Holding Pattern Common at O'Hare

Chicago’s airports rank last for on-time departures in December

By Matt Bartosik
|  Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009  |  Updated 3:33 PM CDT
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Holding Pattern Common at O'Hare

Chicago's airports experienced the worst on-time departures in December, and the stats aren't very good for the rest of the year either.

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If you flew out of either Midway or O'Hare this past December, your flight was probably delayed. In fact, Chicagoans experienced the worst delays in the entire country that month, and the stats aren't too good for the rest of the year either.

Despite a November opening of a new runway, O'Hare International Airport ranked dead last among 32 major U.S. airports for on-time departures for December and for all of 2008.

According to data released Monday by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, only 55 percent of O'Hare flights departed on time in December. Over the entire year, 68% left on schedule.

For on-time arrivals, O'Hare placed 30th out of 32.

Midway Airport didn't fare much better. It had the second-worst departure times for December, with 58% of flights leaving on time. For all of 2008, roughly 77% of flights departed according to schedule, earning the airport 24th place out of 32.

The only good news out of all this is that Midway earned third place for on-time arrivals, as almost 81% of inbound flights were on time last year.

Winter snow and busy holiday travel hurt O'Hare's performance, said a city Aviation Department spokesperson, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

But then, what's the excuse for the rest of the year?

Matt Bartosik, former blogger of The Chicago Traveler and editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, can NOT be tucked under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment.

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