Yesterday I flew from Washington National to Milwaukee and then on to Appleton with Midwest Express. First let me say that the service was great (except for the long, slow line at check-in - at least she was very friendly and professional when I reached the front). We had real food from Washington to Milwaukee and the seats are great! Then the real treat. I flew from Milwaukee to Appleton on the 2nd DC-9 ever made! I knew that they had some old ones. Then I asked the crew and they told me that yes indeed, it was the second one made. Can anyone confirm this?
The plane seemed "oldish" and wasn't very quiet but it seemed rock solid and well maintained. I guess Douglas knew a thing or two about quality.
I fly for SWISS in a modern, glass cockpitted plane and our airline prides itself in having a modern fleet. Our oldest planes are our MD-83s, which are about 10-15 years old. These old DC-9s show that quality really lasts if it is maintained. I know that they are probably beyond their useful like and are noisy and fuel inefficient, etc. but I was really happy to get to ride on real classic! And I would MUCH rather ride on this REAL airliner for the short hop than some sort of cheesy regional jet....
I hope the 717s that they will get will last as long and I really hope that Midwest Express is able to remain viable - they are a real step up from the cattle cars which most airlines operate!