serve that city, but make easy connections for people flying from the east and west coast. More effecient with flight times for them to connect at MKE than Atlanta. Airtran is an excellent discount airline. Even if you love SW sometimes Airtran may have a better option to consider. They are setting up a mini-hub in MKE. This has already helped pricing at MKE and with SW adding service it will only get better and cheaper. SW and Airtran are not adding aircraft to there fleets now. They are only rerouting planes. So maybe SW won't expand as fast as you would like, but they are and will be a factor at MKE. Happy flying!
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GSP next...PLEASE!
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MKE to IAH would be great, MDW only goes to Hobby.....
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"Too bad you will never succeed in MKE. We in Milwaukee know Southwest is known for bottom of the barrell service and is run by dumb hayseeds. Your attempt to rile up Airtran won't work either. We are loyal to YX, even if it means higher rates. We are not the cheapskates you are used to in your other markets. Sorry, but it's not going to be pretty. We are not rubes." True, Midwest has great service that southwest can not compete with. Weather people are going to spend the extrea buck I don't know. I love Midwest and I always will. My dad currently works for Midwest so we fly for free. Midwest also has a some kind deal with Airtran so we fly for free with them too. I must say that my first impressions of Airtran are completely untrue. I thought it was this cheap airlines with bad service. To be honest, it was pretty good. Good service and features such as XM radio or GoGo wireless internet was really nice though. I would rather fly Midwest right now because I feel that Midwest's service beats every other airline. You may be thinking Midwest is turning into a "regular airline" but I want to remind or tell about what Midwest used to be. Everyone single plane used to have Wide Leather Seats for every seat on the plane, 5 star good brought to you on china plates and silver silverware. All you can drink with soda, wine, bear. Sure its not the same anymore but they did keep the great service that comes from every employee and of course the cookies. I don't want to sound mean but I hope it does not work out for Southwest. My father works for Midwest and possibility moving to Airtran so I would hate to see them go.
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When you begin taking applications, I'll be one of the first in line! I can't wait to work for an organization that has room for advancement and opportunity. Hurray!!! I will love this job.
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San Diego International Airport (where Southwest is #1) was so proud of its new service to Milwaukie that its employee bloggers produced a hilarious spoof video of the Laverne & Shirley opening -- with a San Diego twist. It's a must-see at:
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Hello, I know it may sound crazy but don't overlook flying to Duluth,MN. Midwest was NWA's only competition and the planes were full. (3 a day) The same day that NWA bought them it was the end of service to Duluth