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Terminal 1 vs Terminal 3 experience

Terminal 1 vs Terminal 3 experience

Old Aug 11, 16, 11:10 am
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Terminal 1 vs Terminal 3 experience

I want to be as nice as possible about my observations as someone who flies out of ORD regularly.

Terminal 1:

1. The security takes a minimum of 30 minutes and can take 45-60 minutes pretty easily. The priority line merges with the regular as some kind of sick joke. I feel bad for the people who pay $40 for "priority access"

2. That C concourse is the bane of all airport travel. It was "cool" when it came out but it's just a huge hassle. I clench my teeth when I find my flight is leaving from the C concourse. The extra time to get there is just one part of the issue.

3. The food. At least the B concourse has Wolfgang Puck. The bartender there is great. He will greet you take your order and you'll get your food fast. Then comes C concourse. It's very hard for me to be polite when describing the options there. Does everything there have to be food that will give you diabetes or heart disease? To add insult to injury the utter lackadaisical attitude of everyone on that side will cause people to miss flights. Near the let side gates you have McDonalds, some pizza, some hot dog and some bar. At each of those the staff take their sweet time to ring up orders, stare at the ceiling and take an eternity to acknowledge your presence. At the bar there the bartender pretended to be busy for 10 minutes after which I had to walk out or risk missing my flight. I ended up eating some premade chicken salad on croissant as the healthiest option close to me gate. It was some prepared thing from Maryland that was over salty and disgusting. Why they can't sell something made locally is a mystery.

Terminal 3:

1. Security takes usually less than 20 minutes. Priority is usually even faster. There are multiple actual security points.

2. The layout is one created by a reasonable intelligent human being. There are gates that are further but nothing is at the other end of the world like in terminal 1.

3. The food. This is night and day IMHO. Starting from the food court with frontera, burrito beach and the smoothie place right up the gates there are pretty good options. I try to eat heathy but man that Rocky Mountain chocolate factory is worth the hit for sure. Right by the gate you get healthy options. The bar by the H gates has people who will greet you as soon as you get close. The refrigerated case has all sort of great options like fresh cut fruits or fresh cut pineapple, quinoa salad, three bean salad, artichoke heart pasta salad, lentil salad. You'll be able to get one of those and a drink in 60 seconds and walk to your gate.

The overall experience is so great in comparison to terminal 1 I switched airlines. Terminal 1 is a excercise in frustration and the risk of missing your flight trying to board with something in your stomach is just too high. Granted the United Tapas box beats any AA food hands down but the experience getting to the point is just too unnecessarily harrowing.
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Old Aug 12, 16, 2:26 pm
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Hmmm. Interesting perspective.

Treminal 1 Pre-Check has been very fast of late. Less then 5 minutes.

I find the "trek" to the C concourse is all of 5 minutes. And with the strong Air Conditioning and travelators, I don't mind it a bit. I honestly don't really think of B versus C at O'Hare. They are so quick to reach that it just isn't an issue for me.

And that opens up any food joint at terminal 1 as a realistic option. BTW - Salad Works in C has pretty healthy food. And Beaudevin has some pretty upscale/healthy options in C. Going back to B area - Wicker Park sushi is a standout. Along with Tortas Frontera, which is in both Terminal 1 and 3. Jamba Juice and Smoothie King are in Terminal 1 as well.

Just not seeing such a huge difference in experience that would cause a switch in airlines.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 9:54 am
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Couldn't agree more on all points. T 1 architecturally may be pretty but in reality I think it's terrible. Plus it seems like it is always so hot in the summer from the light coming in the Windows. So uncomfortable especially with how much walking is needed sometimes. T 3 just seems more practical and I know I can make it from end of K to end of H in under 8 minutes. Can't say that for T 1 going under concorse if your on one end of B to one end of C.
Originally Posted by sxr71 View Post
I want to be as nice as possible about my observations as someone who flies out of ORD regularly.

Terminal 1:

1. The security takes a minimum of 30 minutes and can take 45-60 minutes pretty easily. The priority line merges with the regular as some kind of sick joke. I feel bad for the people who pay $40 for "priority access"

2. That C concourse is the bane of all airport travel. It was "cool" when it came out but it's just a huge hassle. I clench my teeth when I find my flight is leaving from the C concourse. The extra time to get there is just one part of the issue.

