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doulasc
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Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 2:39 am

After most flights were consolodated at ORD when jets came around,looking at timetables from the past.some airlines had limited service to MDW until the mid 1970s like TWA,American,United and Delta. Any others? From around 1974 MDW had no airline service until deregulation and Midway Airlines kind of brought MDW back to life as far as commercial airline service.
 
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 2:51 am

I know that at one time in the 1970's North Central had looked at running discount type flights out of MDW to various cities. They were seeking approval from the CAB to start this service. I think this was mentioned in one of their annual reports which explained that they wanted to use DC-9's and run a low cost operation from MDW. It never happened because of Midway Airlines starting up service and also Deregulation and their merger with Southern to form Republic.
The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
 
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mayor
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 3:37 am

IIRC, Delta was one of the last carriers to discontinue service at MDW, sometime in the mid 70s. Mayor Daley wasn't happy about it either and as punishment (or so the story goes), he managed to get work on our new cargo building at ORD held up until they came to some kind of agreement. At the time, we had to work our inbound cargo across from the new building site (on Bessie Coleman Drive) and about a mile away, we worked our outbound cargo (in the same building with PA, AZ, Ozark, NW, etc.

We finally moved in to the new building, but because they were in such a rush to move in, the concrete, main floor (we had a basement and two freight elevators) didn't cure like it should and the first time we had some water on the upper floor, it was like a rainforest in the basement. The construction company sent a guy with some sealer out and he spent about 6 weeks, there, filling cracks in the floor.
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jsnww81
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 3:58 am

Mayor Daley (the original one) was a big proponent of MDW - he grew up not far from there and wanted to keep the neighborhood viable - and so he began encouraging airlines to return there almost immediately after everyone moved to ORD in 1962. United restarted MDW-LGA flights in 1964 with the then-new 727-100, but the other airlines refused to return until something was done about the terminal, which was still configured for prop flights.

During 1966-1967 the terminal was gutted and rebuilt with a continuous ticket lobby, three separate baggage claim areas (with carousels) and the three concourses that served passengers up until 2002-2003. Although there weren't any jetways initially (Midway Airlines added them in the mid-1980s) there were individual waiting areas at each gate and much more space for short-haul jet passengers.

Almost all of the carriers serving ORD at the time - United, American, TWA, Delta, Northwest, Eastern, North Central and Ozark - started MDW flights in 1967-1968 once the terminal renovations were finished. Schedules were pretty light and most only had a few flights a day. United had the biggest schedule with flights to CLE, DTW, LGA, DCA, BOS, OMA, DEN and MSP on 727s and 737s. Braniff was the only carrier not to re-launch MDW, although they had a ticket counter at the north end of the terminal and were allocated two gates on Concourse C opposite Northwest.

To help things out, between 1969 and 1971 the CAB granted a number of local-service carriers flights into MDW. The carriers had all requested ORD service. Frontier, Piedmont, Allegheny, Northeast, Mohawk and Southern all joined the lineup but again, most just had 1 or 2 flights per day. For a short time in the early 1970s MDW had more domestic airlines than ORD did, but traffic was still really low.

During the 1973 oil shock almost every airline petitioned to end MDW service and by 1974 everyone except DL was gone. Delta stayed, if I'm not mistaken, up until the 1979 oil crisis, with one or two daily flights to STL. Fortunately Midway #1 started up right at the same time, and the rest is history.
 
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mayor
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 4:06 am

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 3):
Delta stayed, if I'm not mistaken, up until the 1979 oil crisis

As you say, if it did, it was only with a very small schedule. I remember many of the DL MDW employees coming to work at ORD in the mid 70s. It's possible MDW had a skeleton crew until '79 but I never heard of it.
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 6:13 am

I remember the remodel job on the terminal. It was very nicely done. But towards the end the city didn't maintain it as well (80's) and it started to look and stink like a bus station. During the upgrade they also upgraded the nav approaches and grooved the runways. Mayor Daly claimed that MDW was now up to ORD's technological standards by 1968.

I wonder why Braniff never showed. They had the northernmost ticket counter (next to Northwest) but their two gates were never decorated in Braniff fashion.

Since UA had the biggest ticket counter that's where WN planted itself when they started service in 1984.

To tell you the truth, I liked the old termial (67 remodel) just fine even though it could not possibly handle the traffic there today. It had lots of glass windows to look through and made the terminal bright inside. I sometimes took SO MDW-MEM-GLH-MLU for school.
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Beardown91737
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 6:23 am

MDW was down to about 2 daily DL flights to STL for many years. My wife and I did a day trip from MDW to STL for $25 in 1977 or 78. The reason was obvious that the Mayor's office was occupied by south-siders since 1955.

