November 20, 2012
Media Relations Office
NEARLY 1.8 MILLION PASSENGERS EXPECTED AT CHICAGO’S AIRPORTS DURING THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY PERIOD
CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) anticipates nearly 1.8 million passengers will travel through Chicago’s airports for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period between Tuesday, November 20 and Tuesday, November 27, 2012. Airlines project that Sunday, November 25 will be the busiest travel day at both O’Hare and Midway International Airports, with more than 250,000 passengers at O’Hare, and more than 78,000 passengers at Midway.
“On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we are pleased to welcome millions of passengers who are traveling through Chicago’s airports during the busy Thanksgiving holiday," said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. “We are ready to provide a safe and efficient travel experience at O’Hare and Midway International Airports.”
Both airports will sparkle with a festive spirit, featuring decorations installed at both airports for the winter holiday season. On Wednesday, November 21 blues, jazz, R&B and Celtic artists will perform in all terminals at O’Hare and Midway from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. At Midway, airport volunteers will offer complimentary hot cocoa to passengers on the evenings of Wednesday, November 21 and Sunday, November 25.
The USO (United Service Organizations) center at O’Hare will set up welcome tables past security checkpoints in each domestic terminal from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20; Wednesday, November 21 and Sunday, November 25. These tables will be staffed with USO volunteers to assist the large number of active duty military traveling for the holiday weekend. The USO center at O’Hare is located in Terminal 2 on the mezzanine level pre-security. The Midway USO center is located past-security and is easily accessible to traveling military personnel and their families.
Both airports offer a wide variety of food and beverage and retail options, including many local favorites that help provide a Chicago experience for travelers. Several restaurants and shops, including many Chicago favorites, have opened or expanded locations at O’Hare including Cubs Bar & Grill and Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless. Travelers can also take a taste of Chicago with them by visiting Eli’s Cheesecake Café and Garrett’s Popcorn Shops at O’Hare or Nuts On Clark at Midway and O’Hare. Passengers can have food delivered to their gate from select locations by using HMSHost’s B4 YOU BOARD mobile app. The free app is available from the Apple App Store and Android Market.
Seasonal flu shots are available at the O’Hare University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) medical clinic in Terminal 2 and at kiosks in each of the domestic terminals at O’Hare.
Getting to the Airport
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will operate more frequent service on the Blue Line to O’Hare and the Orange Line to Midway, beginning in the afternoon on Wednesday, November 21. The trip from downtown Chicago to O’Hare takes about 45 minutes and from downtown to Midway takes about 40 minutes.
Passengers are advised to check their airline’s Web site for the status of their flights before leaving home. Passengers should allow time for traveling to the airports, ticketing, checking baggage and security checkpoint process. It is recommended that all passengers arrive at O’Hare or Midway at least two hours before their scheduled flight departures.
Parking/ Passenger Pick-up
The hourly and daily parking rates for the main parking garage at O’Hare is $2 for the first hour and $5 for the second and third hours. Cost-conscious travelers can take advantage of O’Hare’s two economy parking lots, priced at $9 (Lot F) and $19 per day (Lot E). Midway’s terminal parking garage costs $5 for the first hour. Midway's economy parking locations along 55th Street are $14 per day. Real-time parking availability information for both O’Hare and Midway is posted on www.flychicago.com.
The CDA’s free cell phone waiting lots at O’Hare and Midway allow motorists to temporarily park until friends, family members or business associates have deplaned, collected baggage and are ready to be picked up curbside. The O’Hare cell phone waiting lot is located at Economy Parking Lot F at Mannheim and Zemke Roads. The Midway cell phone waiting lot is located at 61st Street and Cicero Avenue, just south of the main airport entrance.