Avoid Delays at Chicago Midway Airport
Chicago’s Midway Airport has been notorious for some time for its high rate of flight delays: Some 17% of arrivals and 21% of departures are delayed at the airport, according to 2016 Department of Transportation data. It is also one of the busiest airports in the country, despite its relatively small size, serving 22.2 million travelers each year. Harsh weather, security logjams and parking hassles all contribute to the difficulties.
So, when traveling through Midway, the last thing you want to do is make the trip even harder. Wherever possible, try to find ways to streamline and avoid the most common pitfalls. Some helpful methods of dodging the dreaded Midway delay include:
Fly During Off-Seasons
If at all possible, refrain from flying out of Midway during the winter. Part of the problem is that the Windy City is notorious for weather delays; the wind that gave the city its nickname is one culprit, but so does Chicago’s heavy snowfall. During winter, only 60% of Chicago’s flights leave on time. Avoiding flights entirely during holiday periods like Thanksgiving and Easter is also another crucial strategy for avoiding those travel-related headaches.
Book A Mid- To Late-Morning Flight
Another good bet for avoiding a delay at Chicago's Midway Airport is to fly in the mid to late morning. The busiest times of day at Midway are between 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., on weekdays, as evidenced by the length lines at security gates. But the later you fly in the day, there is a greater chance of a domino effect of delays, which builds into a major back-up by the time the evening flights roll around. A departure sometime between 9 a.m. and noon on Tuesday or Wednesday is a good choice for avoiding both the TSA lines and the late-day crush of backlogged planes.
Book On A Bigger Plane
Booking on a large plane can go a long way toward ducking delays, because larger planes tend to get higher priority by air traffic controllers, since those planes have a greater quantity of flights to make per day, over a greater distance, when compared to the smaller aircraft in use. When choosing which planes get to take off and which planes wait, it’s basically a numbers game, where controllers try to minimize the number of travelers who are impacted. And as an added bonus, larger planes generally equate to a smoother, less turbulent flight.
Avoid Parking Delays
Dealing with airport short- and long-term parking can add yet another wrinkle to your trip, especially in poor weather. Using a parking/shuttle service like Midway Park Ride Fly can be a huge timesaver, while reducing your overall stress level. Located just off I-55, Park Ride & Fly offers busy travelers economical and secure airport parking, with complimentary services like luggage assistance and curb-to-curb shuttle services. While you are away, its parking facility will keep your car safe with 24-hour surveillance, indoor parking and well-lit, fenced-in facilities.
Travel Light, And Fast, Through TSA
The quickest and easiest way to get through security checkpoints is to minimize the number of items you’re carrying through the security screening. For starters, empty your pockets before you get to security; put items in your carry-on bag to avoid delays. Other crucial security timesavers include enrolling in TSA PreCheck, which permits you to skip the hassle of removing shoes, belts and jackets and taking laptops and liquids out of bags. The fee-based program is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents. For international travel, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program provides similar conveniences.