The joy of O’Hare and Crowne Plaza O’Hare
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?
I got off the plane and followed that well-trodden path from the jet bridge, and down to immigration. And yes, I had filled out my paperwork well in advance… because having no paperwork at the US Border can be a very bad thing.
For those of you who have forgotten, I’m travelling on a new passport. This in turn has issues – as I can’t use the automated clearing for now. So in my case, I would need to see an immigration agent.
I had steeled myself for the full 1 hour special that O’Hare can sometimes present when clearing immigration – but I was seen to and cleared for entry by an agent in under 5 minutes.
This is a heck of an improvement.
However, the one thing that never improves at Chicago O’Hare is the luggage delivery. And did it decide to take its sweet merry time, with first bag taking way too long, and priority luggage being ignored.
It also didn’t help one of my bags was sent to oversized baggage too.
In the end I had to wait for the last bag to be delivered – a wait for 40 minutes. My second bag turned up, and with it in hand, I headed for customs clearance.
This was done with a nod – and I was soon enough in the USA.
Well the admin side for once was excellent – it was the stupid luggage delivery this time that let the side down.
With a call to my parents done and dusted, I headed off to annoy a local taxi driver who was praying for a ride down-town – but instead was going as far as Rosemont.
With me in a taxi, I was off to my traditional first-night residence in Chicago – the Crowne Plaza O’Hare.
Crowne Plaza O’Hare
I always forget to do an exterior shot of this hotel. It hasn’t changed at all in all the times I’ve stayed here. That’s no bad thing.
After fishing myself out of the taxi, I checked in. I was welcomed as a Platinum member, and give the choice of points or a drink at the bar. I went for points as I was lazy – plus I would be in no state to be near the bar later that evening.
Hotel reception area in the evening.
With the formalities done and dusted, I took my luggage to the top floor – because – well, I like high floors in hotels.
This lift is going the wrong way…
Thankfully, the room wasn’t far away from the lift – which considering the amount of crap I tote around is no bad thing.
So, lets look at the room. If you’ve ever looked at one of my Crowne Plaza reviews and gone “Hmmm… that’s familiar” – well, the following won’t surprise you in any way, shape or form.
The room is still in a shade of blue, and relaxing. I know where the bed, sofa, and coffee machine is as well as the bathroom – and trust me – after a flight in economy, knowing where all these things are by heart is no bad thing at all. It means you can focus on relaxing after a flight, or knowing where to fumble around for things in the dark.
The bed itself is pretty reasonably – a bit firm which is how I like my beds (as opposed to sinking into it and not coming out in a hurry) and reasonable enough to sleep in (unless your co-workers ring you at 3am in the morning Chicago Time, and have “forgotten” you’re on holiday… then no amount of comfort will help you get back to sleep for hours.
Let’s put it like this. I booted up my laptop and logged onto my work server for a few minutes and sent enough emails – with a “gentle reminder” not to phone before 6am Chicago time.
Looking at the bathroom, it was well stocked as usual, and clean.
Excuse the idiot in this photo. He gets everywhere when I’m working.
There’s also a lot of light going into the room – and this good as you have a view of arrivals into O’Hare.
American Airlines Boeing 737-800
American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Nippon Cargo Airlines Boeing 747-8F Freighter.
The hotel has good views of the city too.
Services provided at the hotel are pretty good as usual – staff were friendly, and shuttle buses ran to time – it’s always a good thing to see.
With a rested night and morning (after my co-workers rung me at 3am in the morning), I was refreshed and ready to roll… and ready to swap hotel.
Heading towards the business area and restaurant.
I settled the bill (part cash, part plastic), and headed off to my next destination.
Overall: Whilst there was no welcome amenity, there was a comfortable bed, a place to refresh and great views – which after a long flight and jet lag are things I seek in life. A solid property – if slightly overpriced due to conference season in the area.
Next: We’re bouncing around with my Chicago Trip, as I play with my Canon 40mm lens… and why I continue to use it.
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