Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee

12.15.2006

Midwest buyout is bad for city and state

AirTran is taking the won't-take-no-for-an-answer approach to its bid to buy out locally owned Midwest Airlines. Joe Leonard, Airtran's CEO, was in town Thursday schmoozing with local leaders to make the deal sound like a win-win for Midwest customers.

I have nothing against AirTrain. They've carved out a niche as a budget airline, and have done quite well. However, as any Milwaukeean who flies out of Mitchell airport knows, Midwest offers Milwaukee direct flights to a lot of cities. Many of these routes would be at risk with a buyout from an outside firm. Also, as someone who is on the taller side, Midwest's four across seating is a godsend.

Add to that the fact that a buyout would result in Milwaukee losing another major local company to an outside buyer, and I think you can count it as a net loss for the community.

Full disclosure: A few more flights on Midwest, and I'll be eligible for a free roundtrip ticket.

2 Comments:

At 12/16/2006 12:31:00 AM, Anonymous Ben said...

Didn't AirTran used to be Valujet, the carrier that had the crash in the Everglades a few years ago?

Obviously air travel needs to be accessible. But I have a little problem with the word "budget" in front of the word "airline" when it comes to 300mph at 30K feet.

 
At 12/16/2006 10:42:00 PM, Blogger KRM said...

Yes, AirTran did start out as Value Jet. I fly 3-4 times a year and I have flown on both Midwest and AirTran. I find Midwest as a much better airline for all the reasons that are well known. The wider seats with more leg room, a nice little menu that offers lunch and Dinner and let's not forget the freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Midwest Airlines is a unique airline and would be tragic if this merger or take-over went forward. Let’s not forget Midwest airline’s is also used as tool for local economic development. Midwest has non-stop flights to Boston, New York and Los Angeles that are major business centers. Local corporations use Midwest to fly to these major business centers.

 

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