Get in Chicago By plane

Chicago (IATA: CHI for all airports) is served by two major airports: O'Hare International Airport  and Midway Airport  There are plenty of taxis both to and from the city center, but they are quite expensive, especially during rush hours.

Expect upwards of $40 for O'Hare and $30 for Midway. CTA trains provide direct service to both larger airports for $2.25 from anywhere in the city — faster than a taxi during rush hour and a lot less expensive.

Many large hotels offer complimentary shuttle vans to one or both airports, or can arrange one for a charge ($15-25) with advance notice.


O'Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD, ICAO: KORD) is 17 miles northwest of downtown and serves many international and domestic carriers. United Airlines has the largest presence here (about 50%) followed by American Airlines [6] with about 40%. Most connecting flights for smaller cities in the Midwest run through O'Hare. It's one of the biggest airports in the world, and it has always been notorious for delays and cancellations. Unfortunately, it's too far northwest for most travelers who get stuck overnight to head into the city. As a result, there are plenty of hotels in the O'Hare area. See the O'Hare article for listings.

The CTA Blue Line runs between the Loop and O'Hare in 45-60 sluggish minutes. On weekends, the Blue Line is usually getting some overdue repair work — this means you will have to take a (free) shuttle bus between stations, which can add even more time to the trip. If you've got a plane to catch, allow extra time.


Midway International Airport (IATA: MDW, ICAO: KMDW) is 10 miles southwest of downtown. Southwest Airlines  is the largest carrier here, followed by AirTran [8]. If it's an option for your trip, Midway is more compact, less crowded, has fewer delays, and usually cheaper. And, of course, it's significantly closer to downtown.

The CTA Orange Line train runs between the Loop and Midway in around 25 minutes. There are a number of hotels clustered around Midway, too — see the Southwest Side article for listings.


Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport  (IATA: MKE, ICAO: KMKE) is served by 7 Amtrak trains per day (6 on Sunday), and the Hiawatha Service has a 95% on-time rating. The trip from Chicago Union Station to Mitchell Airport Station is about one hour and 15 minutes. There are also buses from Mitchell Airport to Chicago OHare Airport.
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