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Midwest Airlines: Why Can't They All Be This Good?  
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4637 times:

I just completed another flight on Midwest Airlines, and as ususual I felt like screaming after I got off the plane. "Why can't all you other stupid airlines be this good". Since I'm too shy to scream out loud in the airport, I'll try screaming with my computer keyboard instead.

They're basically an all first class airline, except that the seat pitch is like normal coach and the prices are like coach. The 2-2 seating arrangement on a 717 allows for wide leather seats and a middle armrest more than big enough for two people to share without continuously bumping into each other and poking each other in the ribs every few minutes.

Everybody already knows this. There's no point in my going any further. But since everybody knows this why does nobody try to copy it?

I realize 2-2 isn't feasible on bigger planes. But they could do 3-2, one less seat than the normal configuration, adding enough width to provide comfort and alleviate so much of the stress associated with flying.

How come one airline can do this? Why not a few others?

Sorry for the rant. Probably won't accomplish anything. But I had to scream. Big grin

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLoggat From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4634 times:

How are they doing financially?


There are 3 types of people in this world, those that can count, and those that can't.
User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3690 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4618 times:
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Quoting Loggat (Reply 1):
How are they doing financially?

The stock had a great week last week. It went from $4.30 to $5.65, but as for the rest of the story, they usually lose about ten million a quarter, and have about 70 million in cash. They are a great airline, but the product that they serve is the very thing that is keeping them in the red.



Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4595 times:

Also, this configuration is only on some routes. Some are standard coach.

User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4583 times:

Also it is a more specific business airline as opposed to a leisure airline. The company was founded on the biz traveler, not Joe WalMart.


Sean from MCO and SDF



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineDeC From Greece, joined Aug 2005, 616 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4513 times:

Does anyone have a picture of the inside of such a configured aircraft?


DEC
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4473 times:

I remember back when they were called Midwest Express, they were bragging about the revenue they could generate by carrying cargo. Eliminating one passenger per row means less baggage that has to be carried, and it allows more space and weight for cargo.

Ironically, the same people who demand insanely low airfares for themselves are willing to pay a lot of money to ship mail and packages.  Smile


User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 4970 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4453 times:

Maybe you should scream from your keyboard to the major media in the major cities that they service with their "signature service" (as opposed to the routes on which they provide cattle-car service). As a smaller airline, little things can make a big difference for them. For example, after their recent incident in Boston, the fact that so many experts were coming on the air to say what a great little airline they were resulted in a spike in reservations. More publicity can't hurt, and this is the time of year to do it. (Reporters and editors are focusing on air travel because their relatives are traveling and bitching to them.)

User currently offlineSimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 904 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4447 times:

Quoting Flypdx (Reply 3):
Also, this configuration is only on some routes.

Most routes. Saver Service is only to destinations like California and Florida.

I'll be flying Midwest in less than twelve hours to MSP.


User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4394 times:

Saver is to LAX,LAS,PHX,FLL,MCO,RSW. Signature is even on some of the M82's. Signature is 2x2 88 seats on the 717's. The M82's are 2x2 106 seats while the Saver M82's are 2x3 142 seats.



Sean from MCO and SDF



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineDeltadude8 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 569 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4379 times:

its a hit in kansas city so far...i wish them all the luck in the world because up to now...i have only flown them and every experience has been a great one...11 great trips and staring at 4 more in the next 6 months...i really no longer have stress about flying...they make it great.

User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4359 times:

Quoting DeC (Reply 5):
Does anyone have a picture of the inside of such a configured aircraft?


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Michael Carter
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Photo © Sam Chui



User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4343 times:

why wont they come to BDL? ive only herd the best of stuff about them. All wee get is Skyways 328's  yawn 


Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineHPLASOps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4326 times:

I took the saver service LAS-MKE last February and it went about as smooth and comfortable as I anticipated. I'm not a huge fan of the maddogs (as a rule I don't trust aircraft with engines on the tail - just a personal fetish, nothing else), but it was it was a very pleasant flight and everything I thought a flight should be.

