Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Runways at Chicago O’Hare
One of the first things you’ll notice about Chicago O’Hare International Airport is that the facility contains 7 runways. If you enjoy watching planes landing and taking off, you’ll have no shortage of entertainment while you wait for your own flight. The longest runway at the airport measures over 13,000 feet in length, while the shortest is only about 7,500 feet long. Some runways are longer than others to support planes that need more speed to properly take off. The planes reach speeds of over 160 miles per hour as they reach the end of the longest runway at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport serves more customers than most other airports in the world. As the 2011 flight data shows, the airport boasted over 66 million customers. That number placed the airport as the number 4 airport in the world for travel density. The busiest times at the airport are in the early morning and the early evening, and you’ll find packed lines wherever you go inside the gigantic airport. The vast reaches of the airport cover over 7,000 acres in Chicago, and the incredible size of the place allows for plenty of workers to find jobs when they need them.
Before the airport was named O’Hare International Airport, the location was named Orchard Place/Douglas Field. The prairie lands purchased by the War Production Board of the United States of America in 1942 were called Orchard Place. The land featured nearly 1,800 acres of unused land, and this was a perfect amount for harboring large military aircraft. Douglas C-54 planes, produced during World War II, occupied Orchard Place, which led to the naming of the airport. The modern airport is named after Lieutenant Commander Edward “Butch” O’Hare, a Navy pilot who destroyed numerous enemy planes in defense of the USS Lexington before being shot down.
Service at O’Hare
Business Traveler magazine has awarded Chicago O’Hare International Airport as the best airport in North America for more than a decade. Despite incredible loads of traffic, tons of people, and crammed runways, the airport never seems to lose functionality. A person flying into O’Hare can reasonably expect to have their flights arrive and depart on time, their luggage to be properly taken care of, and a pleasant flight while on board the plane itself. The airport has been as efficient as any airport in the world considering the 66 million passengers that pass through each year.
The airport, located just 20 miles outside of downtown Chicago, connects easily with busses, trains, and driving car routes to and from the city. The highways and train routes to and from the airport transport passengers with ease. The roads are smooth and offer painless driving despite the high volumes of traffic they serve each day. Trains depart from downtown Chicago stations and arrive at the airport in a timely manner effortlessly each day. Even if you don’t travel often, you won’t have any problems finding the airport or your terminal at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. An enjoyable flight awaits you on your trip.
Airlines Serving O’Hare
United Airlines carries the most people through O’Hare Airport, accounting for 45% of passengers. United’s Chicago hub is in Terminal 1, flying most frequently to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Top international destinations include London, Toronto, and the recently launched nonstop service to Beijing. O’Hare is United’s second largest hub in the country. Sharing space with United in Terminal 1 are All Nippon and Lufthansa, whose top destinations from O’Hare are Tokyo and Frankfurt, respectively.
Delta is the main carrier operating out of Terminal 2, which runs flights to New York, Detroit, Minneapolis and Atlanta. Terminal 2 also houses US Airways, which offers service to Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Phoenix. Air Canada bases its Chicago operation in Terminal 2, flying to Toronto and Montreal.
American Airlines is the second most active carrier at O’Hare, basing its operation in Terminal 3, where American and its partners control most of the 80 gates. O’Hare is American’s second largest hub, serving all major US destinations. American’s top international destinations from O’Hare include London, Tokyo, and Cancun. Terminal 3 also contains Spirit Airlines, flying to Boston, New York, and Fort Lauderdale, among others. Virgin America runs flights out of Terminal 3 to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Jet Blue has a limited presence, offering flights only to New York and Boston.
Terminal 5 is the international concourse, housing many non-US based carriers. Northern European destinations include service to Dublin from Aer Lingus, flights to London from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and daily routes to Copenhagen and Stockholm from Scandinavian Air. Rounding out the European offerings are KLM’s service to Amsterdam and LOT Polish Airways’s busy route from O’Hare to Warsaw. Aeromexico is another busy airline at O’Hare, shuttling passengers to Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Cancun. There are several major Asian airlines in Terminal 5 as well, the most busy routes being Air India’s service to Delhi, flights to Seoul from Korean Air and service to Istanbul from Turkish Airlines.