Flights into or out of Chicago will send you to either Midway or O’Hare airports. Sometimes, however, it’s wise to pick one over the other according to your needs as a traveler.
For instance, a lengthy security line at O’Hare International Airport is a nightmare for any business traveler, and Chicago Midway International Airport may not offer a flight that coincides with an international or business traveler’s schedule. The differences and unique benefits of each Chicago airport are important to consider when making your travel decisions.
OML Worldwide of Chicago provides reliable car service to and from both O’Hare and Midway airports. We understand the importance of knowing the specifics of each so you can travel smarter. Here are four fundamental differences between O’Hare and Midway:
Chicago Midway International Airport has a large food court immediately past security that’s home to Lalo’s Mexican Restaurant, Gold Coast Dogs, Potbelly Sandwich Works and Harry Caray’s Seventh Inning Stretch. This food court’s range of options, from fast food to sit-down establishments, will satisfy your schedule and taste buds.
Midway offers quite a few full-service, sit-down restaurants, allowing travelers to take a break and enjoy a meal. Many travelers prefer an airport that has the majority of food options concentrated in one convenient location, which is the case at Midway.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s food offerings are much greater, but because it’s a larger airport, you’ll have to walk further if you want to eat at a specific restaurant. Although there are restaurants sprinkled throughout the airport, the majority of O’Hare’s dining options are located in Terminal 3.
If you’ve got time to kill, grab a table at Macaroni Grill, O’Briend’s Restaurant and Bar or Chili’s. In a rush? Try Dunkin’ Donuts, Ciao Gourmet Market or Burrito Beach.
Security Wait Times
O’Hare is a bit notorious for having long wait times at security. For business travelers keeping a tight schedule, this can be challenging. During peak hours, travelers report wait times of upward of 90 minutes. Travelers would be wise to arrive even earlier than usual to account for the lengthy wait time.
Midway offers additional security lines to ease the bottleneck and strain on travelers’ schedules. Even during inclement weather, delays and wait times at security tend to be shorter at Midway than at O’Hare. However, this could be due to fewer overall passengers flying through the airport each year.
Number of Travelers
O’Hare has consistently been one of the busiest airports in the world. In fact, it was ranked No. 4 on the Airports Council International’s list of busiest airports in 2016. In 2015 alone, more than 75 million travelers passed through O’Hare. The airport’s fast pace and international flight options make O’Hare the go-to choice for experienced travelers.
Midway is slightly less hectic and offers shorter lines, making it ideal for those seeking a stress-free flight. It’s also a bit closer to Downtown Chicago. For tourists who may feel intimidated by landing too far from the city, Midway is a better option.
For both Midway and O’Hare fliers, finding reliable ground transportation once the plane lands is an issue. Shuttles are often off schedule, crowded or otherwise unfit for your needs, and the distance from O’Hare to Downtown Chicago — where many business travelers are headed — can be uncomfortable in a cab stuck in traffic.
OML Worldwide is the best option for flyers heading into Midway or O’Hare. We live and work here, and our chauffeurs are local experts that can map your travels from start to finish, complete with minimal delays and confusion.
*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and has since been updated to reflect the most accurate information.