Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport parking
MKE Airport has a large parking garage immediately opposite the terminal building that offers a range of parking options. An economy lot and a separate cell phone lot are located at the edge of the airport property and ‘park and ride’ and valet services are available at several off-site locations.
Electric vehicle charging is available at the on-site daily and economy lots and accessible parking spaces are designated in the main parking garage.
Dropping off and picking up
If you're at Mitchell Airport to transport other passengers, short-term hourly parking is available in the garage immediately across the road from the terminal and it's free for the first 30 minutes. A cell phone lot can be found just to the side of the garage for quicker pick-ups from arrivals; it’s just a few seconds’ drive from the collection spaces outside the terminal.
General parking spaces
The main parking garage is divided into front and back sections. At the front, opposite the terminal, Floors 3 and 4 are for daily short-term parking, intended for dropping off or meeting passengers, but they are also a very convenient option if you have a short trip for business or a weekend away.
Daily parking covers the top two floors, the entire back section of the main garage and the secondary garage to the side of the main one. There's also a surface lot on the opposite side of the main garage, which incorporates the aforementioned cell phone lot. All are just a short walk from the terminal and offer lower daily rates.
An economy Supersaver lot, which is the ideal option if you're on a longer trip, is a short distance from the terminal with regular complimentary shuttle buses running around the clock.
Off-site valet and ‘park and ride’ services
Several off-site parking lots are located close to the airport for extra choice. ‘Park and ride’ packages are often the most economical, since they provide you with a free shuttle bus to take you from your space to your terminal, which is typically less than 10 minutes away.
The most convenient service near Milwaukee Airport is the off-site valet, whereby a driver will meet you at your terminal, take care of parking your car for you and return it for you when you get back.
Guide to Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport
- (+1) 414-747-5300
- T1, with concourses CC, CD, CE
- Car, bus, train, taxi, rental
- Free access for 20 minutes, premium upgrade available
General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), widely known as Mitchell Airport, is located just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and transports nearly seven million passengers every year. It’s a joint civil and military airport, so the General Mitchell Air National Guard Base can be found on the edge of the property.
Classed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a medium-sized hub, MKE is a relatively small international airport, but often takes on a role as nearby Chicago's third air gateway. Welcoming passengers from the suburbs of North Chicago, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois as well as Milwaukee itself, its flights serve the USA and Central America, including Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
MKE is a focus city for Southwest Airlines, which is the most popular carrier at the airport with almost half of all passengers booked on their flights to over 20 destinations in the USA. Eleven other airlines currently operate at the airport.
Highlighted in the past by a Condé Nast Traveler poll as one of the top five airports in the country and briefly America’s fastest-growing airport, MKE is currently redeveloping the terminal buildings to allow free movement for post-security passengers.
Location of Milwaukee Airport
Mitchell Airport is about five miles (eight kilometers) south of the center of Milwaukee and 86 miles (138 kilometers) north of Chicago on the edge of Lake Michigan. It is approached by road from the I-94 that connects Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit.
MKE is well connected by public transport with regional bus services from Badger Coaches, Coach USA and Lamers stopping there from Milwaukee, Minneapolis and surrounding counties. Local Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus services connect to the airport from Bayshore, Downtown Milwaukee and Oak Creek.
Amtrak provides services direct to Milwaukee Airport Rail Station on the Hiawatha line, which also calls at Milwaukee Intermodal Station and Chicago Union Station.
History of Milwaukee Airport
Established as Hamilton Airport in 1920, the site became Milwaukee County Airport in 1926 when the county purchased the land from a private owner. A terminal was opened within a year and Northwest Airlines began flights to Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul. By the end of World War II, the airport had been renamed after the Milwaukee military officer, General Mitchell Field. Annual passenger numbers were nearing 200,000 by this point and the current terminal building was planned, which eventually opened in the 1950s.
Mitchell Field has enjoyed consistent growth, reaching one million passengers by the mid-1960s and growing by around 100,000 passengers every year since. In the late 1980s, the terminal was modernized and expanded and the entire property was renamed General Mitchell International Airport. By 2010, passenger numbers were starting to boom - they were nearing 10 million a year, in fact - as MKE was identified as one of the fastest-growing airports in the world.
Things changed dramatically as airline schedule changes saw many routes move to other airports; annual passenger numbers were down to six million by 2013. Since the appointment of a new airport director and Southwest’s decision to make Milwaukee a focus city, those numbers have started to climb once again.
As a small international airport, General Mitchell has a proportionate and practical range of services and amenities to keep passengers comfortable. On-going renovation, including the remodeling of one entire concourse, means that concessions are likely to change. An up-to-date list is available on the Official Mitchell International Airport Website.
