Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) received top honors at the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) 2021 Excellence in Airport Marketing, Communications, and Customer Experience Awards on November 15.

The Awards recognize airports across the U.S. and Canada for their quality of work and creativity across different categories.

“I’m proud of our hometown Airport for receiving international recognition for its commitment to improving the passenger experience this past year,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “It was a tough year for the aviation industry. To see MKE recognized for technological advances and community outreach is a testament to the Airport’s focus on partnership and inclusion.”

MKE was a finalist in six different award categories this year – tied for the most out of any airport in the U.S. and Canada. Of those, MKE earned two First Place finishes:

First Place: Customer Experience Program (Medium Airport)

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport took home top honors for best ‘Customer Experience Program’ at a medium-sized airport. MKE received first place for its improved lost and found website and for featuring Violet, a lost stuffed animal, to help promote it. Additionally, MKE used the updated system to reunite a beloved class ring with its emotional owner who left it behind at the Airport.

“Our Marketing Department has worked tirelessly behind the scenes this past year as they faced the unprecedented challenge of marketing an Airport during a pandemic,” said Airport Director Brian Dranzik. “I’m proud that they received international recognition for putting our passengers first while keeping their health and safety in mind at all times.”

First Place: Partnering with Carriers

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport also received first place in this year’s ‘Partnering with Carriers’ category. Top honors in this category were awarded to the Airport which best demonstrated how they cooperated with the airlines for the good of both entities and of the community.

MKE beat out several large hub airports for its 2020 ‘Letters to Santa’ Campaign with Alaska Airlines. During the campaign, travelers dropped off letters to Santa Claus which were then flown from Milwaukee to the North Pole via an Alaska Airlines flight. Every person who sent a letter received a personalized response from Santa.

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport competed with more than 300 submissions from airports across North America to take home these two top awards. MKE has received ACI marketing awards for the past five years straight.

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) currently offers nonstop flights to 40+ destinations coast-to-coast, and more than 200 international destinations are available with just one connection. MKE is served by Air Canada, Alaska, American, Contour, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, and United.

MKE is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The Airport is entirely funded by user fees, no property tax dollars are used for the Airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation.

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Lee Matz