How to Find Cheap Flights From Chicago: Information you Need to Know

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is one of the bustling airports around the world. Here is the list of information you need to know to get cheap flights from Chicago.

The airport is known to be the prime hub for most takeoffs and landings. About 80 million passengers are travelling through the airport per year. 


There are two major airports operating in Chicago:

  •  O’Hare International Airport (ORD) 
  •  Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)

ORD is larger than MDW. It records more international flights and routes than MDW. Despite having more flights from major airlines like United, American, Southwest Airlines and 40 other airlines, it’s still easy to find flight deals when you are flying from Chicago.

ORD can be found in the city’s northwest portion while MDW is located on the city’s southwest side. ORD’s terminal 1, 2, and 3 serve most of the domestic flights while Terminal 5 serves most of the international flights.

How to Find Cheap Flights From Chicago
How to Find Cheap Flights From Chicago

MDW has one major terminal and three connected concourses. With less departing flights, travellers have less waiting time at this airport.

Other Airports in Chicago

Although ORD and MDW provide great flight sales, you can find better international flight deals in nearby airports. Smaller airports include Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE), and General Mitchell International Airport (MKE).

Chicago always offers better flight deals than other airports in the United States. If you find cheaper international flights from other airports, you can pair it with your flight from Chicago to get a lower ticket. 

For instance, instead of flying direct from ORD to Australia or Hawaii, you can book a flight to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) then to your destination. You can find a ticket to as low as $200 when you fly to those cities. 

Chicago to Asia

There are fewer direct flights from Chicago to Asia than in Europe. However, it still serves plenty of routes to different Asian destinations.

If you’re from Chicago, you can find direct flights going to India, Taiwan

China, Japan, and Korea that takes between 13 and 15 hours. It stops at one hub like LAX or another Asian country before your final destination.

You can only get direct flights from ORD and not MDW. A roundtrip flight from Chicago to Asia is about $1,200-$1,800 on peak season and $900-$1,300 on off-peak season. 

Chicago to New Zealand, Australia, and South Pacific

There is a nonstop flight from Chicago to Auckland, New Zealand but no Australia or the Pacific islands. The plane usually takes one connection like LAX before reaching your destination.

You can book two tickets and save more. For instance, you can buy one ticket from Chicago to LAX and then LAX to New Zealand, Australia, or Pacific islands.

ORD offers a direct flight from Chicago to Auckland via Air New Zealand. Connecting flights can be either at LAX or SFO. You can’t find any direct flight from MDR to any of the regions.

You can buy a roundtrip ticket from Chicago to Australia, New Zealand or the South Pacific regions for $1,500 to $2,000 during peak season and $1,200 to $1,600 during the off-peak season.

Chicago to Mexico or Central or South America

You can find several direct flights from Chicago to Mexico or Central America both from ORD and MDW. However, there are no direct flights serving South America. 

Connecting flights go through Miami, Houston, Central America or Mexico City. It takes about 3 to 5 hours of travel from Chicago to Mexico or Central America.

If you are flying to Brazil, Uruguay and Chile expect that ticket price is very costly. Air tickets are cheaper when going to Mexico and Central America. It is a little pricey when your destination is in South America. 

Chicago to Europe

If you’re flying from Chicago to Europe, you can find plenty of direct flights there with one connection. This route takes 6 to 7.5 hours of travel (if your destination is London or Iceland) and around a maximum of 10.5 hours (if your destination is Istanbul). 

ORD serves different direct flights to Europe:

  • Amsterdam (KLM, United)
  • Brussels (United)
  • Budapest (LOT Polish Airlines)
  • Copenhagen (SAS)
  • Dublin (Aer Lingus, United)
  • Frankfurt (Lufthansa, United)
  • Istanbul (Turkish Airlines)
  • Krakow (LOT)
  • London (Norwegian Air to Gatwick Airport and American Airlines, British Airways, and United Airlines to Heathrow Airport)
  • Madrid (Iberia)
  • Munich (Lufthansa, United) 
  • Paris (Air France, United)
  • Reykjavik (Icelandair)
  • Rome (American)
  • Stockholm (SAS)
  • Vienna (Austrian)
  • Warsaw (LOT)
  • Zurich (SWISS)

You can buy a ticket of $800 to $1,200 in the low season and $1,200 to $1,500 in high season from Chicago to any European destination. There is no direct flight from MDW.