Everyone who travels has their favorite airports–and their least-favorite ones, too–and in fact while I was in Detroit I had a discussion with a friend who was highly opinionated about both categories.

On her least-favorite list? Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. She said that in her experience she has found that every airport employee at O’Hare is extremely unhelpful and downright rude, and she had some other grumbles as well. Her opinion took me by surprise because I happen to like O’Hare very much, and it’s not just because it’s one of my two hometown airports (the other being Midway).

One of the best things about traveling via O’Hare is the scenery inside the airport. It’s more than the massive variety of shops and restaurants. I love the public art you can find as you walk from one terminal to another. The city of Chicago is chock-full of public art displays and the airport is an extension of that.

Almost everyone who has flown out of Terminal 1 at O’Hare is familiar with this “rainbow corridor”. The space itself, between Concourses B and C, was designed by architect Helmut Jahn and the kinetic light sculpture overhead–composed of 466 neon tubes and 23,600 square feet of mirror–is a piece called “The Sky’s The Limit” by Michael Hayden.

O'Hare rainbow tunnel

I take photos while I’m on the moving sidewalk every single time I move through that area, on the quest for the perfect picture. I haven’t captured it yet but I’m getting closer.

Yesterday when I was walking from my gate at Terminal 2 to baggage claim at Terminal 1, my initial feelings of “Darn you, United!” while shaking my fist at the sky (because it was a long walk and I was tired) were replaced by city pride as I enjoyed the public art display in the windows, provided by some talented Chicago teenagers.

Chicago airport art

O’Hare actually has information on its website about all of the public art on display. Check it out here, and then tell me about YOUR favorite airport!


  • Kari

    Ooh good topic!
    First, I don’t hate Ohare but I am not a fan of how busy it can be.
    But I will say, that aside from airline staff there, I have always had nothing but friendly people help me.

  • Shannon

    I’ve never had any complaints about O’Hare. I actually like it better than Midway. I guess I would say that Atlanta Airport is my least favorite.

  • Grandma W

    I love O’Hara the art is outstanding and the people watching can’t be beat. Our small airport is just that.
    Maybe that was just a bad day for her.
    Love Grandma W

  • Lizz

    Atlanta is my current fave, but only because Leila (@DontSpkWhinese) and i made some ridiculous videos with all of the travelators there last year, and it was a blast.
    I don’t have strong feelings about airports in general.

  • Connie Burke

    Ha – still laughing over the fact I thought your crazy lights pic was OUR tunnel at DTW! Did you happen to walk though it? Crazy, man.
    So good to see you again – I was following along for the rest of your adventures. Thx for taking me along 🙂