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Study finds that Midway is the worst American airport to depart from over Thanksgiving

Written by
Grace Perry
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We know we’re beating a dead horse, but it bears repeating: Flying during Thanksgiving week totally sucks. It actually feels like a dead horse would be a speedier mode of transportation than airline travel around Turkey Day. But there’s nothing Chicagoans love more than their grouchiness being validated, and this year, we’re in luck. A recent study has deemed Midway the worst airport in America to fly out of over Thanksgiving weekend; O’Hare is the ninth worst.

The study compiled data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics collected over the past five years (from 2012–2016) regarding airplane departure delays nationwide. It turns out that 24% of departures from Midway International Airport get delayed during the Thanksgiving travel season, with an average delay time of 55 minutes. O’Hare only see 19% of its Thanksgiving flights delayed, but has an average 64-minute delay.

Outside of Chicago, Oakland International and Houston’s William P. Hobby Airports come in a close second, with 23% of departures delayed. Check out how other big cities did:

Courtesy: Elite Fixtures

Courtesy: Elite Fixtures

 And here's the breakdown by airline:  

Courtesy: Elite Fixtures

Notice that Southwest Airlines has the highest percentage of flights delayed at 23%. Since Southwest only flies out of MDW (and not O’Hare), that airline could be to blame for the South Side runway lag.

While O’Hare might be a gigantic United hub, apparently bigger is better, in this case. If you do find yourself trapped in a nightmarish flight delay at ORD, check out our O’Hare survival tips.

The study was compiled by Elite Fixtures.  

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