User currently offlineSideflare75 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 613 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4236 times:

Quoting FutureFO (Reply 9):
Signature is even on some of the M82's. Signature is 2x2 88 seats on the 717's. The M82's are 2x2 106 seats while the Saver M82's are 2x3 142 seats.

Not anymore. One Signature -80 sold last week, N806ME, and the other two have been taken off the regular flight schedule. One is to be used as a spare while the other will fly charters. Yes you may still see one occasionally if a 717 breaks but hopefully not. The second one to be sold, N807ME, will be gone early this year so it will be around for a while.

And just to clarify there are 147 seats on a Saver Service -82, 143 on the -88's, and 116 on the Signature -80's.

Now if we can just figure out a way to turn all these accolades into profits.....


User currently offlineKnope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4225 times:

Quoting FutureFO (Reply 9):
Saver is to LAX,LAS,PHX,FLL,MCO,RSW. Signature is even on some of the M82's. Signature is 2x2 88 seats on the 717's. The Saver M82's are 2x3 142 seats.

Yep, although from Kansas City everything except SFO is the Signature 2x2 717's, including nonstops to LAX, MCO, TPA and FLL. It's just from Milwaukee that the California, Florida, Phoenix and Vegas nonstops are conventional 2x3 Saver Service seating.

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 12):
why wont they come to BDL? ive only herd the best of stuff about them. All wee get is Skyways 328's yawn

They did fly full-sized aircraft (DC9's) into Hartford from about 1997 to early 2002, but it was always on the weaker side. The 2x2 Signature service needs a decent amount of higher-fare business traffic to make it worthwhile, and MKE-BDL is kind of marginal to support the 717.


User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4183 times:

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 2):
They are a great airline, but the product that they serve is the very thing that is keeping them in the red.

Maybe.

There are also those who say if it weren't for fuel costs, we'd be making out like bandits.

Just depends on what point-of-view one takes.

However I've always believed YX needs some sort of national ad campaign (or regional for the cities they serve) to get the name out there. It only takes a little bit to go a long ways in some cases.



I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
User currently offlineN742AT From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 46 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4137 times:

Quoting Sideflare75 (Reply 14):
Not anymore. One Signature -80 sold last week, N806ME, and the other two have been taken off the regular flight schedule. One is to be used as a spare while the other will fly charters. Yes you may still see one occasionally if a 717 breaks but hopefully not. The second one to be sold, N807ME, will be gone early this year so it will be around for a while.

I believe N813ME (md-82) is also configures with the two by two seating and I did see it taking off this morning as flt 918 MKE-MCI-SFO.


User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4843 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4025 times:

It seems that the airlines that try the First Class for coach prices service don't do too well. Anyone remember Air One? They did the same thing with 727-100's.

Even though I have never had a chance to take Midwest, I certainly would like to try them sometime. I see them out at HOU frequently.

BTW, how is the HOU-MKE run doing for them?



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineN742AT From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 46 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4017 times:

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 18):
how is the HOU-MKE run doing for them?

YX pulled the HOU route about a month or two ago. Only about 4 months after it started.


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6590 posts, RR: 75
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3917 times:

Didn't Midwest Express do well until 9/11 ? and didn't they "shiver" looking at the LCC invasion so they decided to go down that way too?

If so, then it was a great successful product ruined by getting cold feet... ie. loosing focus...

I do hope they get back into the black... though the market ain't what it used to be.

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineKnope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 30
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3833 times:

Quoting Mandala499 (Reply 20):
Didn't Midwest Express do well until 9/11 ? and didn't they "shiver" looking at the LCC invasion so they decided to go down that way too?

Midwest (at the time, Midwest Express) was profitable every year from 1987 through 2000, a feat match only by Southwest Airlines. However by the later 90's profits were flat and declining, and by 2000 they were starting to lose money in some quarters.

Even without 9/11 and without the entry of stronger low-cost carriers at Milwaukee, Midwest was facing some serious and growing problems by about 2000:

--Business traffic demand and fares were plummeting in the year or so ahead of 9/11 at alarming rates. High-fare business traffic was the name of the game for Midwest.

