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Friday Fun: Plane Spotting at O’Hare

Friday Fun is a weekly (or whatever Fridays I feel like writing) “anything goes” post on Life Chicago.

For our inaugural Friday Fun post, we’ll be doing some plane spotting at O’Hare. Unfortunately, this was a spur of the moment sort of thing, so it won’t have fantastic views of take-offs and landings (soon though, soon). Instead, we’re going to kick things off with a look at some planes passing through Terminal 5, noting the routes they were (probably) flying.

It’s a stinker that it was a cloudy day, but I still enjoy Terminal 5. In the late afternoon. So many people getting ready for their overnight flights, and planes from all over the world hanging out…

These are ranked by “How Much I Would Like To Walk Right On That Plane” starting with the destination I’m most interested in…

British Airways 294

Aircraft: B747-400
Destination: London, United Kingdom (LHR)
Flight Duration: 7h 38m

I love London. This flight is in a 747. And it’s under 8 hours. This is an easy pick.

Ethiopian 511

Aircraft: B787-800
Destination: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADD)
Flight Duration: 13h 30m

This flight has always appealed to me. I have very little Africa travel experience, Ethiopian’s 787s look pretty cool, and you can find pretty good availability in business class booking with miles.

All Nippon 11

Aircraft: B777-300ER
Destination: Tokyo, Japan (NRT)
Flight Duration: 12h 47m

I’ve been to Tokyo, but I really need to go back. Last time I was mostly consumed by Tokyo Disney Resort and the Tokyo Marathon. I’d love to have more time for the city. Also, this flight has decent award availability in business class.

Air New Zealand 27

Aircraft: B787-900
Destination: Aukland, New Zealand (AKL)
Flight Duration: 16h 51m

Like I’m gonna turn down 17 hours in a plane. That sounds awesome, and I’d get a new country off my list.

Swiss 7

Aircraft: A330-300
Destination: Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)
Flight Duration: 8h 18m

I haven’t been to Switzerland, so knocking a new country off my list is appealing.

KLM 612

Aircraft: B747-400
Destination: Amsterdam, The Netherlands (AMS)
Flight Duration: 8h 00m

I enjoyed Amsterdam, so I’d be happy to return, especially on a 747.

Qatar 726

Aircraft: B777-300ER
Destination: Doha, Qatar (DOH)
Flight Duration: 13h 51m

Doha would actually be new to me, but I’ve been to a few other major Middle Eastern cities. I’d also prefer the relations between Qatar and its neighboring countries stabilize, given the number of stamps in my passport.

2023 Update! We did make it to Qatar! We flew Qatar Airways Economy from Delhi to Doha and then Qatar Airways Qsuite in the 777 from DOH to JFK.

SAS 946

Aircraft: A330-300
Destination: Stockholm, Sweden
Flight Duration: 8h 56m

I haven’t been to Stockholm, but I have been to Sweden (and also to neighboring Norway). I’m not in a huge rush to get back.

Royal Jordanian 264

Aircraft: B787-800
Destination: Amman, Jordan (AMM)
Flight Duration: 12h 02m

So, I’ve spent a small amount of time in Jordan, and it was good. But I’ve experienced the major tourist attraction there–Petra–so I’m in no rush to go back.

Austrian 66

Aircraft: B767-300
Destination: Vienna, Austria (VIE)
Flight Duration: 9h 20m

I’m not a fan of Vienna, although I do enjoy nearby Bratislava.

Emirates 236

Aircraft: B777-300ER
Destination: Dubai, UAE (DXB)
Flight Duration: 13h 30m

With multiple visits to Dubai under my belt, I’m fine skipping this one in the near future. I actually like it much more than Vienna, but I’d rather give Vienna another chance rather than head back to Dubai.

Etihad 150

Aircraft: B777-300ER
Destination: Abu Dhabi, UAE (AUH)
Flight Duration: 13h 51m

Another one I’ve spent some time in. Abu Dhabi has the amazing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque…but not much else other than a bus to Dubai.

Happy Friday!