If you are visiting Chicago by plane, you have likely come across the issue of MDW vs ORD, or, in other words, whether you should fly to the O’Hare International Airport or the Chicago Midway International Airport. To help you understand the differences between them, we have compiled an easy guide so that when it comes time to book flights, you are all covered.
The O’Hare International Airport, or ORD, is a massive airport. It covers over 7000 acres and has many flights come in and out every single day. It is the international hub for the Midwest, and chances are if you are flying from anywhere but the United States your only choice is to fly to ORD.
When flying to ORD, you will then want to pick up a rental vehicle from our location at the airport. The trip to Chicago from ORD is approximately 45 minutes, though it can be longer or shorter depending on traffic.
International Hub for the Midwest
It is the international hub for the entire Midwest, and has connecting flights and is often the prime destination for international travelers. If you are flying internationally, you likely won’t have a choice in term of which airport you fly to.
Second Busiest Airport in the Country
This is the second busiest airport in the country, which means two things: one, that it is going to be full of people, two, that it has superior amenities for its travelers.
There are more flights coming to and from this airport than most others in the United States. This means you can get a flight at a time that suits you, or land at a more appropriate time. For business travelers, this ability to essentially land when you need to is critical.
Now that you know more about ORD, you can start to make comparisons about MDW, or the Chicago Midway International Airport. This will help you decide which airport, ORD vs MDW, is better for you when flying to Chicago.
In the Heart of Chicago
Have a look at the MDW airport map and you will realize it that it is far more centrally located to Chicago. That is because it is the airport that serves Chicago, whereas ORD serves the Midwest and is located appropriately for that purpose.
Serves Local Flights
Though there are some flights to Toronto (hence why it is referred to as “international”) MDW is often the hub for domestic flights. This can be ideal if you are traveling to Chicago from within the USA.
Has a Yoga Room
MDW has a yoga room if you are waiting for your flight after your visit to Chicago or are waiting there for a layover.
Rotating Art Exhibits
Like other great airports, MDW has rotating art exhibits for you to enjoy while you wait for your flight.
Fewer Issues with Delays
As there are fewer flights going in and out the runways are less crowded, meaning that flights are far less likely to be delayed in the long run.
Low Cost Travel
MDW hosts budget airlines, meaning if you are looking for a budget flight to Chicago, this is where you should look first. ORD deals mostly with big airlines and international flights, and therefore can be much more expensive.
It is also far faster to drive to this airport to downtown Chicago, so if you are renting a car with us from this location you can expect to drive approximately only a half hour without traffic to your destination.
ORD vs. MDW Airports – Which One is Right for You?
The general debate on which airport in this case often depends on where you are flying from. If you are flying domestically or to Canada, you can save a lot of money by flying directly to MDW, whereas if you are coming in from another international destination your only choice will often be ORD.
When deciding which destination is right for you, consider your budget and needs. If you can get to Chicago by either ORD or MDW, then it is up to your budget. If you want to treat yourself, flying with a higher class airline to ORD can be ideal. If you want to get to Chicago for as cheap as possible than MDW is the way to go. Both have great on-site facilities so you can enjoy your time there before your next flight, but do be sure to give yourself at least two hours before your flight to keep things comfortable.