they also book trips to places that U.S.
travel agents won 't touch, such as
O'Hare is northwest of the city pr oper,
about a 25- to 30-minute driv e fr om
downtown, depending, of course, on the
traffic. A cab ride into the city will cost
you about $30 to $35. You can also ask the
taxi-stand attendant to arrange a shar ed
ride for you, which will cost about $15 per
For $1.75, you can take the El (vernac-
ular for the elev ated train), which will
efficiently get you downtown in about 40
minutes, regardless of traffic. Trains leave
every 6 to 10 minutes during the day, and
every half-hour in the ev ening and o ver-
night. O'Hare also has outposts for ev ery
major car-r ental company (see “G etting
Around,” later in this chapter, for details).
O'Hare has information booths in all
five terminals, most located on the bag-
gage lev el. The multilingual personnel,
who are outfitted in r ed jackets, can assist
travelers with ev erything fr om arranging
ground transportation to getting informa-
tion about local hotels. The booths also
offer a plethora of useful tourism br o-
chures. The booths, labeled airpor t
informa tion, ar e open daily from 9am to
On the opposite end of the city , the
southwest side, is Chicago 's other major
airport, Midway ( & 773/838-0600 ). A
new terminal has eased considerable
• S earch the I nternet for cheap far es.
Great last-minute deals ar e av ailable
through free weekly e-mail services pro-
vided dir ectly b y the airlines. Web-
sites such as Frommers.com (www .
frommers.com), Travelocity (www .
travelocity.com), Expedia (www .
expedia.com), Qixo (www .qixo.com),
and Orbitz (www .orbitz.com) allo w
consumers to comparison-shop for air-
fares, access special bargains, book
flights, and r eserve hotel r ooms and
• Join a trav el club such as Moment's
Notice ( & 718/234-6295; www .
moments-notice.com) or Travelers
Advantage ( & 877/259-2691; www .
travelersadvantage.com), which supply
unsold tickets at discounted prices. You
pay an annual membership fee to get
the club's hot line number . Of course,
you're limited to what's available, so you
have to be flexible.
• J oin frequent-flier clubs. I t's best to
accrue miles on one pr ogram, so y ou
can rack up free flights and achieve elite
status faster. But it makes sense to open
as many accounts as possible, no matter
how seldom you fly a particular airline.
It's free, and you'll get the best choice of
seats, faster response to phone inquiries,
and prompter service if your luggage is
stolen, if y our flight is canceled or
delayed, or if y ou want to change y our
crowding pr oblems and expanded the
selection of r
estaurants and shops.
Although it 's smaller than O'H are and
fewer airlines have routes here, Midway is
closer to the Loop and you may be able to
get a cheaper far e flying into this airpor t.
(Always check far es flying into both air-
ports if y ou want to find the best deal.)
The E l O range Line extends to M idway,
so y ou can make it do wntown in about
half an hour for $1.75. Please note that the
Orange Line stops operating each night at
about 11:30pm and r esumes ser vice b y
5am. Trains leave the station every 6 to 15
minutes. Most major car-rental companies
have counters at Midway as well.
The one experience most Chicago visitors
share is O'Hare I nternational Airpor t
( & 773/686-2200 ). O'H are has long
battled with A tlanta's H artsfield for the
title of the world 's busiest airpor t. The
airport reigns as a major hub for making
connections worldwide. O'H are has its
own police force, zip code, medical center,
cemetery, and chapel.