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Why the Best Buy 'Geek Squad' is on the Scene at Chicago-O'Hare

December 16, 2014 at 9:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

If your electronics and mobile doodads aren’t behaving this holiday season there’s a new way to get things repaired and fix while on the go. Best Buy is sending their Geek Squad unit into the airport, as the brave women and men will be stationed at Chicago-O’Hare for the next few weeks.

When your phone just isn’t keeping up its end of the bargain make your way over to Terminal 3 near the Concourse H food court. There you’ll find the Geek Squad, and that’s where they will be providing tech support for free through December 23.

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These US Airports Offer More Healthy Food Options Than You'd Expect

December 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

Wander through an average US airport and you'll notice the options for a pre-flight nosh are usually disappointing. Fast food before sitting on a plane for hours? Even if your tastebuds say yes, your body will later have you regretting that decision.

Just last week, Baltimore Washington International Airport was named the top pick for healthy airport food. The award wasn't just bestowed by a group of frequent flyers, but backed by the brains behind the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine who annually rank the airports with the healthiest options.

An incredible 92% of BWI's food concessions have at least one healthy option on their menus.

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How to Get the Most Out of Airport Meal Vouchers During Flight Delays

November 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM | by | Comments (0)

When the airport looks like this—aircraft being de-iced and a departure board of yellow and red delays and cancellations—then it's time to explore your options.

An extended delay may result in a gate agent handing you vouchers for services you wouldn't have otherwise needed had your flight flown on time. There are vouchers for a night at an airport hotel (a specific hotel, not your choice), vouchers for transportation, vouchers for future flights, and vouchers for meals at the airport. What vouchers you receive will depend on the nature of the delay, and anything that's the airline's fault (for example: crew scheduling, equipment issues) naturally yields more.

The most flexible vouchers are actually those for meals, but don't make a bee-line for the nearest McDonalds or $10 sandwich!

Typical meal vouchers allot $7 for breakfast, and $12 each for lunch and dinner, per person. That's not very much considering the current costs of airport food—LAX sells $19 salads, after all—but a little creativity and some basic math will get your tummy full of healthy options.

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A380 Service to Chicago O'Hare May Actually Happen

November 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Make way for some super-jumbo aircraft in the heartland, since the folks over at Chicago's O'Hare Airport are ready to spend some cash to be able to allow Airbus A380s to pull up to its terminals.

ORD would be the last of the top 5 busiest U.S. airports to upgrade facilities for the double-decker airplane, and this is great news not only for travelers, but for a few airlines who have already pinned Chicago on their route map.

The massive airplane will head on over to Terminal 5, and the 34 airlines who call it home in Chicago have agreed to open up their wallets and cough up the $1 million for the preliminary designs for the airport upgrades. This comes after O'Hare's newest runway, (10C and 28C) along with nearby taxi route, was rated to accommodate the heavy aircraft.

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It's 'Peppermint Delight' Season at These Airport Spas

November 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

Things you already purchase at the airport: trashy mystery novels, tabloids promising stars without makeup, Sbarro. (Do those still exist anywhere else?)

Things you will now start purchasing at the airport: cranial massage, Crayola brand nail polish, a bikini wax. Go to Brazil, get a Brazilian. It’s poetry, really.

Terminal Getaway Spa is the brain behind these body treatments. Billing itself as the “first and only spa designed with the traveler in mind,” Terminal offers an array of 10- to 90-minute services at (so far) five locations between three different airports: Chicago O’Hare, Charlotte Douglas, and Orlando International Airport. (Because really, nothing necessitates a massage like 6 days and 7 nights of screaming kids high on Disney crack.)

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US Limits Potential Ebola Travel to Just Five Airports

October 23, 2014 at 4:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've made a sustained effort to calm you down over Ebola. As the Internet will be more than happy to explain, more Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died of Ebola. So as we move forward in this post, let's keep eventhing in perspective.