3. The food. At least the B concourse has Wolfgang Puck. The bartender there is great. He will greet you take your order and you'll get your food fast. Then comes C concourse. It's very hard for me to be polite when describing the options there. Does everything there have to be food that will give you diabetes or heart disease? To add insult to injury the utter lackadaisical attitude of everyone on that side will cause people to miss flights. Near the let side gates you have McDonalds, some pizza, some hot dog and some bar. At each of those the staff take their sweet time to ring up orders, stare at the ceiling and take an eternity to acknowledge your presence. At the bar there the bartender pretended to be busy for 10 minutes after which I had to walk out or risk missing my flight. I ended up eating some premade chicken salad on croissant as the healthiest option close to me gate. It was some prepared thing from Maryland that was over salty and disgusting. Why they can't sell something made locally is a mystery.

Terminal 3:

1. Security takes usually less than 20 minutes. Priority is usually even faster. There are multiple actual security points.

2. The layout is one created by a reasonable intelligent human being. There are gates that are further but nothing is at the other end of the world like in terminal 1.

3. The food. This is night and day IMHO. Starting from the food court with frontera, burrito beach and the smoothie place right up the gates there are pretty good options. I try to eat heathy but man that Rocky Mountain chocolate factory is worth the hit for sure. Right by the gate you get healthy options. The bar by the H gates has people who will greet you as soon as you get close. The refrigerated case has all sort of great options like fresh cut fruits or fresh cut pineapple, quinoa salad, three bean salad, artichoke heart pasta salad, lentil salad. You'll be able to get one of those and a drink in 60 seconds and walk to your gate.

The overall experience is so great in comparison to terminal 1 I switched airlines. Terminal 1 is a excercise in frustration and the risk of missing your flight trying to board with something in your stomach is just too high. Granted the United Tapas box beats any AA food hands down but the experience getting to the point is just too unnecessarily harrowing.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 11:12 am
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Another healthy option: The store near Argo(?) and Starbucks near H1...I think it's called Cibo.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Hmmm. Interesting perspective.

Treminal 1 Pre-Check has been very fast of late. Less then 5 minutes.

I find the "trek" to the C concourse is all of 5 minutes. And with the strong Air Conditioning and travelators, I don't mind it a bit. I honestly don't really think of B versus C at O'Hare. They are so quick to reach that it just isn't an issue for me.

And that opens up any food joint at terminal 1 as a realistic option. BTW - Salad Works in C has pretty healthy food. And Beaudevin has some pretty upscale/healthy options in C. Going back to B area - Wicker Park sushi is a standout. Along with Tortas Frontera, which is in both Terminal 1 and 3. Jamba Juice and Smoothie King are in Terminal 1 as well.

Just not seeing such a huge difference in experience that would cause a switch in airlines.
I completely agree with your last sentence. The food is an odd rant, assuming ORD is the OP's home airport. I rarely eat at ORD unless it's an early morning flight or a lengthy delay.

Other thoughts or questions:

I thought Wicker Park Sushi was only in T2. Where is it in B, I guess I haven't noticed?

On the B vs. C topic...I do have to say, after a late night flight home to ORD, seeing my plane pull up to a middle B gate is a great feeling. If I were only connecting in ORD, it wouldn't be a bother at all though.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 6:05 pm
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I guess Wicker Park is officially in T2, but really in the connector between T1 and T2...just around the corner from the low B gates.

I just don't get the idea that ORD T1 is some type of spread out nightmare. Absent any mobility issues, it is a very quick and easy airport to navigate in a reasonable amount of time. Its not like FRA or something.

Maybe it is a familiarity thing. On checking my stats, I have been through ORD over 350 times now.

Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
Another healthy option: The store near Argo(?) and Starbucks near H1...I think it's called Cibo.
I forgot about Cibo. Pretty sure there is one in the C gates as well. At least a smaller, kiosk one.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
I guess Wicker Park is officially in T2, but really in the connector between T1 and T2...just around the corner from the low B gates.

I just don't get the idea that ORD T1 is some type of spread out nightmare. Absent any mobility issues, it is a very quick and easy airport to navigate in a reasonable amount of time. Its not like FRA or something.

Maybe it is a familiarity thing. On checking my stats, I have been through ORD over 350 times now.



I forgot about Cibo. Pretty sure there is one in the C gates as well. At least a smaller, kiosk one.
The O'Hare website lists Cibo at T2 Main Hall and T3 Gate H1.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 8:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post
The O'Hare website lists Cibo at T2 Main Hall and T3 Gate H1.
Oops. I confused it with Ciao, which is mid-C. I picked up a Turkey sandwich there last week.
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Old Aug 15, 16, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I completely agree with your last sentence. The food is an odd rant, assuming ORD is the OP's home airport. I rarely eat at ORD unless it's an early morning flight or a lengthy delay.
ORD is my home airport, but that doesn't mean I don't care about the food options.

