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Southwest Airlines Announces Intent to Begin Service from Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport

Frequent Flyer A

Southwest Airlines today announced its intent to begin service from Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport (MKE) late this year.  The carrier has not released specific service details, but said it will offer multiple destinations from the airport of choice for business and leisure travelers who work and live across the vibrant and growing region.  The new Southwest service from MKE will commence after already-announced new service to New York LaGuardia (June 28) and Boston Logan (August 16).


“I am certain our more than 90 million annual Customers will be delighted to learn they will now be able to fly Southwest Airlines when their travels take them to Milwaukee.  Likewise, I look forward to bringing our great, low fare service, and the nation’s largest airline network to our new friends in Milwaukee, which will also help better serve the Northern Chicago Area,“ said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO, at Southwest Airlines’ Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Dallas.


 “As we have previously announced, we essentially slowed our 2009 and 2010 fleet growth to zero.  All of these new market opportunities are made possible without the addition of a single airplane by our continuous flight schedule optimization process,“ he said.


The Company plans to release more details of its future service from Milwaukee in the coming months.

 "Southwest's arrival in Milwaukee will stimulate job growth, economic development, and give travelers more options they've been seeking," said Milwaukee Mitchell Airport Director Barry Bateman.  “Southwest is already the dominant airline at Chicago Midway and will provide new service to the growing population of Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin, further solidifying Mitchell International as 'Chicago's Third Airport'.” 

