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FlightLevel350
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Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:29 am

Does anyone miss the premium business class seating and premier service of Midwest (Express) Airlines?

The original Midwest hasn't graced the skies since 2009.

At their peak Midwest consistently delivered profitable quarters and built one of the most fiercely loyal customer and frequent flyer bases of any airline.

If you haven't heard of this national airline, here is a look back at what made the Midwest experience so much different than any other U.S. based airline:

- 2 by 2 premium class only, wide leather seats with footrests and adjustable headrests (no middle seats)
- Warm meals such as steak, lobster and omelets served on china with silverware, crystal glassware with linen napkins
- Complimentary wine or champagne
- Midwest's signature chocolate chip cookies baked on-board
- Newspapers and coffee in the boarding area
- Frequent flyer club in Milwaukee, WI (MKE)
- Frequent flyer program with generous offerings
- Similiar premium seating and service on Midwest Connect - Skyway, Midwest's wholly owned regional airline
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:15 am

Air1 out of STL offered a similar service using 727-100's. STL was their "hub". But the service was pretty much as you described. I believe an astronaut was behind Air1. Unfortuantely, they didn't last long.

Yes, I miss Midwest and the nice employees as well. But the era of that kind of travel is over just due to the economics of it all.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
F9Animal
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:24 am

I miss Midwest. Fine fine airline, and a beautiful paint scheme. I am saddened what became of them, and wish things had gone differently.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:34 am

I do. I used to work the ramp on their 717s and occasional MD80 in BOS.

Ironically, a lot of their 717s ended up where I am now!   
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
F9Animal
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:43 am

I was hopeful that the F9/YX deal would have worked. What happened to the YX side is just heart wrenching.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
scutfarcus
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:48 am

Everyone misses them, but it's a bit of a broken record topic around here  
 
Superfly
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:55 am

I miss them a lot as well. One of my most memorable flights was on their 717s. I flew one of their last 2+2 Signature Series 88 seat 717s from Milwaukee to Los Angeles via Kansas City.
I also flew from Madison to Milwaukee. That was on their CRJ but I really wished it was on their Dorniers.

I typed up a very entertaining trip report on Midwest and even was able to fit in a Northwest DC-9 as part of that trip.
Herpa Wings released a 1:500 scale Midwest 717 and I was able to get a Midwest 717 safety card.


One of my more fun trip reports.

Larry Craig, NWA DC9, Midwest 717 And Lots Of Beer (by Superfly Nov 28 2007 in Trip Reports)




On a sad note: I lost a good friend of mine earlier this year. He passed away in January. He was an aviation buff that got me in to collecting 1:500 scale model planes. Well he was within a mile of the fatal Midwest DC-9 crash in Milwaukee in 1985. He was walking home from school when he heard what he thought was an explosion. Once he got home and turned on the TV, they were showing the crash site as it was still on fire.
Bring back the Concorde
 
YXwatcherMKE
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:18 am

Being from the MKE metro area and as a former FF member of Midwest from the second day of service (MKE- ATL) to 3 months before the last 717 left the fleet. I miss the service by the people that made it the the airline it was. For a period of time my wife and I were flying on the MKE - FNT and MKE-DCA flights so often that we were on first name bases with some of the FA's and GA's that it was almost comical. I even bought Midwest stock, all of 100 shares but at least I made a profit of the sale. I wish it had been merged into NW versus being sold to Republic then turned into F9. But at least DL now works out of D concourse and has the FF lounge that Midwest had. I can tell you that I have talked to many Milwaukeen's that miss Midwest a great deal but realize that there will not be another Midwest, but it would be nice to get back some of the routes that we lost. It would be nice to get GRR, FNT, DAY, OMA, back and better service to a few other cities too, some competition on a few prime routes like MKE- LAX/SFO/DCA/LAS/DFW/IAH/STL. Almost all of our N/S routes have only one carrier on the route.
Oh the YX Memories will live on.   

[Edited 2013-04-25 22:28:25]
I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
 
AA737-823
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:27 am

I only got to fly them one time. It was after they started charging for meals ($10, which seemed high at the time, but the meal itself was large and tasted good), but still had 2x2 seating on the 717's. I also had the pleasure of flying two unique aircraft, the B1900D, and also the 328Jet, neither of which do I anticipate having the opportunity to fly on, ever again, really.
Fantastic little airline, and I wish they were still around... and flew to PANC!
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:25 pm

There is at least one YX E-jet still in Midwest colors; I saw it at PHX a couple of weeks ago.

