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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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For the most part, Midwest Airlines has been brutally honest about how bad things are, but it looks like one traditional "spin" line slipped by the goalie.

Our hometown airline is on life support. One of the toughest jobs in the public relations field, of late, has been that of Mike Brophy, spokesman for the airline.

He's had to explain why Midwest wants its pilots and flight attendants to take pay cuts between 30 and 50 percent. He's had to explain why others will have their pay cut by double digit percentages. He's had to explain how 1/3 of Midwest's entire workforce is being cut... 1,200 jobs. He's also had to explain how somehow they'll be able to keep their planes in the air despite these drastic cuts.

These have been trying times for this company. Frankly, they're trying times for many of us who have remained loyal to Midwest. We've very often paid more to fly the hometown airline.  We've talked highly of Midwest to others. We hoped it would pull through after airlines began to struggle following 9/11. Maybe some of us traveled sooner than we were comfortable with, but we thought it was important.

More recently, many in Southeast Wisconsin fought to keep Midwest from being swallowed by discount carrier AirTran. We take ownership of this airline. We love it likes its ours, and in many ways it is.

Again, through these recent tough times, Midwest has been honest with customers. It's told us jobs would be lost, flights cut, and routes eliminated. A lot of customers appreciate the fact that nothing's been sugar coated. I'm always of that mind. Just tell me what's up.

One of the latest news releases posted on the Midwest website, however, breaks from the recent attitude. The headline reads:

"New Midwest Airlines Schedule Retains Service to 32 Cities"

Retains service to 32 cities! Nice. We're grounding planes, cutting staff, cutting flight attendants, cutting pilots, cutting destinations, limiting routes, limiting options, raising prices, crowding planes, bumping passengers, rescheduling passengers, refunding others we cannot serve. But never mind that... we're "retaining" service to 32 cities.

Sorry, PR guy who wrote that. I don't think that's the headline.

Keep up the truth... bad as it may be. We can handle it, and we'll thank you for being honest.





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