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Traveling somewhere warm? Mitchell International Airport debuts coat check service

NOW: Traveling somewhere warm? Mitchell International Airport debuts coat check service

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport on Thursday, Feb. 13 announced the debut of a new coat check service travelers can take advantage of. 

Mitchell International Airport offers nonstop flights to several warm destinations where winter coats aren't needed. The new coat check service allows travelers to wear their coats to the airport, leave them with an attendant in the new Summerfest Marketplace -- located pre-security in the airport's concession mall -- and then claim them after landing back in Milwaukee. 

Airport officials say they believe MKE is the only major airport in the nation offering the service, and it was inspired by travelers themselves.

"We're really not trying to make money off of this, we're really trying to provide a service," said Mitchell International Marketing Director Harold Mester. "One of the most frequent requests that we get at our information desk from travelers is, do you have lockers? Is there somewhere where I can store my coat?"

For $2 per day and a $10 maximum charge, travelers can enjoy extra space in their luggage. People can only leave coats and whatever can fit in the pockets. 

Mester says during peak spring break season, 600,000 people come through the airport in a month. 

"It's probably half of our traffic going to warm destinations. Orlando is one of our top destinations, especially this time of year."

Some travelers say they could definitely see themselves using the coat check. 

"It's a good idea, usually I travel with a light coat if I'm going to a warmer place, but yeah, today maybe I would've worn a thicker coat and done it," said Tricia Snoeyink, traveling to Dallas.

"If I was going somewhere really warm I'd probably do that, sure," said Vegas-bound Matt Laughlin. 

"It’s a great fit during our harsh winters,” Airport Director Brian Dranzik said. “Heavy winter coats can take up a lot of space in luggage."

The new coat check service is in partnership with Paradies Lagardère. 

“Paradies Lagardère is excited to offer this innovative new service for travelers at MKE,” said Mike Barnes, regional vice president, Paradies Lagardère. “We’re committed to developing solutions for both travelers and our airport partners that deliver ease, convenience and first-class experiences.”

The coat check location is easily accessible to travelers using any of the airport’s concourses, and will be available to travelers on all flights, seven days per week. 

Travelers can pick up their coats back at the Summerfest Marketplace on the way out. 

Mester says right now the airport has enough coat storage for a couple of hundred coats, but may expand if the demand continues.

MKE offers nonstop flights to a variety of warm destinations where winter coats are not needed, including Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix, and Tampa. International nonstops are available to the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana), Jamaica (Montego Bay), and Mexico (Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta). Note: Travelers arriving from these international destinations will need to take a free shuttle from the International Arrivals Terminal to the Main Terminal to retrieve their coats.

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