When I took flight instruction out of MDW in 1980-1981 Midway 1 was there along with DL, but I also remember keeping distance behind a NW 727 on the taxiway.
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midway7
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 10:56 am

Hey guys,

Great conversation / observations about MDW. I grew up just off those runways in the 1980's and watched Midway 1 and Southwest take it to where it is today.

Northwest was the only airline to continuously serve Midway both pre and post deregulation. In the early 80's - while Midway 1 was ramping up, NWA had 3-4 flights a day to MSP. All on 727, as this was long before they became the DC9 operator they are best known for being. It was interesting, back at that time, to see the three holer take off from MDW. With the purchase of Republic in 1986, they added DTW and may have even served MEM for a short time, and moved the schedule to mainly DC9's. However, in 2000, I did take a 320 to MSP on NWA. I also have seen the NWA 757 on flights occasionally. Northwest has sent quite a few of its different aircraft types into MDW.

Midway 7
 
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 11:31 am

I recall sometime in the mid-eighties flying NW TPA-MDW-DTW. It was a morning trip and the aircraft emptied out at MDW. There were only a few of us left on board for the segment to DTW. The 727 boiled out of there like a Saturn V rocket.
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midway7
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 1:39 pm

I did not know that NW served TPA-MDW. In the 80's, MDW really used to get some interesting service as the majors tried periodically to take on Midway 1. I remember UA using 727-100's to LGA, IAD, SFO, LAX, and DEN for a short time. The original Frontier was in there at one point with 73S to DEN. No one really was able to take Midway 1 on to any great extent, and Southwest really just lied in wait. Midway 1 had a very strong local following, both from business and leisure traffic. It also appeared that the connecting traffic was there as well.

There was a second wave of service starts when Midway 1 ceased operations in 1991. America West, American, Continential, Kiwi, ATA, TWA, etc. all started various services to pick up some of the void left by Midway 1. Of course, SW moved in real strong, literally the day ofter Midway 1 shut down.

Not as interesting these days with SW holding about 99% of everything. However, given how it has evolved from essentially abandoned at the time of deregulation, to where it is today, I think it is safe to say that MDW is one of the better sucess stories in the aviation industry.
 
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jsnww81
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 2:26 pm

Quoting midway7 (Reply 9):
There was a second wave of service starts when Midway 1 ceased operations in 1991. America West, American, Continential, Kiwi, ATA, TWA, etc. all started various services to pick up some of the void left by Midway 1. Of course, SW moved in real strong, literally the day ofter Midway 1 shut down.

I started college in Chicago in 1999 during the final years of the original terminal. The place was packed with airlines in those days. Airlines were two to a gate on Concourse B - WN had all of A and TZ had all of C - and a lot of them only had one or two check-in desks. From the legacies there was Delta, American, Continental, Northwest and US Airways (in the form of MetroJet) and then America West, Vanguard, National, Frontier, Pro Air and of course Southwest and ATA. It seemed just as bustling and important as ORD. Now it's just Southwest all day long - good for the airport but not as good for an enthusiast.

During the early 1970s there was quite a bit of gate and ticket-counter sharing at MDW too, but the pace was much slower and I can't imagine things ever got as crowded as they were in the late 90s and early 00s. The new terminal opened just a few months before 9/11 - I can't even imagine the old building trying to cope with post 9/11 security. The lines used to stretch out the door even in the "old days."
 
skycub
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 2:29 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 8):
I recall sometime in the mid-eighties flying NW TPA-MDW-DTW. It was a morning trip and the aircraft emptied out at MDW. There were only a few of us left on board for the segment to DTW. The 727 boiled out of there like a Saturn V rocket.
Quoting midway7 (Reply 9):
I did not know that NW served TPA-MDW.

I don't recall this either. Any way you can narrow it down to something more specific than just Mid-80s?
My opinions are my own. They are not representative of my employer, my union or my co-workers. They are all mine.
 
UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 2:59 pm

Does anyone else remember back in the day when you could drive along the MDW perimeter and actually see aircraft and realize an airport existed inside those fences? Nowadays you get to look at concrete walls and don't even get to see the airport or any aircraft except those which pass overhead.
 
doulasc
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 4:58 pm

I always wondered why JetBlue never investigated flying into MDW. Southwest has quite a monopoly at MDW and weather JetBlue could compete would be questionable.
 
