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aprilsp88

ORD (Chicago) airport winter delay (help choosing a flight)

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We're thinking of a red eye flight that layover for 2 hours in ORD before Christmas, to catch the next day cruise. Should I be concerned for weather delay? How often does it happen? I'm searching online but haven't found any statistic, only saying ORD is one of the worst airport for weather delay, so does my home airport 😞

 

Another choice is ATL (Atlanta but with less favorite schedule, only 55m layover, and much higher fare).

 

Due to time constrain it's not desirable to arrive one day earlier.

 

I'm trying to search online but haven't found any detailed statistic, only saying ORD is one of the worst airport for weather delay, so does my home airport 😞

 

Thanks,

April

 

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I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the data at this site, but see no particular reason to doubt it for giving an idea of how much snow to expect (historically) in Chicago:

 

https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Illinois/Places/chicago-snowfall-totals-snow-accumulation-averages.php

 

I deal with travel in cold/snowy locations all the time and may have a different perspective than you; since you cannot travel a day earlier and the Atlanta flights don’t really appeal to you, I’d take the rout through ORD with the likely outcome that everything will be OK.... it really takes a lot to shut an airport like that down due to snowfall.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, aprilsp88 said:

We're thinking of a red eye flight that layover for 2 hours in ORD before Christmas, to catch the next day cruise. Should I be concerned for weather delay? How often does it happen? I'm searching online but haven't found any statistic, only saying ORD is one of the worst airport for weather delay, so does my home airport 😞

 

Another choice is ATL (Atlanta but with less favorite schedule, only 55m layover, and much higher fare).

 

Due to time constrain it's not desirable to arrive one day earlier.

 

I'm trying to search online but haven't found any detailed statistic, only saying ORD is one of the worst airport for weather delay, so does my home airport 😞

 

Thanks,

April

 

I used to fly through ORD a lot, and to be honest, I had more delays in the spring/early summer due to lightning storms than I did with snow.  That said, I don't think there is much snow to worry about before Christmas.  I live in the metro Toronto area and lots of times, we have green Christmas and Chicago is a bit warmer on average as I recall.  That said, anything can happen.  Assuming your red eye portion is to ORD, you have time to deal with any delay and be protected on a later flight.  But my guess (no guarantee) is you have significant chance to have little or no delay due to snow at that time.  

 

When we are flying south and not going direct, I look for a southern US connection like ATL or CLT.  I am most concerned with that from JAN - MAR. 

 

An advantage of ORD is tons of flights each day, so lots of backup options.  Which airline?  It is a main hub for UA, for example.

Edited by steelers36

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DH still talks about the holiday he spent at O’Hare 40 years ago.  Four days sleeping on the floor over Christmas due to weather. Of course, every flight was already fully booked, so even when conditions cleared it was another two days to get out. 

 

I think if I had us transferring planes in Chicago between October and May, he would not be thrilled. We’re happier routing through DFW or ATL or CLT, not that any of them are immune to serious delays. 

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Past few years our winters have been fairly mild less 2-3 weeks in January.

If its right at Christmas I would be more worried about how crowed the airport is/will be.

Personally, I stay away from ORD if at all possible, and use Midway when I can

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I purposely booked a flight in January DEN-IAD-MUC to avoid ORD in the winter. Guess what? Major freezing rain and ice storm on the entire Eastern Seaboard and my flight arrangements re-routed me through ORD! Go figure!

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2 hours ago, blazer58 said:

Past few years our winters have been fairly mild less 2-3 weeks in January.

If its right at Christmas I would be more worried about how crowed the airport is/will be.

Personally, I stay away from ORD if at all possible, and use Midway when I can

 

I agree about Midway, but I'm also 15-20 minutes away from there.  :classic_wink:

 

And Blazer is correct about Christmastime in Chicago, it's been relatively mild of late.  Odds of there being snow is very slim to almost non-existent.   The whitest Christmas we've had in the last decade or so was about an inch and that won't cause issues at O'Hare.  It seems the temperature usually hovers between 35 and 40 though.  It's been below freezing (as a high) about 10 times the last 25 years.

 

I think you'll be fine.  I hope.  I also have a flight going out of O'Hare on Christmas day to Cancun, so I'll be praying with you for good weather!  :classic_smile:

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I traveled a lot when I was working and have been grounded at ORD way too many times.  I tried to avoid going through ORD in the winter time as a result.  I would opt for Atlanta personally.

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I appreciate everyone's suggestion/answer so far, they're mixed but all very informational, give me different perspective and will help me to make decision. Please continue to share your suggestion/observation/story 🙂

 

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If there is a weather problem, the biggest worry should be that your flight to Florida takes off before your delayed flight to Chicago arrives.

 

When it comes to winter weather, past performance is no guarantee of what might or might not happen the day you travel.

 

As others have posted, ground personnel at ORD know how to deal with snow, but they cannot deal with weather conditions that may keep flights from flying on schedule.

