A Guide to Airports in the American Midwest

There are 13 large-to-medium-sized airports located in the Midwest section of the United States, providing transport to and from major cities including Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Milwaukee and states including Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

If you're planning on flying anywhere in the Midwest, chances are you'll be landing at one of the following airports, each with its own unique offering of stores, restaurants, and even some attractions worth checking out.

When it comes to planning your flight to the midwestern United States, knowing which airport can help significantly reduce the cost—some local or out-of-the-city airports can provide cheaper access to some of America's largest midwestern cities and attractions. Read on to discover more about these 13 airports below.

Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport: Cleveland

Cleveland Airport

 Steve Lyon / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (CLE), when it opened in 1925, was the first municipal airport in the country, initially serving as a stop for U.S. Air Mail planes making coast-to-coast flights.

It currently serves nearly 10 million passengers a year and serves as a hub for several international airline companies including Icelandair.

If you get stuck here on a layover or just have time to kill before your flight, there's plenty of great food and good art to check out. In fact, Hopkins is known for its giant paper airplane sculptures in the underground walkway between Concourses C and D.

Address: 5300 Riverside Dr, Cleveland, OH 44135

Website: Cleveland Airport

Akron-Canton Airport: Cleveland Area

The Akron-Canton Airport is about 40 miles south of Cleveland but has positioned itself as a lower-cost, more convenient option to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport.

Travelers can fly to hubs for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, along with flights south on Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

The airport served nearly 1.4 million passengers in 2016, meaning it's likely to be less crowded than the bustling international airport closer to the city, so if you're not a fan of crowds or just want an easier day of transit, select Akron-Canton instead of Hopkins.

Address: 5400 Lauby Rd, North Canton, OH 44720

Chicago O'Hare International Airport: Chicago

The underground passage connecting concourses at O'Hare's Airport Terminal One.

 Phil Roeder / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Chances are if you're flying internationally from the Midwest, you'll be flying out of Chicago O'Hare International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world for both passengers and cargo. Serving flights to over 200 destinations domestically and abroad, O'Hare was rated the busiest airport in the world in 2014.

If you happen to be in Terminal 2, stop by the display of an old military aircraft, the Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, or if you're in Terminal 1 check out the light show on display between Concourses B and C. Chicago O'Hare's airport code is ORD, so if you're booking a flight and want to make a stop in Chicago, type that into your airline's search engine for faster results.

Address: 10000 W O'Hare Ave, Chicago, IL 60666

Chicago Midway International Airport: Chicago

Midway Airport

 David Ackerman / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Chicago Midway International Airport is the city's second facility and is home to Southwest Airlines, along with Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Canada's Porter Airlines and Mexico's Volaris; Chicago Midway's airport code is MDW.

Much smaller and serving more of a domestic and North American tourist base, Midway Airport is a lot easier to navigate than Chicago's O'Hare. Midway is also about 10 miles closer to the Loop in Chicago and offers a train with service to the downtown area.

Address: 5700 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL 60638

Website: Midway Airport

Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport: Cincinnati

Unidentified passengers make their way pass the Delta ticket counter at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Mike Simons/Getty Images

The airport was a major hub for Delta Air Lines but has worked to bring in more carriers. Cincinnati airport offers nonstop service to 57 airports, including 38 of the top 40 U.S. markets, with around 170 peak day departures; Cincinnati's airport code is CVG.

Interestingly, this airport is one of America's fastest-growing cargo hubs, operating as the primary hub for Amazon Prime Air's global distribution facilities.

Address:  3087 Terminal Dr, Hebron, KY 41048

Dayton International Airport: Dayton

Dayton International Airport's terminal building, atop the parking garage.

Texas141/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

 The airport touts its location near the “Crossroads of the America,” with access to both Interstates 70 and 75 to serve those traveling out of Southwest Ohio.

Dayton International Airport uses the tagline "Easy To and Through" to position itself as an alternative to airports including Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis and is served by Allegiant Air, American, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines.

