Back to O’Hare and the new Flagship Lounge – A Celebratory Trip to Chicago
- So, Chicago eh. That’s really different.
- Take the National Express, Manchester Airport, British Airways Terraces Lounge
- BA1385 Manchester Airport to London Heathrow
- T5 – Pick a lounge. Any Lounge – British Airways Galleries South, Galleries T5B
- BA295 London Heathrow T5 to Chicago O’Hare International
- The joy of O’Hare and Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Experiments with a Canon 40mm lens
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Using Amazon out of your home country in a pinch
- Back to O’Hare, The New AA Flagship Lounge
- AA86 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow T3
- Terminal Change Shenanigans, British Airways Galleries North
- BA1386 London Heathrow to Manchester Airport
- Luggage Delivery incompetence, last-minute changes, and CrossCountry Trains Home
- Why Celebrate?
With everything done, and my friends all heading home – it was time for me to head back for home. After a day dodging the Columbus day parade and the joy of the Blue line, I collected all my trash together and headed to O’Hare.
The hotel shuttle dropped me off at T3, and I was on my way again.
I headed to check in, and dropped my baggage off.
I managed to get to the head of the queue after a short wait. My passport was scanned, and after a bit of confusion if my ticket allowed two bags to go in the hold (it did),the onward boarding passes were issued
Then it was time face the most wonderful people in the world – the TSA. This time, it seems TSA stupidity has gone to an all-time high requiring:
- Large electronics to be scanned out of a bag
- Food items to out of any sort
Because as we know, leftover deep dish pizza and chocolates are a threat to US national security. What? You weren’t aware chocolates are a threat to National Security? They are now.
Of course, this lead to a debate – is a camera lens an electronic or not? That was… umm.. not amusing discussion.
I honestly give up with the security theatre – but if a person wants to fly, the security theatre must be satisfied – however annoying it is.
And its also days like that I wish I had PreCheck and Global Entry.
With all my stuff everywhere, I took my sweet time repacking and thanked the TSA. Loudly.
Without looking back, I headed off into Terminal 3 and towards the lounge. As my flight would be going from the K gates, I would head to the main lounge complex.
This means of course going through one of the nicer parts of T3 – the main inter-connector for the K/H Gates.
I passed Gate K7 on the way, with the Boeing 787-8 for London waiting.
As I had zero interest in duty-free shopping this trip, I skipped it and headed straight to the new lounge.
American Airlines Flagship Lounge.
It seems some major tidying has been done at this lounge, with a brand new check-in area.
My boarding pass was zapped, and I was given an invitation to the new Flagship lounge. Talk about striking gold.
So lets take a look at the new lounge. And the first thing to say about it – it’s bright and airy.
Whilst it was busy with the evening rush, there were plenty of options for seating – good to see.
One thing that was nice to see was the proliferation of power sockets and USB sockets – and sockets with enough power to charge a tablet or a phone fast.
I like what I see – lots of different seating options, and places to relax or work. But this is an US lounge. There’s no such thing as a decent food spread.
I was about to be proved wrong on that one as I explored the food section
Wow – fresh food and a reasonable selection of hot and cold food – certainly a step up from the old Flagship lounge. And as for drinks, there was again a good selection – both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
And there was even Champagne (from the Champagne region in France… not the fizzy white stuff from California).
Meanwhile, the views outside were as good as ever.
Alas, the time spent at the TSA chewed into my lounge time, and as such – I needed to head to the gate where the late calls were being made.
The US CBP were out in force at the gate, and chatting to themselves as I arrived. My boarding pass was scanned, and the CBP woke up and made me go in-front of one of their Biometric exit control things to exit the country.
That formality completed, I headed down the jetway to the waiting flight to London… and another ride on the Boeing 787.
Next: AA86 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow.
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