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 5:13 pm

It wasn't that long ago that the concrete walls were erected, what maybe 10 years ago. When you were taxiing to the runway at the NW corner of the airport you could see into people's living rooms on 55th street.

Didn't WN start MDW service in 1984? They had a special offer on MDW-HOU-MDW (but not the other way around) of $49.00 each way. This would have put them there just a few years after Midway1 started up. MDW was the first place I saw UA 737's in 1968.

Those NW 727's used to really rocket out of there. It seemed that after the take off run they'd climb out of there very steeply.
Also around 1970 or so Frontier used to fly 727's in there MDW-OMA-DEN.
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squrt29
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 7:09 pm

Does anyone remember if UA also flew their Caravelles to LGA from Midway, maybe just before the 727 service? I lived east of the airport and distinctly remember the 727 flights (around 6pm) and think that they also flew Caravelles to LGA from Midway.
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 7:21 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 14):
Didn't WN start MDW service in 1984? They had a special offer on MDW-HOU-MDW (but not the other way around) of $49.00 each way

WN opened both MDW & STL on March 17, 1985.

Here's an April 1985 magazine ad from Texas Monthly.

Southwest Airlines welcomes St. Louis and Chicago Midway to our Heartland

Looking at the route map in the ad, it looks like the opening schedule was:

WN - MDW-STL

WN - STL-MDW
WN - STL-HOU
WN - STL-MCI
WN - STL-MSY

LoneStarMike
 
timz
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 8:49 pm

Quoting midway7 (Reply 9):
I remember UA using 727-100's to LGA, IAD, SFO, LAX, and DEN for a short time.

Anyone else remember UA flying to SFO and LAX?

Quoting squrt29 (Reply 15):
Does anyone remember if UA also flew their Caravelles to LGA

They didn't. I'll check, but I'm guessing UA never flew Caravelles out of MDW at all.
 
skycub
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 10:53 pm

Quoting midway7 (Reply 9):
Of course, SW moved in real strong, literally the day ofter Midway 1 shut down.

To take a few paragraphs from the book "Nuts:"

"On November 13, 1991, Jim Parker, vice president and general counsel, along with corporate services executive V.P. John Denison and Southwest layers Debby Ackerlan and Barry Brown, caught the last flight out of DFW for Chicago. The Southwest team arrives at midnight and turned on the televisions in their hotel rooms just in time to hear Midway Airlines announce that it was out of cash and closing its doors - confirming the rumors that had brought them on this sudden trip to Chicago.

At 9:00 then next morning, the Southwest team started negotiating with city officials for the use of the bankrupt airline's gates at Chicago's Midway Airport. Parker had a group of Southwest's facilities and technical services people on standby at the airport. By 2:30 that afternoon the Southwest team had hammered out a deal with the City of Chicago: Southwest Airlines would spend $20 million to revive Midway Airport and would have immediate use of the gates previously occupied by Midway Airlines.

Mayor Richard M. Daley called a press conference at 3:00pm to announce that Southwest would be the new anchor carrier at Midway Airport. Parker had just enough time before the press conference to call the facilities and technical services people waiting at Midway: 'I told them we had a deal and they should immediately take over those gates and start construction.' They had already started rerouting equipment to Midway Airport that had been on its way to other Southwest stations. Parker says, 'Imagine this scene: Our people are installing computers, rebuilding podiums, and putting our signs right over the top of the Midway Airlines signs. It was a whirlwind of activity.'

After Mayor Daley made his announcement, a reporter asked Parker when Chicago could expect to see some sign of Southwest;s commitment to the expansion. Parker's reply? 'Go out to the airport; you'll see it right now.' As most of the pres scrambled for the door in hot pursuit of footage for the five o'clock news, one reported called Kelleher in Dallas to ask what Southwest was doing at Midway. He said, 'If you were from Texas, I'd tell you that we were homesteading, but you may not know what that is.'"

[Edited 2012-05-27 16:02:21]
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skycub
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 11:04 pm

Other carriers to MDW in the 80s included Air Florida and American International.
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RJNUT
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Sun May 27, 2012 11:37 pm

and who can t remember Continental Lite and MarkAir and Private Jet and Kiwi and Midway Connection( with the checkerboard tail) cirva 1993/94 ..and TWA to STL and Chicago Express and even Capitol Swearingerns to downtown St Paul???? oh... and a major ATA presense!
 
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 12:01 am

Quoting timz (Reply 17):
Quoting squrt29 (Reply 15):
Does anyone remember if UA also flew their Caravelles to LGA

They didn't. I'll check, but I'm guessing UA never flew Caravelles out of MDW at all.

