Taking the Longer Way Home with American Airlines and Finnair
Another Chicago Adventure
In this trip
- So. Keeping it original for autumn, aren’t we?
- Off to Heathrow in the dead of the night
- Terminal 3 Lounges… And more delays
- American Airlines AA99 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare (Main Cabin)
- In the USA, Candlewood Suites O’Hare
- TRAVEL PLUS: Fooding around Chicago
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Airplane Art Extra – from the 10th Floor of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- TRAVEL PLUS: The Art Institute, Chicago
- Back to O’Hare, Air France/KLM Lounge
- Finnair AY010 Chicago O’Hare to Helsinki Vantaa
- A Helsinki Layover
- Finnair AY1335 Helsinki Vantaa to London Heathrow
- To the Coach
- Sometimes, it’s about the journey
So, keeping the trips original then?
Believe it or not, it is rather hard to keep the London to Chicago run that I do twice a year original. But occasionally – it is possible. If I like it or not is – of course – another matter.
With it time for me to see my friends in the Windy City, I was holding out for a British Airways/American Airlines sale. Mainly, as I like to save a few pennies – but also you never know what routes can pop out when you push the booking engines a little.
Early on, the American Airlines site had a few tasty routes one which would route me back via Madrid, whilst another that would route me back through Helsinki.
Whilst I didn’t need the tier points any more, the point of this is to keep me sane (or insane) when travelling, as well as notching up a few extra Avios on the way.
And since I’m not in a rush to be anywhere when I get home – I could afford to take my time.
In the end – and as usual – I was waiting around office politics to play out – so I could book my trip. By that point – the Finnair trip had vanished off the AA Site – leaving the Madrid option, or something via Charlotte.
I wasn’t exactly keen on that – mainly as the transit time was around an hour – and you need more than that to enjoy Madrid airport (least of all, there’s an excellent lounge, but the transit security can be a royal pain if you’re pressed for time). As for Charlotte, whilst I would like to check the museum that’s there – the American Airlines A330’s you get there have seen… better days (like most of the legacy AA/US Fleet).
I tried a multi-city booking on the AA site – it hated the idea of it. On the BA site – it let me book the ticket without a care in the world.
With it costing around £14 more than going via Charlotte or Madrid – I took this as an acceptable compromise at £414.
Ticket in hand, it was time to check on hotels.
And it seems Chicago has gone down the line of most cities I’ve visited this year – where the local language for” hotel room prices” is “open thy wallet and scream”.
So, I decided to get what I what looked passable for a one night stay in a crash pad – which would be the Candlewood Suites in Schiller Park, near O’Hare for the first night of the trip.
It could be worse in terms of hotels in the area – trust me.
Thankfully, my normal residence of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare would be available for the rest of the stay.
Finally, I would need a coach to get me back and forth to London – as work is going to demand I stay till the last minute to ensure a smooth handover. Therefore – National Express to the rescue again (along with a handy staff discount on that web site makes it more… bearable. Not a lot – but a bit more bearable).
So, there we are. We have another trip all organised to the USA. And even a map too… as we all like maps.
What chaos awaits? Let’s find out…
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