Different Airlines – Same Routes – To Chicago with American Airlines and British Airways
Or “Oh Sandy. You came and you gave without thinking….”
- Cheap Flight? In the autumn? Which planet are you on? (The Introduction)
- To London, BA Galleries First, American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- AA99 – London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare (THIS SECTION)
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- One-Time Exception: From Addison to Downtown – Riding the L
- Trials, Tribulations and Sandy
- O’Hare T3 and the American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- AA98 – Chicago O’Hare International to London Heathrow
- Homeward Bound
- Oh Sandy, you came and you gave without thinking… (The Wrap-up)
You re-join me as I exit the plane. 8 and a half hours in an AA Economy Seat didn’t do THAT much damage to me it seems… although I do have to pick up my pace to clear immigration…
After getting off the plane, I know the one rule for any flight arriving into the USA – and it’s such a simple one. High tail it to immigration.
With this arrival time, the early morning bank from the far east would be now cleared, leaving the early morning European arrivals – and if I wanted to be seen before 11am, it was a case of run to immigration
Set-up in the immigration hall (the one that’s on the side of gates M1-M10) has changed, with The US queue, The Foreign Nationals and Foreign nationals with connecting flights queue. Dread the thought, CBP is finally getting the hint that people change planes at O’Hare and that they need to be speeded along.
This had a slightly negative impact as there were 2 officers handling final destination passengers into Chicago. This was expanded into 3 officers eventually – although a glance behind me when I got to the head of the queue showed that the switchbacks were starting to fill up badly – showing once again that the CBP have trouble getting a grasp of the situation
And that’s why I ran to the to the CBP Zone.
I was called forward, and handed over my passport. The usual pleasantries of right hand, right thumb, and the questioning was done. A check on what duty free I brought was made (none), a scribble one the customs form was made, and I was allowed to go on my way.
I reassembled my stuff (as my rucksack had already made it out and in the priority luggage section, with the ski-bag deciding to come out when it chose. It was then time to run the gauntlet with customs, whom let me through.
Well that wasn’t too bad.
At 10:30, I exited the secure area, 25 minutes after touching down. And that proves that running early for immigration if you’re not a US Resident can speed life up.
After making a few calls to see if the office was intact, and that I had arrived safe, it was time to deal with the bit I never enjoy dealing with at Chicago O’Hare – Dealing with the taxis at the airport. The amount of fun I have with them normally is enough to make my head spin when it comes to dealing with Airport hotels.
After one decided to turn up, it was a case of directing the driver where to go…. as usual.
Thankfully, it was south on North River Road, past the Hyatt where I normally am, and to the Crowne Plaza O’Hare.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza O’Hare
I’m trying this new idea out: taking pictures of hotel exteriors in daylight. I doubt this will continue for many more trip reports…
I was here many years ago before shifting to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, and this hotel if I’m blunt… hasn’t changed a bit in 4 years – which isn’t’ a bad thing in many respects. It’s a nice enough property compared to some.
I was welcomed at check in and my rate confirmed. I was asked how long I was staying in the area and asked if I wanted to extend my stay (and try and steal my business from the Hyatt). My wallet wanted to say yes, but my brain said no as I was looking at 2am finishes on Friday and Saturday nights.
I was issued my keycards, a voucher for a drink at the bar, and that was it. No upgrade or anything. On the rate I’m on – I’m not arguing.
I toted my bags to the room to be greeted with this for a room
The bed was acceptable – i.e. I could lie in it and feel like I’m not being consumed by the mattress – that and I got a reasonable nights sleep on it when the time came. The air conditioning appeared to work ok, and it had BBC America – which had a distinct lack of political adverts. The tea/coffee facilities worked well, and the shower seemed to as well too.
All these things work for me.
However, the point of an early flight is to check into the hotel, get sorted, test stuff works and then go into town to sort stuff out… and that’s what I did.
Whilst the hotel isn’t that far from Rosemont CTA station, a shuttle back to the airport was about to depart when I reached reception. I took it.
The shuttle worked well again on the return from downtown, with the shuttle keeping to scheduling (picking up at the bus terminal at O’Hare), and dropping me back at the hotel in relative comfort.
Check-out the next was handled swiftly, with confirmation of rates and no extras. I then toted my luggage to the nearest taxi to go ½ a mile to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare (and got conned in the process).
Overall: It’s not a bad hotel, but its not a memorable hotel – however for the price paid, I’m not arguing.
The room was clean, functional and allowed me to have a good nights rest – all I can ask for really. An upgrade would had been nice, but as we all know Priority Club Platium means nothing at all really – apart from major point earning.
And no, you really don’t want to know how much I paid. I have some secrets after all…
Next up: Back to my usual haunt – the Hyatt Regency O’Hare