Have you heard, though, that all of the TSA stations in Cleveland International had to be disinfected inch by inch because an Ebola patient passed through just one of them on the way to Texas? It was simply a precaution of course - the literal actual quote from the agency's spokesman was that "it's nothing official" but rather just "something that our folks wanted to do" - but it happened and it brings up a good point. Ebola is spreading beyond West Africa partly because of air travel, and even the suggestion of Ebola is enough to bring anything its associated with to a grinding halt. So isn't Ebola eventually going to grind air travel to a halt?

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5 Festivals That Stretch Chicago's Summer Fun Well Into Winter

October 9, 2014 at 12:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

During the summer Chicago is a paradise of outdoor festivals, concerts, and events, but that doesn't mean the fun must be restricted to warm days. Chicago works with its weather to promote a range of activities throughout the year, well into turtleneck and mitten weather.

Here's our round-up of the best Chicago events during the fall and winter:

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US Airports Begin Extra Health Checks for Ebola

October 8, 2014 at 5:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

Whether you realize it or not, international airports are screening for health issues of incoming passengers. Typically it's just trained officials eyeballing the stream of arriving passengers, sometimes with the help of temperature sensors, looking for any telling signs of deteriorating health before an unwell person passes through customs and out into the public.

Owing to the recent threat of Ebola, however, those checks are about to become more obvious, and more specialized, at least temporarily.

According to the NYT, five US airports will begin screening passengers arriving from West Africa with new procedures, including a contactless thermometer to test for fever, and a questionnaire to determine a person's risk.

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Fire at Chicago FAA Facility Grounds Flights, Worsens Friday Travel Mayhem

September 26, 2014 at 10:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

Update: 12pm EST Flights into and out of Chicago are resuming at a "reduced rate." It has been stated that the fire which caused today's interruption was deliberately set, but was not an act of terrorism. It was set by a man found with self-inflicted wounds, in the basement of the facility.

Early this morning, smoke began billowing out of an FAA facility in Aurora, IL. The fire, whose cause remains suspicious, nonetheless made an impact on US air travel as all flights set to travel into or out of Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports were delayed or cancelled, along with many others simply set to fly through the Chicago control area. As of 10am EST, FlightStats.com was reporting upwards of 400 cancelled and 300 delayed flights for the airports.

As expected, lines within the airports stretched along with phone wait times for further information. One gate at O'Hare was reported to quote "30 minutes or 3 hours" for the delay, which demonstrates the uncertainties at the time.

If you're scheduled to fly anywhere in the United States today, please check with your airline (we'd recommend via their official Twitter account or website, with posted alerts) before heading to the airport. As always, be sure to embark on travels today with fully-charged electronics, packed snacks, and some flexibility and patience for the tens of thousands of other stuck in a similar position or worse.

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How Much Does It Cost to Use an Airport Gym Between Flights?

September 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

Apart from sprinting through an airport terminal to make a flight, most travelers don't think much about squeezing in a workout around an itinerary. But, if you can resist temptation from the alluring scent of Auntie Anne's or Cinnabon, there are some airports which offer nearly full-service workout facilities for those who are in search of a good sweat.

Lately the trend has been to add a yoga room to terminals, but real gyms were there first. Best of all, the cost to access some of these centers is far cheaper than a one-day pass for some airline lounges.

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The O'Hare Animals are Back for Another Season of Airport Maintenance

September 5, 2014 at 7:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

Some furry friends are now back doing their thing over at Chicago-O’Hare, as they do their best to keep the airport grounds in tip-top shape.

We’ve mentioned unique airport groundskeeping crews before, but the herd that tends to the land in and around O’Hare might just be one of the best. They’re back at work this year, as goats, sheep, llamas, and donkeys are all doing their thing. They’re hungry and there’s apparently plenty to eat, as they work to eliminate all kinds of vegetation—even poison ivy.

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United Adds DIY Baggage Tagging Over at O'Hare

August 28, 2014 at 6:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

Practice your sticker skills before heading off to the airport, as one of the country’s largest carriers is going the DIY route when it comes to baggage tagging.

United Airlines just started offering self-service bag tagging over at Chicago-O’Hare in an effort to speed up the check-in process at the airport. The airline’s angle is that it provides more options for customers looking to do things for themselves, and it will free up agents to help out those flyers that have questions or need a little more assistance.

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