Skip to flight searchSkip to main content
Airline banner image
Great Lakes Airlines logo

Search & book flights with Great Lakes Airlines

Instant booking confirmation
Cancellation Protection available
Expert customer service

Alternatives to Great Lakes Airlines

Click on the logos below to see airlines that operate similar routes to Great Lakes Airlines.

Unfortunately, Great Lakes Airlines has ceased operations.

Great Lakes Airlines ended operations in 2018. Search flights with similar routes with United or Delta Airlines. Take a look at the alternative airlines above that fly similar routes to Great Lakes Airlines.

About Great Lakes Airlines

Great Lakes Airlines was an American regional airline operating domestic scheduled and charter services. Its corporate headquarters were located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with a hub at Denver International Airport. Great Lakes Airlines was a large United Express feeder carrier through the 1990s decade operating to over 100 cities. The airline was established by Doug Voss and Ivan Simpson and started operations on April 5, 1977. It began scheduled services on October 12, 1981, with flights between Spencer, Iowa, and Des Moines, Iowa. In February 1988, Great Lakes acquired Alliance Airlines, adding six cities around Lake Michigan to the route network. In the following years, it continued to expand with routes mainly concentrated around a hub at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Former Destinations

Great Lake Airlines flew to the following destinations: Arizona, California, Cortez, Alamosa, Denver, Pueblo, Dodge City, Liberal, Salina, Minneapolis, Thief River, Kearney, McCook, North Platte, Scottsbluff, Farmington, Huron and Pierre. The airline served 13 of its 21 destinations through the Essential Air Service programme and is the largest Essential Air Service provider in the United States.

Baggage Allowance

Carry-on Baggage

For each ticketed passenger Great Lakes Airlines accepted 2 pieces maximum of checked luggage free of charge. The first bag has a maximum weight of 22kg. One personal item is also allowed to be taken on the plane that fits under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. If the personal item does not fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment it will be gate checked.

Checked Baggage

2 pieces of checked luggage with a maximum weight of 50 pounds each were allowed for Economy Class passengers.

Check-In Information

Standard industry practice suggests opening times were likely around 2-3 hours before departure for international flights and 1-2 hours for domestic or shorter regional routes. Specific deadlines for check-in likely varied depending on airport regulations and individual flight schedules, potentially ranging from 45-60 minutes before departure.

Both online and airport check-in options were likely available, possibly offered 24 hours before the flight through the airline's website.

Online Check-In

Online check-in allowed passengers to print boarding passes at home or at airport kiosks, streamlining the process at the airport.

Airport Check-In

Airport check-in desks catered to those who preferred not to check in online, with standard baggage drop-off and document verification procedures. Express check-in options for specific passenger categories like premium class or frequent flyers might have been available at larger airports.

Cabin Classes

Economy Class Seats

  • Likely a standard 3-3 configuration in their fleet of Embraer ERJ-145 and Beechcraft 1900D aircraft.
  • Average legroom and recline compared to other regional airlines at the time.
  • Standard fabric seats without much frills, focused on practicality and basic comfort. No mentions of leather seats or enhanced comfort options were found.

Economy Class Amenities

  • Limited in-flight meal service, likely focused on snacks and drinks for purchase. Water and basic beverages might have been complimentary.
  • No personal entertainment systems. There may have been overhead screens with limited content options like movies or TV shows.
  • Standard essentials like blankets, pillows, and headsets for purchase might have been available. Newspapers or magazines might also have been offered.

Trusted globally

Rated Excellent on Trustpilot

We’re super proud of our Trustpilot rating, but don’t just take it from us. See why millions of others love booking their flights through Alternative Airlines

Buy now, pay later

Buy your flights now and pay later

No way, really?! Yes! We’ve partnered with some amazing BNPL payment providers to allow you to pay for your flights over time, with ease.

Hub Airports

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport acted as the airline's corporate headquarters and a base for a significant portion of its fleet and staff. Many flights, particularly those connecting the western United States with other regions, routed through Denver.

Other airlines based at this airport include Denver Air Connection, Southern Airways Express and United Airlines.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

This airport served as a key gateway for Great Lakes Airlines' flights between the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest, especially during the airline's expansion in the early 2000s.

This airport is currently a hub for American Airlines.


Before ceasing operations, Great Lakes Airlines' fleet consisted of the following aircraft:

  • 6 x Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia (each seating up to 30 passengers)
  • 24 x Beechcraft 1900D (each seating up to 19 or 9 passengers depending on the cabin configuration)