And yes, that made me miss MIdwest even more.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
UA735WL
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:16 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 9):

I saw it too! It was at AUS last Friday:



Literally the LAST thing I was expecting to see...but quite a pleasant surprise to see YX still around (sort of).
"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions" -Tex Johnston
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:05 pm

I flew them three times. Twice on mainline, once on Skyway (on the 328).

My first flight ever on them was MKE-BDL back around 2000 or so. The normal DC-9 was swapped with their charter jet, which had ridiculously large legroom throughout the plane (and, I think, a few seats may have been facing backwards in a conference-style layout).

The next time I flew them was MKE-YYZ on the 328 with Skyway. Great trip on a neat little plane.

The last trip was MKE-LGA for new year's 2008 (went to see the ball drop at Times Square). My only flights on a 717 thus far.

It was fun while it lasted, but I'm sure most of us realize there's no way the airline could have survived, economically, using that product in virtually any market, let alone MKE.

Once they introduced "saver service" around 2003 or 2004 or so, I just had the feeling that the airline as everyone knew it wouldn't be around that much longer.
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
mplsjefe
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:19 pm

I flew them once MSP-DCA via MKE. The service was absolutely superb. At the end of the flight, the flight attendants handed out the left over "extra" cookies that weren't eaten on board and I brought 20 or so of them to a "meeting" with some college buddies. They tasted even better a few hours later after good conversation and many libations. It was a nice touch and as someone who had never flown up front before I felt like a king in those economy seats.

At the time, the flight attendants were remarking that they were going to do away with the 2-2 seating on the mainline jets very soon so I guess it wasn't that long ago, feels like it though.
 
fghtngsiouxatc
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:18 pm

I never had the chance to fly them, but certainly wish I had living only 1 1/2 hours from MKE. They were a neat little niche airline that unfortunately was taken over and ruined by Republic.

Since Midwest was known for it's premium legroom/leather seats, did the B1900s have any of that extra stuff? It's kind of hard to make a 1900 luxurious! And did the 1900s have a F/A for that matter?
 
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JBo
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:27 pm

Midwest and Skyway were not only one of the greatest airline families to fly on, but to also work for. I worked at Skyway for almost four years until they started making the huge cutbacks in September of 2008. As much as I miss working in the industry, I know that no other airline will be the same to work for.

Quoting fghtngsiouxatc (Reply 13):
I never had the chance to fly them, but certainly wish I had living only 1 1/2 hours from MKE. They were a neat little niche airline that unfortunately was taken over and ruined by Republic.

Since Midwest was known for it's premium legroom/leather seats, did the B1900s have any of that extra stuff? It's kind of hard to make a 1900 luxurious! And did the 1900s have a F/A for that matter?

In all honesty, Republic didn't ruin YX. YX was already ruined before Republic took over. The seeds of Midwest's demise had already been planted, fertilized, and were already sprouting when Republic bought them out. Republic did what they did in order to keep the employees happy and maintain positive PR when the reality of the situation was that they had just bought a dead airline with a dying hub. If RAH hadn't bought F9 on top of YX, the outcome may have been different, but I honestly doubt YX would still be flying today one way or another.

Also, the Beech 1900s weren't any different at Skyway than any other airline. 19-pax aircraft are not required to have an F/A, and there isn't room to have one on board even if they wanted to. Thus, the Beech flights never offered any of the cushy extras (they did have brown leather seats, though ... granted most all 1900s have leather seats). The 328Jets, on the other hand, had a F/A on board and offered snacks and cookies on longer flights.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
 
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bigfoot0503
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:04 pm

I first saw YX as a teenager on a trip to Washington DC. I remember standing on the Metro platform at DCA and seeing my first YX aircraft and thinking what a cool looking airliner! My enthusiasm didn't go away as I looked for any reason that I could to fly them someday. I remeber when they started service into Denver's Stapleton airport and I just so happened to be going to EAA Oshkosh that year. My itinerary was perfect; I flew them from DEN-MKE-ATW with a long enough layover in MKE so that I could check out their hub operation. Needless to say I was entirely impressed with my whole experience from on-baord to the excellent customer service on the ground. Of particular note I fondly remember the leather seats on-board and the hot chocolate chip cookies served to all passengers. To answer the original question...yes I miss Midwest Express!

