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The customs and passport control process just got a little bit easier, as a slew of new kiosks have just arrived over in Chicago. The city’s O’Hare Airport is the first in the country to be hooked up with the new transportation technology, as the hope is that travelers will be able to make their way through the whole darn process just a little bit quicker.
We’ve mentioned these border protection beauties in the past, as the original test of these things was going on up in Vancouver. In total there’s like 32 of the new machines now awaiting US travelers as they make their way back home and into Chicagoland.
Travel News / Airport News / Michigan Travel / ORD / AZO / Travel Industry / Animals / → All Tags
The United States isby any standard, historical or otherwisea staggeringly rich and sophisticated civilization. We have developed a travel industry of enormous complexity, and it keeps humming even when politicians who have no idea what they're doing try to break it. Every single day thousands of flights take off, follow their flight paths, and land. The combination of paths we plan for them are guided by incredibly sophisticated mathematical models taking into account thousands of variables.
So of course the people in charge of maintaining airports are turning to goats, sheep, llamas, and to even more low-tech animal-related solutions to help them with their jobs. We already told you yesterday about the barnyard menagerie at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is using to mow its lawn. It sounds fake and it's low tech, but it does actually seems to work.
It turns out that other airport officials have come up with even faker-sounding solutions to problems.
Animals / Airports / Airport News / Chicago Travel / Green Travel / ORD / → All Tags
A new coffeeshop isn't the only notable new addition to Chicago O'Hare Airport this week. Inside the terminals, passengers now happily fill up on caffeine and baked goods while, outside, four-legged animals chow down on the grasses surrounding the airport.
As promised, O'Hare has introduced natural lawn maintenance in the form of goats, donkeys, sheep and llamas. The animals, all overseen by a shepherd, have a job to keep 120 acres of airport land tidy. They've even already made themselves at home, as one goat recently gave birth to a kid. Guess what the airport named it? Yep, a baby goat named "O'Hare" now lives at O'Hare (you can see him through the grass a little, in the photo below)
Coffee Travel / Chicago Travel / ORD / MDW / Airports / Airport News / Airport Restaurants / → All Tags
Chicago, you're the best.
While many airports focus on installing new wine bars or sticking as many iPads as possible in the faces of passengers trying to grab a bite, Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports are refining the basic offering of an airport coffee by opening serious coffeeshops backed by local roasters.
Kiss that calorie-heavy, caffeine-light caramel frappuccino with whip cream goodbye, or at least until you arrive at your destination airport. Chicago will see you off (or welcome you) with a proper fresh cup, made with beans sourced from exotic destinations and then roasted and ground right in town.
First up is O'Hare's Terminal 5, which houses Rick Bayless' airport outpost of Tortas Frontera and has just opened Kofe by Intelligentsia, a European-style stand-up coffee shop past security. In addition to Intelligentsia's regular roasts, Kofe will also feature a monthly special. Right now, according to The Moodie Report, it's a Yirgacheffe coffee "with notes of jasmine and lemongrass from southern Ethiopia." Yes, there will be souvenir mugs and coffee beans for purchase (and Black Cat espresso!).
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Last year, American Airlines began offering first and business class passengers the opportunity to choose, in advance, what they want to put in their bellies while in flight, even on domestic routes. Since that trial was a success for the airline, they have rolled it out on the majority of their flights, if not all by now, that have meal service in the front of the plane.
As we've previously detailed, meals can be chosen up to 30 days in advance and no later than 24 hours before departure.
We have a flight coming up at the end of the month, when we popped online to see if everything was still kosher with our itinerary, we noticed it was time to pick between two options for our lunch flight from Los Angeles to Chicago-O'Hare.
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We don't know about you, but the idea of running on an actual runwaywhile aircraft go about their usual flying businesssounds awesome. So awesome, that in fact we just finished one such 5k (on JFK's major runway) and can't wait to do it again. Thus, we did some research and discovered there are SEVEN upcoming runway runs, six in the US and one in Canada:
· Bellevue AFB 7-mile Runway Run
Where: Bellevue, Nebraska. A course through Bellevue-Offutt Air Force Base and on the runway "through a formation of Air Force planes."