Traveler's Aid volunteers work at the airport supporting passengers with a wide range of services, information and advice. Whether you need directions to your gate or are struggling to get around, they are there to help. General customer services at MKE can be reached in advance of travel by calling (+1) 414-747-5300.
- Short-term parking
- Long-term parking
- Covered parking garages
- Rail parking lot
- Electric vehicle charging
- Bicycle parking
- Cell phone lot
- Accessible parking
- Train and bus stations
- 24/7 free airport shuttle buses
- Rental car center
- Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
- Nearby hotels
- Hotel shuttles
- Airline lounge
- USO lounge
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Gadgets, technology and entertainment
- Books and newsstands
- Fast food and snacks
- American and Italian food
- Deli, sandwiches and subs
- Gallery of Flight Museum
- Nursing suites and mothers' room
- Children's playroom
- Pet relief areas
- Traveler's Aid volunteers
- Lost and found
Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport hotel and parking
Several Milwaukee hotels based close to the airport offer hotel and parking packages for MKE passengers. These vary from hotel to hotel, but generally offer up to two weeks of parking if you stay at least one night at the hotel; most include a free shuttle bus to your terminal and back again.
It can often work out cheaper than on-site airport parking to take advantage of one of these combined packages, given the low costs of rooms in the nearby establishments.
Hotels offering the packages include plenty of familiar brand names like Best Western and Holiday Inn, but also include some independent locals like the Milwaukee Airport Inn, which allows free parking for up to 30 days.
All packages require booking in advance, but cancelations are possible if your travel plans change.
Top things to do in Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport
Browse Renaissance Books
One of Mitchell International Airport's unique features is the Renaissance Books store; the first second-hand bookstore to be established in an airport and considered by many to be one of the best.
There's a diverse selection of both fiction and non-fiction squeezed into the store, including a selection of rare, vintage and antique books with new stock coming in daily. There are some modern pop-culture books, but this place is undoubtedly targeted at the fans of old books coming through the airport.
Visit Mitchell Gallery of Flight Museum
Another unusual (and free) feature at MKE Airport is the Mitchell Gallery of Flight Museum, which documents the development of the aviation industry, highlighting the ties back to the Milwaukee area.
Broadly covering people, aircraft and space flight, there are exhibits on flying ace, Richard Bong, Apollo 13 astronaut, James Lovell, Charles Lindbergh and his visit to Milwaukee and, of course, General William Mitchell himself. There are also models or aircraft and artefacts including antique propellers manufactured in the Milwaukee region.
Refuel yourself at an airport restaurant
Mitchell Airport punches well above its weight when it comes to food. There isn't quite the range you’ll find in large international airports like JFK, but it more than makes up for it in terms of quality and local flavors.
Northpoint is one of Milwaukee's favorite providers of burgers and frozen custard and the local roasters at Valentine serve up their wonderful coffee along with snacks and bakery treats at several locations in the airport.
Another local establishment, Nonna Bartolotta’s, is an essential visit if you enjoy pizza fresh from a wood-fired oven, but if you’re after something lighter, don’t miss the bakery and sandwich selection at French Meadow Bakery and Café, which includes plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices.
Exhaust the kids in one of the children's play areas
If you're traveling with children, everyone knows that a great play area is good news for tiring them out before a long flight – luckily for you, Mitchell Airport offers three of them.
The post-security and entirely free areas are fully fitted with colorful padded flooring, slides, tunnels, play airplanes and watchtowers looking out onto the airfield.
If you're traveling with young babies, there are also nursing suites, family restrooms and changing tables in all airport restrooms.
Last chance to shop
If you have forgotten to pack anything, Mitchell Airport's range of stores should fit the bill. Brooks Brothers in the main terminal is ideal for any last-minute clothing, whilst entertainment is taken care of in the forms of the traditional Renaissance Books or the modern InMotion Entertainment, which stocks headphones, electronics and travel gadgets.
If you're leaving Milwaukee after a vacation, Lakeview Travel Mart and Milwaukee Marketplace have a great selection of souvenirs.
Top things to do near Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport
Milwaukee Art Museum
With over 25,000 works of art in its collection, Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the USA. First planned in the 1800s, the museum today consists of several buildings centered on the stunning Quadracci Pavilion with its distinctive wing-like brise soleil and is only about nine miles (14.5 kilometers) from Mitchell International Airport.
The collection includes ancient works, contemporary pieces, European American paintings, sculpture, photography, folk art and outstanding holdings of American decorative arts, Haitian art and German expressionism. It’s a stunning collection in a stunning building.
