If only Thanksgiving came along every week, Chicago airports could lift the city through rough economic times.
But airport-generated revenues are slumping, worse here than some other U.S. airports. The financial prognosis for the airline industry remains grim over at least the short term.
More than 2.5 million passengers will travel through O'Hare International and Midway Airports this week through Dec. 1, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.
Compared with an average day during the year, it represents thousands of additional people paying taxes on airline tickets, parking vehicles, renting cars and buying food, drinks and souvenirs, as well as headache medicine to cope with flight delays.
But flying at O'Hare has been in decline for much of this decade.