Gone are the days where I would waltz into ORD 35 minutes before my flight. (Those were the days!) I know that on any visit I could get pushed out of the PreCheck line into the regular security lines, meaning I have to get to ORD earlier than I'd like.

Given the lack of food on planes, if I'm taking a longer flight (or know I have a longer drive on the other end) I usually want to pick something up to eat on board. And if I'm traveling for an extended period of time I may not have much to eat at home before departure.

Plus...it is ORD. Which means that half the year we can reasonably expect delays thanks to snow, ice or thunderstorms. The same kinds of weather that can turn a 40 minute trip to the airport into a 75 minute trip to the airport...or not.

ETA: And I don't work or live near River North, so there are times when I'm actually craving good Mexican food, and ORD is the most convenient spot to scratch that itch.
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Old Aug 15, 16, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post

ETA: And I don't work or live near River North, so there are times when I'm actually craving good Mexican food, and ORD is the most convenient spot to scratch that itch.
Lol fair enough. I know you're a Lakeview resident, and it's not the same as Frontera, but my go-to place for a Mexican fix was always El Tapatio on Ashland. Been a while now since I've been there, so I won't vouch for it now. But as I currently am sipping a drink in Vienna, I suddenly got a craving for it .
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Old Aug 15, 16, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Lol fair enough. I know you're a Lakeview resident, and it's not the same as Frontera, but my go-to place for a Mexican fix was always El Tapatio on Ashland. Been a while now since I've been there, so I won't vouch for it now. But as I currently am sipping a drink in Vienna, I suddenly got a craving for it .
Hope you're having a wonderful time in Vienna!

I haven't been to El Tapatio for years. Is it Americanized Mexican or relatively authentic Mexican? Mixteco is another decent option not too far from there. But my Tortas Frontera fix is usually one of the sandwiches. (I know the mister had the chipotle chicken torta before flying out earlier today.)

Pro tip: There's a Tortas Frontera app...order while going through security and you'll have a much shorter wait for your food!
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Old Aug 16, 16, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by bearsfanord View Post
Couldn't agree more on all points. T 1 architecturally may be pretty but in reality I think it's terrible. Plus it seems like it is always so hot in the summer from the light coming in the Windows. So uncomfortable especially with how much walking is needed sometimes. T 3 just seems more practical and I know I can make it from end of K to end of H in under 8 minutes. Can't say that for T 1 going under concorse if your on one end of B to one end of C.
Going from the end of K to the end of G is not much different than going from one end of B to one end of C. At least you have moving sidewalks in the Sky's the Limit tunnel and in part of C.

Food is an odd rant. There is plenty in B/C that is good and healthy, and the connector between T1/T2 is suddenly a nice little spot for good airport food.

Security is probably more of a pain at T1, in general, but not something I'd base an airline decision on. And if you're traveling that frequently, it may just make sense to spring for one of PreCheck/Nexus/Global Entry, depending on your travel patterns.
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Old Aug 16, 16, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
Hope you're having a wonderful time in Vienna!

I haven't been to El Tapatio for years. Is it Americanized Mexican or relatively authentic Mexican? Mixteco is another decent option not too far from there. But my Tortas Frontera fix is usually one of the sandwiches. (I know the mister had the chipotle chicken torta before flying out earlier today.)
I've heard it's changed some, but a few years ago I would have called it relatively authentic. I sent a friend there once before a Cubs game and he loved it. This guy regularly corresponds with Grant Achatz and Stefanie Izard, so at least it's no Taco Bell . I'm guessing it's still pretty good stuff.
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Old Aug 16, 16, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I've heard it's changed some, but a few years ago I would have called it relatively authentic. I sent a friend there once before a Cubs game and he loved it. This guy regularly corresponds with Grant Achatz and Stefanie Izard, so at least it's no Taco Bell . I'm guessing it's still pretty good stuff.
Thanks for the tip...I'll give it another try!
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Old Aug 17, 16, 4:09 am
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Originally Posted by gobluetwo View Post
Going from the end of K to the end of G is not much different than going from one end of B to one end of C. At least you have moving sidewalks in the Sky's the Limit tunnel and in part of C.

Food is an odd rant. There is plenty in B/C that is good and healthy, and the connector between T1/T2 is suddenly a nice little spot for good airport food.

Security is probably more of a pain at T1, in general, but not something I'd base an airline decision on. And if you're traveling that frequently, it may just make sense to spring for one of PreCheck/Nexus/Global Entry, depending on your travel patterns.
Just FYI - The moving sidewalks are gone from C. They took them all out...I think last year.

Agree the connector T1/T2 is a good spot, and easy to get to.
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