Friday, February 10, 2012

Frontier Airlines expert believes we're watching 'slow death of the airline'

MILWAUKEE- Tough times for Frontier Airlines as they plan to eliminate a lot of flights out of Mitchell International Airport.

A cutback on non-stop trips means potentially longer travel times and one expert believes this is the beginning of the end of the airline.

In April, the company will shut down five non-stop flights from Milwaukee, dropping departures from 32 to 18 each day.

A frontier spokesperson writes, "these service reductions are not easy for any of us, as they affect some of our team members; however, they are fundamental and necessary changes for Frontier..."

Jay Sorenson worked for Frontier's Milwaukee predecessor, Midwest Airlines. Now an airline consultant, he believes Frontier and its parent company are struggling in a travel town that's too small for two big airlines.

"What we're watching now is the slow death of the airline," said Sorenson. "Milwaukeeans have enjoyed a tremendous benefit -- a competitive outcome -- of very low fares and lots of flights. That's not going to stay."

Travel agencies are keeping a close eye on the changing schedules. Agents already have a plan in place for affected customers.

"We would actually contact those people and offer them new options with other airlines, if that's what we have to offer," said Tricia Newlands of Fox World Travel.

Travelers would like to see more Frontier flights fly into town. Many are concerned these latest cutbacks won't be the last.

For now, those non-stop trips are the only flights in the cross hairs. Schedule changes for Frontier Airlines start in April.

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