Ckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5552 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3068 times:
B6 wants badly into Chicago. But, it wants 4 or 5 gates that are grouped together. Knowing that trying to get ATA's gates at MDW would become very expensive, B6 didn't get into the bidding war with Southwest and AirTran.
ORD is B6's preference for Chicago service, but right now, there are only common-use gates available in Terminal 5, and there aren't a lot of open gates from mid-afternoon through evening, because of international arrivals and departures.
If US does go under, it controls only 2 or 3 gates at ORD. I'm not sure if that would be enough to get B6 to start service to Chicago. I think it would take UA giving up gate space (either liquidation or reduction in service at ORD) before B6 would move in.
Since the Amtrak station opened at MKE yesterday, maybe that would cause B6 to look there. It would have to fight with Midwest Airlines and NW, but MKE is now 75 minutes from the Chicago Loop, which can be the driving time to ORD on the Kennedy Expressway at rush hour. I think the Amtrak fare is $20, which is cheaper than a cab or limo from the Loop to ORD.