Sleigh Service From O’Hare Airport Cancelled This Christmas!

Santa recommends travelers consider alternative modes of ground transportation when arriving and departing from Chicago O’Hare this year.

Due to the rising cost of reindeer kibble, it appears Santa is suspending all sleigh rides to and from O’Hare airport this Christmas. According to “Mr. Jolly” himself, “Having eight reindeer to feed plus the overall cost of keeping the toy shop running, I just don’t have the resources to offer free sleigh rides to holiday travelers this year.” Therefore, Santa is recommending airport dwellers consider alternative methods such as O’Hare Airport limousine services, taxis, or shuttles to get to and from their destinations.

While there is no place like home for the holidays, travel during the Christmas season can be stressful with all the hustle and bustle. Consider this…O’Hare Airport is the third busiest airport in the world. In 2010, over 66 million passengers passed through O’Hare alone. Therefore, with all those people needing to get from the airport to their destination the thought of getting to Aunt Edna’s in time for the carving of the turkey seem like an overwhelming feat. However, the good news is there is hope!

When flying into O’Hare Airport you have a variety of ground transportation options available to you. The most common and cost-effective modes of transportation include taxis, airport shared-ride shuttles, and O’Hare Airport limousines. Below is some high-level information on each to help you make an informed decision about what is the best option for you.

Taxis

Taxi service can be a very efficient and convenient way of traveling. At O’Hare airport you will find a cabstand located outside of baggage claim where travelers can wait in line for the next available taxi. One of the advantages of traveling by taxi is that after a long flight you can sit back and let the driver get you to your destination with few worries. However, the downside to cabs is that they charge on a metered basis, which can truly add up – especially when you’re sitting in busy holiday traffic. Additionally, given O’Hare’s increased traveler headcount during the Christmas season, there is no guarantee a cab will be readily available after you have picked up your entire luggage. Therefore, you may find yourself standing in line in cold temperatures for quite a while waiting for the next taxi to arrive – and some cab companies charge a waiting time for passengers if you call ahead. The average cost of a taxi ride from O’Hare Airport to Downtown Chicago is around $40 plus tip. However, be aware that this does not factor the additional costs added in if you run into traffic.

Shared-Ride Shuttles

Shared-Ride shuttles are typically small passenger vans that transport travelers to and from their destinations within the greater city area. The biggest advantage of shuttles is that they typically cost less than a taxi or limousine. Additionally, shuttles operate on a fixed rate, therefore you pay the same regardless of whether or not you get stuck in traffic. Be aware however that shuttles do charge per person, so if you’re traveling with a family the rate can be as much as $51 for three people. The chief complaint of shuttles is that you are sharing the ride with other passengers which could mean that if you are the first to be picked up you may have to wait through several stops until your ride is done picking up people, leaving you little control over how long it takes you to get to your destination.

Limousines

While there are many misconceptions out there that limousines are the most expensive option for traveling, the truth is that because limos charge a fixed rate and they do not charge per passenger, often times it can actually be cheaper than a taxi. Traveling by an O’Hare Airport limousine is also a hassle-free and expedient alternative because by the time you arrive at the airport your driver is waiting for you and there is no standing in line. Additionally, because they charge on a flat rate, you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. Regardless of the traffic you may incur you will not be charged extra. However, the main reason some travelers opt out of limousine service is because limos can be more expensive. On average, the cost of taking a Chicago limousine service from Downtown to O’Hare Airport is around $50 – $55 plus tip.

Regardless of which mode of transportation you choose, remember to always do your research before traveling. You should shop around for rates, schedules, and potential hidden costs that unfortunately some unscrupulous companies like to tack on. Additionally, when doing your travel planning weigh out the pros and cons of what is most important to you such as timeliness and convenience. Any advance planning can take a lot of stress off you and it can mean the difference of arriving in time to open presents versus scraping the punch bowl for the last drop of eggnog.