Airport Sleepers Rate O’Hare World’s Sixth-Worst

Stinky and cramped

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O'Hare is the sixth-worst airport in the world and the third-worst in America, according to readers of the web site Sleeping In Airports.

"I believe it would be easier to sleep in the engine of a plane than to sleep in this place," Derek Blice writes.

At least we're not Paris' Charles de Gaulle.

'The guy at the counter said that he would not speak to us because we had the wrong attitude and he would only speak with the passengers with the right attitude," writes one unhappy flyer there.

"All the terminals were full of homeless people who smelled bad, [and] touched themselves in inappropriate places," wrote another.

O'Hare's reviews weren't quite as bad - though they weren't good.

"The restrooms smelled like a skunk marinated in urine and vomit," writes one O'Hare customer.

"This airport wasn't built to hold the sleepy traveler - and you can tell," writes another.

The web site notes that with increasing travel delays, "Sleeping in airports is no longer just for the young budget traveler looking to save a few bucks."

In fact, it's been that way for a long time.

The Tribune won a Pulitzer in 2000 for a series about the airport that included its take on "Camp O'Hare":

"Everywhere you look there are bodies. Stretched along tables and the conveyor belts of x-ray machines. Curled up on baggage carousels, slumped against walls and draped along benches. There are people slung out on the floor, their faces inches away from swinging feet, and people draped around one another like sculpture, trying to find comfort in the curve of a shoulder or bend of a back," the Tribune reported. "There are almost 6,000 people at O'Hare tonight. They are all supposed to be somewhere else."

And yet, JFK and LAX were deemed even worse than O'Hare by Sleeping In Airports readers.

A piece of advice, then, for the O'Hare flyer.

"O'Hare has a chapel on the second floor above the ticketing area," reviewer KCLibby writes. "I slept on the floor under a pew in there one night. Only one person came in all night, and he did not bother me. It was truly a sanctuary for a weary traveler."

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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