Truth in advertising


What is the deal with MDW airport? On many days when the Chicago area weather causes substantial delays at O’Hare, everything always seems to be fine just a few miles down the road at Midway. I’ve noticed this trend all winter. But today, at the tail end of the blizzard, the discrepancy is most obvious.

The national map shows a big red dot at Chicago. Click on the ORD button, and the message “An airport closure” is shown. A bit strange, but we can tell ORD is closed. Click on the MDW button, though, and the message says “No arrival or departure delays”. A quick check of the Arrivals, EnRoute, Departures, and Scheduled Departures boards, however, shows the truth. Here is one of those boards:

Now, O’Hare is one of my least favorite airports. But fair is fair. Who do they think they’re fooling at MDW?


The national map doesn’t show “ORD” when you mouseover it. It shows “CHI” which is the city code incorporating not only ORD but also MDW.


It’s a technical nuance. If all flights are cancelled, there are no delays.

We’re working on a better way to present the combined impact of delays and cancellations.

The flights listed as delayed are probably cancelled by the airline, but we don’t have a feed from that airline or there’s a bug with those flights.


It’s not just today, with the total cancellation. Since I first noticed it a few weeks ago, I have yet to see MDW show any message other than “No arrival or departure delays”.


This is true. I’ve worked for carriers that flew to both MDW and ORD. There were MANY times that flights to ORD were delayed and flights to MDW were right on time. It may have to do with traffic. MDW is not as busy and can accomodate more flights “on time” than ORD when they are stacking arrivals.
I can remember many ORD local passengers come running to our counter when we’d intentionally announce (fill in flight number) now boarding for an ON TIME departure to Chicago MDW! :smiley:


en-route delays to ORD are a lot less common now that they opened the new runway (27R/9L) - of course it takes 10 extra minutes to taxi in from that runway to the terminal, but it’s better than having to send aircraft into a hold or institute ground delays - which often happened even on good weather days before the new runway opened.


It’s happening at other cities. DFW and IAD are reporting “Mass cancellations due to ice.” DAL and HOU, however, are both reporting “No arrival or departure delays”. And yet when you check individual flights, most flights into/out of those airports are delayed, some by significant amounts. For example, SWA48 (HOU to DAL) is currently showing a delay of 2 hours 40 minutes.

The one connection between MDW, DAL, and HOU? Southwest Airlines. I smell a blue-and-orange rat.


Southwest had called at stoppage in their operations as of Noon CST on the 1st and remain stopped until the morning of the 3rd.


I remember that on Christmas 2010 when Delta cancelled EVERYTHING to ATL, that the FAA map said delays less than 15 minutes.


On a related topic, I hate how southwest’s site doesn’t show actual departure or arrival times after the fact.