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O’Hare Best Airport in North America

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport tops Global Traveler magazine’s list as best airport for the 19th consecutive year.

By Todd R. Berger

Passenger tunnel at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago
Passenger tunnel at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

Adobe Stock / oldmn

Global Traveler magazine recently named O’Hare International Airport in Chicago as the “Best Airport in North America” for the 19th consecutive year and as having the “Best Airport Dining” for the third consecutive year. The city’s Midway International Airport was also named “Best Family-Friendly Domestic Airport” by Wherever Family, a division of Global Traveler. The travel and lifestyle magazine for international business travelers revealed their Reader Survey winners at an awards reception held in December 2022 in Los Angeles.

“O’Hare is a world-class airport and a premier gateway to Chicago for the rest of the world that continues to modernize and grow to meet the needs of the traveling public,” Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot says. “I’m thrilled that Global Traveler’s readers are recognizing our superior travel experience and dining options, and I look forward to continued improvements at both of Chicago’s airports.”

Jamie L. Rhee, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), adds, “On behalf of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, all of us at the CDA are honored that Global Traveler’s readers continue to recognize their positive travel experiences at O’Hare. Critical investments and ongoing improvements to the travel experience at both O’Hare and Midway will ensure that Chicagoans and visitors alike can enjoy world-class dining, shopping, passenger amenities, and family-friendly facilities for decades to come.”

The award rounds out a strong year for O’Hare, which was also named the most connected “megahub” airport in the world last September by aviation research firm OAG. This is O’Hare’s first return to the top spot in OAG’s rankings since 2016.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg joined Mayor Lightfoot and Commissioner Rhee at O’Hare to announce that a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) environmental review found there is no significant impact of the proposed Terminal Area Plan (TAP) from the CDA, paving the way to start construction on two new satellite concourses at O’Hare, the new O’Hare Global Terminal that will replace Terminal 2, and other associated projects.

The TAP is a critical component of O’Hare 21, an ongoing investment in the airport’s terminals that will further support the breadth of air service that makes O’Hare one of the world’s busiest airports. The FAA’s decision clears the way for construction to begin on the satellite concourses and related airfield work when the ground thaws next spring.

Another major component of O’Hare 21, the $1 billion expansion and modernization of Terminal 5, is nearing completion. This October, Delta Air Lines shifted operations from its longtime home in Terminal 2 to newly renovated gates in Terminal 5 and opened its new Sky Club lounge. Seven new permanent gates have opened in the terminal since June 2022, with additional gates, renovations, and amenities opening in phases throughout 2023. Crews broke ground in June on a six-story parking garage at Terminal 5 that will more than double the number of spaces available at the terminal when it opens in 2024.

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