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What is the best transportation from the airport?

Tracie

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Dec 6, 2010
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Last year was my first year going to conference & really my first time traveling by plane as an adult, especially alone. I went by shuttle from my hotel to the airport but I'm wondering about the other means of transportation.
Does anyone take the train? I have heard it is cheap. Suggestions?

I will be going from Midway to Embassy Suites - Downtown.
 

pcsharon1

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Oct 17, 2008
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I haven't been to conference in the last couple of years but when I went three years ago I used the train and it was fabulous. Going from the airport to downtown was easier than getting back because they were doing some work on the tracks about that time, but I still made it without any trouble. Just had to walk a little further than I wanted to. I would suggest it. It was cheap and easy.
 

cookingwithlove

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Oct 28, 2004
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I take the El. I get in at 10:30 am. It is cheap and easy. If you don't mind public trans. Otherwise you have the Go shuttle or taxi's.
 

Chef Kearns

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Feb 8, 2005
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The train is the cheapest, easiest way to get to the conference hotels. They are easy to use and the perfect way to get from the airport to the hotels and back.
 

esavvymom

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Sep 8, 2008
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Those of you who take the train....how close can you get to the hotel(s)? (Embassy, Sheraton). How do you get from the train station closest to the hotel then?

For me, I come in from the suburbs because my in-laws are there, so we travel to see them before/after. I ride in as far as the Metra line takes me (Ogilve station). I then get on a Water Taxi and take that to Michigan Ave from which I then get off and walk the last couple of blocks.

If it were ME, if a train didn't drop me at the door, and I had a shuttle option from airport directly to hotel, I'd take it! I don't have that option, and taxi cabs sometimes can be scary! (I swear, they TRY to hit pedestrians every time I am in them....)
 

wadesgirl

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Jul 25, 2007
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Those of you who take the train....how close can you get to the hotel(s)? (Embassy, Sheraton). How do you get from the train station closest to the hotel then?

For me, I come in from the suburbs because my in-laws are there, so we travel to see them before/after. I ride in as far as the Metra line takes me (Ogilve station). I then get on a Water Taxi and take that to Michigan Ave from which I then get off and walk the last couple of blocks.

If it were ME, if a train didn't drop me at the door, and I had a shuttle option from airport directly to hotel, I'd take it! I don't have that option, and taxi cabs sometimes can be scary! (I swear, they TRY to hit pedestrians every time I am in them....)

DH thought our taxi driving in Toronto was bad, I told him he hasn't taken a taxi in Chicago before!
 

chefa

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Jul 21, 2009
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We always take the Airport Express shuttle to and from the Sheraton; they run every 30 minutes and we've always found the drivers to be very friendly and courteous. Haven't had any crazy drivers that I can recall.
 

pcsharon1

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Oct 17, 2008
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I believe the nearest station is about 2-3 blocks. I remember walking what seemed like a long way simply because I didn't know where I was going except that I was heading east toward the water. It wasn't that far though.
 

NooraK

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Feb 6, 2008
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Those of you who take the train....how close can you get to the hotel(s)? (Embassy, Sheraton). How do you get from the train station closest to the hotel then?

Check out CTA's website: Deprecated Browser Error. You can put in your starting point and your destination and it will tell you which train to take, where to switch (if you need to), and where to get off.

I've done it twice. Once it dropped me off right at the hotel, the second time I had to walk a couple of blocks.

Just make sure you have some singles and quarters to pay your fare. The machine will not give change, and you don't want to have to buy a weekly pass because you put in $20 or someting.
 

esavvymom

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Sep 8, 2008
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We always take the Airport Express shuttle to and from the Sheraton; they run every 30 minutes and we've always found the drivers to be very friendly and courteous. Haven't had any crazy drivers that I can recall.

A shuttle driver, vs a TAXI driver- two different worlds. ;)
The last time I was brave enough to get in one, I swear, a pedestrian was in the road we were traveling on and the driver HIT THE GAS and accelerated quickly! The light wasn't changing or anything. He wasn't the only driver we've had that happen with or some other crazy story. Since then and because I now have smaller children who would have no protection in a crazy cab :D, we stick to water-taxis when we can (which is 90% of the time), or we walk. :)
 

flemings99

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Jun 27, 2007
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We've always done the cab. With 4 of us it ends up around $5 each. Yes, they drive a little crazy for what I'm used to here but figure it's all part of the experience. My former Dir. had a crazy story of the subway and lugging her bags..trying to get them through the turn-style and so on. Pass on that for me. :)

Last year we took the shuttle from McCormick back, which worked out nicely. Couple yrs. ago it was a nightmare waiting on a taxi there, but think they fixed that last year.
 

