I had to catch a connecting flight at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and hat about a 2 hour window until my next flight. I checked my Priority Pass for any lounges at this airport and found two but both located at Terminal 5, the International Terminal of the airport. I decided to go for the Air France – KLM Lounge instead of the Swissport Lounge.
I decided to give it a shot and took the train to Terminal 5. I boarded at Terminal 3, that’s where I arrived and will catch the flight connection. Getting there took me maybe 15 minutes from walking to the train until I arrived at the Terminal. Since I was flying First Class, I was able to use the priority lane at the security checkpoint. Now I have to tell you, this was the worst security checkpoint I ever experienced. Super mega slow, none of the TSA agents cared and some of them just walked around staring at the growing queue before the scanners and didn’t do anything besides that. One TSA agent forced people to put their shoes on the conveyor belt and not inside the bins and if they don’t comply he would call the CDC. I don’t know what the Center for Disease Control has to do with where you put your shoes, but he obviously did. Now finally I made it through the scanner and now they wanted to check my carry ons. The screening agent put it aside for an agent to check it. Usually I have no problems flying with my carry on and nobody ever wants to open it, but OK, I understand it’s the International Terminal and safety first…
Now my bag just sat there and no agent came to check it. I was getting angry because I wanted to enjoy the lounge a bit before I have to head back to my terminal, where I have to clear security again. Finally a TSA agent came and took it to pad it down and give it the extra check. Once I cleared security it was a quick walk to the Lounge.
Location and hours of operation
After you clear security turn right and the lounge will be on your left hand side prior to Gate M7. The lounge is easy to miss and I walked right past it. The Swissport lounge was more obvious, the door to the Air France – KLM Lounge looked more like an “employee only door”. On your way to the Air France – KLM Lounge you will pass the Swissport Lounge. The lounge is located also on your left hand side between the Gates M7 and M8.
The Air France – KLM Lounge is open daily from 8:30 am until 9:30 pm.
According to Priority Pass website only travelers departing from Terminal 5 can access the lounge. I tried my luck with my American Airlines ticket, which will actually depart from Terminal 3. Since American Airlines also has flights departing from this Terminal the agent seemed to be ok with it and let me enjoy the lounge after signing the slip for Priority Pass. Maybe also the First Class ticket made a difference.
You can try your luck, but be warned if they deny access to the lounge. For lounge access rules you can also check Air France website.
Inside you have quite a lot of seating possibilities all along a glass front to have a good look at the Tarmac. The amenities like newspapers, magazines, snacks and drinks are located on your right hand side after you enter. If you look for some desks to work and setup your laptop nicely, make a right turn after you enter the lounge.
Due to the time I had to waste at the security checkpoint, I didn’t have a lot of time to actually enjoy the lounge and relax. I grabbed some snacks and something to drink. Service was pretty slow during my visit. Only one staff member at the check-in counter and the other one was restocking the snacks and drinks. There were a couple of uncleaned tables. Everything is self-service.