Address: 3600 Terminal Dr, Dayton, OH 45377

John Glenn Columbus International Airport: Columbus

The departures hall at John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

John Glenn Columbus International Airport

The airport is one of three operated by Ohio's Columbus Regional Airport Authority and offers travelers offers up to 150 daily departures to 34 destinations. In 2016, John Glenn Columbus International Airport handled more than 7.3 million passengers, making it one of the busier facilities in the region.

Formerly known as Port Columbus, the airport was renamed to John Glenn Columbus International Airport in early 2016 in honor of astronaut and four-term U.S. senator.

Address: 4600 International Gateway, Columbus, OH 43219

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport: Detroit

The Light Tunnel in Detroit Metro Airport
Metro Times

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world in terms of passenger numbers; it is a major hub for Delta Air Lines and serves more than 33 million passengers a year. 

Detroit Metro airport's code is DTW, and passengers can browse a plethora of great dining, shopping, and arts experiences including the famous Light Tunnel with light displays choreographed to music between concourses.

Address: 9000 Middlebelt Rd, Romulus, MI 48174​

General Mitchell International Airport: Milwaukee & Chicago

Public Art at General Mitchell International Airport

 ECP / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The General Mitchell International Airport (airport code MKE) served 6 million passengers in 2015, offering nonstop flights to 39 destinations via seven carriers. Named after U.S. Army Air Service General Billy Mitchell, who's from Milwaukee and known as the father of the American Air Force, the airport offers several large displays of old military aircrafts in its main halls and concourses.

Surprisingly, many residents of Chicago use General Mitchell Airport as an alternative "third Chicago airport" to O'hare and Midway as it offers even easier travel, faster check-in times, and less hassle in general.

Address: 5300 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Indianapolis International Airport: Indianapolis

The Civic Plaza of the Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal at the Indianapolis International Airport

Shawna Pierson/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

The Indianapolis International Airport is 16 minutes from downtown Indianapolis and averages 135 daily flights to 38 nonstop destinations on eight major airlines. With the airport code IND, Indianapolis International serves nearly 8 million passengers a year.

In 2008, the Colonel Harvey Weir Cook Terminal, a new passenger terminal costing over one billion dollars, opened to accommodate the increase in demand for passenger transport. This new terminal helped facilitate the process of international flights and customs, offering 44 domestic and two international gates for landing.

Address: 7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46241

Kansas City International Airport: Kansas City, MO

Kansas City International Airport

Pacman5/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

The Kansas City Aviation Department reported that the airport served 10.4 million passengers in 2015 through one of the 10 airlines providing flights to and from this Missouri airport. The airport's code is MCI, and travelers can expect a relatively easy screening process at this relatively large airport.

Fun fact, though, the Kansas City International Airport was reported as having the most wildlife strikes of any airport—meaning wildlife being hit by a plane during take-off or landing—totalling 57 per 100,000 in 2009 and 146 strikes in 2008. 

Address: 601 Brasilia Avenue. Kansas City, MO 64153

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport: St. Louis

Southwest Airlines jets at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (airport code STL) is owned and operated by the city of St. Louis and is located 11 miles northwest of the downtown area. It is the 31st busiest airport in the U.S. as ranked by Airports Council International-North America, serving more than 12. 5 million passengers in 2014.

This is the primary airport serving the St. Louis area, and travelers can sample a few of the region's great food options in one of the many restaurants in this international airport.

Address: 10701 Lambert International Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63145

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport: Minneapolis

Glass Art at Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport

 webhishek / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (airport code MSP) was the hometown hub of Northwest Airlines before it merged with Delta Air Lines in 2008. The airport is served by 13 airlines that handled 36.5 million passengers in 2015.

This airport currently serves a dual function of both offering domestic and international travel to civilians as well as serving as a military base. It is the biggest and most traveled airport in the six-state Upper Midwest region of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Address: 4300 Glumack Drive. St. Paul, MN 55111

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