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Old May 17, 05, 3:23 pm   #1
 
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Guide to the Milwaukee Airport

With major completion of the renovation to the main terminal, I thought I could write a short guide to the Milwaukee airport and post it in the YX forum as the most logical location. Please feel free to respond with suggestions that I can add to the original post.

Overview:
General Mitchell International Airport was named after Brigadier General Billy Mitchell. It is the largest airport in Wisconsin and the 50th busiest in the nation. It is a hub for Midwest Airlines and a focus city for Northwest. The airport is also served by Air Canada, AirTran, Allegiant Air, American, America West, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Skybus, United, USAir, & USA3000 plus vacation and charter providers. Amtrak's Hiawatha line, which offers 7 round trips daily between Milwaukee and Chicago has a stop at MKE
MKE has about 500 take offs/landings per day and serves about 90 cites nonstop or direct.
The official website is http://www.mitchellairport.com/
The phone number is 414-747-5300
Traveler's Aid desk: 414-747-5245

Layout:
The main terminal has three concourses: C, D & E each with their own security checkpoint, each concourse has a least one place to eat past security, but with limited choices such as brats & pizza. All Concourses have a gift shop in the secure area.
Ticketing and check-in are on the ground floor of the main terminal, but Midwest and Northwest have self-service check-in Kiosks on the main level of the terminal, right before the security check point.

Services:
Wifi: available throughout the airport provided by Sprint. $9.95 per day or $49.95 per month (which would mean free access at all Sprint Hot-Spots) The NW WorldClub on "E" and the YX Best Care Club on "D" offer free Wifi to their guests.
M&I bank has a full service branch in the main terminal with normal banking hours, plus 2 ATM's available 24 hours per day.
Shoe shine is available in the main terminal starting at $8.00
There is a Traveler's aid desk located in the center of the main terminal staffed by volunteers, they can help with directions, maps, paging people, etc.
There are two big screen TV's located in the main terminal, usually one is tuned to the weather channel and the other to CNN Headline News.
Luggage Cart rental is available throughout the terminal, concourses and parking garage for $3.00.
There is a US Post Office vending machine available in the main terminal with a mail box
FedEx & UPS also have a drop box on the North end of the main terminal

Food:
The Billy Mitchell Pub & Cafe in the main terminal is the only sit down/table service restaurant in the airport. Full menu with some great Wisconsin dishes: Beer Cheese Soup, Fried Perch, Wisconsin Wild Rice and other great items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ask for a table by the window and watch the activity on the runway, or sit at the large bar and enjoy a large selection of beer on tap. The restaurant is mostly decorated with Wisconsin aviation and Wisconsin sports teams memorabilia, and even has an authentic wing from a DC3!

The "food court" area in the main terminal has common seating for Burger King, Cinnabun, Pizza Hut express and Usinger's Deli
Edy's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shoppe is located in the main terminal
Starbucks has a store in the center of the main terminal, a stand at the far south end of the main terminal and a stand at the far east end of concourse D (past security)
Quiznos and a Usinger's Deli and bar are on the C concourse -past security.
Wolfgang Puck's Express, and a Deli/Bagel Shop are on the D concourse - past security.
Renovations have begun on the D&E concourses, and the plans include additional area for vending.

Shopping: All located in the Main Terminal, presecurity unless noted:
The Renaissance Book Store sells new and used books. This shop has been written up in the USAtoday and other publications as one of the best airport shops in the world. It offers a huge selection of new, used and rare books and magazines. If you want to buy a large stack of books, they can even ship them home for you and thus avoid sales tax (if shipped out of state)
Brooks Brothers clothing store
Harley-Davidson shop including gifts, shirts, ties, etc.
CNBC newsstand and gift shop
PGA shop
Milwaukee Marketplace gift shop - everything from foam cheeseheads, Wisconsin t-shirts, Wisconsin food and wine, and other gifts. The store ceiling is a replica of the retractable roof of Miller Park, with a baseball diamond floor, the store as has several wall fountains.
There is a self-service kiosk on the south end of the terminal that sells flower bouquets for $10-20
Past security there are newstands/gift shops on C, D and E concourses

Killing Time and Exploring:
The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is an aviation museum located on the north end of the main terminal, this free museum has exhibits on Midwest Airlines, memorabilia of General Billy Mitchell, airplane models, coins from foreign countries that have been found in the airport's wishing well, plus many other exhibits. The Gallery of Flight museum is a great place to spend 10-30 minutes! Check out http://www.mitchellgallery.org/aboutus/default.asp for more information.
There is a bust and plaque just outside the museum to commemorate a visit by Charles Lindbergh back in the 1920's.
There is a full size replica of a 1911 Curtiss Pusher aircraft hanging from the ceiling on the North wing of the main terminal. Just look up!
There is a smoking lounge in the main terminal just south of the Billy Mitchell Cafe. There is also a smoking room past security on concourse E
The Milwaukee Museum maintains a changing exhibit stand on the south wing of the main terminal.
There is a Coin Racing - Gravity Wishing Well in the middle of the South Wing of the Main Terminal. The type were two people each start a coin rolling and they race to the bottom. Fun for the kids, and a good way to get rid of excess change before security.
There is a kids/baby room on the south end of the main terminal with toys and baby changing stations.
Huge flat screen monitors in the main terminal that show the location and progress of all inbound aircraft to MKE Very Cool

Security:
Each concourse has it's own security checkpoint, it is not possible to travel between concourses without passing through security again. Average wait times for security is less than 20 minutes. There is an elite line for the E concourse for elite members of Northwest and Continental, and an elite line for the D concourse for elite members of Midwest. For long layovers it's no problem to exit security and explore the shops then re-enter Security. For really long layovers, the 4 Points Sheraton (a short shuttle ride away) offers a daily rate that includes access to their pool and workout rooms.

