Chicago Tribune - Southwest Airlines plans to begin flying out of O’Hare International Airport by the middle of next year, the airline announced Monday. The Dallas-based airline has served Midway Airport since 1985 but has never operated flights from O’Hare.
It's basically in my blood to hate this move because Southwest Airlines belongs to Midway and Midway is my home turf. I've made that exceptionally clear over the years that you simply can't compare the two airports in any capacity save for maybe the disgusting slobs that can't fly without an egg mcMuffin. That might be the only thing ORD has on paper over Midway. Other than that it's been a historic bloodbath with Southwest Airlines leading the way.
But when talking about Midway and Southwest, you're basically talking about the Chicken vs. The Egg here. Which love comes first? Do I love Southwest because I'm a Midway guy? Or do I love Midway because I'm a Southwest guy? Is there such a thing as horse socks?
It's a grind on my brain to keep things straight. The bias can be overwhelming but here's some objective facts: Southwest has the best customer service across any company not named JP Graziano. There's no fees. No bullshit changing flights. You're always on time and subject to the friendliest attendants in the skies. Check a bag or don't. Check two. Carry on whatever, the cabin storage is spacious. Your seat is nearly entirely dependent on your own ability to set an alarm instead of having to pay $38 to get a window seat in the front half of the plane. Just an endless amount of advantages valued by the sensible yet casual airline passenger.
To me, Midway has always been the Oasis providing such a convenient and pleasurable experience. The fact people from the South and Southwest Suburbs have their own exclusive airline was always a nice touch when arguing with the O'Hare crowd. Sure we don't have their class and etiquette that comes with regular international destinations, but same time you can't beat Midway taxi times once you land. Probably tops in the country so pretty fair trade when you consider the Midway crowd really doesn't want to travel internationally anyways. Scottsdale or Vegas will do just fine.
Ultimately, I'm now living up on the north side as a commitment to be closer to Wrigley and also because I value the CTA's brown line. With that has come a 15-minute commute to ORD which I've unfortunately used twice to go to HQ/Philly for content in the last month or so. I'm not proud of it but we're talking overnight trips with a backpack. I can manage the stink for the sake of travel time convenience although no joke the taxi time really does make up for the difference in mileage. Maybe worth a study next time I hit the airs.
Based on the recent trips, I can comfortably say that airplane travel in a COVID conscious world is almost a completely different dimension. Like in Interstellar when Matthew McConaughey is knocking books off the shelf to see his daughter and nothing makes any sense. That's how I feel going all the way from the departure entrance through security to the terminal bar in about 6 minutes now. If you've taken to skies since quarantine started then you can relate. We're playing a different ball game with different rules. A game where the airport herd has been thinned to unparalleled levels resulting in equally unparalleled comfort.
That's why I'm fine with Southwest posting up in O'Hare down the road. Maybe not as thrilled that a lot of my local enemies can now enjoy their service without enduring the trip to 55 South. But ultimately this means more access to the best airline, and it won't cost my home stadium any points in the process. If anything, it works to reduce foot traffic at Midway because ORD is now in play. If someone with an economics degree wants to argue lower costs too, knock your socks off. Comment section is wide open for intellectual discourse.