Your Next International Flight from Chicago's O'Hare Airport Might Not Suck
If your travels have brought you through Chicago O'Hare's International Terminal, then you may have noticed that it's hardly the nicest place to spend some pre-flight time. Alas, that was then and this is now, because as of last week, passengers are now being welcomed into a totally refreshed Terminal 5, featuring Chicago hometown brands and international boutiques.
The project totaled $26 million and two years of overhauling, but the terminal now boasts a wider variety of airside activities. Chicago restaurant masters, Lettuce Entertain You, have opened several of their mainstay eateries (Big Bowl, Wow Bao, Urban Olive, Hub51 and R.J. Grunts) and, if you need a pick-me-up, there's Intelligentsia Coffee for delicious brews and Wicker Park deli, The Goddess and Grocer for nibbles. No drama if you've got your heart set on Frontera Grill's tortas, since Rick Bayless has this terminal covered as well.
The entire terminal refurbishment is thanks to Westfield Group, so if retail therapy is part of your pre-flight ritual, Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emporio Armani, Swatch and Vosges Haut-Chocolat are all happy to swipe your credit card. For those last minute souvenirs, I Love Chicago and trusty-dusty Hudson News should be on your list.
Along with these enhancements, travelers will be happy to find a more efficient TSA checkpoint, improved bathroom facilities, and dynamic lounge-style seating with outlets and USB ports to charge devices.
Hopefully O'Hare's Terminal 5 revamp will influence a few other airports to join in the tech friendliness, but at least now one of the country's largest airports will leave a good impression on departing travelers.
[Photos: Westfield (www.ChicagoT5.com)]