Review: Air France Lounge Chicago ORD, Priority Pass

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Seating by Window

 

This Review of the Air France Lounge, Chicago O'Hare (a Priority Pass Lounge) in ORD Terminal 5, is from our recent visit prior to an international flight. In addition to serving Business Class passengers on Air France and KLM flights, the lounge serves passengers on Aeromexico, Air India, Alitalia, Cayman Airways, China Eastern, Delta, Emirates, Ethiopian, Etihad, EVA Air, Finnair, Icelandair, Korean Air, LOT Polish, and Royal Jordanian flights.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Terminal 5 Entrance

 

Air France Lounge Chicago ORD Terminal 5 Location, Access and Hours

The Air France Lounge is located in Terminal 5, Chicago O'Hare's international terminal, after security, near gate M7. The lounge is open 8:15am-9:30pm Monday and Saturday, and 8:15am-midnight Tuesday-Friday and Sunday.

Business Class passengers flying Air France, KLM, SkyTeam airlines and the airlines above, which have contracted with the lounge, have access.

Priority Pass members also have lounge access, but it's more restricted: maximum 3 hour stay, and it can be restricted between 5-8pm daily due to high lounge occupancy by business class passengers. I also witnessed Priority Pass members being refused access even earlier, around 2:45pm, due to high lounge occupancy. One of them was so irate he demanded the lounge receptionist's name, to file a complaint.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago-Reception Check-in

 

Air France Lounge Chicago Amenities

There's lounge seating in a couple of rooms. The one to the right of the reception, across from the buffet, has several round tables that seat 4, along with some tables for two, along the window. There's some additional armchair seating in the back.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Seating and Buffet

 

There's also a room to the left of reception that has work desk seating and armchairs, although it was very dim and not well lit.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Seating-Power Outlet

 

The free WiFi, powered by Boingo, was quite fast during the several hours I worked in the lounge.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago-WiFi by Boingo

 

I do have to give props to the lounge for its quite good and eclectic music selection. Songs during my visit included OneRepublic's “Apologize,” Adele's “Someone Like You,” the Eagles “Hotel California” and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” among others.

Unfortunately, this lounge has no restrooms and no shower room, so you'll need to use Terminal 5 toilets that are on the left before entering the lounge.

 

Air France Lounge Chicago Food and Drink

Low expectations are key when it comes to Chicago ORD lounges. I'm not sure why Chicago O'Hare hasn't managed to have better lounges and airport amenities, but don't expect too much.

That said, we made a decent, if forgettable lunch from chicken sandwiches from the refrigerator (I like that the sandwiches were kept there–keeps them fresher) and some black bean couscous salad.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago-Chilled Drinks-Sandwiches

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Food-Chicken Sandwich

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Food-Turkey and Brie Sandwich

 

I also had some corn chowder that was quite poor.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Food-Corn Chowder Soup

 

When we arrived at about 2pm, the two hot items, some kind of fried rice, and a drunken noodle dish, were very picked over, so we didn't bother with them. Don't count on this lounge for hot food, since these dishes weren't replenished for the rest of the afternoon.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago-Hot Buffet-Drunken Noodles

 

My son had some packaged cheddar cheese, and we shared a Kind granola bar.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Food-Cheddar Cheese

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago Food-Kind Granola Bar

 

There were apples, as well as potato chips, instant soup, and similar snacks on offer.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago-Apples-Spirits

 

Drinks included sodas in the refrigerator, Heineken, wines, spirits, coffee and tea.

Review-Air France Lounge Chicago-Heineken-Wines

 

The Verdict

The Air France Lounge in Chicago O'Hare Terminal 5 is reportedly one of the better business class lounges in the terminal, but don't expect too much. It was crowded the entire afternoon we were there, with a number of would-be Priority Pass customers turned away.

Food was primarily a cold buffet; the chicken sandwiches seemed best of the two types we tried. Apples, cheddar cheese and Kind granola bars are also a good bet.

There are no restrooms in the lounge, so you'll need to use the ones in the terminal.

The best aspects of the lounge during our visit were the fast WiFi and the service, which promptly cleared away trash and used items, and even announced departures (probably also in order to help with lounge turnover), which isn't that typical for lounges in the U.S.

If you've recently visited the Air France Lounge in Chicago Terminal 5, what was your experience?

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