Things I Hate About O’Hare Today

United. (O’Hare is their hub, so it counts.) When I fly Southwest, if I have to change my flight, there’s no special fee and the highest priced ticket is around $300. Today, for reasons too tedious and complicated to explain, we had to change our United flight at the last minute when we were already at the airport and it cost us $603 each to do us. $1206 total. That’s over the $250 we had already spent for the tickets. For $1700 I feel like I should have my own plane flying me there.

The TSA at O’Hare. My wife has flown through several other airports with assorted cosmetics in her purse without problem, but the O’Hare TSA emptied out her purse and told her that mascara and lip gloss are liquids and she’d need to throw them away, check them in our already-checked bags, mail them to herself for $14, or put them in a clear ziplock. And of course they don’t have ziplocks. After the aforementioned ticket drama, it really felt like the TSA lady was hitting us in the gut. I mean, it’s such security theater — if she really was a terrorist traveling with explosives disguised as mascara, would putting it in a ziplock make it safe?

Electricity, the lack thereof. Really, what would it cost O’Hare to have a few electrical outlets available for travelers with laptops? I’m guessing my $1206 would pay for the electric bill for the month. I searched and finally found a single seat near an outlet — and it turned out the outlet was turned off. No power.

Chicago Salutes the Graphic Arts. There’s a bar at O’Hare called Chicago Salutes the Graphic Arts, which would almost be a charming long-winded name for a bar, except that it doesn’t really have any salute to the graphic arts, other than a confusing mural on one wall. The Jackson, MS airport has the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame in one of its bars, and it’s actually a hall of fame, with exhibits and all.

The Announcements. The announcements are constant and any real information would likely get missed in the constant drone about Homeland Security raising the threat level to (obviously inserted sound clip) “Orange”. And there’s an oft-repeated announcement that the TSA has changed the rules about what can pass through a security checkpoint and we should “check with your air carrier for details.” Dude, we’re all already through that checkpoint and had to throw away our mascara and hand lotion. We know.

3 Comments so far

  1. paul (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 9:19 pm

    One of my favorite things in the United Terminal is the Artists and Writers Bar, solely for Marilyn the bartender who’s been there longer than the terminal. An ardent Cub fan and true ambassador of Chicago, she’s (sadly for us, happily for her) retiring in another month.


  2. Fuzzy (unregistered) on January 21st, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

    I forgot to mention the one good thing of the day — I saw a man wearing a fez non-ironically.


  3. Fuzzy (unregistered) on January 21st, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

    And in regards to electricity, I’m in the Columbia (SC) Metropolitan Airport, which is truly a podunk little airport, and they have free wireless and wired internet and little desk kiosks with convenient outlets.



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