Pretty sure UA never used the Caravelle at MDW. Timetables from 1963/1966/1969 (when the Caravelle was in service) shows none at MDW. UA MDW flights from following timetables as noted:

August 1963 - no UA service to MDW.

April 1966 - 4 daily departures, all 727s. 3 to DCA and 1 to LGA with a stop at CLE (westbound only the LGA flight was nonstop).

April 1969 - 5 daily departures, all 732s. 3 to PIT, 1 to DCA, 1 to MSP (the DCA flight continued to/from MSP in both directions).

June 1972 - 20 daily departures (aircraft type not shown). 3 each to MSP, OMA, CLE, PIT, LGA, DCA and 2 to DEN.

June 1976 - no UA service to MDW.
 
milesrich
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 12:09 am

Quoting squrt29 (Reply 15):
Does anyone remember if UA also flew their Caravelles to LGA from Midway, maybe just before the 727 service? I lived east of the airport and distinctly remember the 727 flights (around 6pm) and think that they also flew Caravelles to LGA from Midway.

Mayor Daley (the original one) was a big proponent of MDW - he grew up not far from there and wanted to keep the neighborhood viable - and so he began encouraging airlines to return there almost immediately after everyone moved to ORD in 1962. United restarted MDW-LGA flights in 1964 with the then-new 727-100, but the other airlines refused to return until something was done about the terminal, which was still configured for prop flights.

When United began MDW-LGA flights with the 727-22, they also operated Viscounts MLI-MDW-DCA. The service to MLI lasted until DCA was opened to jets in 1966. Then the CHI-DCA flights went to 727's and MLI service was discontinued. I took this routing several times from MLI to LGA in the 1965-66 time period.

Concerning Caravelle's, when UA started Caravelle service in 1961, the flights were operated into EWR and IDL from Chicago. In fact, there were two Executive flights with 5:00 pm departures, one to Newark and one to Idlewild. The IDL flights didn't last long and Caravelle operations became an EWR exclusive. United never scheduled the Caravelle out of Midway or LaGuardia. LGA jet service began on June 1, 1964 with the 727-22. However, 48 years ago today, on the Sunday before Memorial Day, 1964, I was a guest on a boat that docked in a marina on the east side of 13-31 toward the south end of the airport, and I saw a United Caravelle take off and land. I was already scheduled to depart LGA on a UA 727-22 on June 4, 1964 to ORD. As stated above, the first Jet service from Midway was on UA in late 1964 to LGA.

I remember an open house at MDW in 1968 when UA flew the then new DC-8-61 in for the open house, and the Sun-Times did a story about it being the largest aircraft to ever land at Midway.
 
Mexicana757
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 12:16 am

Quoting doulasc (Reply 13):
I always wondered why JetBlue never investigated flying into MDW. Southwest has quite a monopoly at MDW and weather JetBlue could compete would be questionable.

JetBlue always wanted in at ORD and not MDW. Even when MDW had enough gates to accommodate any future expansion. Who know's how B6 would have fared if they had been at MDW instead of ORD.

Quoting UAL Bagsmasher (Reply 12):
Does anyone else remember back in the day when you could drive along the MDW perimeter and actually see aircraft and realize an airport existed inside those fences? Nowadays you get to look at concrete walls and don't even get to see the airport or any aircraft except those which pass overhead.

There are still some areas around the airport where you still can see the airfield.

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 10):
but the pace was much slower and I can't imagine things ever got as crowded as they were in the late 90s and early 00s.

MDW for sure was crowded during those years. Which also saw the return of United in either 2003 or 2004 to the airport with their low cost airline TED flying to both DEN and IAD. Service didn't last that long. Speaking of United, there are still CO counters at MDW.

I was at MDW last week and noticed Concourse A has a new gate. The gate is A8, and it's between the walkway/new concessions area that lead to gates A4A/B and gate A10. There are signs up for the gate which appears to be a commuter gate. There are stairs and an elevator that lead to the lower level under gate A10. The only airline that I can think of using this new gate is the new flights being offered by Public Charters to KMBL which started this past Thursday.
 
elbandgeek
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 12:21 am

Quoting UAL Bagsmasher (Reply 12):
Does anyone else remember back in the day when you could drive along the MDW perimeter and actually see aircraft and realize an airport existed inside those fences? Nowadays you get to look at concrete walls and don't even get to see the airport or any aircraft except those which pass overhead.

I do.
My earliest memories of planes (around 1992) involved my family spending weekend afternoons parked on central ave to watch takeoffs and landings. It's a shame the walls had to go up and ruin that. Later on, pre-9/11 my mom and I would just go in and watch from the last gate of old B (the one without a jetway that OH used) but eventually we couldn't do that anymore either.