Explorer C
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now I don't have to take a 2 hour bus ride from Midway! Southwest rocks my world!
Explorer C
Thanks SOOOOO MUCH Southwest, you guys are my favorite airline and I fly you guys all the time and now MKE makes it much easier to reach instead of driving from Madison, WI to Chicago Midway. Dont get me wrong Midway. I still luv all you guys but MKE makes my travels easier and I can still pay low fares and can keep my business with Southwest. Great Job Guys!!!
Explorer C
I am so happy I could cry! I have been waiting and hoping for years that you would go into Wisconsin and Milwaukee is perfect. Now I can fly my favorite, most trusted and easiest airline everywhere I fly. Thank you.
Explorer C
Thanks for this service; each year we travel to Milwaukee to visit relatives and have had to fly on another airline. Next year, we will be able to fly with our favorite airlne. Again, thanks!
Explorer C
90% of of flying has been with Southwest. But we always had to drive from Milwaukee to Midway. We fly in to Oakland or Sfo. Sure hope they add these 2 to their Destinations ? We travel to Cal.2-3 x per hr. Hope they announce either of these cities sometime this year
Explorer C
still mke is a great addition but we still need Southwest to fly to Scranton, Portland Maine and Charlotte. I would have started at Least Charlotte before LGA starts. whats the deal?
Explorer C
Thanks soooo much, I love SWA, now I don't need to drive to MDW, last time I did that I got stuck in a bad snow storm, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee do non-stop service to Ft. Myers and Denver from MKE!!!!!!!!
Explorer C if we could just add Bangor/Portland Maine, and Charlotte NC......we can rule the galaxy!!!
Explorer C
HOORAY!!!!!!!! This is such wonderful fantastic super news! I am so thrilled, happy, and excited that Southwest is coming to Milwaukee. You guys have the absolute best airline ever! One time I flew with you guys and I dont recall if it was the pilot or the steward but one of them sang this funny song that made the whole airplane laugh. I love the carefree and helpful employees we have met, they are always so nice and have an awesome sense of humor. I'm always a little on edge when flying but I always feel the most comfortable on Southwest. The fares are unbeatable and how great that people in WI dont have to drive through IL traffic and tolls in order to enjoy your fantastic airline. Kudos to you Southwest for expanding to Milwaukee, ALL of my family will travel with you A LOT! Thank you so much! YIPEE!!!! Sincerely a Southwest fan and traveler.
Explorer C
For those loyal Southwest fans - including myself - in the Memphis Metroplex that drive two hours to the west (to fly Southwest from Little Rock) or three hours to the east (to fly from Nashville), y'all need to know that we haven't given up that you will someday fly here and bust up the monopoly that squelches our want and need to not only save - but have reliable air service when we fly. Luck favors the persistent!
Explorer C
Awesome news !! We have family in Appleton, WI - getting there from LA is a challenge, to say the least. For example, last Christmas was: LAX to MDW (no problems) - but, 4 hours later (should have been 2), while driving past MKE in a snow storm, I said to my wife "Wouldn't it be great if Southwest flew to Milwaukee"? Apparently, the Southwest scheduling team heard me - Thank you !! Please consider a LAX - MKE non-stop !!! I flew 98 times last year - 90 on Southwest - if you had Minneapolis and Maui on your schedule, it would have been 98. Keep up the good work - you're the best in the air !!
Explorer C
This is FANTASTIC, I recently moved North of Milwaukee after living in Chicago for 44 years and flying nothing but Southwest for the last twelve (99% business). I was driving the two hours to Midway almost every week, the road construction was draining me so I started flying less desirable airlines out of Mitchell. Soutwest sent me a survey asking what they can do to improve service, I told my story and asked them to start service out of Mitchell, I guess if you don't ask you'll never get it.
Explorer C
Bravo! I've been wanting to be able to fly Southwest from Milwaukee for a very long time. I will be able to do almost all of the considerable flying I do for business utilizing the new service instead of the approximately 5% I currently do because of the long drive to Midway and parking costs there. Please make this service available ASAP.
Explorer C
THANK-YOU! We travel to MKE every year and always have to fly to MDW or use another airline, which we do not like. Having small children; traveling is not easy especially adding a 2-3 hour drive once you land. My kids will get to see their Grandparents and fish more fequently now that MKE is on your route! Icing on the cake would be a direct flight from ABQ to MKE. We run into a lot of people from WI that have moved here so hopefully it will be a popular enough route to add a non-stop. THANKS!
Explorer C
This is fantastic news. Hopefully, there will be nonstop service from Houston Hobby. Currently, there is only one nonstop option from Houston to Milwaukee (Continental from IAH). More nonstop options for Houstonians are needed. Southwest is a much preferred option to Continental.
Explorer C
THANK YOU for a very wise business decision!!
Explorer C
WOO HOO!!!!! This is the best news that I have heard in a long time. Can't wait to welcome Southwest to our neck of the woods ... I am a California native and was spoiled by the ease of traveling on SWA and look forward to traveling 30 minutes to Milwaukee and not making the trip to Midway to fly ... fantastic!!
Explorer C
this is gonna be sweet ! no more kidney-killer rides on the stevenson expressway (I'm hoping out loud here). with milwaukee coming onboard I have to ask does this mean the chances of midway privatizing are increasing ? I grew up in the greater rockford area & they can't keep an airline to save their life there. begged & pleaded with them so entertain a deal with southwest but way to go milwaukee, good luck midway, & RIP rockford (Rockford Is Pitiful).
Explorer C
Milwaukee! Really! I fly so many flights on SWA I can't even keep track anymore. Added Dulles to Midway to my travels, then Dulles to Minneapolis....if you can get me from Dulles to Milwaukee, that would be living the dream!
Explorer C
thank you (1000 times) Like most who have commented the trip from northern wisconsin to middway was terrible.
Explorer C
Hurray! We're so happy that you will be flying out of Milwaukee. I host tours out of the Marinette area and we love Southwest. We had the neatest Airline Hostess on our last flight to Florida in April. She should have been a stand up comedian. She was wonderful. Not only did she get the message across, but YOU WANTED TO HEAR WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY....OR SING. Thanks too, for your generosity in offering peanuts, etc. It doesn't seem like you're going to go "broke" if you offer someone a second package. Here's to a great Airline! Oh, and by the way....the flight was good too!!!
