below, from the Chicago Department of Aviation.....
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND KICKS OFF BUSY SUMMER TRAVEL SEASON AT CHICAGO'S AIRPORTS
CHICAGO - The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is ready to welcome 1.5 million passengers at O'Hare and Midway International Airports over the Memorial Day travel period beginning today through Tuesday, May 29.
Chicago's airports anticipate nearly 1.5 million in combined overall passenger volume during this year's six-day Memorial Day weekend holiday travel period, an increase of 2.8 percent during the same period in 2011.
At O'Hare, passenger traffic is expected to increase 2.5 percent to about 1.04 million passengers over the comparable period in 2011. Thursday, May 24, is expected to be O'Hare's busiest day with about 260,000 passengers.
Midway anticipates a 3.5 percent increase in passenger volume for the six-day travel period compared with 2011, with more than 444,000 passengers expected over the holiday period. The busiest day is predicted to be Friday, May 25, with more than 67,000 passengers.
"We're very excited to welcome the thousands of travelers who will pass visit Chicago or make flight connections through O'Hare and Midway this Memorial Day weekend," said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. "Along with our airport partners, we're ready to provide as safe, efficient and friendly environment for at both airports."
Special Holiday Activities
At O'Hare, there will be local military school performances on Friday, May 25 in all terminals including the International Terminal from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also, the USO Jazz Band will play in Terminal 2 that day from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The CDA will also place wreaths near the Butch O'Hare exhibit in Terminal 2.
At Midway, Airport Ambassadors will be at the airport on Thursday, May 24, Friday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 29 to greet travelers. Midway will have entertainment on Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. The CDA will display a commemorative wreath at the Battle of Midway exhibit in Concourse A as well as have flags on display throughout the terminal, roadway and parking lots.
Concessions at both airports will distribute to customers small, flag-bearing memorabilia.
As part of Chicago airports' recognition of Military Appreciation Month, concessionaires at both airports will continue to offer special promotions for members of the military. In addition, the USO of Illinois Centers at both O'Hare and Midway will be open to all military personnel and their families. Also, the USO will staff tables at both airports to provide free bottled water and information on USO services.
At O'Hare, USO tables will be located in Terminals 1, 2 and 3 past security checkpoints on Thursday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, May 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Monday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. At Midway, the USO will host a table on the same days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. post-security at the Information Booth in the Food Court. The O'Hare USO Center is located in Terminal 2 on the mezzanine level. The USO at O'Hare also operates a Canteen in Terminal 3. The Midway USO Center is located in Concourse C.
Finally, the LED signs and public address systems at both airports will broadcast messages in support of our military.
U.S. flags will be placed at various airport parking exits, as well as at the O'Hare Airport Transit System (ATS) stations.
O'Hare is proud to highlight the following recently opened wine bars: Beaudevin, located in Concourse C near Gate 17, offers travelers to chance to relax in an informal, European-influenced atmosphere, reminiscent of a château cellar.
The Bubbles Wine Bar, located in Terminal 3 near Gate H4, focuses on bubbly beverages and sushi roll pairings.
Passenger Amenities and Assistance
To help travelers with their journeys, the CDA has launched a free Apple iPhone app with i-formula.com to allow O'Hare passengers to virtually navigate the airport, including exploring restaurant options, as well as locating restrooms, baggage claim, and many other airport services and amenities. Travelers can even use the app when off line, such as on board an airplane. The CDA will launch a similar app for Midway soon. The app is free through iTunes.
Families looking for a kid-friendly place to relax at O'Hare can visit the "Kids on the Fly" play area in Terminal 2 or the "Play It Safe" area in Terminal 5. Ambassadors handing out treats at Midway and providing assistance to passengers can be found at information booths in the terminal.
Both airports support an interfaith chapel for worship and meditation. The chapel at O'Hare is located in Terminal 2 on the mezzanine level (before security) and the Midway chapel is located in Concourse C on the mezzanine level. There is also a medical clinic at O'Hare operated by staff of the University of Illinois-Chicago. The clinic is located in the main corridor that connects Terminals 2 and 3 (airside).
Getting to the Airport:
Travelers should allow ample time for traveling to the airports, ticketing and checking baggage. It is recommended that all passengers arrive at least two hours before their scheduled flight departure and three hours prior to an international flight. For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration's handy tips on the TSA web site.
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The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is self-supporting, using no local or state tax dollars for operations or capital improvements at O'Hare and Midway International airports.
Together, Chicago's airports generate more than $45 billion in annual economic activity and create 540,000 jobs for the region. Please visit www.flychicago.com to learn more about the Chicago Department of Aviation.
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