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A flight from O’Hare to Midway? Yes, but don’t try to buy a ticket


People say Chicago has only two seasons: winter and construction.

So, with the weather warming up and traffic at its worst, some users of flight tracking apps noticed one flight that seemed too unusual to be true: A 20-mile United Airlines flight from O’Hare Airport to Midway Airport on Monday.

“I didn’t believe it was real so I had to look it up. Who is taking this, and WHY?????” Tim Regan tweeted.

Although the flight did happen, it was merely the airline repositioning a charter plane, according to United spokesman Charles Hobart.

And although the flights have no passengers, they still appear on flight-tracking websites because of federal rules about airlines sharing their flight manifests, he said.

“This is very common, not only for United but for other major carriers,” Hobart said.

One social media user deduced from the plane’s tail number that this was the same charter plane used by the White Sox.

The White Sox confirmed it was their charter plane.

Transferring the plane to Midway, where United does not operate from, “kind of happens regularly,” Sox spokeswoman Sheena Quinn said.

Regan said he first noticed the odd flight while walking through O’Hare Monday to catch a flight to Atlanta. He saw the ORD to MDW flight on one of the large boards.

“I sort of couldn’t believe what I saw,” Regan told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Other social media users questioned the practicality of an in-town flight, considering the travel time to the airport and the flight costs on top of that.

“Beats driving in that traffic,” one person tweeted.

“Maybe construction traffic is just that bad,” another person said.

“Absolutely amazing. Plus Chicago taxes you on both ends I do believe,” said one Twitter user.

Even with a top in-flight speed of 300 mph, the plane clocked a 35-minute flight time, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

A drive from O’Hare to Midway during the same time, around noon on Monday, would’ve taken 55 minutes, Regan tweeted.


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