Great Lakes Airlines Codeshare

Old May 14, 10, 3:30 pm
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Great Lakes Airlines Codeshare

While this could have just as easily been posted on the Frontier forum, I'll let the mods move it if they deem necessary.

I noticed the the FrontierMidwest.com interactive route map is now showing the Great Lakes Airlines codeshare cities. According to Wikipedia (I Know, I know) Great Lakes Airlines has a codeshare partnership with Frontier but I can't find any mention of it on either the Frontier site or the Great Lakes website. It looks like those cities are bookable via Frontier but not the other way around.

I was just wondering if anyone had any more information on this. I'd love to see this partnership grow as the route maps are very complimentary and Great Lakes can provide some great small market feed into the Frontier system. I think it would also be helpful for both airlines to market this a bit and let all their new Midwest flyers know about this as it significantly expands the reach of Frontier flights.

Edit: It looks like the only flights bookable via Frontier are flights to/from DEN or MKE. The system wasn't able to find a flight from Show Low (SOW) to MKE even though it is theoretical that they could connect passengers in PHX (the flight times might not allow for this though).

Last edited by MikeFromMKE; May 14, 10 at 3:42 pm Reason: New Info
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Old May 14, 10, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromMKE View Post
It looks like those cities are bookable via Frontier but not the other way around.
Correct. Great Lakes has a similar relationship with UA.

They are a regional operator and they provide service under both their own brand or as a code-share for the partners. But if you want to book beyond the local service you have to book through the partner.
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Old May 14, 10, 8:26 pm
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Frontier is never going to add RHI - MKE back, so why not code share with Great Lakes at MKE?
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Old May 14, 10, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
Frontier is never going to add RHI - MKE back, so why not code share with Great Lakes at MKE?
When Skyway pulled the EAS routes, Midwest was supposed to code share with Great Lakes then, I don't think it ever happened though. Not really sure what happened but from what I can remember it was on the Great Lakes side. Not sure if they would be open to trying that again with Frontier. Also, wasn't Great Lakes looking to move their EAS routes to Chicago and move away from Milwaukee?
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Old May 16, 10, 8:29 am
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If you ride Great Lakes out of DEN, you will see both Frontier and United inflight magazines in the seat pocket. As mentioned above the flights are code shared with both carriers, but you have to be making a connection involving UA or F9. With a connection, you get miles on the mainline and Great Lakes segments. Good set up for places like AIA. OTOH, not so good if you aren't connecting but only booking a trip with Great Lakes proper, because you don't get any miles, which is kind of against my religion. For those I drive. And yeah, as mentioned by the OP, this would belong in the forum for that "other" airline that has become involved with Midwest through Republic.
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Old May 26, 10, 8:16 am
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I find it strange you can't book RHI - MKE on Frontier's website. Why wouldn't Great Lakes want this in the Frontier booking engine?
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Old May 26, 10, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
I find it strange you can't book RHI - MKE on Frontier's website. Why wouldn't Great Lakes want this in the Frontier booking engine?
Maybe this is something that will be worked on when they get all the tech pieces in order. I'm sure they are more worried about making sure all the Midwest flights can be booked properly right now.
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Old May 26, 10, 10:51 am
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The existing Great Lakes code share with Frontier is only for travel connecting between the two airlines. So you can book a flight like DFW-DEN-CNY (Moab) on the Frontier site, but you can't book DEN-CNY. That has to be right on the Great Lakes site (or Expedia, Oribitz, etc).

A code share like this is probably less expensive for Great Lakes. And for Frontier, it removes them a bit from Great Lakes so that when there are service issues, it is more Great Lakes and less Frontier. The downside to a code share like this is that the local people in DEN can't earn Frontier miles on those Great Lakes flights.

No word yet on Great Lake's EAS bids for Ironwood, Mansitee, Escanaba, and Iron Mountain. They are bidding for all four cities to have MKE service, and their bid is all-or-nothing. So unless the DoT can convince them otherwise, Milwaukee will either add IMT and ESC to their roster, or lose IWD and MBL.

These are essentially the bids:

Mesaba: Just Iron Mountain and Escanaba, to DTW and/or MSP
Great Lakes: All four cities to MKE (must be all four)
Charter Air: Variety of J31 or EM2 options to MKE and/or MDW
Sovreign: Nine-passenger props nonstop to ORD

Both Charter (based in Ohio) and Sovreign (based in North Dakota) are not currently doing scheduled flying, and their proposals seem more than a little flakey. Mesaba and Great Lakes are all-or-nothing proposals. Charter and Sovreign are willing to take whatever they get (and they seem to be bidding for whatever is out there.)


ESC and IMT strongly want to retain Mesaba's Saab 340 service to Detroit which is doing well (especially since they reduced MQT-DTW).

IWD and MBL both want Great Lakes to Milwaukee, and neither Sovreign nor Charter bids seemed to get a lot of weight. But Great Lakes is not willing to continue IWD and MBL unless they get ESC and IMT as well.