[Edited 2013-04-26 14:05:22]

[Edited 2013-04-26 14:11:18]
 
F9Animal
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:49 am

I still think RAH did a terrible job with YX. There were areas that needed cut for sure, and areas that could have benefited had they changed how the airline was running. Bedford royally jumped the gun, and made numerous errors throughout the bloodbath. The whole thing was absolutely bipolar, confusing, and disastrous. I am deeply saddened at how it all turned out. I knew MKE was hurting the combined companies, and expected reductions of unprofitable flying. Not an entire axe.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
PEK777
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:12 am

My first flight on Midwest Express was back in 1993 from Milwaukee to DC. I'll never forget it I was 10 years old, it was the first time I had ever had cheesecake. I had flown on Northwest, Delta, and Eastern several times before on everything from a DC-9 up to a L10-11 through Atlanta or Detroit, but nothing left an impact like that first Midwest flight. Maybe it was the quality of service, or the fact that it was our first true 'nonstop' flight to a destination, but it is certainly one I will never forget.
I also flew BNA-MKE a few times on the 328jet, which was an absolute gem of an aircraft. The Midwest/Skyway tarmac gates (was it D52?) just operated so smooth compared to the RJ operations at places like MEM and IAD and the horrid B86 at IAH.
I was through Denver last year and saw what must have been one of the last E-Jets in the YX livery. Any chance one will be kept as a legacy? I am not aware of the Republic/Frontier plans for this type as I am a slave to UA these days.
 
B757capt
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:50 am

I was shocked to find out from a friend that Republic is still using the YX code. Thought everything had been rolled into RP.
The views written by this user are in no manner the views of my employer and should not be thought as such.
 
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JBo
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:34 pm

Quoting b757capt (Reply 18):
I was shocked to find out from a friend that Republic is still using the YX code. Thought everything had been rolled into RP.

"YX" is the code being used by Republic Airlines, which previously flew under "RW"

"RP" is the code being used by Chautauqua (and "S5" belongs to Shuttle America).
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
 
davescj
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:11 pm

It was sad what happened to Midwest Express. It is sad what happened to the airline service levels in general. Solution - stop chasing the lowest fare and by a ticket on an airline that offers real services! LOL

I never got the chance to fly Midwest Express. I lived in SAT at the time and the closet airport was DFW to fly them.

Quoting FlightLevel350 (Thread starter):
- Frequent flyer club in Milwaukee, WI (MKE)

What was odd - this was the only club in the system, cash bar, 450 a year.

FWIW, DL SC has taken this club over with the move to terminal D. The space has been redone to look like a DL SC, but you can see some Midwest colors still.

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
Beechtobus
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:48 pm

My last memory of them was jumpseating on them less than a week before Republic shut them down. Everyone from the gate agents to flight attendents were as nice and hospitable as ever dispite knowing they would be on the street in a few days. A truly class act up to the end and what I consider the last reminant of the 'good ol' days of flying, in the US anyhow.
 
kkephart13
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:00 pm

One of their (I believe) 170's was sitting by the USAirways hangar outside of PIT. Im guessing getting repainted....
EVERYTHING i type on here, is the opinion of ME and not of any airline/company.
 
FlyboyOz
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:59 pm

Oh dear... it's too late now and I didn't get a chance to fly with it.
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
cloudboy
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:01 am

They were fantastic to fly on, but it sucked that you had to catch an early morning flight out of Boston to get anywhere with them, because you had to fly all the way to Millwaukee or Kansas City and back. In the end you were paying almost first class fare to get terrible flight times and a long flight.

I think the story would have been much different if they had a hub located on the east coast. But then again I think what really did them in was when they panicked and started their "saver service". From that point on they were nothing but feeble competition to JetBlue.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
zrs70
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:12 am

In 1994 I had to fly CVG - BOS. Delta was the natural carrier on the route, but I really wanted to try YX. This was before the airline downgraded its service.

In order to do this, I drove 40 miles to DAY. Then took a YX commuter flight (a B1900 I think) to MKE via Ft. Wayne (or was it south Bend). All this to get on the MKE-BOS flight.

Same routing on return.

Worth it? Absolutely!
21 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2021
 
CO777DAL
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:21 am

Midwest Airlines was a class act. I flew them DFW-MKE-BOS and back and it was one of the best airline experiences I ever had. This was at the height of Midwest Airlines and all seats were Signature seats. Back in the 2007 or 2008 when they had a large fleet of 717s and still flying some MD-80. Also the food was good for a domestic flight! It was better than what I had in First Class on Continental on MSY-EWR the week before. I took a few videos from that trip and here they are.