Something I always find amusing is UA's apparent love-hate relationship with MDW ever since ORD opened. It's like they want to have a presence for the sake of "winning" Chicago but aren't willing to put up with the competition. I remember my first ever flight was with them to MCO in 1992 during their post-ML return and they were gone not long after as WN and TZ started building up. They were doing alright with the Ted flights to DEN and IAD in the early 2000s when they really only had F9 competing, but threw in the towel again once WN got in. I'm curious if another return has been on their radar at all lately, although given the attitude they're taking with IAH vs HOU I'd say probably not
Then again, when I was there a couple weeks ago picking up my sister, I couldn't help but laugh that this was still there
http://i47.tinypic.com/6glkk5.jpg
 
skycub
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 1:22 am

So let's try to make a list from deregulation on of service from Midway (EXCLUDING SOUTHWEST).....

Since 1979:

AIR FLORIDA
Miami
Orlando

AIR LA
Milwaukee
Saint Paul Downtown

AIR MIDWEST
Saint Louis

ALLIED AIRLINES
Milwaukee
Oshkosh

AMERICA WEST AIRLINES
Columbus
Las Vegas

AMERICAN CENTRAL AIRLINES
Moline

AMERICAN TRANS AIR
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Myers
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Miami
Orlando
Phoenix
Saint Petersburg
Sarasota

BLADE HELICOPTER (THE)
Chicago Meigs Field

CANADIAN AIRLINES INTERNATIONAL
Toronto

CHICAGO EXPRESS AIRLINES
Appleton
Cedar Rapids
Evansville
Grand Rapids
Green Bay
Lansing
Toledo

CONTINENTAL AIRLINES/CONTINENTAL LITE
Cleveland
Greensboro
Houston Intercontinental
New Orleans

CONTINENTAL EXPRESS (OPERATED BY GP EXPRESS AIRLINES)
Dayton

CRESCENT HELICOPTERS
Chicago Meigs Field
Chicago O'Hare

DELTA AIR LINES
Saint Louis

DELTA CONNECTION (COMAIR)
Cincinnati
Milwaukee

DIRECT AIR
Mattoon

GREAT LAKES AIRLINES
Danville
Decatur
Terre Haute

KIWI INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES
Atlanta
Las Vegas
Newark
Orlando
Tampa

MARKAIR
Denver
Minneapolis/Saint Paul
New York LaGuardia

MIDWAY AIRLINES (ML) INCLUDING MIDWAY AIRLINES, MIDWAY EXPRESS AND MIDWAY METROLINK
Atlanta
Boston
Cincinnati
Cleveland (Burke Lakefront)
Cleveland (Hopkins)
Columbus
Dallas/Fort Worth
Denver
Des Moines
Detroit Metro
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Myers
Jacksonville
Kansas City
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Louisville
Madison
Memphis
Miami
Milwaukee
Minneapolis/Saint Paul
New Orleans
New York LaGuardia
Newark
Omaha
Orange County
Orlando
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Pittsburgh
Saint Louis
Sarasota
Tampa
Washington National
West Palm Beach
White Plains

MIDWAY AIRLINES (JI)
Dallas/Fort Woth
Denver
New York LaGuaria
Philadlphia
Raleigh/Durham
Washington National

MIDWAY CONNECTION (AFFILIATED WITH THE ORIGINAL MIDWAY AIRLINES)
Bloomington
Champaign/Urbana
Fort Wayne
Grand Rapids
Green Bay
Indianapolis
Kalamazoo
Lafayette
Lansing
Madison
Milwaukee
Moline
Muskegon
Oshkosh
Peoria
Rockford
South Bend
Springfield
Toledo
Traverse City

MIDWAY CONNECTION (OPERATED BY IOWA AIRWAYS FOR MIDWAY AIRLINES)
Benton Harbor
Dubuque
Elkhart
Flint
Kalamazoo

NORTHERN STAR AIRLINES
Mattoon

NORTHWEST AIRLINES/NORTHWEST ORIENT
Detroit Metro
Minneapolis/Saint Paul

TRANS WORLD AIRLINES
Saint Louis

TRANS WORLD EXPRESS (OPERATED BY TRANS STATES AIRLINES)
Saint Louis

UNITED AIRLINES
Orlando

USAIR
Evansville, Pittsburgh

USAIR EXPRESS
Dayton, Indianapolis

VALUJET
Atlanta
Washington Dulles
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timz
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 1:51 am

Was that list as much work as it looks?

