O'Hare@50: For the Traveler

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Pres. John F. Kennedy Dedicating of O'Hare International Airport

The O’Hare International Airport is an extremely complex and information-rich environment. Sooner or later, we all find ourselves looking for information on flights, access, amenities, etc., in order to navigate O’Hare as efficiently as possible. Here are some resources that will help travelers – or everyone else – find most of the information we all normally need, as well as, some unique resources.

General Airport Information
  • The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) breathtaking website is a must for flight information and general information on getting to and from the airport by public transportation, rental cars, taxis and ... bicycles! Useful information about parking is presented as well as the really useful interactive map of O’Hare terminals which is a must for those with time to spare.
  • The Orbitz Airports site for O’Hare delivers the goods in a straightforward fashion and it can be considered as complementary to the CDA site. Orbitz’s front page presents concise information on airport flight status (which on a stormy day kept changing on the fly), plus a very nice live traffic map showing accidents, construction, delays, etc., on local highways.
  • For the frequent (or armchair) flyer a must-have resource is FlightStats, a global flight status tracker and airport information source. The amount of information provided on flights and airports is broad and granular. Take a look at what they have for O’Hare and then go to the “Tracker” tab, to see all the incoming/outgoing flights.
To & From
  • Like the O’Hare International Airport, another icon of Chicago’s transportation is the ‘L’. As probably all rapid transit systems in the world, it is not perfect and people either hate it or love it. However, there is no denying that the ‘L’ is an economical, scenic and somewhat cool way to get to and from the airport, if you have the time. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line website provides comprehensive information on how to get to/from O’Hare. The more specific O’Hare Blue Line station may come in handy when trying to figure out where is it that you need to go once at the airport. Finally, more general information about the CTA and its services can be found here.
  • If driving, a local traffic information source is WBBM, an institution on traffic information in the Chicago area.
Weather
  • Weather is always a big part of life in Chicago. Even though the sites above have some weather-related information, it is better to relay on more authoritative sources. For Chicago weather there is no other than WGN-TV.
  • Now, if you are not from the area or like your weather information a little more generic, then there is the always reliable The Weather Channel, with its O’Hare-specific page.