Swissport Lounge – ORD

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The Swissport Lounge at Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5 is an independent club operated by global lounge provider Swissport. It is not to be confused with the SWISS lounge, the Switzerland flag carrier’s club, located in the immediate vicinity by gate M9. The Swissport Lounge is contracted by a few airlines including Emirates, and also functions as a pay-in facility.

Swissport Lounge - Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

Swissport Lounge – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

Swissport Lounge design

At Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5, real estate is at a premium. There are essentially two types of lounges: those by the gates are narrow but benefit from windows, while those across the hallway are typically larger but dark. The Swissport Lounge is of the latter type, but at least it does feature a bathroom (complete with Toto washlets), an amenity that is rare enough at Terminal 5 lounges to be mentioned.

The Swissport Lounge designers have done a good job working with the lack of daylight, creating an East-meet-West, Asian with a touch of Scandinavian décor, which allies simplicity, modernity and elegance. Globe lamps highlight the wood surfaces and warm tones; the vibe is cozy and relaxing.

Physically, the lounge is mainly a square room with an open seating area and a buffet, flanked by a business center and a smaller seating area. The main zone features restaurant style booths, glass round dining tables, and comfortable chairs throughout. Unfortunately power outlets are sorely lacking in the main seating area, but they can be found in the business center, where six private cubicles are available (but no shared computers.)

Swissport Lounge - Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

Swissport Lounge – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

Swissport Lounge amenities

The food and beverage selection is limited. Food consists mostly of snacks and instant noodles, though a (very plain) garden salad is also offered. A variety of soft drinks is available, plus individual small bottles of wine and a basic collection of liqueurs and spirits. Highlights include Grey Goose vodka, Polish beer Tyskie (catering LOT Polish Airlines’ passengers), and a Starbucks espresso machine.

Other amenities include a selection of magazines (to read within the lounge) as well as a small open bag storage area behind the reception desk.

Swissport Lounge bottom line

Overall, the amenities of the Swissport Lounge at Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5 are in line with our expectations from a contract lounge serving domestic flights: it features all the basics, from comfortable seating to free Wi-Fi and alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, Terminal 5 serves international flights exclusively. Emirates passengers especially are in for a shock, considering the high standards of the airline’s own lounges worldwide. Simply put, the Swissport Lounge is a nice place to sit, but by all means arrive at the airport as late as possible and skip it.

The pluses
  • The décor and private booths.
The minuses
  • The absence of windows and daylight.
  • The limited food options.
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