Let me start with the fact that this post, for city dwellers, may be a mega eye-roll worthy post. I get that. But also understand for much of the rest of the USA travel always begins with a car and in the Midwest that is generally the way it is. Or is it?
- Way lower price than South Bend SBN – think half most trips
- Real jets vs. CRJ200 torture tubes
- Sweet upgrade chances as a Diamond
- A real Sky Club with fantastic Delta people working there
- Many more flight choices if things go sideways
Despite all these sweet perks I tended to avoid the windy city just west of my hometown mostly due to traffic and the added cost of tolls and gas and painful parking fees.
Well I finally decided to follow the advice of many readers to simply go to the South Bend airport but NOT get on a jet (very strange) but to instead get on a train.
I have to say the South Shore has a simple app that makes buying a ticket quick and simple and all you do is tap the ticket once aboard when the conductor comes by. Slick and efficient.
Now as for comfort? Well, if this train were packed full the ride would make a CRJ200 feel modern and nice.
Same goes for your luggage if it is oversized at all – that is, you will be taking up seat space. Not an issue if few are on-board like my ride. Oh and the advertised wifi did not work but my Sprint 4G was just fine so…
Beyond those gripes the ride was nice for an older train. We got to Chicago in about the same time it would take to drive but for way less than the cost of driving.
After arriving in Chicago I did have to exit and walk a few blocks to the Blue Line and pay a few buck to ride out to ORD (included in my total at the top of this post). Now this ride I did like VERY much.
Not really due to the comfort of this subway itself but due to the fact that we shot past the stop – N – go traffic I normally found myself stuck in that makes me crazy. Oh and the fact that I could take my time and gaze up at jets on final into O’Hare is always a real treat for an AVgeek like me.
Overall it was a real eye opener for me that, while not really a time saver vs. driving myself, this choice to get from home to an airport that has so many perks over my local one is one to seriously consider. Even in the dead of winter to not have to drive in the snow (despite the few block walk once I hit Chicago) is also worth a serious look.
You tell me. From where you live is a train / bus / whatever an option for you vs. driving or are you so remote that there is no option? Do you prefer to always just drive to have your own car or is mass transit always the choice for you? Let me know what has worked and not worked for you! – Rene