Now that O'Hare's runway 10R/28L has opened, travelers on flights unlucky enough to land on the new tarmac have reason to be unhappy:
The normal taxi route from new runway 10 Right to the gate follows parts of three taxiways to wind around one runway instead of crossing over it, which would create potential collision risks.
But the taxi route then requires a turn to directly cross a different runway — staying behind planes that are taking off on that runway — followed by another turn, and then another runway to cross over, and a little more taxiing until reaching the core of the airport, where a left or right turn is required, depending on what concourse the plane is assigned.
When American Flight 1333 finally reached the fork in the taxiway requiring a left or right turn near the terminal core, a right turn onto taxiway Bravo would have taken the plane directly to its gate in Terminal 3 on the south end of the terminal buildings. But the Chicago Department of Aviation had closed a portion of Bravo because of Lima Lima construction, said FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro.
So the plane had to hang a left and taxi clockwise all the way around the terminals to reach Gate K5 at the south end of the terminal complex, Molinaro said.
City aviation spokesman Owen Kilmer said short-term pain will lead to "long-term benefits for passengers, including reduced taxi times and a more efficient process for aircraft landing at O'Hare.''
I'm still 2½ hours from landing...I just hope I'm not 3 hours from the gate. (Probably not, as flights from San Francisco tend to use the north corridors and land runway 9L/27R.)