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4 hours ago, PescadoAmarillo said:

DH still talks about the holiday he spent at O’Hare 40 years ago.  Four days sleeping on the floor over Christmas due to weather. Of course, every flight was already fully booked, so even when conditions cleared it was another two days to get out. 

 

I think if I had us transferring planes in Chicago between October and May, he would not be thrilled. We’re happier routing through DFW or ATL or CLT, not that any of them are immune to serious delays. 

My husband told me he heard similar situation and he was concerned. 😞

 

BTW, what's your plan for this year? If you want to keep it as a surprise I'm fine with that 🙂

. Either way, so looking forward to read your travel blog again.

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5 minutes ago, caribill said:

If there is a weather problem, the biggest worry should be that your flight to Florida takes off before your delayed flight to Chicago arrives.

 

When it comes to winter weather, past performance is no guarantee of what might or might not happen the day you travel.

 

As others have posted, ground personnel at ORD know how to deal with snow, but they cannot deal with weather conditions that may keep flights from flying on schedule.

Missing the connection is also my worry. I know past performance is no guarantee of future, just want to increase the possibility of arriving on time. It's very strange this year, much less direct flight.

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1 hour ago, K.T.B. said:

I think you'll be fine.  I hope.  I also have a flight going out of O'Hare on Christmas day to Cancun, so I'll be praying with you for good weather!  :classic_smile:

Let's pray together. Even if I choose other flight, I will pray for you. 🙂

 

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Posted (edited)

Where are you coming from? Why not nonstop? Your profile 'location' says California so unless that just wasn't updated there should be nonstop flights

Edited by Ombud

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There's always a possibility of delays in ORD, but I'd rather take my chance on that than go to Atlanta with only a 55 min. change.

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Posted (edited)

Doesn't matter what assurances people may offer you here.

 

Stuff happens any time of the year.  Past history is no clear indication of what will happen to you.

 

You ought to rethink your timeframe and come up with a Plan B and likely a Plan C.

 

I live only miles from ORD, and I won't chance it any time of the year, particularly in the Winter.

 

I work at ORD,  and I've seen way too much to tell you "don't worry, be happy."

Edited by pms4104

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23 minutes ago, deliver42 said:

There's always a possibility of delays in ORD, but I'd rather take my chance on that than go to Atlanta with only a 55 min. change.

Do not pick 55 minutes in Atlanta it is not enough time in Atlanta.  A lot of time to get from the touch down in Atlanta to the gate.  I would never and I often travel through Atlanta, pick a layover that is not 1.5 hours, so that I'm not stressed and running.

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Posted (edited)

Are you are flying to Ft. Lauderdale from CA for a Caribbean cruise? Seems to me there should be other connections and routes either non stop or connecting at more southern airports than ORD. Doing a quick search I found flights from major CA cities that connect in Texas, Denver, Phoenix. Have you thought about flying to either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale? If you use EZ Air they have next port protection.

Edited by skynight

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I recall arriving in Atlanta with plenty of time to make my connect....except we did not have a gate available until I saw my connection pull away - then we had a gate.  Spent the night in a hotel provided by the airline.

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7 hours ago, Ombud said:

Where are you coming from? Why not nonstop? Your profile 'location' says California so unless that just wasn't updated there should be nonstop flights

The OP post got double posted and this question had to be asked the same question on their other post. Not sure why it is a secret.

 

The wish to fly SFO to either MIA or FLL. 

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16 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

The OP post got double posted and this question had to be asked the same question on their other post. Not sure why it is a secret.

 

The wish to fly SFO to either MIA or FLL. 

I just flew NS from SFO to Miami. I am completely confused as to why OP cannot / will not do that. There are several NS options to choose from

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1 hour ago, CruiserBruce said:

The OP post got double posted and this question had to be asked the same question on their other post. Not sure why it is a secret.

 

The wish to fly SFO to either MIA or FLL. 

 

The comment about their home airport being subject to delays loudly pointed to SFO.

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1 hour ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

The comment about their home airport being subject to delays loudly pointed to SFO.

In December,  SMF can have problems as well.

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13 hours ago, aprilsp88 said:

BTW, what's your plan for this year? If you want to keep it as a surprise I'm fine with that 🙂

. Either way, so looking forward to read your travel blog again.

Thank you, that’s very motivating to read!  Not keeping it a surprise as much as I just don’t want to jinx it by mentioning it and then having our plans change. But, if all goes as planned 🤞I’ll start blogging in four weeks. 

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7 hours ago, skynight said:

Are you are flying to Ft. Lauderdale from CA for a Caribbean cruise? Seems to me there should be other connections and routes either non stop or connecting at more southern airports than ORD. Doing a quick search I found flights from major CA cities that connect in Texas, Denver, Phoenix. Have you thought about flying to either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale? If you use EZ Air they have next port protection.

Yes I'm flying from sfo to fll/mia. I found another flight which layover in IAH for 2 hours. It seems better, except that if I miss the connection, there are much less choices. I do use ez air, hopefully don't need to use the next port protection.

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