Explorer C
This is great news!! I still have family in WI but live in the SE now. SWA is my airline of choice for all business travel and gets me to the majority of the major cities in my territory. Now I will be able to fly my airline of choice back home too. Ditto on all of the discussions of the travel from Midway. Although I've made the trip from Midway several times Milwaukee will be sweet!
Explorer C
This is the great news! Looking forward to enjoying flights in and out of Milwaukee. This was an excellent business decision that's a win-win for both your customer's and your business. Thank you!
Explorer C
Great news, SWA. Been hoping for service to Milwaukee. Now, if we can go from Tucson, to Milwaukee, nonstop, that would be a dream come true. We fly SWA all the time and love you. You're the greatest airline, you really put people first, and I truly believe that the people who fly with you, I mean the passengers, are some of the nicest and courteous around. I've never seen shoving and pushing to get off a plane on SWA. Everyone takes their turn, and are willing to help fellow passengers if they need it. Way to go!!
Explorer C
Talk about adding a much needed boost to Milwaukee's air travelers as well as to the airport and local economy. Mitchell airport is a very convenient for travelers. No traffic jams, affordable parking rates with plenty of space and no flight delays. Plenty of gates available for Southwest expansion here in MKE. First we get great service from AirTran with all their nonstops added over the past two years now the entrance of Southwest! I must be dreaming! Both carriers can and will survive in MKE and I wish both AirTran and Southwest success with their MKE operations. Milwaukee needs quality airlines that can offer more travel destinations at affordable fares. I recently bought a ticket on AirTran. I am just waiting for Southwest's announcement on their November flight schedule out of MKE to book my first flight on Southwest with many more to come! I will patronize both carriers out of MKE for all my travel needs. Goodbye to Delta and Midwest. I have been fleeced by both of you for too many years. I will take bags of dry roasted peanuts and low air fares over chocolate chip cookies and sky high fares any day! Milwaukee you do not know how lucky you are!
Explorer C
I suspect that MKE will be a feeder city rather than a hub to start with. I suspect that they will fly to Baltimore, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Orlando with connections from there. I hope that Nashville get thrown into that, especially since Orlando does not connect to Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville, two popular Florida locations. I would even wager that some of Nashville's routes to MDW could shift to MKE, given that many folks flying from Nashville to MDW are actually going to Wisconsin or North Chicago. Nevertheless, I am happy that Southwest is doing this.
Explorer C
When can I book a flight from Milwaukee to Dallas? We want to go over Thanksgiving weekend! Can't wait to experience all the great things I've heard about Southwest Airlines! Now your TV commercials during the Green Bay Packer Games will REALLY be great!
Explorer C
YES, YES, YES!!!!! I live between ORD and MKE but LOVE to fly Southwest. This is really great news and I'm just thrilled and so happy. It would be nice to get a flight to PHX from MKE in time for our family reunion in Sept but if not that's fine...I'll just have an excuse to plan another trip. DING! will have a whole new meaning for me now. Thank you for the expansion it really will be great for us in the Northern Chicago Suburbs.
Explorer C
Hooray! Can't wait for a BNA to MKE route. Thank you for offering an alternative to Chicago.
Explorer C
When will the destination cities finally be announced and start flights? When will they go on sale? The press release is nearly a month I would have hoped for more info by now... Why hasn't that information at the very least already been announced? I'm looking to purchase tickets for late November to FLL non-stop, and want to know before purchasing to fly out of MDW, which is a royal pain coming from Chicago's North Shore with the constant road destruction (intentional) on the Tri-State.
Explorer C
Still waiting for SW to fly to the panhandle/Emerald Coast of Florida!! Fort Walton Beach, FL (VPS) - with a recently updated/constructed airport in last 4 years, with plans for more. Next choice would be Pensacola (PNS). With all of the tourists visiting the area (summer families and Northeasters in the winter), as well as government and military (and contractors) constantly going there for business or training year round, SW would do great! Not to mention those of us who visit regularly from across the country. Currently, to use SW to go to that area, one has to fly into either New Orleans, Birmingham, or Jacksonville -- all about a 4-5 hour driving radius, which is a long traveling addition if flying SW into the region. The connection to the Florida panhandle is missing and is much needed! SW could cut out the Delta default of making us go to Atlanta from the panhandle to connect to just about anywhere else; or the Continental default of connecting in TX; or the Northwest default of connecting in Minneapolis, and so on. And you could save NW panhandle travelers driving 7-9 hours to get to Orlando or Tampa if you would fly into Fort Walton Beach or Pensacola. PLEASE!!!
Explorer C
I wholeheartedly agree that we need Southwest to fly into the Emerald Coast of Florida, which would take care of the ENTIRE panhandle form Pensacola to Tallahassee! I live outside of Fort Walton and we use the VPS Delta connection to fly anywhere we need to and it is terrible! I love Southwest, but nobody wants to drive 5 hours out of the way just catch a different airline! I hear from people all the time who are coming in from the NorthEast and have to go with Delta to get here even though they would normally fly Southwest! As mentioned above, the Emerald Coast/Panhandle area is a top vacation spot (with it's sugar white beaches and emerald water)and a huge military area(largest airforce base in the world) that is rapidly growing. I strongly believe that Southwest will do great in this area! We are anxiously awaiting your arrival! 🙂
Explorer C
Explorer C
Have heard Southwest is coming to PNS Nov. 1-- Hope it is true. I need to go to Tampa Nov.14th. Will be waiting to hear the good news.
Explorer C
Would love to see you come out of Green Bay as well. We could use a low-cost carrier!
Explorer C
To all the employees of Southwest Airlines, you are missing out on so much by not flying into Portland Maine, one of the countries most vibrant travel destinations. Portland and Maine offer interesting people, great food, small city atmosphere, wonderful arts & culture and simply put is just a great place to be. Help us convince the SWA schedule planners to add PWM to your great lineup of SWA cities and then just imagine your next Maine Lobster layover! Wish you were here, RS