I have a good video that shows gates packed with 717s in MKE and inside the MD-80 all signature seating.
http://youtu.be/U8vqqdjKxz4

Here is one inside the YX all signature 717 with the automated announcement that says "Welcome Aboard Midwest Airlines"
http://youtu.be/jI_hHvC5fMU

Midwest Airlines MD-80 Food and Cookies on Board All Signature Seating McDonnell Douglas
http://youtu.be/Swh0BhuwIT0

MKE Inside Midwest Airlines Best Care in the Air Lounge Milwaukee
http://youtu.be/2PjB7nA2Qj0

BOS Midwest Airlines MD-80 Landing McDonnell Douglas Douglas Boston
http://youtu.be/SiDDEhc3ivk

DFW Midwest Airlines 717 take-off Dallas Fort Worth Boeing McDonnell Douglas
http://youtu.be/eV6ZPjlVZ-0

And I have more take off and landing videos of Midwest Airline, you can find off the ones above.
Worked Hard. Flew Right. Farewell, Continental. Thanks for the memories.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:34 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 8):
I only got to fly them one time. It was after they started charging for meals ($10, which seemed high at the time, but the meal itself was large and tasted good), but still had 2x2 seating on the 717's. I also had the pleasure of flying two unique aircraft, the B1900D, and also the 328Jet, neither of which do I anticipate having the opportunity to fly on, ever again, really.

Same here with the food, 328 and B19D...from DFW-MKE-CMH back in 2004. I've had better meals on DL in domestic F than what I paid for on YX. But I had the entire plane to myself (there were about 10 pax on the DFW-MKE flight) and I loved the seating. I wish I could have flown them when they had the DC-9-20...I would have LOVED to fly on that hot rod!
 
thegoldenargosy
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:22 pm

I flew about 12 segments on Midwest between 2006-2008. All of it was BOS-MCI, sometimes via MKE. YX was always cheap. I remember once paying only $200 roundtrip BOS-MCI.

I was always impressed by the inflight service. The warm cookies were a nice treat. The buy on board meals were catered by a Milwaukee restaurant. They were reasonably priced and always good. A typical BOS-MCI service consisted of an initial beverage service along with the buy on board. Then later there was another beverage service with cookies.

MCI was a nice little focus city for YX. They had a codeshare agreement with US Airways Express (AIr Midwest) in MCI on the Beechcraft 1900 operation to smaller cities in Missouri, Kansas, & Arkansas. I connected on to Columbia, MO, several times. You had to walk to the other side of Terminal A & go through security again, but the lines in MCI were never long.

My first YX flight, YX62 BOS-MCI, diverted to Topeka, KS, due to thunderstorms. Topeka was a tiny airport that looked abandoned. It was fun flying from Topeka back to Kansas City. It took maybe 10-15mins.
 
Carfield
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:59 pm

I definitely missed Midwest Express and its great fleet of DC-9s.

My first flight was LAX-OMA-MKE-YYZ-MKE-LAX, and my agent thinks that I am nuts, but I insist.

There are meals on all the flights served in real china, and even sparkling wine for adults. Even the shorter flights feature a good cold meal including OMA-MKE, MKE-YYZ and YYZ-MKE.

Of course flying the Dornier 328J is a treat - I flew from MKE to IAD and got a nice sandwich snack too.

Those signature chocolate chip cookies are delicious and you can never forget the smell of freshly warmed cookies on a well-maintained all leather seats DC-9s.

Carfield
 
7e72004
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:39 pm

For some reason I seem to think there were flights from IND to LGA and another city (besides MKE). Can anyone confirm that?
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
Superfly
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:51 am

Quoting 7e72004 (Reply 30):
For some reason I seem to think there were flights from IND to LGA and another city (besides MKE). Can anyone confirm that?

They had flights from Kansas, City, Missouri to New York.
Not sure if they flew to Indianapolis - New York.
Bring back the Concorde
 
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knope2001
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:10 am

Quoting 7e72004 (Reply 30):
For some reason I seem to think there were flights from IND to LGA and another city (besides MKE). Can anyone confirm that?

They flew from Indy to New York and Des Moines (DSM-IND-LGA) and to Boston in 2000. It did very, very poorly and was pulled in less than a year.
 
2175301
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RE: Anyone Miss Midwest (Express) Airlines?

Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:50 pm

My all time favorite airline to fly with. Whenever I was flying to a location I could get to with Midwest I did so (even if the ticket was a bit higher).

Unfortunately, in my opinion their expansion into mass market tourism business the larger planes and the flights to Seattle, etc is what killed them. I do believe they could have retained themselves as a premium principally business only airline with limited routes if not for that.

By the time Republic acquired the remnants - they were already functionally dead with body parts that still had the last jerks of life in them.

Yes I miss them.

Have a great day,

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