7 Proven Ways Midway Is Better Than O’Hare

July 13, 2017

Chicago’s Midway Airport and O’Hare Airport have a combined total of one million flights per year that transport 100 million passengers. Yet, one of these two airports has the highest cancellation rate in the country- responsible for 20% of North America’s cancellations and delays.

If your thoughts are on Midway Airport vs O’Hare, and want to know which airport to fly in and out of, you’ll benefit from these 7 insider tips on why Midway wins the Midway vs O’Hare battle:



At Midway Airport, the movement from ticketing through security to the gate is (usually) short and sweet. Unlike O’Hare, you don’t need to bring your hiking shoes, water bottle, and walking stick for your trek to gate K19. Midway only has A, B, and C, and they are as easy as 1-2-3.

See the new latest Midway Concessions Map here.



If you are headed to the Loop, the Orange “L” line from Midway will get you there about 20 minutes quicker than the Blue “L” line from O’Hare. And, the CTA charges double for all train departures from O’Hare.

For those that prefer taking the road, Midway (MDW) is 6 miles closer to downtown’s Willis Tower than O’Hare (ORD)- which is especially significant during rush hour.



Southwest Airlines’ customer service and value are universally lauded. They do it all right. They provide a respectful, comfortable, efficient travel experience at reasonable prices- especially when booked in advance. Two checked bags are always allowed for free in addition to one carry-on.

Southwest Airlines’ connections are usually more efficient and direct than the full-service airlines. Also, as far as scheduling, many times SWA schedules will work better — whether it’s business or leisure. Flight frequency on SWA often wins over many airlines.

Southwest Airlines only flies out of Chicago’s Midway Airport. It doesn’t have any flights from O’Hare.



Midway has only one security area- but it has many lines which make it fast!

TSA agents at Midway are reported to be much more professional than in other locations, possibly due to the more centralized layout and tighter oversight.

And, unlike O’Hare, Midway’s TSA lets you pick which line you want to get in. So, you can choose to not get behind the family going on vacation with their hands full of dolls, toys, and diaper bags.



The end-to-end process of flying out of Midway is more dependable than O’Hare. From less risk of traffic snarls to avoiding the crapshoot of O’Hare’s security wait times.

Midway consistently beats out O’Hare in on-time records, reports the Chicago Tribune.

With over 20% of all North American cancellations and delays coming out of O’Hare, it is clear that Midway is a more reliable choice.

As it is a smaller airport, Midway is more agile in its response to weather issues.



Midway is less overwhelming and crowded than O’Hare. With fewer people to share space with, with just 3 simple terminals, and with less distance to get to your gates, Midway has a dose of small-town airport.



While the Ultra Low-Cost Carriers (ULCC ) Spirit and Frontier fly out of O’Hare, they aren’t always the best value.

Value includes many factors including flexibility of making changes, baggage allowances, comfort, service, and total price.

Most flyers find that flying Southwest out of Midway, especially when done with advance purchase, significantly reduces the cost and their personal wear-and-tear.

With shorter and less expensive commute times to downtown Chicago, quicker transit times in the airport, a higher on-time record, and the competitive fares available from Midway flights, Midway Airport has become the airport of choice for leisure and business travelers.

We’d love to hear your experiences navigating the O’Hare vs Midway Airport choice. Which do you prefer and why? Please leave your comments below.


The above article was written for this Chicago blog hosted by the Carlton Inn MidwayMidway Airport’s Best Value Hotel. The blog is meant to educate and entertain. Management does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website. Carlton Inn Midway may make changes to the content or policies at any time without prior notice. That which was written above does not represent the voice of hotel management. Rather, it is the lone voice of the writer.