Midwest Rolls Out Its Post-MD80 Schedule

We knew it was coming. When Midwest said it would ditch its MD-80s, that had to mean a lot of flight cuts and schedule shuffling. Well, now we know the extent of the damage. The new schedule not only cuts 11 cities, but it shuffles a lot of service around as well. This all begins on September 8.

That day, Midwest service to San Diego, Ft Lauderdale, and Ft Myers will end completely. Midwest Connect will also drop Baltimore, Hartford, Louisville, Muskegon (Michigan), Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio, and Wausau/Stevens Point (Wisconsin). Madison (Wisconsin) will lose flights to Kansas City but it will keep Milwaukee flights.

Los Angeles and Seattle will lose Milwaukee flights, probably because the MD-80 was the only plane in the fleet that could make it nonstop. The 717 will serve both those cities from Kansas City instead. Here’s a crudely drawn map as only I (or an untalented 5 year old) could put together. The slashes are Midwest Connect drops and the “x’s” are Midwest drops.

08_07_21 yxcuts



Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Midwest is also expanding its Northwest codeshare to include many more city pairs as part of this. Anyone get the sense that Midwest is quickly slipping into irrelevance? They’ve already asked for draconian pay cuts from their employees, but part of me thinks the ones who keep their jobs are the unlucky ones. My guess is that as the airline strengthens its ties with Northwest, more and more Midwest service will slip away.

As you can see in the map above, the airline now is essentially connecting Milwaukee and Kansas City with a handful of cities on the coasts. Is that not something Northwest could build up overnight if they really wanted to? It may just be a matter of time.

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16 Comments on "Midwest Rolls Out Its Post-MD80 Schedule"

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dan
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So much for saving the cookie, huh? I really think they should’ve let AirTran buy them.

james
Guest
Being a Grand Rapids native I don’t see Muskegon as being a big loss. But of course it would be nice if Midwest could channel that into more frequency at GRR. While nice for folks living northwest of Grand Rapids, in the past few years the West Michigan area has been criticized as being “over airported,” with too much scattered regional service (AZO, LAN) rather than strong consolidation at GRR. Also Muskegon-Milwaukee has the Lake Express ferry which runs three seasons and can bounce you across the Lake Michigan in 3.5 hours. Not a bad option if your final destination… Read more »
DRG
Guest

Somebody should think about putting this carrier together with AirTran, which operates the 717 and could deploy some of its 737s to operate Milwaukee long-hauls. Wouldn’t that be a great idea….. :)

Steve
Guest
Ok guys.. here is how I see it (from a Milwaukee resident). YX is getting back to “basics.” This very much looks like the airline about 10 years ago before they got “too big for their britches.” They lost sight of their mission and are suffering. A small airline it was, serving mostly Milwaukee, and not really caring about connecting traffic. The had a flight in the AM and one in the PM and rarely a flight midday. TPG Group (who owns 51% of NWA I think) has controlling interest. Delta is gobbling up NW (who thinks they will not… Read more »
Zach
Guest

Maybe they’ll force you to buy 200k frequent flier miles worth of cookies.

Steve
Guest

Oh I completely agree. The question is: since TPG group has then, why would they well them to Air Tran when they also own NW. Its an interesting dilemma. Maybe they will just keep them as a nice small airline. I wish.. not a chance.

What Would TPG do?

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[…] Cranky Flier alerted me, Midwest Airlines is cutting service from Milwaukee to various places. The most interesting ones to me are the cuts to its south Florida […]

Nick Barnard
Member

Midwest/TPG could an asset sale of 717s to Airtran and a asset sale of gates etc to Delta/NWA? I can see that happening..

Not sure if Airtran wants the 717s but given they’re a fuel efficient plane it might not hurt..

BES
Guest
AIR TRAN???…..Uncle Timmy would have never sold out to them. The entire Sr Management staff would have been let go, plus the TPG offer put 12 mil in Uncle Timmy‚Äôs pockets Air Trans deal was not nearly so rosey for the top execs. This once Great airline has been plagued by bad decisions made by the SR Execs. Yes fuel prices are very high, but European airlines have been fighting high fuel prices for MANY years and they have learned to thrive. Concessions need to be made by EVERYONE in the company not only the employees. The employees are expected… Read more »
comma8
Guest

@ James

I’m personally amazed that the Milwaukee to Muskegon lasted as long as it did. The Lake Express ferry makes the trip across Lake Michigan in 2-1/2 hours, and by recent calculations (Midwest Express is offering rates between $568 and $668 online right now) the ferry will save you $400 dollars or more per person.

Given the state of Milwaukee Mitchell Field ticketing and general air travel hassles, I’d imagine you could drop someone off at the airport, get on the ferry, then meet them at Muskegon before they even landed.

Steve
Guest
With the Lake Express you can take your car too.. something you can’t to on a Beachcraft 1900. Honestly though, the Muskegon service is not a big deal. So few seats with so few flights. Yes, bad management. I few with Uncle Timmy a few weeks ago. It was interesting. When they started to “expand” I got worried. When they added “saver” service.. I got worried. When they divided Signature services into a 2×2 and 2×3 seating I got worried. When they charged $60 for the wide seats, now $65 I got more worried (After all.. is the first class… Read more »
Doug
Guest
I spent 90 minutes on hold with these clowns because I had booked a flight for my wife and myself to fly into Hartford for Christmas. Of course the only consolation is they are offering is a full refund of my original ticket price. They would happily re-route me to another airport (like Boston) but of course I have to pay a fare difference of 800 dollars per ticket! Thanks a pantload Jim but MWA’s sense of customer service sucks to say the least. Put your passengers in an expensive situation and then tell them they have to pay for… Read more »
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[…] need Midwest anyway, and could just expand without them. Well, that seems to be coming true now. Cranky has a good post on what markets Midwest is cutting. Some of these cities include Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, and […]

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[…] route network after it cut so many cities, primarily due to dumping the MD-80 fleet. (Cranky has a good post on that, by the […]

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