Dec 13, 2023 - News

Midway Airport gets new lounge and revamped Central Market

The revamped Central Market at Midway Airport. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Department of Aviation

New restaurants, shops and a lounge are upgrading Midway Airport.

Driving the news: The recent reopening of Midway's Central Market marks the completion of the final phase of a $400 million public-private project that's considered the city's biggest investment in the Southwest Side airport in two decades.

Why it matters: The improvements offer more dining and shopping options and could attract more travelers and help lower fares, according to the city's Department of Aviation.

Catch up fast: Midway Partners, a group of private aviation-related companies, put $75 million into the Midway Modernization Program (MMP) to expand the airport's food and retail options.

  • The new Central Market includes more than 70 restaurants and shops (up from about 40), including local offerings including Connie's and M Burger and national shops like Beecher's Handmade Cheese.
  • City-funded improvements include expanding the airport's security gate and updating the terminal parking garages with features like EV charging stations.
An airport food court with people sitting at a bar.
Reilly's Daughter is one of the Chicago-based restaurants at Central Market. Photo courtesy of Chicago Department of Aviation.

Between the lines: Both Midway and O'Hare ranked lower than average, compared with similar size airports in this year's J.D. Power 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, according to the Tribune.

By the numbers: There have been 16.6 million travelers at Midway in 2023 so far, compared with 19.9 million in all of 2022.

  • Midway offers service to 85 destinations on seven airlines.

What's next: Midway's first lounge, Club MDW, is expected to open in 2024 and will be available for all travelers, regardless of airline or class of service.

  • Passengers can get into Club MDW through Priority Pass, the airport lounge membership program, or by buying a day pass for $50.
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