Posts: 504
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 7:03 pm

Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Tue Jul 17, 2001 3:21 am

I'm looking into T-giving tix, fares are great right now out of RDU-- only $160 RDU-LGA roundtrip, even when flying back on Sunday 25th November.

Problem is, I prefer flying Midway, and they have the best schedule for my needs. Yet I'm really concerned that they will go bankrupt, and I'll be Out of Luck with my money. I noticed on their quarterly filing that their cash went down from 39M at 12/31 to 29M at 3/31. I know they've lost some key Senior Execs (never a good sign), their losses are widening, and fares in RDU are so unbelievably low this summer compared to previous years (I'm flying to Boston in the heart of the summer for $150). Plus AA Eagle is moving in on the bread and butter routes, and the local business community is really down in the dumps. There are now 4 carriers from RDU to BOS and LGA, 3 to DCA, 3 to EWR, 3 to PHL-- this can't be good for Midway either.

I'm not trying to fuel needless speculation, and I have NO inside information. Is there someone out there who knows more about the situation than me? Thanksgiving is a long time for them to hold my money!!
Posts: 515
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RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Tue Jul 17, 2001 3:37 am

if you're worried about #'s, wait and make a decision until after q2 #'s are released
My wife can't wrestle, but you should see her box.

RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Tue Jul 17, 2001 4:16 am

Redraider brings up a good point. However I do not think Midway is that close to bankruptcy. Two of the owners who are also execs at SAS institute in RDU recently expressed no great concern in the no-so-good figures. Also, if JI were to fold, I believe they would make sure to get you to your destination on another airline. Also, have you checked US Airways and other airlines that fly the same/similar routes??

RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Tue Jul 17, 2001 4:49 am

Thanksgiving is the key time of year when tickets must be purchased early to get the few good deals. You may not want to have an airline sit on your money for that long, but you may not have much choice.

For insurance, you could buy a $232 RT on SWA that is fully refundable. Costs a bit more, but at least you'd know you have a seat...and could fully cash in if your plans change.
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RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Tue Jul 17, 2001 4:57 am

Well, I guess if I owned a huge percentage of a company as Goodnight does, I wouldn't express concern until the bitter end-- why would I say something that would harm the value of my investment or the revenue stream of my company?? I put zero stock on what they say publicly.

Unless I'm mistaken, it's not up to JI find a place for me to use my tix if they go bankrupt, but rather up to other airlines to accept the tickets-- not easy to do over t-giving when flights are full.

I think redraider hit the nail on the head with the suggestions-- I'll wait until mid-August, when 2Q results and b/sheet should be available.

Any other info would be helpful.
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RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Tue Jul 17, 2001 11:02 pm

They are in big trouble, no way around that, but I doubt they would fold before Thanksgiving. I don't think they are in that bad of shape. They've been in trouble for years but seem to be hanging in there, so I think you'd be fine with going with them.
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RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Wed Jul 18, 2001 10:05 am

Hmm, I hope they are still around. I, too, have plans to fly JI in November, and would like to go on the vacation they will be taking me to.

« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Thu Jul 19, 2001 1:36 am

I don't know if it would work the same way today, but 20 years ago I had bought a ticket for a friend of mine in TPA to come visit me in DFW. She was on Braniff. She got here ok, but the night before she was to return home, Braniff filed for bankruptcy. I remember on the news they were saying that if you had purchased your ticket directly from Braniff, you were SOL, but if you had purchased the tickets through a travel agency (which, fortunately, I had done) you were protected.

I didn't find out about Braniff's demise until about 10:00 that night, but took a chance and called the travel agency who had done the ticketing. To my surprise, someone actually answered. Evidently after the news came out, the travel agency called all of it's staff back in to man the phones. I remember they rebooked my friend on AA with no problem.

Also, what if you purchase the tickets with a credit card? If you don't get the service you paid for, I believe you could dispute it with the credit card company and get your money back and the credit card company would have to deal with recovering the funds from the airline, but I'm not sure if this is the case.


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RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:54 pm

Don't worry -- Midway is fine. Their current financial situation is pretty much just growing pains -- they paid some pretty hefty penalties to prematurely retire their lease on F100s, and have bought and leased a number of brand new CRJs and 737-700s. They also have started serving many new destinations -- LAX, IAD, Birmingham, Denver, San Jose, etc. It takes time to build these markets, and until they are developed, the bottom line is going to suffer. But their plans seem to be working in the long-term--for example, their flights from RDU to SDF were nearly empty for the first couple of months, but now so popular that a fourth daily flight is required. They also have a very, very loyal customer base in RDU. They're going to be around for a long, long time -- I can't imagine there is any need to worry about this thanksgiving.
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2001 12:31 pm

RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Sat Jul 28, 2001 2:11 pm

If Midway would fly some short commuter flights to Greensboro to connect with major times of day in RDU, they would get a good fan base in the Triad and serve another 2.5 million people easy.... I'd love to fly Midway, but I would not drive to RDU for a flight.

Problem is, the Corporate Airlines jetstreams are too small for the passengers they would carry out of GSO and the CRJs are all in use.

Regardless, I wish Midway would set up shop here, they'd be welcome with open arms.
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 3:46 pm

RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Sat Jul 28, 2001 2:20 pm

I have flown Midway once and out of the others I have flown (dleta, usair and america west) I would definatly pick Midway again. Thier planes are excellent and service is great lots of legroom and all leather seats and new aircraft. As far as going under there is no need for concern. Every single airline with the excepton of Southwest has lost money and lost big due to rising fuel costs and low business travel as a result every airline is desperate for passengers and ALL have slashed prices for thier fall and summer prices. Remember that other than thanksgiving it really isnt peak travel season. Midway is a good strong solid regional airline and dont worry about them going bankrupt.
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RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Sat Jul 28, 2001 10:35 pm

Jsf119 - Airtran's profit for the quarter before the write-off of the three 732's was $40 million. After that one time charge, Airtran's profit for the 2nd quarter was $13 million. Airtran has offered continued guideness to wall street as to increased profitability for the year.

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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 1999 12:35 pm

RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Sat Jul 28, 2001 10:56 pm

Remember that Midway is now partnering with CO and NW's frequent flier programs which is attracting new passengers to the airline.

I'm a CO OnePass member, and intend on flying them on my next business trip to Denver to check them out. The fares are certainly right!
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Sat Jul 28, 2001 11:49 pm

Check out the SEC filings by Midway to see what their financial status is before you buy a ticket.

Midway is in deep doo-doo. They may still be around come Thanksgiving.....but something is going to have to change for them to have long term viability.

Airlines equipped with that many CRJs have ASM costs around 15 cents a seat mile. When competing with Southwest.....where your yield is around 15 cents a mile and your RASM around 11.2 airline is going to lose money. A lot of money.

"RJs are neat and I therefore think Midway is a good airline"...."I have flown them and their service is terrific"....."The planes are always full so they must be popular"....none of those have anything to do with whether or not Midway survives.

The bottom line is to make any money, Midway is going to have to charge higher fares. When WN entered the RDU market...even in places where Midway is and WN isn't......folks' expectations of lower fares exist. Midway is carrying a bunch of people and is boasting pretty good load factors. The downside is they are not getting enough revenue from those passengers to make any money.
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RE: Fly Midway, Is My Money Safe?

Sun Jul 29, 2001 1:57 am

If you are worried about your money, use a credit card. Your airline ticket with Midway is a contract for transportation, it they go under they would then no longer be able to honor that contract. Your credit card company WILL look at this as a "service paid for not provided" and remove the charges from your account.

Personally I hope Midway makes it, but it is always best to take precautions.
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