The other wrinkle is that while Mesaba is happy to keep ESC and IMT for now, they stated more than 6 months ago that the Saab 340's will be retired some time during the lifetime of these EAS bids. They will give 180 days notice, and the DoT can rebid again at that point to find a replacement carrier. If there is no replacement after 180 days, Mesaba expects to be subsidized accordingly for RJ service after that 180 day notice expires.

So...while ESC and IMT would love to keep DL* on Mesaba, its days are probably numbered. Mesaba could have bid for these routes to be RJ already, or put a clause in their bid which was subsidy at $XXX for Saab 340 and subsidy at $YYY for CRJ. They probably would not get the bid based on the RJ rates as the DoT is already unhappy with what they consider unacceptably high subsidy demands for Saab 340 service at four other cities. So when the 340's go, Mesaba is not likely to get ESC and IMT with a CRJ bid.

My hope is that Great Lakes is awarded all four now and that they don't mess around with Mesaba's half-term bid. Personally I'd like to see MKE get more service, and I'd use the ESC and IMT service again (even if no FF miles). But even worse, if Mesaba gets ESC and IMT, then Manistee and Ironwood are forced to get Sovriegn or Charter, and neither of those operations looks promising. Communities have been burned before when the DoT has chosen untested, unconventional carriers like these...frequently even if they do ever get off the ground they break their promises of code-sharing, aircraft types, interline agreements, schedules, etc.

The comment period ended a few weeks ago, so there will probably be some action soon. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
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Old May 26, 10, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
I find it strange you can't book RHI - MKE on Frontier's website. Why wouldn't Great Lakes want this in the Frontier booking engine?
I believe you have to book a connection for this codeshare.
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Old Jun 3, 10, 4:25 pm
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The DoT awarded Escanaba and Iron Mountain to Mesaba (DL*). Manistee and Ironwood are both put back up for bid. Both cities preferred Great Lakes over the other two choices, but there's no bid from Great Lakes which they could have selected becaue Great Lakes bid was all four or nothing.

I wonder if Great Lakes will now submit a new (probably more expensive) bid for the two remaining cities? That's what they are hoping. Manistee is finally back to the traffic they had back in the best of the Midwest Connect days. Ironwood, unforunatley, is far down from those days when Midwest Connect grew traffic at those two airports to the busiest they had been in decades.

Had Great Lakes won all four cities, they would likely have needed to fly three aircraft in their MKE system to cover them at the level proposed. If that were the case, they might have added some non-subsidized flying like Duluth, Moline, Traverse City, or Cincinnati to use the aircraft more fully. Now if they re-bid and win just IWD and MBL again, it is likely to be the same one-plane schedule. Unfortunately they have not been terribly reliable as of late with that one plane. If something goes wrong, there's nothing to do but wait until the plane is fixed or cancel.
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Old Jun 3, 10, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
If that were the case, they might have added some non-subsidized flying like Duluth, Moline, Traverse City, or Cincinnati to use the aircraft more fully.
knope...I know Midwest has previously flown Moline (from both MKE and MCI), Traverse City, and Cincinnati.

I'm not too familiar with all of the SkyWay flying that has operated in the past so I was wondering if you could provide the history of what happened with these stations. Could any of these destinations work for Frontier from MKE and/or DEN, perhaps seasonally (TVC)?

I do know that CVG was flown twice daily for a number of years and was yanked around 2005 or so when many thought SkyWay would take over the Delta Connect FRJ flying. The fact that this route never came back seems to indicate it wasn't a strong performer.
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Old Jun 3, 10, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
knope...I know Midwest has previously flown Moline (from both MKE and MCI), Traverse City, and Cincinnati.

I'm not too familiar with all of the SkyWay flying that has operated in the past so I was wondering if you could provide the history of what happened with these stations. Could any of these destinations work for Frontier from MKE and/or DEN, perhaps seasonally (TVC)?

I do know that CVG was flown twice daily for a number of years and was yanked around 2005 or so when many thought SkyWay would take over the Delta Connect FRJ flying. The fact that this route never came back seems to indicate it wasn't a strong performer.
I would enjoy the thoughts on this as well specifically MLI and if there would be any chance CID would be in the hunt for any service. Being from the area (hence the user name) I know there have been a lot of drop offs in service especially from CID. If I remember correctly and I'm not a 100% on this but I believe MLI gave AirTran subsidies to fly to MCO at one time. Allegent has few flight to LAS and PHX from CID but the only other service at CID is to the hubs of the big boys. Although CID may be too close to DSM to start new flights to MKE but how about a CID-OMA-DEN flight?
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Old Jun 3, 10, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by 8C4IOW View Post
I would enjoy the thoughts on this as well specifically MLI and if there would be any chance CID would be in the hunt for any service.
Midwest actually (SkyWay) announced MKE-CID back around 2000 or so. The launch of the route was delayed and I'm not 100% sure if it ever launched. If it did, I'm guessing the route was short-lived.

American seems to dominate the CID market.
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Old Jun 3, 10, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
Midwest actually (SkyWay) announced MKE-CID back around 2000 or so. The launch of the route was delayed and I'm not 100% sure if it ever launched. If it did, I'm guessing the route was short-lived.

