Layover in Chicago

Hey I hope everyone is doing great. I am so excited for a flight I have coming up on Tuesday. I’m flying from San Salvador to Houston, Houston to Chicago, and finally from Chicago to Philadelphia. I have a 12 hour layover in Chicago from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. . I wanted to ask all you AVGeeks your opinion on what I should do. Should I rent a hotel room to watch the air traffic, or is there a good place in the airport where I can go and watch the planes instead of a hotel? Thank you and I plan on posting some pictures on my way.

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There is probably a hotel that you could spot from (if you haven’t booked yet).

I would suggest staying in your hotel room and not risk catching the virus, but I’m not your doctor.

It really comes down to what you want.

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Aight so from personal experience at spotting at ORD I recommend going to Scott Street or Schiller Park for spotting. Those are the two best spots, and if I’m not mistaken at the park there are restaurants:)

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I’d recommend a hotel room. There’s not much you can do from 9pm to 6am. Past 6 am you could spot.

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Yeah the only problem is, my flight is at 9 so probably from 6 on I’ll be heading back into the airport and getting ready you know?

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You can still spot in the airport. I’m sure there’s also hotels very close to ORD. It’s just a matter of what you feel or want to do

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There is a good holiday Inn express in Rosemont that is right behind runway 27R/L which gives you some great views of departing or arriving traffic. But Chicago has so much more to offer, I suggest going out to see the city, it’s beautiful.

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Thank you, yeah I’ve always wanted to see the City Line next to Lake Michigan. In movies I see those concrete sidewalk like structures that go out into the lake that you can look back on to the city. I think that would be awesome to see. I don’t know if they exist in real life

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I think you are referring to Navy pier, it definitely exists, although I’m not sure that it is not currently open do to COVID-19.

Dang it. Well thank you for the advice anyway. Yeah all I know about Chicago is from “Shameless” haha

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@Tyler_Barley brooo I totally recommend going in a bike ride by the Lake Michigan coast. It’s right off the city so you get some pretty nice views. You can also fish in Lake Michigan! It’s suck a nice city to explore imo

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I’m sorry to say that because of your hours in Chicago you wont see much action, at night mainly cargo flights are the only departures/arrivals into O’Hare.
But once you are there in the morning i recommend going to Terminal 3 down by gate L10 to get a pretty clear shot of the international terminal (T5) for Terminal spotting. Over there you’ll see some heavy aircraft.

And btw, go get some Garretts Popcorn in the airport… Best in Chicago… Thank me later;)

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The cargo airplanes at O’Hare are cool. They mostly fly over my house at 6000 and it’s a beauty to see. If you’re lucky you can see the daily atlas air 74

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Yea i was there recently and saw alot of the cargo 74’s. I also saw a 787:)
Chicago is the best

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You could always stay in a lounge. Cheaper then a hotel ;)

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I doubt a lounge would be open because of the pandemic

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True True, didn’t think about that…

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Thank you, I think I’m going to take this suggestion. It would be awesome to see some heavies

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At ORD, there’s usually great traffic to spot around 5-7 am. Like the early ANA and JAL 77Ws from NRT and HND. Along with plenty of CRJs, 737s, and A320s. A good location may be on top of the Dave and Busters parking garage. But i would suggest a hotel room. Best times though for spotting is 9pm - 10pm. And 5am - 7am. Then board your flight.

Or, what i would do to save troubles is to explore the airport terminals, T1, T3, and T5 has the best. T5 has all the international airlines so that’s the best spot.

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Much appreciated.

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