Airport Convenience Dictated What Airline I Flew

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 01:22 PM with 2 comments

On a recent trip I flew United Airlines out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. When I checked in online, a message on my boarding pass said I could use a dedicated bag check counter to skip the normal e-ticket check-in. Sweet! When I did so, I asked the attendant at the counter how long this service has been in place, and she said almost 2 years.

Then it hit me – I had not flown in or out of O’Hare for well over a year, if not longer. All of my flying had been out of Midway Airport, Chicago’s second, smaller airport.

And let me add more convenient, which was the real reason. With reconstruction of the Blue Line subway to the airport slowing down service, the further distance outside of the city plus how ginormous O’Hare is, Midway’s small size, 20 minute trip from downtown Chicago by the Orange Line subway not to mention streamlined security and better food and retail offerings makes Midway my preferred choice.

So why then was I flying out of O’Hare? AirTran Airlines “discontinued” for several months a direct flight I took many times in the last few years, and as there was no other direct flight from Midway, I was forced to fly through O’Hare, where I could get a direct flight. Maybe forced is too harsh of a term, as my experience with United was all-around good and the staff and crew were all pleasant, and the extra legroom in Economy Plus was more than worth the extra $29.

This is something I will observe more as I make more purchasing decisions, and as I offer my own products and services to clients and potential clients.

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