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Chicago airports ranked at bottom for arrivals, departures

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Updated: April 20, 2014 6:25AM

January was no time to be in a Chicago airport.

About half of the flights in and out of O’Hare International and Midway airports were late in January, new data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics showed Tuesday.

In on-time arrivals, O’Hare ranked dead last among 29 of the nation’s largest airports in January — a month here that included some days so brutal they were dubbed “Chiberia.” Midway was second worst in on-time arrivals.

In on-time departures, the roles were reversed, with Midway dead last and O’Hare second-to-last.

January was Chicago’s snowiest month this season, hitting O’Hare with 33.7 inches of snow as well as some sub-zero days. However, Detroit was buried under even more snow in January — 39.1 inches.

Yet, Detroit’s on-time arrival rate was 67.15 percent, compared to O’Hare’s mere 52.5 percent and Midway’s 53.9 percent.

Detroit’s on-time departure rate was 65.2 percent, compared to O’Hare’s far lower 47.6 percent and Midway’s even worse 45.8 percent.

O’Hare functions as such a large hub for United and American airlines, so it can be affected by factors at other airports beyond its control, said Karen Pride of the Chicago Department of Aviation.

“O’Hare could be assessed a delay if a flight departing in the morning from a different airport has mechanical issues and is therefore delayed departing from O’Hare in the evening,’’ Pride said. “This delay had nothing to do with O’Hare or its operational performance, but is nevertheless attributed O’Hare.”

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics counts a flight as “on time” if it arrived or departed a gate less than 15 minutes after its scheduled time.


Twitter @rosalindrossi

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