Memorial Day weekend travelers pack Chicago roads, O'Hare and Midway airports

Saturday, May 25, 2024
Memorial Day weekend travelers hit Chicago roads, airports
Memorial Day weekend travelers in Chicago are packing O'Hare and Midway airports and hitting the road.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- From the roads to the skies, people are heading out of town for the holiday weekend.

It's busy day for travelers as they celebrate Memorial Day.

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Folks are gassed up and ready for the long drive.

"I'm headed to Fort Wayne Indiana," driver Dina Corey said. "I have family out there, so going to just enjoy some time with them."

Leah Kanable is heading to Indianapolis with her two daughters for the Indy 500.

"I'm so excited," Kanable said.

With her dog Gilbert riding shotgun.

"Yep, we're all traveling and the dog," she said. "Definitely just trying to drive safe, really mind the speed limit and be a defensive driver today on the roads because it is busy already and we've been on since about 5 a.m."

She's not kidding. Friday is also expected to be the busiest travel day at the airports.

"We are going to Fort Lauderdale and we're going to go on a cruise in the southern Caribbean and then the eastern shore to New York," flyer Donna March said.

The Chicago Department of Aviation expects more than 1.67 million passengers between O'Hare and Midway from Thursday to Tuesday for the historically busy Memorial Day holiday.

That's an 8.6% increase over last year.

"We are meeting up with our college friends in New Jersey/Philadelphia," flyer Josh Son said. "So we just got an Airbnb with all of our friends with kids hanging out and for the memorial weekend."

"I'm looking forward to playing just playing outside and be with my friends and stuff," David Son said.

People are opting to arrive early, given the influx of travelers.

Airport officials warn you may experience longer than usual wait times at security checkpoints.

"Got here early, going to get through security early and be ready to go," Jim Carney, who is flying to Seattle, said.

"For Memorial Day weekend, we thought it would be pretty hectic so we are glad," March said. "Looks like we're going to get right through."

And with this high traffic volume, you may want to consider taking public transit if you can. Airport officials say this summer travel season is set to be the busiest in years.