Created in 1919, Milwaukee’s airport – originally called Butler Airport – didn’t take long to outgrow its original site so in 1926 the county purchased the piece of land that the airport currently occupies; thus the airport has had the room to expand over the years, as needed.
In 1941, the airport’s name was changed to General Mitchell Airport, in honor of General William “Billy” Mitchell. Mitchell, the son of a prominent Milwaukee family, realized the importance of aviation to the First World War and taught himself to fly, in order that he could participate in the war. He went on to lead over 1500 aviators during his time overseas.
Today, the airport offers non-stop flights to 35+ cities and is the only airport in Wisconsin or Illinois served by all the major domestic airlines.
Getting Around: Mitchell Airport is a relatively compact airport, consisting of three concourses (C, D & E), all under the same roof. Ticketing and check-In, along with the baggage claim are all located on the lower level, with access to security and departure gates on the upper level. The baggage claim area is currently undergoing renovations, which will be completed in 2015.
The Milwaukee Airport Rail Station is a stop on the Hiawatha Line, which connects downtown Milwaukee with Chicago. As the rail station is located outside the terminal, along the western edge of the airport, a shuttle bus transports passengers between the airport terminal and the rail station.
Shuttle operators provide door-to-door airport service to hotels and all other locations in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, including Chicago.
Dining: Milwaukee has long been touted as the Beer Capital of the World, so it wouldn’t be right to leave without sampling a brew at the airport. Dine at the Miller Brewhouse, which pays homage to the city’s brewery history. In addition to beer, you’ll find a wide variety of sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads on the menu – typical pub food. You’ll find this eatery in the main terminal.
Both Concourses C and D offer an Italian option if that’s your craving. Pizzeria Piccola, located in Concourse C, serves a wood-fired, thin-crust Neapolitan pie while Concourse D contains an off-shoot of locally-renowned Italian eatery, Nonna Bartolotta’s, where you’ll find a menu full of mouth-watering Italian dishes. Both restaurants get better than average ratings with passengers.
If you’re looking for an authentic Milwaukee experience, dine at Usinger’s Deli and Bar, a nationally recognized family business, dedicated to the making of fine sausages. Here you’ll find custom-made sandwiches and authentic bratwurst, frankfurters or Polish sausage. Located on Concourse D.
Relaxing: If you have some time before your flight, take the time to wander around the Mitchell Gallery of Flight, a non-profit aviation museum, located within the airport.
Wi-Fi: The Milwaukee airport offers Wi-Fi service through Boingo. The first 20 minutes are complimentary, with additional service at $4.95/hour or $9.95/monthly for unlimited Boingo service.
Official website: http://mitchellairport.com/
To read our previous airport reports, click here.