Traveling with Children
There is a family room with changing tables and play equipment geared towards kids under 6, pre-security on the south end of the main terminal.
Concourse D has a kids play area on the north wing of the hammerhead
Concourse E has a very small kids play area right next to the family bathroom.

Business Travelers:
Northwest Airlines has a World Club available to members (single day pass: $40.00), post security on the E concourse - note that Continental also uses the E concourse so members of Presidents Club can use the World Club as well
Midwest Airlines has a Best Care Club available to members (single day pass: $35.00), post security on the D concourse
There are business cubes on the north end of the main terminal, close to the USPS vending machine and drop boxes for UPS, FedEx and the Post Office
The airport has conference rooms available for rent
Wifi is available for a fee throughout the airport

Parking:
Covered daily parking in the attached garage for $11.00 per 24 hours.
Surface lot parking - a short walk in the open to the terminal for $11.00 per 24 hours.
Remote parking - a 10 minute shuttle ride away for $8.00 per 24 hours
Free parking for motorcycles on the ground level of the structure; enter across from the north end of baggage claim.
There are also a handful of independent off site parking options using shuttles.

Planespotting:
Two good locations to watch activity at the airport:
For the bird's eye view, head to the top level -6- of the daily parking garage and watch from the far North East corner, a great view!
From ground level there is a small parking lot just beyond the North fence of the airport off of Layton Ave.

Last edited by MKEbound; Nov 26, 07 at 10:10 am.
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Old May 17, 05, 3:47 pm   #2
 
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Good guide. Just one correction, however: The main shop in the main terminal is the CNBC Store, instead of the MSNBC store.
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Old May 17, 05, 3:48 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekelberry
Good guide. Just one correction, however: The main shop in the main terminal is the CNBC Store, instead of the MSNBC store.
Good catch, I edited the OP to reflect as such.
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Old May 17, 05, 8:08 pm   #4
 
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Don't forget convenient parking for ten bucks a day...and that us old pharts still call it Billy Mitchell Field!
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Old May 17, 05, 10:55 pm   #5
 
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as of a week ago, USA3000 appeared to be discontinuing scheduled services t/f MKE. Might want to check this? (don't have time now unfortunately)

nice resource! thanks for putting this together
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Old May 18, 05, 9:14 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Ginkowski
Don't forget convenient parking for ten bucks a day...and that us old pharts still call it Billy Mitchell Field!
Section added to comment on parking.....
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Old May 18, 05, 9:18 am   #7
 
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Section added on plane spotting.....
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Old May 18, 05, 6:42 pm   #8
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What was the major focus of the renovation? A lot of what's listed feels similar to how it's been for several years.

A nice calm airport BTW - I wish more were like it!
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Old May 18, 05, 9:00 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uastarflyer
What was the major focus of the renovation? A lot of what's listed feels similar to how it's been for several years.

A nice calm airport BTW - I wish more were like it!
I haven't been to the new Concourse C ... it's been forever since I flew AA ex-MKE ... but from what I have heard, C has (still is?) being essentially gutted and "freshened", plus they are adding extra gates onto C.

There are now more security lanes going into D and about to be more lanes headed to E.

The main terminal level has sort of been "spruced up." It's the same basic layout but it doesn't look quite as dated.

New parking structure in, also.
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Old May 25, 05, 6:20 am   #10
 
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Info on new elite security lane to the entrance of the D Concourse for elite members of Midwest airlines
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Old Jun 17, 05, 12:18 pm   #11
 
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Milwaukee no longer has scheduled service from USA3000 or ATA (Chicago Express has been ditched).
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Old Sep 8, 05, 9:21 pm   #12
 
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A couple of updates:

As of 9/6/2005 United is moving from the D terminal (mostly YX) to the C terminal. It is also rumored that US Air will move from D to C by the end of the year (America West has their gates in C) thus leaving Midwest the only carrier out of D.

When I passed though security for the E Concourse before my NW flight on Wednesday, work had begun to widen the TSA checkpoint area.

According to the website a renovation of the D concourse will begin later this year.
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Old Sep 9, 05, 12:45 pm   #13
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Considering parking, closeness of rental cars and the spacious comfort of the terminal, MKE is about as good as an airport gets on what counts. True, the dining options are limited, and there aren't luxurious clubhouses and the like, but it's easy to give those things up for the conveniences of MKE.

Now if I could just get someone to do SFO-MKE nonstop again.
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Old Sep 14, 05, 10:10 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKEbound
A couple of updates:

As of 9/6/2005 United is moving from the D terminal (mostly YX) to the C terminal. It is also rumored that US Air will move from D to C by the end of the year (America West has their gates in C) thus leaving Midwest the only carrier out of D.

When I passed though security for the E Concourse before my NW flight on Wednesday, work had begun to widen the TSA checkpoint area.

According to the website a renovation of the D concourse will begin later this year.
From what I have read, the renovation will only be on the pre-1990 "stem" of Concourse D (i.e. gates D30-D38)...
I wonder if the UA move is permanent or just for the duration of the renovation?
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Old Nov 30, 05, 10:47 am   #15
 
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I took a flight out of "C" (on AA) for this first time in a long time - Major renovations going on, A LOT of new windows let in a lot of natural light making it much brighter and a Quiznos is under construction

Work has also begun on "D." United has completed their move to the "C" terminal, and all of their old gates are walled off and under construction. Midwest Connect will be operating in this newly renovated area when completed, I'm not sure if they will keep some operations at gate 52 as well

Work is progressing on the TSA check point to terminal "E." One downside of the work: Access to shorter lines for CO and NW Elite has diminished, expect slightly longer waits.
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