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.
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.