American seems to dominate the CID market.
I didn't even know Midwest existed until I had an interview with them and when I would tell people back home who I worked for they had no idea what airline I was talking about, some still don't. I always wondered how flights would work out of CID with the right marketing telling consumers how connections in & flights from MKE were so much easier than ORD.

A lot of people from the Iowa City/North Liberty/Cedar Rapids area drive to Chicago to catch cheaper non-stop flights. Its only a 4 four drive which is about the same to Milwaukee. I don't think the area can sustain too many non-stop flights but it sure would make a difference if Frontier, with their lower costs could come in and start up some flights. Theres some money to be had there.

AA just dropped their LGA flights from CID a few months ago, that was flown on a E140 or E145. Not that LGA is a good fit from CID but there seems to be few opportunities to be had.
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Old Jun 5, 10, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
knope...I know Midwest has previously flown Moline (from both MKE and MCI), Traverse City, and Cincinnati.

I'm not too familiar with all of the SkyWay flying that has operated in the past so I was wondering if you could provide the history of what happened with these stations. Could any of these destinations work for Frontier from MKE and/or DEN, perhaps seasonally (TVC)?

I do know that CVG was flown twice daily for a number of years and was yanked around 2005 or so when many thought SkyWay would take over the Delta Connect FRJ flying. The fact that this route never came back seems to indicate it wasn't a strong performer.
I don't have my timetables handy to get exact dates, so some dates will be swagged a little bit. These markets were all Beech 1900 unless otherwise noted.

Moline
MLI came onboard in 1998 or early 1999, originally with flights to both MKE and MCI. It was a bridge between the two systems in an effort to expand Skyway to MCI, with Kansas City-Little Rock as the other market. MLI had 2x/day to MCI and 3x/day to MKE. The Kansas City thing didn't work out too long -- I think it ended in 2000. At the time Air Midwest was still flying point-to-point stuff out of MCI, so MCI-LIT went up against them. MLI-MKE carried pretty decent loads, although when fare information eventually came out it turned out to be mostly low-fare traffic. Moline was 4x/day but was cut in 2002 after the 9/11 and recession shock.

Cedar Rapids
CID actually has two incarnations on Midwest. Actually before Midwest there's history of CID-MKE...it was one of the original Northwest J31 markets in the late 80 hub operation, flying Waterloo-Cedar Rapids-Milwaukee. Midwest came in to CID the first time with the original Skyway operated by Mesa a few years later. It wasn't one of the original markets in 1989, but came in 1991 or so flying twice daily MKE-CID-OMA. That was years before Midwest mainline came to Omaha. When Midwest and Mesa cut ties in 1994, Cedar Rapids was not a market that the new Skyway (YX-owned Astral Aviation) replaced. Not long after Midwest themselves came into Omaha.

CID's round two came in 2000 if I recall correctly, and it was added on the heels of successful loads in Moline. It was 3x/day nonstop eastbound, and westbound they linked it with Moline to be 4x/day as they often did in those days. Instead of two nonstops at 9:45pm, one to each city, they sent one flight at 7:45pm flying MKE-CID-MLI, and another at 9:45 flying MKE-MLI-CID. Cedar didn't generate nearly the traffic that Moline did, and it was gone by mid 2001.

By the time these markets started, both Moline and Cedar Rapdis rarely saw turboprop service anymore, and 19-seat aircraft like the BE1 were antiquated and unattractive...especially for a brand-new airline trying to make a name for themselves.


Traverse City
TVC was a seasonal station for a handful of years in the mid-90's, flying 1x/day during summer. Rhinelander started the same way, but in both cases that seasonal flying had stopped for at least a season or two when those stations returned as "real" cities later on.

Traverse City came "for real" in 1998, in part to fortify Escanaba. Like Moline and Cedar Rapids, Marquette responded to wonderfully when service was added in 1997, but sister market Escanaba never turned out as well as the original. So after about 6 months of weak ESC results (it was not Essential Air Service back then -- Mesaba was also in ESC) they added Traverse City to the mix flying MKE-TVC-ESC. Traverse did fairly well and carried a reasonable amount of local traffic especially in summer, but it was another one of those markets where the Beech 1900 eventually left Midwest in the dust competitively. Like Moline, it was cut after the 9/11 shock and recession.

Cincinnati
CVG came in about 1996 or so and always performed reasonably well even amidst the Delta M88's and Comair CRJ's it competing against. A key niche for them was having an early-morning CVG-MKE trip around 7:15am and an evening CVG-MKE trip around 6:30pm. The Delta hub at CVG banks put the first CVG-MKE trip around 10:00am, and the last MKE-CVG trip around 5:00pm. That early-morning CVG-MKE was often the fullest trip of the day.

CVG is a very curious market to me in that it has been cut back so much that I wonder where the local traffic went, and if YX/F9 returned if it would come back. Delta is down to 150 seats per day in a market that peaked at around 700, and while obviously there's far less connecting traffic in CVG than there once was, this seems remarkable. I also wonder how much Dayton traffic is surrogate Cincinnati traffic. With the DL FF share I'm sure some YX FF junkies used CVG more often, but that's almost over. If they return to CVG will it kill DAY?

Out of time for more comments right now...maybe more later.
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