Don’t know if I did this post when I actually traveled through the place, but two weekends ago, I had flown from Baltimore to San Antonio via Chicago O’Hare, on the hated United Airlines Express Jet. Man, United is awful and those Express Jet jets are awful. On the Baltimore – Chicago leg, I sat next to a guy who was twice my size. It sucked. He would have had a hard time fitting into the two commuter jet seats. That’s United for you.
There are three things about an airport that matter: Restrooms, transiting to your transfer gate, and getting your bags (if applicable). Other things, like greasy kid stuff (food), getting liquored up, and free WIFI are huge, but the first thing I have to do when I land is find the restroom. Its a mental problem now. I cannot get off the plane without wanting to pee myself, no matter if I went to the restroom just before landing.
Anyway, Sweaty O’Hare ranks down there with Washington Dulles as one of the worst airports in America. When I got to O’Hare, it was sweltering. The signage is horrible, so you can easily miss where you are going. Come on now, I’m a veteran air traveler and I don’t miss much. This time, I did when I missed my turn to the other terminal, so I went to the other end. I was sweating by the time I figured it out. When I got to the tunnel to get to the other terminal, it was like going into a coal mine. It was hotter than hell. When I finally made it to the other terminal, there was this mass of humanity and all of them were sweating as well. Lines extended everywhere.
The one redeeming feature of O’Hare was Stanley’s Chicago Blackhawks bar. Super quick, super efficient service. It took 15 minutes to sit, order, get my food, Sam Adams (warning $8.75 for the 22oz!), get served, eat, and leave (to find yet another bathroom). If I had been there for another hour, I would have gotten roasted. That is, if I hadn’t realized I was paying $8.75 per beer. The guys sitting next to me were trying to figure out how to get the beer into their per diem.
In the meantime, I waited at a Sweaty O’Hare gate for 30 minutes after having pounded the beer in about 4 minutes. There were seven boarding zones, and I was in zone six. How do you have seven boarding zones on a 50 seat plane? Its United. I slept to San Antonio on that commuter jet; which was the idea behind the beer in the first place.