After leaving the Polaris Lounge in Terminal 1, I made my way to the International Terminal at O’hare, T5. No one was in the Business Class queue for check in, and the only hiccup I had was that I couldn’t remember if my last trip to Europe was within the past 6 months. Since I couldn’t answer, they just let me go.
The Security line was immense – full of dozens of college students heading off to Europe for Spring Break. It reminded me of my first international trip – to Europe for Spring Break. I skipped the line, thanks to the Business Class Boarding Pass. This time, I didn’t have to go through the nude-o-scope, just a standard metal detector. It was basically like Pre-Check, except I had to take off my shoes.
I was through Security and on my way to the Swiss International Lounge – Austrian uses this as their lounge for Business Class and Star Gold Passengers. I’ve visited this lounge before and I’m disappointed in it for sure.
This lounge is pretty small, always crowded and surprisingly hot. For some reason the sun just bakes in on this lounge and makes it so steamy. This time, the lounge was basically standing room only. As I walked through, the stars aligned and a lady stood up to leave, so I grabbed her seat (well, the seat she was sitting in, I didn’t grab her butt).
The lounge was full of people on the Austrian flight as well as people waiting for the SAS Lounge to open. I saw a couple of people waiting for the Turkish flight (leaves around 22h00) and even a family on EVA (00h20 departure). It was packed. I couldn’t snap any photos of the food spread because people were leaning against the serving areas. I wasn’t in the mood for any mediocre lounge food but I did want a drink.
The wine options are pretty rough. They serve Mirassou Pinot Noir a d Chardonnay. I don’t loathe this wine, but it sells at the grocery store for $8 a bottle. We will serve it at a dinner party….at the end of the night when everyone is drunk with destroyed taste buds. It’s not something I wanted to drink at 16h00 in the afternoon. I did grab a glass of Pinot though. There were not bottles of bubbles to be found.
I grabbed a small ramekin of gummy bears, that because of the heat in the lounge were quite soft, nearly melty. They were pretty damn tasty, I must say.
I bolted from the lounge after I finished my snack – I was too hot and just generally uncomfortable. I visit the lounge to relax and escape the mayhem of the general airport chaos. This lounge provider none of the benefits I was seeking.
Each time I return to this lounge I am expecting a big improvement and I am consistently disappointed. O’hare really needs to up the lounge options in T5. That being said, I have never visited the British Lounge, but the Swiss and Air France lounges are utterly abysmal. Where do you hang out when you have time to kill at T5?