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Flight Review: Air Choice One, Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Burlington, Iowa (BRL)

Flight Review: Air Choice One, Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Burlington, Iowa (BRL)

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Old Mar 29, 19, 6:28 pm
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Flight Review: Air Choice One, Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Burlington, Iowa (BRL)

After a recent move to the Chicago area, I started to feel excited about different airlines and routes to try, albeit departing mostly from the less-than-pleasant - if very convenient by public transit - O'Hareport.

Enter, St. Louis, Missouri-based Air Choice One. They're a small regional carrier with focus cities set as Minneapolis and Chicago, and fly throughout the Midwest and a small part of the Southeastern US. Their fleet consists of Cessna 208 Caravans' and Beechcraft 1900s', with both being propeller aircraft. Best of all, their customer service is top notch. Paula, Lexie, Dorothy, and Kimberly were all very proactive and eager to help work around my confusing schedule. Kudos to all of them!

Now, let's get on with the (air)show!

At Chicago O'Hare, Air Choice One check-in is close to security checkpoint 9 at Terminal 3:



Check-in was fast, and the folks had to weigh each passenger to determine where to seat them on the 9-seat Cessna 208 Caravan:

As you can see, there was no jetbridge leading to the flight; however, I appreciated this as it allowed for better shots.

To Burlington, Iowa, the flight took roughly 1.5 hours. Along the way, we passed by this marvel of western Illinois:

By marvel, I really have no idea what I mean. Perhaps it's a relic from the days of Forgottonia?

As you might imagine, Burlington's airport felt like the complete opposite of O'Hare- relaxed, one small terminal building, and very close to downtown.

For those history buffs, Burlington was officially founded in 1833, and was the first capital of what became Iowa Territory. With an excellent location right on a Mississippi River bend, it was a major steamboat and train depot. It is also widely believed that Iowa's nickname "The Hawkeye State" came from a local resident. More recently, Burlington was the site of the US's first Aldi supermarket.

I had a few hours before my flight back - and I stress that both flights were on-time, in spite of them both involving the behemoth O'Hare - so I decided to wander around Burlington--

This downtown street is called Snake Alley, arguably one of the crookedest roads in the world. Eat your heart out, Lombard Street.

From the city center, I wandered down South Main Street, which runs parallel to the Mississippi River and its two iconic bridges towards leafy Crapo Park, known for its diverse collection of trees. Lunch was at The Buffalo Tavern, where I enjoyed a state-specialty, a pork tenderloin sandwich, and Davenport, Iowa's Front Street Cherry Blonde ale.

The airport was a short walk from the park, and I had already checked-in that morning. The flight back took roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes, offering quality views of the US's top skyline (the New Yorker in me gives deference to their skyline; their pizza, however is another story) as we u-turned over Lake Michigan for our sunset approach to Chicago.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 4:55 am
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Enjoyed reading this...much different than most reports that are posted!
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Old Mar 30, 19, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post

To Burlington, Iowa, the flight took roughly 1.5 hours. Along the way, we passed by this marvel of western Illinois:

By marvel, I really have no idea what I mean. Perhaps it's a relic from the days of Forgottonia?
That's the Tevatron at Fermilab - and it could definitely be considered a marvel (although I wouldn't consider Batavia Western Illinois ). It was the largest particle accelerator in the world until the Large Hadron Collider came online.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 1:25 pm
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Thanks, I enjoyed this report! Happy landings!
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Old Mar 31, 19, 12:26 pm
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Thanks for your replies, everyone! (Have any of you heard of Air Choice One?)

Interesting to find out about the particle accelerator...also, Batavia specifically interests me if only because it was Jakarta's former name!
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Old Apr 6, 19, 5:55 pm
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Nice change of pace in the TR department! Always enjoy seeing reports on these small regionals Is that Snake Alley actually driveable or is it pedestrian only?
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Old Apr 9, 19, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by WesternCDN View Post
Nice change of pace in the TR department! Always enjoy seeing reports on these small regionals Is that Snake Alley actually driveable or is it pedestrian only?
Thanks, WesternCDN!

It waa blocked off to traffic on my visit, but considering the lack of cars downtown anyway, there’s probably no reason to have it open!
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