Sat nav instructions: 700 N Art Museum Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Home to Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park is about 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from MKE Airport. It has a unique architectural design featuring a fan-shaped convertible roof, which can open and close in under 10 minutes; it is, in fact, one of the largest construction projects in Wisconsin history.
As a perfect venue for baseball with excellent views and some of the best value concessions in the sport, Miller Park is an unforgettable experience (especially when it hosts one-off sporting events and huge music concerts).
Sat nav instructions: 1 Brewers Way, Milwaukee, WI 53214
Henry Maier Festival Park
A one-time airport along the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee, the Henry Maier Festival Park was created to become a home to the Summerfest music festival in 1970. It was then little more than a large field, but it has been constantly developed over the years to include a 23,000-seat amphitheater and numerous other stages and performance spaces.
Still home to the annual Summerfest, the location is used by many other festivals throughout the year celebrating African, Arabic, Asian, Italian, German, Indian, Irish, Mexican and Polish culture, as well as a Labor Fest and Pridefest.
It’s located only eight miles (12.9 kilometers) from Mitchell Airport.
Sat nav instructions: 639 E Summerfest Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Milwaukee Public Museum
Dedicated to natural and human history, this museum began as a collection by the students at Milwaukee German-English Academy, but formally moved to a public collection in 1884.
Permanent exhibits include the “Streets of Old Milwaukee” set, dioramas on wild Africa, the oceans, the Arctic and Asia, collections of insects and crustaceans, displays on civilization and early European culture and much more.
There are over four million artefacts covering the sciences, the natural world and the human world, as well as an IMAX Dome Theater, rooftop greenhouse and on-site café. Situated eight miles (12.9 kilometers) from Milwaukee International Airport, the Public Museum is a very easy way to fill a day in the city.
Sat nav instructions: 800 W Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (“The Domes”)
Consisting of three beehive-shaped glass domes that are strikingly lit at night, Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is located eight miles (12.9 kilometers) from MKE Airport and is often known simply as “The Domes”.
Looking beyond the impressive architecture, the variety of plant life thriving in the artificial climates they create is remarkable. One dome features almost 1,000 species of tropical plants, another focuses on plants from arid environments, whilst a third hosts themed shows and festivals throughout the year.
Mitchell Park itself stretches over 60 acres (24.3 hectares) and is a welcome green space that’s very close to the city center.
Sat nav instructions: 524 S Layton Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53215
Basilica of St Josaphat
Inspired by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St Josaphat is a true architectural marvel. It holds significant on the American continent in that is boasts one of the largest copper domes on the planet and proudly displays the Polish Cathedral-style that is so prevalent in the Great Lakes region.
The interior is a spectacular mixture of murals, gold-leafed ornamental plaster-work and stained-glass windows full of intricate detail. The building has a rich history and deep ties with the Polish community around the Great Lakes and, whatever your religious beliefs, the architecture alone is enough to inspire awe.
At just five miles (eight kilometers) from Mitchell Airport, the Basilica is just south of the center of Milwaukee in the Lincoln Village area.
Sat nav instructions: 2333 S 6th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215
A nine-mile (14.5-kilometer) drive from Mitchell International Airport, Discovery World is a hands-on science and technology museum experience. Focused on innovation, technology and conservation of the Great Lakes, the distinctive building is full of interactive exhibits covering subjects like sound, electricity, ecology and product design. It also features a large aquarium, two theaters and 10 science labs and studios where visitors can learn about digital creation, building robots and microscopic organisms.
Sat nav instructions: 500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Milwaukee Public Market
Located eight miles (12.9 kilometers) from Mitchell Airport in the Third Ward Neighborhood, Milwaukee Public Market is primarily a food market used heavily by small local businesses selling freshly prepared goods.
Wine, coffee, cheeses, desserts, meats and seafood are all available to enjoy in a seating area that is great for people-watching.
Various vendors sell other products like gifts, flowers and clothing, whilst community events are also held in the building on occasion.
Sat nav instructions: 400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Betty Brinn Children's Museum
Betty Brinn Children's Museum is an unrivaled place to keep the kids entertained for a few hours thanks to the diverse range of interactive and educational exhibits. About nine miles (14.5 kilometers) from MKE Airport, the museum boasts an array of play and sports areas, a maze, interactive mechanics and engineering exhibits and a specific toddlers-only area - all of which are carefully looked after by staff cleaning up after the children.
There's a restaurant on-site or, if you want to bring your own food, a picnic area with great views of the Milwaukee skyline.
