Chicago’s Airports Prepare For Nearly Five Million Passengers During 2019 Christmas/New Year Travel Period

Company Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Date 20.12.2020

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today announced O’Hare and Midway International Airports are expected to be among the busiest airports in the country for Christmas-through-New Year holiday travel. Nearly five million passengers are expected over the 19-day travel period, and airlines anticipate that passenger volumes across O’Hare and Midway will be 2.5% higher compared to this season in 2018.​

On behalf of Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago aviation community, we are excited to be a gateway for holiday travel – and holiday cheer – for so many. CDA and its airline partners are well prepared to provide a safe and efficient experience for millions of travelers during this holiday season,” said CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. “Chicago is always a top holiday destination, and we look forward to bringing our passengers enhanced travel options and services for years to come, as we continue to grow and modernize O’Hare and Midway for the future.”​

The official holiday travel season kicked off yesterday and continues through Monday, January 6, 2020. Over that period, airlines project more than 3.9 million passengers will travel through O’Hare, while nearly 1 million passengers will pass through Midway. Friday, December 20 is projected to be the busiest travel day at both airports with more than 230,000 passengers at O’Hare and more than 49,000 at Midway. On the back-end of the season, the second busiest day at O’Hare will be Friday, January 3, 2020, while Saturday, January 4, 2020, will be the second busiest at Midway. The holiday travel period will conclude on January 6, 2020.

As Chicago’s residents prepare for the holidays, the City of Chicago is equally preparing for the legalization of recreational cannabis to take effect on January 1,” said Chicago Police Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck. “To ensure safe travel for all residents and visitors, we’re encouraging all travelers not to bring cannabis through Chicago’s airports as it still remains illegal under federal law.

With sales and use of recreational cannabis scheduled to become legal in Illinois on January 1, 2020, travelers are reminded that federal law prohibits cannabis possession in any amount and could affect your passage through the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checkpoints. Transportation of any amount of cannabis remains illegal across state lines, and possession of cannabis may be illegal in the state or country to which you are traveling.


O'Hare International Airport
10,000 West O’Hare Avenue
United States
IL 60666
  • (800) 832-6352