Flying to Florida? MKE Has More Options For You

Southwest Airlines is the latest carrier to offer additional flights to the Sunshine State.

Southwest Airlines is adding new nonstop service from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport beginning in June while extending nonstop service to two other Florida destinations.

The new flights to Destin-Fort Walton Beach will be offered every Saturday from June 12-Aug 14 in preparation for an expected summer travel boom.

The Dallas-based airline has also announced that its new service from Mitchell to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, announced earlier this month and originally scheduled to operate on Saturdays through May 8, will be extended through August 14.

In addition, Southwest’s Saturday-only Fort Lauderdale service is being converted to daily nonstops beginning April 12, including two nonstops on Saturdays, through June 5. The Saturday flights to Fort Lauderdale will continue through August 14.



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Southwest is also increasing flight frequencies on several existing daily nonstop routes from Milwaukee, including Phoenix and three Florida destinations – Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa. The expanded service begins on April 12.

Southwest is the dominant airline at Mitchell, registering a 46% market share in February.

“Wisconsin has never had nonstop flights to Destin, so this new route is a great opportunity for Wisconsin travelers,” Airport Director Brian Dranzik said. “Airlines respond to demand from travelers, so the more we all book tickets from our hometown airport, the more service like this we will get.”

With Tuesday’s announcement, Southwest Airlines now serves six Florida cities nonstop from Mitchell.

Spirit Airlines announced in February that it will launch service from Mitchell his summer, with nonstop flights to Orlando International Airport among its three destinations.

The expanded air service in the Milwaukee market to Florida and other markets comes as demand for air travel continues to increase after months of deep declines due to the coronavirus pandemic.



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.