Tag: O'HareView All Tags
It just may be the original airport photoshoot: Chicago's Architecture Foundation is paying homage to O'Hare Airport, that great hub on the city's western fringes that usually only receives bad ratings for security wait times. The FREE show, "ORD: Documenting the Definitive Modern Airport," is displaying the vintage photographs from O'Hare's shiny past, before it became the bottleneck it is now.
On display through May 1, the exhibit wants you to get a feel for the buildings of O'Hare free of the departing flight bustle. Influenced by Mies van der Rohe (wasn't everything in Chicago in the '50s and '60s?) yet conceived by Helmut Jahn, O'Hare is known as "Chicago's Versailles," even though we think it's more akin to Chicago's Grande Arche de la Défense; something through which many people pass, but few stop to recognize.
Since nothing excites us more than the combination of free and vintage airport art, we recommend getting down to 224 South Michigan Ave. They've even got a pair of the Eames O'Hare tandem sling seats on display, as well as historical documents and an acoustic installation of airport sounds. Checking out the exhibit may not get you to your flight any faster next time you're at O'Hare, but perhaps it will make you look up and around, quieting your anxiety, and that makes all the difference.
[Photo: Hedrich Blessing]
Virgin America / Travel News / Airlines / Airports / O'Hare / → All Tags
We followed the saga of Virgin America's failed attempt to get gate access at Chicago's O'Hare Airport because it was interesting to see the negotiations and political maneuvering it takes to enter a new market. In the end, the retro-styled airline was unable to reach a deal with United and American, who currently control most of the gates, so they gave up and launched service to Boston instead. Now a few details are emerging as to what might have happened, lifting the veil on a complex and sharp-elbowed process and making us wonder why anybody would want to enter the airline industry these days.
A recent story from Chicago Business points out that the O'Hare hopes to build additional runways and possibly a new terminal as well, but it needs the financial assistance from United and American to do so. The airlines, for their part, are willing to lay down some money for the runways, but in exchange, they hope to extend their master use agreements, which state who gets what gates, and how much they have to pay for them. In other words, they desperately want to hang on to their gates and shut out upstarts like Virgin America, who could wreak havoc with their snazzy planes and competitive pricing, and they're willing to use the airport expansion as a bargaining chip.
Consumer advocates and the City of Chicago would both like to see more shared-use gates at the airport, but that doesn't seem likely in the foreseeable future. The gates are just too darn valuable to give up, even during periods of sluggish demand for air travel. The parties are now in negotiations to get work started on the runways - which are sorely needed at this delay-prone airport - and hope to have a deal soon.
The bottom line? Stay tuned for more drama, and expect a few delays until the new runways are completed.
[Photo: Chicago Clout]
· UAL, American Offer to Fund O'Hare Runway Work, But At a Price [Chicago Business]
· Virgin America Coverage [Jaunted]