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Chicago

Chicago Midway Airport (MDW)

Midway Airport terminal, 5700 S. Cicero Ave., on Google Maps

Contained within a square-mile on Chicago’s southwest side, Midway Airport’s terminal straddles Cicero Avenue. Passengers check in with their airlines on the east side of the street and then use a bridge over the street to get to the gates on the west side. The current airline passenger terminal was completed in 2001 but the airport itself dates back to 1923 when it was used as a landing strip for four years before it was acquired by the city and became Chicago Municipal Airport. Renamed in 1949 for the World War II naval Battle of Midway, the airport lays claim to being Chicago’s “close-in” airport.

TERMINAL LAYOUT

Midway has one terminal with two main concourses, A and B. There is also a three-gate area labeled as Concourse C. All of the gate areas are connected inside the TSA secure area.

Ground transportation options at Midway include taxis outside baggage claim on the lower level, app-based ride services outside Door 4 of baggage claim, shuttle services outside Door 3 of baggage claim and car services, which have meeting information booths near carousel 4 in baggage claim. Shuttles to Midway’s Rental Car Facility, 5150 W. 55th St., pick-up passengers outside Door 2 on the lower level.

The Orange Line of the Chicago Transit Authority’s ‘L’ train operates from the airport to the downtown Loop with a scheduled travel time of just under 25 minutes. The transportation center (indicated in yellow on the terminal map) can be reached using an enclosed walkway. Follow signs for ‘CTA Trains’ or ‘Trains to the City’ along with an orange line painted on the ground. More information about CTA trains to/from the airport is here. Several CTA and Pace suburban bus routes also serve Midway Airport’s transportation center.

To/From Tucson Connections

Southwest Airlines flights arrive and depart at gates on the A and B concourses. Passengers making connections to other flights can do so without exiting the TSA secure area.

Midway Airport website

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

O’Hare International Airport terminal complex on Google Maps

Opened in 1955 to accommodate first-generation jet airliners on its long runways, O’Hare Airport’s passenger terminal featured an innovative design using what they called “fingers,” now commonly known as concourses, radiating out from central terminal buildings. That concept was changed for Terminal 1, which opened in 1987 and features linear concourses reached by way of an underground tunnel. O’Hare is a major hub for both American and United airlines. The airport terminals are at the west end of Interstate 190, the Kennedy Expressway, and are closest to Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Downtown Chicago is about 18 miles southeast and takes about 40 minutes in normal traffic.

TERMINAL LAYOUT

O’Hare has four terminals. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are mostly used for domestic flights, although there are some international departures. The three terminals are inter-connected by walkways both pre- and post-security. Terminal 5 (there is no terminal 4) is often referred to as the International Terminal and is separate from the other three terminals. Some domestic airlines use Terminal 5 but it is primarily for international airlines and is used for all international arrivals that were not pre-cleared by U.S. Customs at their departure airport.

Terminal complex at O’Hare. Route of the ATS is indicated by the red line. The CTA ‘L’ train is indicated by the blue dashed line. (Credit: Chicago Department of Aviation)

Approaching the terminals on the roadway, Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are clustered together while terminal 5 is separate. Terminals and their airlines are:

* International arrivals for these airlines are in Terminal 5.

The Airport Transit System (ATS) automated people mover is in service on a limited schedule 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. daily. A shuttle bus also continues to operate 24/7. To use either the ATS or shuttle buses, passengers must exit the TSA secure area. The shuttle bus stops at each terminal are outside baggage claim on the lower level.

NOTE: Operation of the Terminal Transfer Bus service inside the TSA secure area is temporarily suspended. During this time, passengers making international connections between Terminal 5 and other terminals must exit the TSA secure area to use either the ATS people mover or inter-terminal shuttle buses outside baggage claim.

Leaving O’Hare, taxis can be found outside baggage claim on the lower level at each terminal. App-based ride services meet most passengers arriving in terminals 1, 2 and 3 curbside on the upper level of Terminal 2 between Doors 2A and 2D. Passengers arriving in Terminal 5 meet their app-based ride service on the lower level outside Door 5C.

Rental cars are in the Multi-Modal Facility, which is accessed using the ATS people mover or inter-terminal shuttle buses from any terminal. The Multi-Modal Facility also has economy parking facilities and is across the street from the O’Hare Metra North Central rail station.

Shuttles to hotels, regional destinations and off-airport parking arrive and depart from the Bus Shuttle Center, which is accessed using pedestrian tunnels one level down from baggage claim in terminals 1, 2 and 3. Passengers arriving at Terminal 5 should take either the ATS people mover or an inter-terminal shuttle to Terminal 1 and use the pedestrian tunnel from there.

The Blue Line of the Chicago Transit Authority’s ‘L’ train is scheduled to make the trip to downtown in about 45 minutes. Signs in the terminals point the way to the train station on the lower level of Terminal 2. Information about CTA trains to/from the airport can be found here.

To/From Tucson Connections

American Airlines domestic flights arrive and depart O’Hare at the G, H, K and L gates in Terminal 3. Passengers arriving on American international flights who were not pre-cleared by U.S. Customs at their departure airport arrive at gates in Terminal 5. Except for arrivals in Terminal 5, passengers making connections to other American flights can do so without exiting the TSA secure area. After clearing U.S. Customs in Terminal 5 all passengers must exit the secure area and use either the ATS people mover or an inter-terminal shuttle bus to reach Terminal 3.

United Airlines domestic flights arrive and depart O’Hare at the B and C gates in Terminal 1. Passengers arriving on United, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Lufthansa international flights who were not pre-cleared by U.S. Customs at their departure airport arrive at gates in Terminal 5. Except for arrivals in Terminal 5, passengers making connections to other United, ANA and Lufthansa flights can do so without exiting the TSA secure area. After clearing U.S. Customs in Terminal 5 all passengers must exit the secure area and use either the ATS people mover or an inter-terminal shuttle bus to reach Terminal 1.

Chicago O’Hare Airport website

Get Blown Away By the Windy City

With nicknames including The Windy City, Second City, City of Big Shoulders and The City That Works, Chicago’s Midwest location has long made it a hub for commerce. With a population of 9.5 million, Chicagoland as it’s sometimes called, is the third largest metropolitan area in the U.S. behind New York and Los Angeles.

Choose Chicago has visitor information here.

Did You Know …?

A replica of the original Ferris Wheel still operates in Chicago

Some of Chicago’s inventions make our lives easier such as the vacuum cleaner (1868) and mechanized dishwasher (1886) while others were  technological advances like the wireless remote control (1955) and the cell phone (1973), which by the way weighed in at nearly 2½ pounds and operated for up to 30 minutes after a 10-hour charge. There is also the zipper (1851) and even the Twinkie snack cake (1930). Nowadays, these advances can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere. But the closest thing to George Ferris’ Wheel (1893) amusement ride is only in Chicago. A nearly 200-foot tall replica of the original operates at Navy Pier. Learn more about the Centennial Wheel here.

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Tucson International Airport
7250 South Tucson Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85756
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