As COVID-19 restrictions lift, people are on the move again, with more than 1 million passengers projected to pass through O’Hare and Midway airports over Memorial Day weekend.
Though still below 2019 figures, the estimate represents an increase of more than 500% travelers at O’Hare and 400% at Midway compared to Memorial Day weekend in 2020.
The surge in travelers across the country has created some tension, with reports of unruly passenger behavior on the rise. For those who haven’t flown in a while, the Chicago Department of Aviation has some advice on what to expect.
First and foremost, although mask mandates have eased in many settings, face coverings are still required in airports, said Commissioner Jamie Rhee in a statement.
This message is heavily emphasized in a video, “The New Passenger Experience,” produced by the department.
“There is no greater priority than providing a safe and secure environment for travelers and employees alike,” Rhee said.
Additional safety protocols follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Chicago Department of Public Health. These include floor markings to encourage social distancing in areas where lines tend to form. And at concessions, plexiglass dividers, no-contact payment options and QR codes for menus are in place.
Both Midway and O’Hare offer on-site testing facilities for COVID-19 that are open to travelers.
And a heads-up to traveling moms wondering whether the airports’ Mother’s Rooms will be open. The answer is yes.
Outside of COVID-19 issues, travelers should also be prepared to encounter a construction project at O’Hare, which affects arrivals traffic.
Additional travel information is available online.