I woulda guessed UA had flown somewhere besides MCO-- when was that, roughly?
 
ckfred
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 2:38 am

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 3):
Delta stayed, if I'm not mistaken, up until the 1979 oil crisis, with one or two daily flights to STL. Fortunately Midway #1 started up right at the same time, and the rest is history.

DL stayed past 1979. I remember in June of 1980 picking up my father on a flight on Midway 1, coming in from MCI. I walked around the concourses, noting that most gates were still decorated in the colors of their last tenants. There was a security checkpooint at the entrance to the A concourse. At B, you could walk down most of the way before there was a pull down door, indicating that portion beyond the door was open 1 hour prior to scheduled departures for Delta. The door wasn't completely closed, and the security screening equipment was visible.

I think, though, that DL eventually bailed out of MDW after ML and WN both started flying to STL. Then, DL came back with service to CVG and later ATL.
 
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mayor
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 3:43 am

Quoting ckfred (Reply 27):
I think, though, that DL eventually bailed out of MDW after ML and WN both started flying to STL. Then, DL came back with service to CVG and later ATL.

I'm sure the DL service at MDW (to STL) was very minimal until they pulled out completely. I couldn't tell you when the final pullout was as I was gone to SHV by spring of '80.


DepartedFlights.com shows 2 flights from MDW-STL in the '79 DL schedule and none from MDW in the '83 schedule. Matter of fact, there seems to be quite a reduction in ORD-STL service after '79.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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knope2001
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 4:09 am

Quoting skycub (Reply 25):
So let's try to make a list from deregulation on of service from Midway (EXCLUDING SOUTHWEST).....

Since 1979:

Wow...that's a fantastic list, including several I had long forgotten!

There are a few more I can think of:

--Skyway operated by Mesa Airlines in the early 1990's flew to Milwaukee and Louisville

--Skyway operated by Astral Avaition in 1997-1998 flew to Milwaukee

--Midstate Airlines flew to Wausau/Central Wisconsin and Louisville...possibly a couple of other destinations...in their last few months of life when the left MKE and O'Hare

--Burlington Air flew to Appleton (1979 or 1980)

--I assume the F27 Chicago Express flights are included in the Midway Connection listing, yes?

--A different Midway Connection flew Beech 1900C on Rhinelander-Milwaukee-MDW for a year or so (1995?) which was not associated with the other Midway Connecion airlines. The black-and-red checkerboard tail earned them the name "Puppy Chow" in Milwaukee.

--Northwest Airlink (Express !) flew fairly briefly to Milwaukee and Columbia MO (kniting together their northern and southern networks)

--Northwest Airlines served Memphis fairly briefly

--United restored Denver, LaGuardia and Washington (DCA) flights for a time in the early 90's

--The "new" Ozark served Columbia MO

--Great Lakes served Springfield IL (for a brief time they had nonstops to ORD, CGX and MDW)

--Air South served Greensville and Myrtle Beach. Not sure if the ever served Columbia or Charleston nonstop or not.

--Vanguard served Kasas City, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Wichita, Cincinnati

--Porter serves Toronto
 
Beardown91737
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 4:12 am

Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 6):
The reason was obvious that the Mayor's office was occupied by south-siders since 1955.

I left out a few key words here. I was trying to say that the reason that Midway stayed open was Richard J. Daley, Bilandic, Harold Washington, and Richie Daley's desire to generate jobs for the south side.

Quoting skycub (Reply 25):

AIR TRAN - unless it counts as Southwest
Akron
Atlanta
Branson
Cancun
Des Moines
Fort Myers
Orlando
Tampa

ATA
Ontario (2007 to 2008, this 738 continued to HNL and was code share with WN)

DELTA CONNECTION
NY-LaGuardia (current/recent service)

PORTER
Toronto (current service)

UNITED
Denver (TED)
Las Vegas (?) (TED)
Washington-Dulles (TED)
135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 10:49 am

I remember around 1964-65 or so there were lots of stories in the news about what to do with MDW. Similar to the same situation HOU had when they opened IAH.
Nobody really wanted MDW anymore. But Mayor Richard M. Dailey really felt there was something there. The airlines complained that the terminal was old and outdated, he gave them a new terminal, they complained that the runways weren't up to standards, Dailey resurfaced the runways and using federal grants to upgrade the approaches.
Still the airlines didn't come. If I remember correctly he even went as far as to threaten to take away some ORD gates if the airlines didn't at least try token service. He won and the airlines offered limited service. One of the excuses that the airlines used was that it was very difficult to set up route structures in a city with two airports. But Dailey saw that it was being done in LA and NYC so he was confident that it could also be done in Chicago.
Personally, I think he was way ahead of his time.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
RJNUT
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 11:47 am

...add ot he list in in 1994
Private Jet (and then briefly became National) served Atlanta.!
 
