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Ask Chicagoist: ORD Terminal Mystery?

By Thales Exoo in Miscellaneous on Sep 27, 2007 8:24PM

2007_09_askterminals.jpgDear Ask Chicagoist,

I noticed recently that O'Hare has Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 5. What's up with Terminal 4? It's a bit creepy riding the Train from terminal to terminal when it skips a number.



Dear Creeped,

Don't worry, you won't get sucked into an airport nightmare straight out of some horror movie or another, where the planes are always delayed, children scream in your ear, there's nothing to eat but greasy $7 sandwiches and you can't find a power outlet for your laptop to save your life. Although it being missing does kind of remind us of Platform Nine and Three Quarters.

Terminal 4 just isn't being used for actual aircraft right now. It used to be the international terminal, pre-Terminal 5 days -- so from 1984 to 1993. If you were flying overseas, you'd have to take a shuttle bus from Terminal 4 to your plane. Now things are much more streamlined and modern with Terminal 5. Since the old Terminal 4 was "on the ground floor of the main parking garage," currently O'Hare uses the terminal for ground transportation -- CTA buses, hotel shuttles, etc. It's more or less the CTA transportation depot. Below that is the CTA Blue Line stop you've undoubtedly visited before.

It's likely not that we've retired Terminal 4, either. Once more terminals are built, O'Hare will likely use the number again.

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