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  #1  
Old 04-02-2013, 02:12 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is online now
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O'hare or Midway to Valparaiso, IN?

I'm going from DC to a wedding this summer in Valparaiso, IN. Midway is the closer airport, but I have a ton of miles on United, which only flies into O'hare.

How much more of a hassle is it to drive from O'hare to Valparaiso when compared with driving from Midway? Is it worth it to forget about using frequent flyer miles to fly United and instead fly Southwest into Midway?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2013, 02:55 PM
bup bup is offline
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Midway won't save you too much mileage or time. Either way you hit the constant traffic jam just 'under' Chicago as the highways turn east.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:01 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is online now
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Thanks, so I might as well fly into O'hare on ff miles and just be prepared for a long slog in a rental car?
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:15 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
Thanks, so I might as well fly into O'hare on ff miles and just be prepared for a long slog in a rental car?
Whether or not you'll hit bad traffic largely depends on what time of day (and what day of the week) you're going to be driving. If you're coming in on a Friday afternoon in the summer...yeah, it's going to be slow. You'll be in amongst tons of Chicagoans taking that same route, to get out of Chicago and into Michigan or Indiana for the weekend (as bup notes). Unfortunately, that stretch of highway tends to be pretty busy (with both commuters and truck traffic), so it's possible to get stuck in a traffic jam at any time.

Google Maps says you'd only save about 13 minutes from flying into Midway vs. O'Hare, assuming no traffic complications; that's mostly because of Midway's location in the middle of the southwest side of the city -- you'd have to spend some time on surface streets while leaving Midway before getting on a highway (whereas you'll be on the highway within 5 minutes or so of leaving the rental car lot at O'Hare).

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-02-2013 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:30 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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I would agree with everyone that it really doesn't matter which airport you choose. Just pick the one that has the best airfare and schedule for you.

But I would like to suggest: Have you looked into flying into South Bend (SBN)? United flies there (but non-stop from only a few cities).

Normally, the fares to little airports are outrageous, but I just priced LAX to SBN for April 23rd, and I found $254 roundtrip fares readily available.

By flying into SBN you'll avoid the congested drive around the tip of the lake and you will also avoid the onerous City of Chicago rental car taxes. (For example, for a car rented at either airport, there is a facilities charge of $8/day in addition to a whole bunch of city, state, and exhibition authority taxes.)

It may not work out to be the best option for you, but take a look at the schedules and fares if you haven't already done so.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:34 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Before everyone jumps on me: I have no idea why I priced LAX to SBN when the OP is coming from DC. I sometimes do stupid things.

I found $356 roundtrip from BWI to SBN.
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:49 PM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Yeah, I was going to suggest SBN as well. If you've got the miles on United, and you can use them for an appropriate flight, then that's what I'd do in your situation.
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:52 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is online now
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Thanks for all the advice. I'd go through SBN, but after the wedding, we're going to hang out in Chicago for a few days and then leave from there back to DC.
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2013, 01:01 PM
bup bup is offline
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Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
Thanks, so I might as well fly into O'hare on ff miles and just be prepared for a long slog in a rental car?
I would.
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2013, 08:36 PM
The Surb The Surb is offline
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It's possible to take the El to downtown and the South Shore to Valpo (Ogden Dunes or Chesterton). You won't have to deal with the rental in Chicago if you have someone to pick you up in Valpo.

I've done it from O'Hare to Michigan City/ LaPorte when we live in LP.

It's about 45 minutes from O'Hare to downtown and an hour and a half from downtown to Valpo (plus an extra hour or so waiting/walking).

Or it's about an hour and a half drive from O'Hare to Valpo. There are 3 or 4 $0.80 tolls on I-80.

When we stay in Chicago, we take the El to downtown. We rented a car for Chicago once. Once was enough.

I agree that O'Hare to Valpo and Midway to Valpo are just about the same drive time.
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  #11  
Old 04-03-2013, 08:52 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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If you just want to avoid the drive to Indiana there is hourly bus service(pdf) from both Midway and O'Hare to NW Indiana.
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