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Chicago’s Airports Expecting 2.7M Holiday Travelers

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Santa Claus greets passengers in the hallway connecting Terminals 1 and 2 at O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 16, 2011. (Photo Courtesy: Chicago Department of Aviation)

Santa Claus greets passengers in the hallway connecting Terminals 1 and 2 at O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 16, 2011. (Photo Courtesy: Chicago Department of Aviation)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – City officials said an estimated 2.7 million people will travel through Midway International and O’Hare International airports during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season this year.

The busiest travel day is expected to be Thursday, Dec. 22, when an estimated 202,600 passengers are expected to use O’Hare, according to the city’s Aviation Department. At Midway, the busiest day is expected to be Friday, Dec. 23, when an estimated 65,700 passengers are expected.

“We are pleased to welcome passengers traveling through Chicago’s airports to join friends and family for the holidays,” Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino said in a news release. “The CDA and its airline and airport partners are ready to provide a safe, efficient and festive travel experience for the millions of passengers that will fly through O’Hare and Midway International Airports.”

Both airports will feature free gift-wrapping services through Friday, Dec. 23. Gift-wrapping is available at all domestic terminals at O’Hare from noon to 5 p.m., as well as at Midway’s Boulevard food court from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The USO of Illinois Centers at both airports are also providing military personnel and their families with a place to relax, check e-mail or grab a snack before returning home or shipping off for deployment. At O’Hare, the USO Center is in Terminal 2 on the mezzanine level and at Midway, the USO Center is located along Concourse C. O’Hare also has a USO Cyber Canteen in Terminal 3.

Both airports also will have live entertainment, including choir and other musical performances, through Friday, Dec. 23.

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