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Thanksgiving Travel / Holiday Travel / MSP / ATL / ORD / Airports / Airport News / Airport Restaurants / Airport Bakeries / → All Tags
If you’re already on your way to visit the family for Thanksgiving we understand if you forgot to bring a pie or some dessert. Unfortunately, your Great Aunt Mildred won’t understand, so you might as well pick something up at the airport. We can’t guarantee that you’ll find the world’s best pumpkin pie, but at least there’s a few options at the airport.
For those connecting through–or heading to—Minneapolis-St. Paul there’s a solid option within Terminal 1, as French Meadow Bakery Café calls Concourse F home in its location near Gate 3. They’ve got cookies, pastries, and other organic bakery goodies, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they had something special just for the Thanksgiving. If you’re only looking for yourself it appears that they’re cooking up a warm seasonal fruit crisp, so go for that if you’re looking to sneak in an early dessert before Thursday.
Passports / Airports / Airport News / Lists / ORD / DFW / JFK / MIA / Airport Security / Travel Tech / Global Entry / → All Tags
Word to the wise: automated immigration kiosks are the new hotness. These machines process the passports of US & Canadian citizens in a matter of seconds (minutes, if there's a line), and we foresee it one day pushing the Global Entry program to the curb. Oh, and it's free.
How to use the kiosks:
Simply roll up to one, scan your passport page, confirm that the screen has your ID and arriving flight info correct, tap to answer "no" to the usual "are you bringing anything weird into our country?" questions, and a camera snaps your photo and prints a receipt of the transaction. Show that receipt to a man in a booth (no waiting!), he'll stamp your passport, and you're free to enter baggage claim. You'll finally yield that receipt to the customs inspection officers after baggage claim, with minimal bother and no queuing.
Who's got them:
As far as we know, there are four US airports with immigration kiosks up and running for holders of US passports. They are:
ORD / Airports / Airport News / Chicago Travel / Travel Delays / → All Tags
Big news out of Chicago-O’Hare, as the rumor is that the airport will no longer face any delays. Okay—you caught us—we’re exaggerating a little bit, but there is some news out of the airport that should make things run a little bit smoother on your next trip through the area.
Late last week the airport’s new runway opened up for business, after over a billion dollars was spent to get things constructed. Initially airport officials were quick to point out the runway’s merits, as the claimed that typical delays due to the weather—it was overcast—just weren’t happening thanks to the new piece of asphalt.
Videos / Chicago Travel / Illinois Travel / Time-Lapse / ORD / → All Tags
Sweet Home Chicago!
More than half of the population of Illinois calls Chicago home and with it being a world class city, millions of travelers either come to walk the Magnificent Mile or spy on the city from one of two rooftop sky-decks. Whichever category you fall into, you can't help but to be awe-inspired with this video.
Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, Windy City Nights is a beautifully shot time-lapse video that showcases everything that makes the Second City awesome. Max Wilson is the film-maker and spent about 2 years traipsing around Chicago to nab the perfect shot as the rest of the world whizzes by. Spoiler alert: his hard work paid off.
Airline Meals / American Airlines / In-flight Meals / LAX / ORD / Om Nom Nom / Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals / First Class Travel / Joan Rivers / Celeb Travel / → All Tags
About a month ago, we asked you to choose what we'd be eating on an upcoming American Airlines flight. Well, the time came for us to step aboard our silver bird and head on over to Chicago - O'Hare from LAX and we can now officially announce that the winner was the chicken.
The full description of the choose-your-own-entree on AA is quite limited, but the lemon thyme chicken with quinoa and arugula turned out to pique the most interest from you guys, so it became our pre-prder.
We know that airport parking can get expensive. Even if you plan ahead and park in a remote lot, just a few days can make quite the negative dent in your bank account. But after hearing one traveler's total bill to pull her car out of an airport parking lot, be thankful that you only pay as much as you do.
After having her car parked in a lot at Chicago's O'Hare for three years, one Chicago resident was socked with a parking bill for $106,000. The car owner, Jennifer Fitzgerald, actually didn't park her car in the lot; it was her then O'Hare-employee boyfriend who abandoned the 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in November of 2009 in an employee lot.
Sports Travel / Running / Airports / ORD / Chicago Travel / Events / United / Marathon Travel / Active Travel / → All Tags
Have you ever wanted to walk on a major airport runway? Hopefully you never have to because of emergency circumstances (see an example of that here), but there is a legal (and safe) way to take a stroll on one of Chicago-O'Hare's runways, and that's by registering for the 5K/10K On The Runway.
Okay, so its not so much a stroll as it is a full-fledged race, but the highlight is without a doubt the ability to run down an actual runway and, when you've finished and caught your breath, visit a United plane for a photo op. United is one of the sponsors of the event alongside the Chicago Department of Aviation and WLS Radio, and they've brought a 747 for the photo op in the past. Fingers crossed the 787 makes an appearance this year, but it's best just to focus on finishing the race for now.
Airports / Airport News / ORD / Chicago Travel / Travel News / Travel Tech / Passports / US Travel / → All Tags
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.
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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!).
Om Nom Nom / Airline Meals / In-Flight Meals / Food Travel / American Airlines / LAX / ORD / First Class Travel / → All Tags
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.