Sat nav instructions: 929 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
With just one terminal at Milwaukee International Airport, it's quite easy to find your way around. Most of the airlines are major and economy carriers in North America arranged across three concourses of gates labeled C, D and E. This arrangement is due to be simplified soon as MKE is in the process of emptying Concourse E to enable future development plans. For the latest departures and arrivals information, please refer to the Official Mitchell International Airport Website.
Three vacation charter carriers operate at the airport, but have no fixed concourse to fly into or out of; please check with these providers or the airport for details on the location of your departure gate (each gate is prefixed with a letter corresponding to the concourse in which it is located).
Traveler's Aid volunteers operate at the airport and can help you find your way if you get lost. If you have any advance inquiries, simply call airport customer services on (+1) 414-747-5300.
|United Airlines||CC / CE|
How to get to Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport
Mitchell Airport is located alongside the I-94 that runs from Madison to Chicago via Milwaukee; exit 318 takes you directly to the terminal buildings. The I-43 from Green Bay to Rockford also passes close by, connecting with the I-94 in the city center.
Taxis, Uber and Lyft are all welcome to drop off passengers at the airport and a shared-ride shuttle service is provided by GO Riteway Transportation Group, picking up from homes and business addresses across Illinois and Wisconsin.
If you want to drive a rental car to MKE, most of the major rental companies are resident there, including Alamo, Budget, Avis, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
Coach and bus services connect to the airport from Minneapolis, Milwaukee and many of the surrounding towns and counties by three providers, namely, Badger Coaches, Coach USA and Lamers. All services stop outside baggage reclaim exit 2 at the terminal building.
The local public bus network is provided by Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS). Its GreenLine service runs from Bayshore Town Center to the Mitchell Airport terminals, via Downtown Milwaukee. MCTS Route 80 runs to the airport from Milwaukee and Oak Creek.
Milwaukee Airport Rail Station is an Amtrak station connected to the airport by regular complimentary shuttle buses. Amtrak's Hiawatha service calls either side of MKE Airport in Milwaukee and Chicago and drops passengers at the airport station.
Take advantage of the Delta Sky Club
Currently located on Concourse E (but due to move to another concourse soon), the Delta Sky Club is accessible to all passengers by paying for a day membership. If you have a long stay at the airport, this can be both practical and cost-effective. In addition to the comfort of the lounge, you also get complimentary food and snacks, TV entertainment and personalized travel assistance.
Nearly all restaurants and stores close overnight
Almost all of the concessions shut down overnight, so if you have a late flight or get caught at the airport, the only 24-hour store is a Starbucks serving coffee and snacks. If you think you may be at the airport late, consider bringing some food along with you.
Prepare for the busiest times
Milwaukee Airport is typically at its busiest between 5:30am and 8am on any given day, so, if you’ve got an early flight, you’ll want to add at least an extra 30 minutes onto your journey to allow yourself time to get through the long lines at check-in (if you haven’t checked in online) and security.
Extra charging stations are available
Charging stations were once only available in the free work center in Concourse C, but you can now find plenty of them freely available in the seating areas of the departures lounge.
Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport FAQs
Does Mitchell Airport have WiFi?
WiFi is available throughout the Mitchell International Airport terminals, provided by Boingo. Look out for “Boingo Hotspot” in your networks and connect. It's free to use for the first 20 minutes after watching a sponsor’s advert, after which various premium options are offered for hourly, daily or monthly access.
Does Mitchell Airport have lockers?
No, unfortunately there are no lockers or luggage storage facilities at MKE.
Does Milwaukee Airport have TSA PreCheck?
Yes, TSA PreCheck and the Global Entry program are both in operation at Mitchell Airport, allowing faster movement through security and immigration for program members.
When does General Mitchell Airport open?
MKE is open 24 hours, so if you get stranded, have a late-arriving layover or suffer a flight cancelation or delay, it is possible to sleep at the airport in an emergency. For early-morning departures or late-night arrivals, several hotels close to the airport offer an on-demand shuttle bus service to get you back and forth quickly if you want to stay the night.
Does Milwaukee Airport have a cell phone lot?
Yes, the cell phone lot is located in the daily surface lot next to the main parking garages. Just a few seconds from the terminals, the lot offers 30 minutes of free parking while you wait for a call from the passenger you’re picking up outside the arrivals area.
Where is Mitchell Airport?
MKE is located about five miles (eight kilometers) south of Milwaukee and is close to the I-94 and Lake Michigan. Milwaukee is in the state of Wisconsin in the north of the USA, close to Chicago, Illinois.