Tracie

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Dec 6, 2010
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Thanks for all the info. I'm going to look into the train. I remember having to wait FOREVER for our shuttle to the airport last year. They were having some problems. Luckily my flight wasn't leaving too early.
Plus I think the shuttle was close to $20 (one way)
 

Chef Bobby

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Feb 1, 2007
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I took the subway twice from the airport to the Hilton. It's great for the price but a very long walk to the subway terminal and you need to make sure you have your bearings when you get off. My first time I walked the wrong way for about an hour around 1am. No fun.
 

Melissa78

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May 10, 2009
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We used the airports shuttle as we fly in with several people. Super easy, driving was easy and it dropped me off and picked me up at the door. No hoofing it with luggage in the heat. Just my choice. The humidity last year about killed me and the thought of dragging luggage even a few blocks, makes my wallet open to spend a few more dollars for convenience. Its all your personal preference.
 

Ginger428

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Mar 6, 2006
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We used the airports shuttle as we fly in with several people. Super easy, driving was easy and it dropped me off and picked me up at the door. No hoofing it with luggage in the heat. Just my choice. The humidity last year about killed me and the thought of dragging luggage even a few blocks, makes my wallet open to spend a few more dollars for convenience. Its all your personal preference.

We also fly in with alot of people & last year the shuttle line was around the block, I was taking a cab anyway & asked if anyone wanted to share. Four of us were at the hotel way before the shuttles & it came out to 10.00 a piece, so going home we did the same thing :D
 

Chef Bobby

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Feb 1, 2007
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I tried to talk my wife out of it, but she has to have a rental car. Besides the rental cost, it's going to cost us about $30 a day just to park it at the hotel. This will be my most expensive conference.
 

Melissa78

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May 10, 2009
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We also fly in with alot of people & last year the shuttle line was around the block, I was taking a cab anyway & asked if anyone wanted to share. Four of us were at the hotel way before the shuttles & it came out to 10.00 a piece, so going home we did the same thing :D

Good thought as it was $50 for the one gal last year who took a taxi by herself as her flights were delayed. We went in early last year for conference so there was no line. We got right in a van and away we went! Prob depends on arrival date and time. This year we are Wednesday early afternoon - might make a difference vs last year.

Thanks again for the idea!
 

lt1jane

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Sep 9, 2010
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here's a thought, hail those Yellow Taxis. :) We might just see someone here on Cash Cab Chicago :D Wouldn't that be fun? ;)
 

Ginger428

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Good thought as it was $50 for the one gal last year who took a taxi by herself as her flights were delayed. We went in early last year for conference so there was no line. We got right in a van and away we went! Prob depends on arrival date and time. This year we are Wednesday early afternoon - might make a difference vs last year.

Thanks again for the idea!

Were coming in early afternoon on Wed. also. And the 10.00 each was including the tip! :D
 

Sheila

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Mar 26, 2008
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I'm planning to take the subway. I figured if I can do the Tokyo subway where many of the stops do not even have Engrish (that's how they say English :p) on the maps, then I can handle Chicago!!!

Noora, thanks for the tip to have change! I so totally wouldn't have thought of that since I'm accustomed to the Tokyo machines giving change back! :eek:

Bobby, we wives are good for helping you spend money, huh? (((hugs)))

Jane, that would be funny! :D
 

NooraK

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Feb 6, 2008
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Noora, thanks for the tip to have change! I so totally wouldn't have thought of that since I'm accustomed to the Tokyo machines giving change back! :eek:

I learned the hard way my first time around. There is a small donut shop right there, though, so I bought a soda...
 

esavvymom

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Sep 8, 2008
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Sheila, except in Chicago- it's not called the Subway. I believe you have the "L" (overhead trains mostly), and the Metra.

Just do your best to not look like a tourist folks! Chicago has had some issues with "violent flash mobs" lately and teenagers/young-folk have been acting out violently, beating people up for no reason (I saw one report where they pulled people out of a cab in front of a hotel). So if you are traveling after dark, or by yourself, try not to stand out. Be careful. They aren't doing it necessarily to rob folks either, but that's ALWAYS a concern when you look like a tourist. :) This is Chicago. A great city, but a city with not-very-nice people just the same. Have your maps, know your route/streets at least a little bit, and if you can get door-to-door service that's better! Pay the extra $$ if you have to. Walking around at 1am on the streets is not a great idea by yourself with luggage (a.k.a. TARGET-on your back). Have your cell phone and wallet stuffed into a front pocket or around your body somehow that someone can't easily get to it or knock it off. If they steal your bag, you at least have your stuff on you still.

Not to be a downer, just a realist. ;)
 
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