Springing to Chicago – Back to O’Hare, The British Airways Terraces (Business Class) Class lounge
- Here we go… again (in more ways than one)
- Off to Heathrow
- Terminal 3 Oneworld Lounges (Cathay Pacific and American Airlines)
- AA87 London Heathrow T3 to Chicago O’Hare International
- The joy of US immigration
- Intercontinental Chicago – Magnificent Mile
- Travel Tech: Life with a Canon 50mm f1.2 (yes, it’s another walk around Chicago)
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Travel Tech: SkullCandy Ink’d Wireless Headphones
- Airplane Art Special: From the Balcony of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare ** BONUS **
- Back to O’Hare, The British Airways Business Class lounge
- BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow
- Delayed Arrivals and Homeward
- Short and Sweet
Before I went to a hotel to pick my trash up, I spotted someone who was making odd noises at me. It was.. a Peep. We had a think, and the Peep indicated it wanted to travel the world. I said it could tag along (although I didn’t mention to it what class of travel I’d be in).
Alas, space was a constraint for going home. Rather than stuff TravelPeep into a suitcase (they’re dark places y’know) I offered it a ride in my day bag. It agreed…
With my new travel companion in place and my luggage picked up from the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, I hopped on a shuttle bus for the run over to the International Terminal – Terminal 5 – at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Whilst I would had preferred an AA departure back to London, at the prices I was paying, I would live with BA on the way home. And I can live with that.
With the shuttle bus dropping me off at O’Hare T5, it was time to check in for the flight home.
My bags were checked, and a boarding pass was issued for the flight to London. I enquired about World Traveller Plus upgrades – but the cabin had checked in as full. However, the seat next to me was looking free still. I had a quiet hope that would remain the case. I’d check that when I went into the lounge.
With the formalities of luggage drop-off done and the paperwork issued, it was time to run the risk with the TSA.
With myself stuck firmly in a queue, I set off the stopwatch to see how long I’d be waiting. I also checked my boarding pass – which looked odd due to the late boarding time. Guess what – the inbound plane from London was late.
Well at least this delay wouldn’t cut into my wait at O’Hare security… which was getting longer…
… and longer.
In the end to get through to the Duty Free maze, it took the best part of 30 minutes to clear security. Whilst evening rush is busy – 30 minutes in a confined space is a joke.
I asked the TSA to respond: Here it is full detail.
We’re sorry for any difficulties. During this busy time for air travel, our officers are working hard to provide effective security as efficiently as possible. We recommend arriving 2 hours prior to departure to reduce stress and get to your gate in plenty of time.
— AskTSA (@AskTSA) March 27, 2018
What’s the term for that response? Pathetic.
With that, I went through the duty-free maze, and out in the secured area.
I chose to skip the shopping, and headed to the lounge. Because after that fight with the TSA, I needed a drink. Or two.
British Airways Terraces Lounge (Business Class)
I was welcomed in, and informed the inbound flight had been delayed from London. Not unexpected – but unwelcome as it threw my plans for getting home into a bit of chaos – but I’d have to deal with that in London. I enquired about World Traveller Plus availability – and it was confirmed that no space was left. However, the middle seat on the flight was earmarked as blocked for me – so I’d have room to stretch out in.
Whilst not as good as more legroom and a wider seat – it would do as I’d have some peace on the way home.
Oh… that wasn’t going to happen sadly. But that’s in the future.
Let’s have a look at the BA waiting room. I mean lounge. I mean waiting room.
In terms of spaces – there’s a main area, with an ante-room to the side. It’s no Galleries lounge by any stretch of the imagination – and there’s a distinct lack of natural light.
In terms of catering – it’s very much light-snack orientated (with those in Club World and FIRST having access to pre-departure dining. As I was travelling World Traveller – I was emptying the snacks. It was adequate – but some other hot items other than soup would had been welcome.
Whilst the sandwiches were fresh – they were small sadly. At least the lounge staff were paying attention and topping up things when needed.
Meanwhile, whilst I was using the in-lounge Wi-Fi, TravelPeep was up to shenanigans and trying to convince the 747 to fly it out of here.
With the clock passing 21:20, boarding was finally announced from the lounge – with the plane going from M10. I took my leave of the lounge and headed back into the zoo of a terminal.
Arriving at M10, boarding was in full swing – a good sign we were actually going to go that evening.
With my boarding pass scanned – and no biometric exit required, I headed down the jetway for the waiting Boeing 747 to London.
Next: BA296 to London Heathrow.
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