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A question about ORD that can't be answered

A question about ORD that can't be answered

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Old Apr 16, 19, 9:35 pm
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A question about ORD that can't be answered

I say that it can't be answered because I know there are lots of factors that can change things. But here goes...

What side of the plane is best to sit on for city views of Chicago when departing? I will be flying ORD - DFW on AA.

I've never been to Chicago and with the short flight, I may opt for a window seat as opposed to my usual aisle.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 5:14 am
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My suggestion would be to look at Google Maps to see where the airport (and in particular the runways) are located in relation to the downtown. That should reveal the answer that gives you the best chance.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by theshaun View Post
I say that it can't be answered because I know there are lots of factors that can change things. But here goes...

What side of the plane is best to sit on for city views of Chicago when departing? I will be flying ORD - DFW on AA.

I've never been to Chicago and with the short flight, I may opt for a window seat as opposed to my usual aisle.
Facing forward, the left side (an "A" seat) though the chances of seeing the city are not all that good. Flights, more often than not, take off to the west and a flight to DFW would turn left to the southwest. Flights taking off to the east would give you a better chance of seeing the city. Again, after takeoff, expect an immediate right turn to the southwest.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 7:16 am
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Are you already in Chicago? If not, you'll have a much better chance of seeing the city when landing at ORD. On many days, in many cases, you'll go out over Lake Michigan, then land heading west, and the flight will go just north of downtown. On those landings, sitting on the left side of the plane will give you a great view. It's not a guarantee, but I'd estimate that about 75% of my flights follow that over-the-lake path to land.

It's not very often that I can see the city on takeoff.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 5:00 pm
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I'm not there yet, but my inbound flight is a longer one and will take an aisle as is my preference.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 7:06 pm
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Originally Posted by theshaun View Post
I say that it can't be answered because I know there are lots of factors that can change things. But here goes...

What side of the plane is best to sit on for city views of Chicago when departing? I will be flying ORD - DFW on AA.

I've never been to Chicago and with the short flight, I may opt for a window seat as opposed to my usual aisle.
Departing ORD, generally left side windows.

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Old Apr 17, 19, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by lo2e View Post
My suggestion would be to look at Google Maps to see where the airport (and in particular the runways) are located in relation to the downtown. That should reveal the answer that gives you the best chance.
How is this a helpful response if OP doesn't know the usual pattern of arrival departures?
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Old Apr 18, 19, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by theshaun View Post
I'm not there yet, but my inbound flight is a longer one and will take an aisle as is my preference.
Well, then I think your likelihood of seeing the city close up is low. The airport is NW of the city. Going to DFW, you'll most likely take off to the west, maybe north, then turn left to go do DFW (which of course is SW of Chicago). That means you'll most likely never be closer than 16 miles from the city. You might see it on the left hand side after the turn but at that point you might be well over 20 miles away.

I fly to IAH often, and DFW occasionally. I can't remember a time that we've taken off toward the city. Good luck though!
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Old Apr 18, 19, 12:41 pm
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Look up your flight number on Flightaware, and check out the route map. I know it isn't always the same depending on weather and ATC, but may give you a better idea of which way the plane will land and/or depart ORD.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by DavidDTW View Post
Look up your flight number on Flightaware, and check out the route map. I know it isn't always the same depending on weather and ATC, but may give you a better idea of which way the plane will land and/or depart ORD.
The most common field operation at ORD is east to west though in the summer it's less dominant. The OP's best chance of seeing the city is to sit in an "A" seat on his/her flight into Chicago. The most common approach is from over Lake Michigan, passing a little to the north of downtown.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 4:59 pm
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I came in from the west (Asia) and had a great view of Chicago while sitting on the right of the plane.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
I came in from the west (Asia) and had a great view of Chicago while sitting on the right of the plane.
There's a landing route where you get to ORD, then turn Southeast, go by MDW, turn and head back to land NW. Typically I'll see this if I'm coming from Florida, but of course it's possible at other times.

As others (and I) have said though, the most common landing is to go out over the lake then turn back north of downtown, so you'd want to be on the left side.

Also to note, if you come straight in from the west without circling, you won't see the city at all, although the pilots probably will.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 2:52 pm
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When I have flown from Seattle to Chicago I recall seeing downtown from a distance on the left side of the plane.

that plane was delayed due to TS that were over ohrllbut on approach I saw the lightning from the clouds across Lake Michigan.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 3:19 am
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Taken from LHS whilst coming into ORD on our recent flight.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 4:40 pm
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That's Midway, not O'Hare!

Great pic though!
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