EWRandMDW
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 12:31 pm

I first flew into MDW in the early 1990s, so I don't know first-hand what it was like earlier. What I fail to understand is why UA, the hometown airline, completely abandoned MDW, aside from the TED experiment. Surely there is enough demand in the Chicago area for service from both main airports. TZ and WN have proven that MDW can be a viable and preferable alternative to ORD, at least for passengers if not for the bean counters.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 2:36 pm

Quoting skycub (Reply 25):
AMERICAN TRANS AIR

This is missing a number of cities. I'll see if I can dig out a boarding pass jacket from the 2003-2004 time frame, which had a route map on it, but off the top of my head, you need to add

SEA
SFO
SAN
DEN
MSP
PIT
CLT
LGA
EWR
BOS
DCA

Quoting skycub (Reply 25):
CHICAGO EXPRESS AIRLINES

Add at least MKE and DAY, and possibly others.

Also, you can add GQ, which briefly flew MDW-SPI in 2006 and 2007.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Mexicana757
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 3:01 pm

Quoting skycub (Reply 25):
So let's try to make a list from deregulation on of service from Midway (EXCLUDING SOUTHWEST).....

A few more to your list:

ATA (To expand the list of ATA destinations from MDW)
Aruba
Boston
Cancun
Charlotte
Dallas
Denver
Ft. Myers
Ft. Lauderdale
Guadalajara
Ixtapa
Los Angeles
Las Vegas
Miami
Minneapolis
Montego Bay
Newark
New York Laguardia
Oakland
Orlando
Ontario
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Puerto Vallarta
Punta Cana
St Petersburg
Sarasota
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington National

CANJET
Toronto

MEXICANA
Guadalajara
Morelia
Zacatecas

MYRTLE BEACH JETEXPRESS
Myrtle Beach

NATIONAL AIRLINES (N7)
Las Vegas

PANAM II
Miami

PRO AIR
Detroit (DET)

WESTERN PACIFIC
Colorado Springs
 
B757capt
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 3:18 pm

Lets not forget that ProAir flew MDW-SEA.
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mayor
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 3:55 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 31):
If I remember correctly he even went as far as to threaten to take away some ORD gates if the airlines didn't at least try token service. He won and the airlines offered limited service. One of the excuses that the airlines used was that it was very difficult to set up route structures in a city with two airports. But Dailey saw that it was being done in LA and NYC so he was confident that it could also be done in Chicago.
Personally, I think he was way ahead of his time.

Actually, I don't think he was. I think it was Chicago politics as usual. I can see what happened with DL, now.........they agreed to keep minimal service in exchange for getting the DL cargo building done. I just don't think the airlines were enthused with the idea of a split operation in Chicago. Probably the same reason that the Peotone idea never took off.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 7:54 pm

I think if Dailey hadn't gotten his way on the MDW project after the airlines left for O'Hare Midway would now be a shopping center or a big lot of low income housing. Around 64-65 or so Midway was looking pretty ratty and not only the terminal either. It was obvious that somebody somewhere didn't care about it.

You are right, pure Chicago politics. Whatever "Hizzoner" wanted, he got.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
MDW22L31C
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 7:54 pm

After the demise of Midway Airlines, United started MDW-LAX, MDW-SFO using 727-100's DEN, IAD and MCO using 737-300's. the IAD, LAX and SFO flights lasted less a year DEN lasted over a year, MCO last for quite some time maybe 2 years.
 
doulasc
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 9:09 pm

I forgot to mention didn't Southern Airways serve Midway when they first started service to Chicago the moved to O'hare later?
 
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Mon May 28, 2012 11:41 pm

Yes, I think they started around 1970-71. I flew them out of MDW from 71' to about 74' on occasion. Their routing was MDW-MEM-GLH-MLU-BTR-MSY. They used DC9-3x equipment.
Anyone know when they moved to ORD and what gate they used?
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
milesrich
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 4:55 am

