Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine


Travelers looking for cheap flights to Chicago have the most options by flying through the O’Hare International Airport, as well as a number of options through the Chicago Midway International Airport. The O’Hare Airport is located in the northwestern corner of the city. There are four terminals at O’Hare, numbered 1, 2, 3, and 5.

The Chicago Midway International Airport is a smaller, simpler and less busy airport located to the southwest of Chicago. It is usually called “Midway Airport,” or just “Midway.” It has three concourses, named A, B and C, with 43 aircraft gates. Concourse A handles the international arrivals. Midway is closer to the city center than O’Hare.

There is also the Gary Chicago International Airport (GYY), but there is not much air traffic there. It is located in Gary, Indiana.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Information

The O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is undergoing a Modernization Plan. This plan includes projects like adding four new runways and decommissioning two others. This airport has a bunch of amenities, including a Brachiosaurus dinosaur skeleton on Terminal 1. Other more standard amenities include a chapel, some children’s exhibits, immigration aid, a medical center, restaurants and bars. There is Wi-Fi, but they charge for it.

Airlines That Fly Into O’Hare International Airport

The O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is the fourth busiest airport in the world. It is known to be more pleasant than many other major American airports, but it does have a large problem with flight delays and cancellations due to its immense traffic. Those who are departing or arriving internationally in Chicago will most likely end up using O’Hare, because there are flights to about 60 international destinations. O’Hare is the primary hub for United Airlines, and also a hub for American Airlines. Other major airlines that service O’Hare include Aeromexico, Air Canada, Delta, Mexicana and US Airways.

O’Hare Transit Information

Distance to city: 17 miles

Bus to city

  • Fare: Fare: $1.75, plus 25 cents for transfer
  • Pace routes 250 and 330 go to Parking Lot E, but these do not go directly into Chicago.

Train to city

  • Fare: $2.25
  • The Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line Train goes from the airport to downtown in about 45 minutes. Its station is located between Terminals 1 and 2.

Taxi to city

  • Fare: $30 approximately

Other options

  • There are a handful of shuttle buses that service this airport.

Car Rental Companies at O’Hare International Airport

The rental car companies at the O’Hare Airport are located on the lower levels of Terminals 1, 2 and 3, close to their baggage claim areas. Travelers that come in through Terminal 5 can use courtesy telephones to call these companies, which usually offer complimentary buses to go pick up the rental cars.

Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) Information

The Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is a fast-growing airport. Concourse A is currently undergoing construction with expansion and improvements on walkways, which is supposed to be done Spring 2010. Amenities at this airport include restaurants, cafes, gift shops, newsstands, ATMs, a business center, police kiosks and a chapel.

Airlines That Fly Into Chicago Midway International Airport

The Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), it relatively busy, but much less so than O’Hare. The vast majority of the flights are in the US, but there is one flight to Toronto. Flights at Midway are dominated by Southwest Airlines, and its other major operators include Airtran Airways and Delta Airlines. Other airlines include Frontier and Porter Airlines.

Chicago Midway Transit Information

Distance to city: 8 miles

Bus to city

  • Fare: $1.75, plus 25 cents for transfer
  • The 55 and 59 buses stop at the Midway Airport, and they go to the University of Chicago/Hyde Park area. However, the public train is likely a better, faster option (see below).

Train to city

  • Fare: $2
  • Passengers can board the Orange Line of the Chicago Transit Authority’s train system. This train goes to downtown Chicago and the Loop, which takes about 25 minutes.

Taxi to city

  • Fare: $23-28
  • Taxis operate out of the ground level of each terminal, and they all run on meters.

Other options

  • There are a handful of shuttle buses that service the Chicago Midway International Airport.

Car Rental Companies at Chicago Midway International Airport