So I'm writing this on my flight back to LGA as its fresh in my mind. I had to go to West Allis, Wisconsin for a one day biz trip and Midwest is the only airline out of LGA that has a flight that gets you in early enough to make it to my company's office by 9, AirTran’s flight leaves to late. I've flown Midwest a few times in the past always to MKE and for some reason feel this might be the last time if conditions continue and based on the loads and how empty MKE was I can't see them staying around much longer, I hope I’m wrong
So I arrived at lga sometime around 5:30 am for a 7am flight. IMO far too early for a human to be awake, I woke up at morning at 4:20.... Anyway I parked and headed in to an empty airport. No bags to check I headed to the security lane to find que of ten people waiting. The line moved rather fast and the TSA agents look rather spiffy in their new shirts, far better then what they had before. I cleared security grabbed some Dunkin Dounuts coffe, I wish they had Starbucks but w/e. The D gates at LGA are used by Midwest, Airtran, and Spirit. Each airline had birds at the gates however the loads looked slim as the lines for boarding were short.
After checking email on my Blackberry and arguing with Verizon Wireless over a billing issue it was time to board. YX boarded by the back of the plane first and I was in 20D right near the engine......oh joy. This 717 was in the new Midwest Class layout with Saver seats in the back which is what my company purchased.....cheap bastards J/K. The FA told me I could move up to a Signature Seat since they’re were plenty open but there was no one next to me so I elected to try out the new Saver seats.
We pushed on time only to be 11th in line for take off, which for LGA is pretty good. During the wait I saw a few DAL shuttle birds in new colors minus the shuttle titles and Trumps 727. Once we got to runway 4 we begun our roll and was up before the 31 intersection. I truly love the feel of the 717. She’s a very smooth and powerful plane. Plus sitting next to the cowling was pretty cool. Those RR power plants have that wonderful grinding sound to them.
We proceeded north for a good while before making our turn west towards MKE. At this point I stretched out a bit and was very impressed with the Saver Seats. The leg room was enough where I could cross my legs. Overall the Saver Seats get an A+ for a coach seat. Soon after we reached cruise the FA's began their service. The first cart served drinks followed by the buy on board food. They were two choices, a cold continental breakfast and a hot meal. The hot meal was crepes filled with eggs, cheese, and sausage in a spicy dressing. I have to say it was very good and much better then the hot breakfast AA serves in F class domestically.
After I ate I decided to get a bit of shut eye. The flight was rather bumpy all the way to MKE with some really ruff patches along the way. We started our decent about 50 miles out. Like the flight the decent was bumpy as well. We flew down wind of MKE which I could see from my seat, after a sharp right turn we headed straight in for smooth landing and a long roll out.
I made my way off the plane headed to the arrivals level and meet my coworker and it was off to the office.
After a great day at the office my coworker dropped me off at MKE around 5:45PM. I headed directly to security to find NO ONE on line. I took my time a bit putting myself back together on line vs grabbing stuff and moving away from the security lane. I headed down the concourse which was also void of people. There were some Midest Connect RJs and two mainline planes at the gates. I sat for bit and took a look outside at what must be Midwest’s last MD. You could see at their hangar the rest of the fleet was sitting stripped of their titles.
The entire airport had a very lonely feeling to it. Just last year the concourse was crowded with people, the Midwest Connect gates were jammed with people but now…totally empty. Midwest removed their large model of the 328 jet they had at the entrance to the Connect waiting area which for me really was a tell tale sign of how much they’ve cut back. After catching up on some email I headed to my gate D47 and once again it felt like a ghost town…all the gates were empty and the two flights that were going out had no large crowds to speak of waiting to board.
At the gate they had CNN on and it was sort of surreal as what was the largest crowd in one spot at the airport was glued to the news reports on the failure of the bail out deal. It was rather interesting as everyone there sort of had the same comments…”our Gov’t is a joke” sort of remarks going on.
Our plane arrived in and as soon as the passengers got off and the crew switched, we boarded. In all there were 70 passengers so we had plenty of empty seats. I was in 6A which was a signature seat..all the seats on this flight were signature. We pushed on-time just as a heavy shower began coming down. We were number 2 for take off behind another Midwest 717. We got up pretty quick and headed directly east and into the clouds.
About 15 mins after liftoff the cabin service began. For dinner there was a choice of turkey salad or Pot Roast. I choose the Pot Roast which was served with string beans, mashed potatos, salad and a dinner roll. Once again the quality of the food was very good and for 8 bucks you can’t go wrong. I don’t understand why airlines like AA, UA, DL..etc can’t have a similar buy on board meal vs their crappy sandwiches and snack packs.
Of course the highlight of the flight was the cookies! Along with Dinner the FA’s served Midwest’s famous chocolate chip cookies. This really is a nice touch and the cabin smells so good when they are baking them.
During the rest of the flight I wrote this report and listened to my iPod while enjoying the comfort of the Signature Seat and the leg room. As we approached NYC we came in from the North West over C.T to the North Shore of L.I and then made a right turn toward LGA. As we came in you could see the World’s Fair globe with a bunch of police cars driving around it with their lights on. I’m guessing since UN week just wrapped up it was some Gov’t official getting a tour of the city. We touched down exactly on time which hasn’t happened to me at LGA in well over a year. As soon as we pulled up to the gate I got off quickly, headed to my car and was out of the airport in 10 mins. Overall Midwest really is fantastic airline with great onboard service, clean comfortable planes, and very nice facilities at MKE. I hope their new business plan keeps them in the air as I’d really miss flying them to MKE.