ORD is closer to most of the middle, upper middle, and upper income suburbs of Chicago, as well as most of the upper and middle income areas of the City. The Kennedy Expressway went right from downtown into the airport. Midway is about a mile off the Stevenson (I-55) on Cicero. The Stevenson, then called the Southwest Expwy, opened in September of 1964, about the same time as UA restarted MDW flights. But when it came to rail transit service, ORD had service years before MDW.. And before deregulation, the need for two airports in Chicago was minimal. Remember, under deregulation, passengers could interline at no additional fare. Therefore, since Chicago was best situated for connecting E-W traffic, going back to Rail travel days, it made sense to have only one airport, which could be a connecting center for the nation. While ORD was built during WWII, in 1959, the first year there was jet service to Chicago, MDW was still the world's busiest airport. But in 1960, as the airlines got more jets, especially United, Chicago's home town airline, ORD took the crown from MDW. Then it was another four years before there was a jet aircraft that could operate from MDW's short runways. Thus, once the new terminals opened at ORD, all airlines moved their flights from MDW to ORD, when just four years earlier, in 1958, ORD had only a handful of flights.


Deregulation led to Midway's rebirth. Without it, the airport would have been closed. There was little need for it. It was in the middle of declining industrial area, Yes, it was closer to the loop but nothing else. Even today, it is easier to get from the Western Suburbs to ORD than to MDW. Southwest and low fares made Midway viable again. But without that hook, MDW would have problems. I don't wish to get flamed, but the Southside of Chicago, for the most part, is only a garden spot in a Frank Sinatra song. There is a reason the hapless Cubs are more popular than the White Sox. The White Sox are the south side team. If you are from Chicago, you will understand what I am saying. Another good example of this is DET, Detroit City Airport. WN started it DTT service there, and pulled out. Yes, there were problems with the facility, but it was closer to downtown, and Grosse Pointe, and little else. There is an old AFB in Mt Clemens that is also on the east side that is could be turned into a commercial airport. Metro-Wayne County is a long drive from everywhere, as was YIP., unless you live in Romulus, or Yipsilanti.
 
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mats
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 11:41 am

At one point, I think that ATA's Transatlantic service was actually a "direct" flight from Midway. It was from Midway to JFK, then on to Belfast and Riga. I vaguely remember them advertising it as a Transatlantic service from Midway. It was most likely a same-plane flight, but passengers probably had to disembark at JFK on the way out, and definitely on the way back.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 12:00 pm

Quoting milesrich (Reply 42):
Even today, it is easier to get from the Western Suburbs to ORD than to MDW.

That's a vast oversimplification. Depending on where you are coming from, MDW can be as good or better. I prefer MDW for travel to much of DuPage County because there are more road options when the Tri State is gridlocked (often, especially right now with construction).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
ckfred
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 3:52 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 44):
That's a vast oversimplification. Depending on where you are coming from, MDW can be as good or better. I prefer MDW for travel to much of DuPage County because there are more road options when the Tri State is gridlocked (often, especially right now with construction).

Agree. If you you live within a short drive on I-55, then Midway is an easier drive than dealing with I-88, Route 83, and I-294. By the same token, if you live in western Cook County, the drive time to ORD and MDW is close to equal. I used to live in Western Springs. ORD was easier to get to, simply hop on I-294. But, whether ORD or MDW, with no traffic, it was 20 minutes to the terminal.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 4:12 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 45):
Agree. If you you live within a short drive on I-55, then Midway is an easier drive than dealing with I-88, Route 83, and I-294.

First Avenue to some east-west road is also a decent alternative (though it, too, is under construction).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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mayor
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 4:18 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 45):
But, whether ORD or MDW, with no traffic, it was 20 minutes to the terminal.

Must have been early on a Sunday morning......  




BTW, when is there ever NO traffic?
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 4:59 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 46):
First Avenue to some east-west road is also a decent alternative (though it, too, is under construction).

You are probably talking about 1st AV to the Eisenhower Expressway(Westbound) then exit Manheim Rd N. to ORD.

Like HOU, the area around MDW was not always ratty. Even in the early 60's the houses and lawns were kept neat and clean.
I think the decline started around 1964 when all of those abandoned motels along Cicero Av started turning into homes for hobos and other less favorable types

Hell, the block where UA dropped that 737 was pretty nice when that accident happened. I think what also happened is that a lot of those homes were occupied by airport/airline personnel and then the airlines moved to ORD, these people moved to places like DesPlaines, Arlington Heights and even Hanover Park which is closer to ORD.

[Edited 2012-05-29 10:00:49]
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timz
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RE: Chicago-MDW In The 1960s-70s.

Tue May 29, 2012 5:12 pm

Quoting midway7 (Reply 9):
I remember UA using 727-100's to LGA, IAD, SFO, LAX, and DEN for a short time.

SFO, LAX, IAD and DEN all started Feb-Apr 1987; SFO and LAX were gone before the end of 1987.

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