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How to Navigate O’Hare International Airport like a Pro

Flying into or out of Chicago isn’t unusual for many road warriors as the city is a hub of business. Consequently, familiarity with O’Hare International Airport is a must for the well-seasoned business traveler.

Whether you are traveling into or out of O’Hare for business or pleasure, use this guide to make your experience as easy as possible with tips on everything from your airport ground transportation to your terminal experience.

Choose Your Flight Wisely
When flying out of O’Hare, plan for delays. The airport is notorious for flights that leave later than expected. Increase your odds of being on time by leaving on a flight earlier in the day. According to Travel + Leisure magazine, flights out of the United hub leave on time more than 80 percent of the time up to the mid-afternoon. By late night, that rate has decreased to less than 50 percent.

The Huffington Post reported that you can further decrease your odds of delays by booking your flight on a larger plane rather than a smaller, regional jet. Smaller aircrafts are more likely to get delayed or canceled.

For more help on cutting down on wasted time at the airport, download the free GateGuru app, which will give you helpful information like estimated TSA line wait times and will keep you updated on any last-minute gate changes.

Make the Most of Your Layover
While O’Hare is notorious for flight delays, the airport does have a number of interesting things to do and see during layovers. USA TODAY recommended checking out one of more than 30 arts and culture displays, such as the four-story Brachiosaurus skeleton model or the WWII F3F-4 fighter plane replica in Terminal 2’s Butch O’Hare Exhibit.

Why sit around at a cramped gate when you can get in some exercise? Visit the Yoga Room in Terminal 3 or buy a day pass to the O’Hare Hilton Health Club located directly across from Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

You can also spend your layover making sure all of your devices are ready to go. To charge your phone, laptop or tablet, skip fighting for an outlet by your gate and look for a charging station. According to USA TODAY, you can find 11 stations throughout the terminals. In terms of WiFi, you won’t be able to connect for free, but Boingo Wireless offers Internet for a fee throughout the airport.

Stressed by a flight delay? Unwind in O'Hare's Yoga Room.Stressed by a flight delay? Unwind in O’Hare’s Yoga Room.

Enjoy Fine Dining 
Whether you’re making the most of a layover or want to grab a meal before you board your flight, O’Hare has a number of great restaurant options that will please even the most refined palette. Rick Bayless’ outpost, Tortas Frontera restaurant is located in Terminals 1, 3 and 5 and has received rave reviews. Make time to stop by and sample the chipotle chicken or fresh-made guacamole.

If you aren’t from the Chicago area, make sure to enjoy some of the local favorites. Try Goose Island Brewery in Terminals 1 and 3 or Billy Goat Tavern and Grill in Terminal 1. Limited time before you need to board your flight? Grab a bag of Garrett Popcorn to munch on while you travel. The Garrett Mix – a combination of cheese and caramel flavors – is a Chicago staple.

“Taxi lines at O’Hare can be hours long during peak times of the day.”

Travel Efficiently
According to the Huffington Post, the taxi line at O’Hare can be hours long during peak times. Why waste your valuable time waiting on the curb for a cab when you can have a black car at ORD waiting for you when you step out of the terminal?

“At GroundLink we pride ourselves on our punctuality,” said GroundLink CEO Liz Carisone. “Our airport car service will save you valuable time when it comes to traveling in Chicago by cutting out the wait. Provide us with your flight information when booking your ride, we’ll track your flight and one of our top-of-the-line drivers will meet you when you land, on-time guaranteed.”

Airport transportation in Chicago has never been easier! Book your rides today with GroundLink and take the stress out of ground transportation at O’Hare International Airport.

 

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