A Ku Indeed!

Chicago O’Hare is not Good

Posted in Life by Chris on June 10, 2008

Many years ago I promised myself never to fly through Chicago O’Hare airport. The place is an utter disaster. If a stray cloud passes over the airport, everything gets backed up for hours. It’s a joke, and it baffles me why a place with common bad weather would serve as a major airport hub.

Well, this was the first time I actually had to fly to Chicago, so there was no escape. I had to enter the Twilight Zone of airports, the vortex into which people go and never return. So I crossed my fingers and…

…had the worst experience ever. And it was a direct flight there and back! The progression of events:

1. 3pm flight out of Chicago delayed to 8pm.

2. 8pm flight delayed to 11:30pm.

3. Flight boards just as a major thunderstorm front moves in.

4. Just as the plane descends into the airport we’re flying to (Fayetteville, AR), the pilot announces that there are too many storm clouds, so he diverts the plane to Memphis.

5. We land at 2am.

6. The airport is empty with the exception of a United supervisor who is completely overwhelmed by the situation and has no idea what to do. The crew leaves.

7. At about 5am, we get booked into a hotel as they talk about “putting us on a bus” to Fayetteville (6 hours away).

8. We call the next morning and get a 8pm flight to Fayetteville.

9. We arrive in Fayetteville at 9:30pm, about 35 hours later than scheduled — and all that for a flight distance of about 1 1/2 hours. It’s a hop-skip and a jump of of a flight!

It was so much worse than that — but that’s the main story. All I wanted to get out was one main truth: I hate Chicago O’Hare.

Anyone else out there have any airport horror stories? Any particular ones about Chicago?


3 Responses

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  1. Swad said, on June 10, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Yeah, O’Hare is o’horrible. Sadly it’s the only way to get home. Midway is supposed to be really nice and relatively delay-free, but it’s only for budget airlines. Were you intentionally going to AR or was that some part of a crazy flight to SGF?

  2. Manyul Im said, on June 10, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Chris; I was starting to feel very bad for you. Then I read the previous post and couldn’t really get myself to feel that bad. What a great concert experience! You can’t enjoy your life that well without the forces of nature conspiring to bring you back down to earth–literally!

    When will you be out our way in CT for Virtue Ethics and Chinese Philosophy Summer Camp?

  3. Chris said, on June 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm


    Intentionally going to AR (we left our daughter with Christie’s sister in Fayetteville). Budget airlines don’t bother me, by the way, next time I have to go to Chicago, I’m all about Midway airport.


    Perhaps there was some universal scale-balancing going on — all that fun had to be evened out in some way. I’d hate to have been responsible for any rips in spacetime or anything due to the presence of too much unbalanced-out fun. Given the fact that we’re all still here safe and sound, O’Hare fulfilled it’s function well!

    I’m arriving at camp on July 5th, tent, lantern and copy of the Analects in hand. I’m looking forward to it — and to meeting some of you folks that up until now I only know “virtually”!

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