As one of the busiest airports in the world, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with a layover at O’Hare International Airport sooner or later, especially if you’re a frequent flier. O’Hare is also a massive airport, making the notion of a layover that much more daunting. But you don’t have to lose your mind during the wait if you have a plan in place.
OML Worldwide has more than 60 years of experience providing transportation for travelers flying out of O’Hare. Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about navigating the airport with ease. Should you find yourself stuck with a long layover at O’Hare, we hope you’ll find our tips helpful.
GET OUT OF THE AIRPORT IN A TIMELY FASHION
For a layover that is several hours long, it may be more expedient to just get out of the airport altogether. If you decide to leave O’Hare for the duration of your layover, there are a few options:
+ Take the airport shuttle. Locate the bus or shuttle pickup closest to your terminal. Shuttle platforms can be found in the various parking structures throughout the airport. Although O’Hare’s shuttle system can be convenient, it often comes at a confusing cost.
+ Get a cab. Cabs can be a source of frustration for a busy traveler, especially one who is trying to get out of the airport quickly. And if you’re traveling during rush hour, the chances of getting a cab are slim. Plus, an experienced driver is not always guaranteed.
The best option for getting out of O’Hare quickly and making the most use of your layover is professional airport transportation. OML Worldwide has been handling transportation for clients at O’Hare for more than 60 years. We know the airport and Chicagoland like the backs of our hands, and we can pick you up and deliver you to your destination in a timely fashion.
OML’s chauffeurs double as local experts who know how to navigate Chicago quickly and easily. We will help you spend more of your layover seeing Chicago and less of it scrambling to get out of O’Hare.
WHERE TO EAT
If your layover at O’Hare isn’t long enough to warrant leaving altogether, you’ll need to find ways to kill time. What better way to do that than by posting up at a restaurant or café? Whether you’d like table service, a quick cup of coffee, a pint of beer, or a quick snack, you can find it at O’Hare restaurants.
+ Stanley’s Blackhawks Kitchen & Tap: At Stanley’s, you’ll find table service, a variety of beers, and plenty of great dishes to nosh on. The crowd-pleasing menu includes plenty of comfort food items, like chicken pot pie, meatloaf, pulled pork, burgers, and more. Stanley’s is located in Terminal 2.
+ Tuscany Restaurant: If you’re on the hunt for a tasty espresso, cappuccino, or latte, Tuscany Restaurant is your O’Hare layover oasis. The menu includes an excellent selection of classic Italian dishes, like panini, pasta, chicken parmesan, and pizza, plus a great list of wine, beer, and cocktails. Tuscany Restaurant is located in Terminal 1.
+ Starbucks Coffee: The ultimate stop for coffee drinks you know and love. There are Starbucks located in Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
+ Goose Island Beer Company: Why not grab a local brew while you wait? Goose Island’s menu is stocked with salads, flatbreads, panini, and a great selection of beer, as well as breakfast items. Goose Island Beer Company is located in Terminals 2 and 3.
EXPLORE O’HARE’S AMENITIES
Over the years, O’Hare has added a number of amenities to make airport travel more comfortable. A long layover is a perfect way to take advantage of these amenities.
Travelers can visit the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel to rest in between flights. It’s located directly across from Terminals 1, 2, and 3, and is within walking distance via underground walkways. The hotel also provides convenient access to the CTA Blue Line, making downtown easily accessible.
O’Hare also has a Yoga Room that offers travelers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the airport. A wall-mounted TV screen displays yoga techniques, and mats are provided. A screen located outside of the room shows flight information. Stretch, relax, and meditate in the oasis of a calm, quiet studio. The Yoga Room is located on the Mezzanine Level of the Terminal 3 Rotunda and is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Or, check out O’Hare’s Aeroponic Garden — this first of it’s kind at any airport in the world. Aeroponic gardening is a method of plant-growing that doesn’t use soil. Plants roots are misted with a nutrient solution and are suspended in 26 towers that are home to more than 1,000 planting spots. The garden is also fertilizer- and chemical-free. Plus the garden produces fresh herbs and vegetables used in many of O’Hare’s restaurants. Tortas Frontera, Wicker Park Sushi, Wolfgang Puck, and Tuscany Café are just a few of the restaurants that use produce from the Aeroponic Garden.
Armed with the right information, you’ll be able to make your layover at O’Hare a little more bearable. If your layover is long enough, find a reliable way out. If not, just make yourself at home at a great restaurant or take advantage of the airport’s amenities. Whatever your predicament, it doesn’t have to be miserable.
Here’s to a better experience at O’Hare next time you fly in.
image: Nick Harris via Flickr
*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and has since been updated for accuracy.