Date: Sunday, May 12
Official site & entry form
Airport Restaurants / Airports / Green Travel / ORD / MDW / Chicago Travel / → All Tags
Earth Day is in the rearview mirror at this point, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think green throughout the rest of the year. That’s clearly the idea over in Chicago, as both major airports are all about the eco-friendly.
Officials have issued some new rules and guidelines for those restaurants doing business at both O'Hare and Midway airports, as they hope to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The new green concessions policy provides a little bit of encouragement in hopes that the restaurants will do a better job utilizing eco materials and sustainable ingredients.
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2013 probably won't be the year of the airline club since that designation really belongs to 2012, but don’t tell the designers and organizers over at United that. After changing the name of their lounges following their merger with Continental, it looks like United is going all in with a little bit of a revamp and renovation to the United Club.
It all starts with one of the clubs over at Chicago-O’Hare, as the airline has released a sneak peek of what things will look like in Terminal 2.
To our eyes, the new design mimics the stylish lounges for long-haul travel, and by that we mean that they’re skipping the domestic carrier coffee-machine-and-a-comfy-chair look. Think a dash of Virgin's panache, but without all the additional features—and food and beverage—that come along with a true international airline lounge experience.
Flu Shots / Healthy Travel / AIrports / Airport News / BNA / ORD / JFK / SFO / ATL / → All Tags
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also the time of year when coughs, colds, and congestion decide to make an appearance. Flu season isn’t particularly fun for anyone, but you might just be able to prevent it from happening right at the airport. The concourses and terminals have been setting up flu clinics and kiosks, and here’s just five airports when you can stop in for a shot of your own.
Chicago – O’Hare
There’s lots of distractions available when flying to or through Chicago—many of them food related—but if you’re looking to do your public health duty they’ve got you covered as well. The O’Hare Medical Clinic in Terminal 2 offers up seasonal influenza vaccines, and it sounds like they’ll even do a little bit more. Appointments aren’t necessary, and you can even swing by for a general tune-up—think cholesterol screenings, other vaccinations, and stuff like that. If you can’t make it to the main clinic they’ll be setting up some kiosks too, so just look around while heading towards your gate.
Hm. So airports actually read comment cards.
One year ago, we published a tiny rant on airport coffee and the severe lack of quality coffeeshops within terminals, despite the recent trend toward adding gourmet, organic burger joints and wine bars and Top Chef-backed sit-down eateries. Where were the pour-over coffee bars and anything-other-than-Starbucks, we asked.
Chicago's two airports have answered.
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Quiet. That would be the word for United's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as the first one for the US airline zipped into the skies yesterday morning on its maiden revenue flight, meaning there were actual paying passengers onboard. The flight, UA 1116 from Houston (HOU) to Chicago (ORD) hit its halfway point at 9:30am EST, meaning those passengers and invited guests sitting pretty in the whisper-quiet cabin were effectively sneaking in the special event before much of the country could wake up.
One such flyer was our buddy (and uber-major United frequent flyer) Peter Shankman, who filed this short video report from Economy Class:
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Space out in front of the fountain: just one thing to do at DTW
Now that Hurricane Sandy is upon the East Coast and canceling flights in droves, we're dedicating today to using all our travel know-how (and some on-the-fly advice, as half the Jaunted team is stuck at airports as well) to help you ride out the storm despite delayed travel. Stay tuned and stay safe!
There's all of this focus on New York City and travelers stuck in their airports, which is understandable considering it's the city at the center of the world and happens to lie in the center of the Hurricane's path, but let's not forget the scores of tired and cranky folks trapped at other airports around the country, trying to make it to and not away from the East Coast as a whole.
In the past here at Jaunted, we've used our knowledge gained from previous frustrating layover escapades to develop a small series on Five Things to Do on Your Layover at...whichever major airport you're at.
Here, we focus on five major US airports outside the East Coast splosh zone: