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CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today announced that O’Hare and Midway International Airports will be among the busiest airports in the nation for Thanksgiving holiday travel this year with more than 1.9 million passengers expected over the next seven days. With new security technology unveiled at Midway International Airport last week, as well as O’Hare International Airport continuing to report some of the shortest Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint wait times in the country, travel through Chicago’s airports this holiday season is expected to be smooth and efficient for passengers.
“The Chicago Department of Aviation and our airport partners are well prepared to provide a safe and efficient experience for millions of travelers making their way to see friends and family this Thanksgiving holiday,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, CDA. “The increase in passenger volume we’re projecting at our airports is consistent with the trend we’ve seen all year-long, and shows clearly that the demand for air travel through Chicago continues to be among the strongest in the nation.”
Passenger volume is projected to increase at both O’Hare and Midway compared to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday by one percent based on ticket sale information. More than 1.3 million passengers are expected to travel through O’Hare beginning today through Monday, November 27. Sunday, November 26, is projected to be the busiest travel day at both airports with about 249,000 passengers at O’Hare and nearly 90,000 at Midway. More than 535,000 passengers will travel through Midway during the seven-day Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
Both airports are decked out for the holidays, with holiday trees at O’Hare that have been decorated by some of Chicago’s prominent cultural institutions such as Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Shedd Aquarium.
On Wednesday, November 22, the CDA will host live musical entertainment at O’Hare, and a Thanksgiving parade filled with themed characters will take place at Midway. The CDA will also provide complimentary hot cocoa to Midway passengers on November 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Concessionaires are sponsoring "Black Friday Weekend" at both O'Hare and Midway with special discounts at restaurants and shops throughout the airports November 24 thru 26.
CDA joins the TSA in encouraging passengers to arrive at the airport two hours in advance of domestic flights and three hours in advance of international flights to ensure adequate time for ticketing, baggage check, security screening and travel to the airline gate.
The O’Hare Airport Transit System (ATS) will operate 24 hours a day this week to accommodate peak Thanksgiving travel. Overnight closure of the ATS will resume next week.
Nightly lane closures will occur on Northbound and Southbound Cicero Ave during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period in the immediate vicinity of Midway’s terminal. The moving closures will impact one lane of traffic in each direction and will occur between 9:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. While minimal traffic impacts are anticipated, commuters are encouraged to allow extra travel time during those hours.
Travelers can find a wide range of transportation options available to and from the airports, including:
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), curbside shuttle services, limousines, and transportation network provider (Commonly known as ridesharing).
Travelers bound for Chicago’s airports this holiday season can make the most informed decisions about how to access any of the above airport services by visiting CDA’s website at www.FlyChicago.com. The website also contains real-time information on flights, regular updates on traffic and weather, transportation options available throughout the Chicagoland area, other special alerts for the traveling public, and much more.