--Midwest had grown into more and more markets where they had to aim at the mass leisure market with the high-end 2x2 service. This included large leisure markets like Florida, but also thinner business markets like Milwaukee-Raleigh where traffic existed but just not enough good-yielding traffic.

--Midwest had become more and more bloated internally, with (among other things) too much middle managment obsessing over things like salt shakers and too much infrastructure for an airline of its size.

Even without the LCC invasion at Milwaukee and the rocketing of fuel costs, Midwest needed some changes. The entry of AirTran into Milwaukee really forced Midwest's hand, but it's not like things could have gone on as-is were they to have stayed out.

Saver allows Midwest to play in (and to some extent dominate) the high-volume Milwaukee leisure markets. Without Saver, Midwest probably has to accept perpetual loses on many or most of their higher-volume leisure routes. But the alternative -- to drop them -- is also problematic. That's because high-yield business travelers also sometimes have to travel to leisure destionations for work (especially conventions) and they travel for leisure as well. If Midwest doesn't fly to places like Phoenix and Las Vegas and Fort Myers, they are less and less likely to hold the loyalty of frequent travelers. That leaves the door open for a competitor -- especially an aggressive low-cost competitor -- to muscle in. And an aggressive LCC competitor is almost certain (these days) to NOT simply stop at Vegas and Florida and soon move into Boston, and Dallas, and Denver, and New York, and other markets at the heart of Midwest's 2x2 Signature system.

Midwest has made many other changes over this period including getting the 717, cutting costs, improving utilization, etc. which in addition to Saver are designed to return to profitability. So far that has not happened, and while high fuel costs may be fully responsible for this, high fuel costs are a reality. We'll see if 2x2 Signature is something they can stick with long term and make money.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3814 times:

I flew this company for the first time last Labor Day. They have a good product.
I was impressed by the pilots shaking hands with the pax as they exist the plane at MCI and MKE thanking them and wishing them well as we existed the plane. I will use them again when I go back to MCI in the spring......and heck, I'm gold with NW.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineUswyjer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3742 times:

I'd love to see the 717s at BDL, but unfortunately they've seem to have found their place at BDL with the 328s, they've had 3 roundtrips at the same times for a couple years now. Flew them back in 2003 on the 328 out of BDL and the flight was pretty full, same with the return flight. My flights to PHX to and from MKE were full, and the service was awesome! But the PHX flights have been relegated to Saver Service since then.

User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4843 posts, RR: 19
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3726 times:

I am sorry to see that they dropped the HOU station.
I sincerely hope that they can find a way to become profitable. I still would like to try them sometime.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
25 Sideflare75 : That may be true but it is not used on the regular schedule. N813ME along with N807ME are to be used for charters and as a spare just in case. Obviou
26 Sleekjet : And what a super color scheme they have on the outside!
27 Mandala499 : Knope, Thanks for that... that answers a lot of of my questions regarding what went wrong with Midwest... Mandala499
28 Knope2001 : No problem! As a premier-level Midwest frequent flier I definitely miss the old days when dinner was a complementary meal of ribs or shrimp on china w
29 777Purser : So by this info, a simple equation tells me that unless they go through some major changes, they have about a year and a half to go?
30 Jeb94 : YX also discovered, to the shock of some in the corporate office, that a JT8D-217 engined MD82 looses a lot of range when you add 31 seats. A fully lo
31 Knope2001 : It's nowhere near this simple. "Cash" is not directly or especially related to profit or loss. In many quarters (at this airline and at other compani
32 777Purser : and so forth...basically, they all cannot be as good because the current market does not support the model...so they also, have to change and adapt o
33 Knope2001 : Yes...however they *have* changed. The question is have the changed enough? Some just want to simplify this to a question of keeping 2x2 or not, but
34 N917ME : Midwest is doing better than this time last year. While we may lose money this qtr, our booking have exceeded expectations during the 4th qtr. We have
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