Chicago Airports – O’Hare vs. Midway

O'Hare vs. Midway

When you’re traveling, one of the things that you commonly desire is ease. Stress-free travels, however, can seem like an impossible end.

To make travel easier, though, you need to select the correct airport to fly into and from; by not doing so, you run the risk of overcomplicating your trip as you have to travel further afield. You do not want to fly into an airport that is further away from your desired destination.

In Chicago, there are two main airports that people travel in and out of. Both airports have their unique characteristics, but you may be wondering which is best to go through. On that note, below, you’re going to find out whether ORD or MDW is the best airport for you to travel through next time you go on a trip.


One factor to look at when choosing an airport to travel through is how busy it is. Make note that O’Hare is the third busiest airport in the world. This makes it ideal for non-stop international flights as opposed to ones that are local and domestic. On the other hand, Midway is said to be more of a practical option if you want an airport that’s both smaller and less delayed.

However, for long haul flights, O’hare may be a better option as there are more food and drink options to pass the time. There are also a greater number of possibilities for overseas flights meaning you aren’t as limited in that respect too. Whether you choose Ohare or Midway, though, is dependent on where you are flying from, to, and personal preference.


When it comes to transportation in the Midway vs Ohare debate, you can arrive at both via public transport. One of the most affordable as well as somewhat convenient routes would be to take the Chicago Transit Authority’s “L” train to get to either O’hare or Midway airport. The only major difference is that to get to ORD you have to take the blue train, while to get to MDW, you take the orange line.

You should note that shuttles aren’t always reliable and can be overcrowded as well as uncomfortable. The alternative would be to get a private shuttle service or a taxi, but the latter can be expensive, especially when coming from O’hare airport. Just remember that as with any time you choose to travel, arriving early is key, especially after the rush of business travelers takes place. 


As a traveler, another quality you want from an airport is reliability. You probably want to know that your flights will be leaving on time and there will be as few delays as possible throughout your journey. Both airports in Chicago are said to have a combined total of one million flights per year, but Midway apparently has a lower cancellation and flight delay rate than ORD. It is also said to be less overwhelming, so it’s ideal if you don’t want to deal with chaos while you travel.

Access to Downtown

Another factor that you may want to take into consideration when it comes to choosing an airport is how easy it is to navigate. When an airport is hard to get around, it can add to the stress and anxiety that usually tends to accompany you when traveling. Midway is said to have a better ticketing and security process making it easier to navigate your way through the airport. This could be because O’hare is far busier, so as mentioned above, if you’re flying locally, perhaps go with MDW.

Accessibility to Town

If you plan to hit the town as soon as you land, then you should also take the airport you travel through into consideration. It can be both cheaper and faster to travel from Midway by taking the orange “L.” Even if you’d prefer to take the road as opposed to public transport, it’s also faster to travel from Midway. For those who are business travelers or have other reasons to be in the city, in order to get to Downtown Chicago, Midway makes a little more sense as well.


Carrying on with the Ohare or Midway debate, if you’re trying to save then Midway could be better. This is because Southwest Airlines, which happens to be a popular choice if you want low-cost domestic travel, only operates from Midway.

Ultimately, the airport that you choose to travel through depends on your personal needs while traveling. While some people prioritize speed, others care more about access to town. In the same respect, to another, affordability may be the determining factor, so there is no black and white answer to which airport is best. Hopefully, after reading, you know more about each airport and can make a more informed decision next time you decide to travel.


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