We arrived at O’Hare shortly before 22h00 for our 00h20 departure. After working all day and feverishly finishing projects at work, I had to finish packing and finalize a few things around the house. I didn’t eat dinner as I was waiting to experience the meal and service onboard.
EVA doesn’t have a lounge at O’Hare, they use the Air France lounge. The lounges in the international terminal at O’Hare are awful – at least the ones I’ve been to. They are small, crowded and have very subpar amenities. I’ve visited the lounges for Air France, Swiss and the contract / Priority Pass Swissport lounge. These are basically the same. A friend described the Air France Lounge like a Nabisco Factory Outlet. Now, I do enjoy Oreos from time to time, but that’s not lounge fare.
The International Terminal (T5) has had some major upgrades in recent years. The restaurant options have really improved, including the addition of Hub 51, Big Bowl and Tortas Fronteras, restaurants that have their roots in Chicago proper and aren’t just airport options. Unfortunately most places were closed at this time of night…even though Turkish, Asiana and EVA all had 777s going out, plus smaller flights to Mexico leaving around that same time too.
We ended up grabbing an enormous beer at Hub 51 and splitting a small order of French Fries. The friends we are traveling with left two hours before us, on Turkish. We were living vicariously through them as they shared the business seats, the menu and the wine list. I have never flown Turkish, but it is on my list.
After the beers we visited the Air France lounge – I wanted a glass of bubbles and a French newspaper….neither of which they had. So I settled on some grocery store wine (it costs $9 at Jewel in Chicago…I know because it still makes the end of night rotation at home from time to time). We left on St. Patrick’s Day and from the lounge we saw this Irish Beauty staring back at us.
We headed off to the gate 5 minutes before scheduled boarding and found that Business was already fully boarded and the economy line was stretching through the terminal. We boarded through door 2L. I’ve been looking forward to this flight for a long time. EVA Air’s Royal Laurel Business class comes highly recommended.