The excitement you might feel for your upcoming journey can easily be outweighed by the thought of traipsing through the airport, sitting around dealing with delays, or getting caught up in crowd after crowd of people; and the more popular the airport, the more likely you are to face these kinds of situations during your trip. Chicago O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in America, therefore, you should brace yourself for any possible problems.
However, there are things you can do to limit the chances of encountering certain problems or things you can do to stay as relaxed as possible as you journey through the airport, so we have compiled a list of seven travel secrets for Chicago O’Hare Airport, in order to help you get to your destination with as little stress as is needed.
If you are able to it is best to catch a flight as early as possible, as expected there will be a rush of travelers until about 7am, but after this time, not only are there fewer people, but you will also be less likely to encounter a delay. Due to the often windy weather, thick low clouds that engulf the airport, or snowstorms, flights start getting delayed, and these weather events more frequently happen later in the day rather than in the morning. If there is bad weather, delay after delay will occur, and by late afternoon, the backlog has increased substantially and so flights may start getting canceled altogether. It is a busy airport but they still have a lot of weather problems to deal with.
If you are in a hurry but want to eat before you board your flight so as to avoid the extortionate prices on the plane or the questionable choice of food options, then the restaurant Tortas Frontera has you covered. This Mexican restaurant has two service points in the airport, one in Terminal 1 and the other in Terminal 3. They have released an app called Tortas Frontera where you can place your order, pay ahead of time, and collect the food later. This is a great time saver if you are behind schedule or stuck in a queue somewhere.
Unwind with Yoga
Yoga is one of the most relaxing exercises you can take part in, and the perfect time to do it is at an airport. What better way to take the stress out of your mind, and clear your head for your upcoming flight than with a yoga or meditation session. The yoga room can be found in Terminal 3 close to the Urban Garden, it is open every day from 6am until 10pm, and the yoga mats are provided. While there is no instructor, they do provide a television screen on the wall which runs through different yoga techniques and positions as gentle music plays, it’s the ideal place to chill out before you head off.
Clear Security in Minutes
Getting caught up in security lines can be painfully frustrating, and as the time gets closer to your departure time, you can end up in a state of panic as you think about what you are going to do next now that your plane is leaving without you, and your following plans are ruined. Of course, it is always best to arrive at the airport with as much time to go as you can, but this is not always practical, life gets in the way and sometimes you end up at the airport with less than the recommended two hours. However, there are a couple of things you can do to help yourself out.
1) You can sign up for TSA PreCheck, it costs $85 for a five-year membership, and it ensures that you get priority and can make it through security in around five minutes.
After you apply online, you simply head to an appointment in person at one of their designated centers, and after a ten-minute background check, you will be given membership and peace of mind.
2) Download the app of whichever airline you are traveling on, this is kept continually updated, and you will have a good idea about the status of your flight time, this will help you schedule your day better, and can offer some hope if you are stuck in a line but you can clearly see your flight is delayed anyway.
Visit the Aeroponic Garden
Perhaps one of the first of its kind, in an airport at least, is O’Hare’s Aeroponic garden, which all travelers are invited to visit. This is a garden where the herbs, plants, and vegetables are not grown using soil, rather they are placed in towers and all periodically sprayed with a solution that is rich in nutrients. If you are a gardening enthusiast or want to take a look out of curiosity, then head to Terminal 3 and have a peek at everything that is grown there, it is almost certainly something that you won’t have seen before. As a bonus, the majority of restaurants in the airport use herbs and vegetables that are grown in the garden, so you can ensure the freshest tastes available.
Drive to the Airport
If you live at a reasonable distance to Chicago O’Hare, a distance that is possible to fly from, but it is also possible to drive for a few hours comfortably, then if you can it is always best to drive. As mentioned earlier in the article, delays and cancellations happen more frequently than at other airports due to the weather, which means flights due to land at O’Hare are also delayed or canceled more. Smaller regional flights are the first planes to be canceled, priority is given to larger planes, and planes with longer travel time, so it is better to not risk missing your connecting flight due to your first flight being rescheduled. Check out the best Chicago Airport parking prices!
Exercise between Flights
If you are going from one flight to another or have a long-distance flight coming up, using the health club in the Hilton Airport Hotel is the perfect way to stretch out your legs and let off some energy beforehand. You can reach the hotel by underground walkways that are in every domestic terminal, or you can use the airport’s transport system if you can coming from Terminal 5 (the international terminal). The Hilton offers day passes for a small rate, and with this, you have full use of their facilities including a gym, swimming pool, and locker rooms. If you tire yourself out before your flight, you might just be able to sleep well on board.
Sometimes things can go awry and they are completely out of your control, however, after reading through this article, you should hopefully now have a better idea of what you can do before your trip to the airport and during your stay in the airport in order to minimize any unnecessary stress.