Sorry but this is purely for my own peace of mind and probably not relevant to anyone else on site so forgive me!

I am flying to Chicago next weekend with American Airlines (767) and as per usual getting the jitters.

I am of the belief that forewarned is forearmed so the question is....I've seen quite a few comments on various sites that coming into Chicago (over Lake Michigan I assume) is a touch bumpy.

Is this right? If I know its possible then I'll be ready for it and have my wits about me. Coming into JFK in January the pilot went out over the water then turned right into the path to the airport which meant that there were (I assume) a mix of wind direction so it was seriously bumpy.

Thanks in advance.


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Sorry to say Jo that your knowledge of meteorology wouldn't get you an A grade...although I do understand ow these misunderstandings arise.

Don't worry about these things...they are of no operational significance whatsoever...and that's from a pilot. Spend you time thinking about having a good holiday.


ps Regarding the routing into JFK the pilot doesn't 'choose' the route...they're all laid down for each runway.

Firstly thank you for the reply and I'm more than honoured that I'm your first!

It makes a huge difference to me getting replies from people who have been to where I'm visiting and even more so from a pilot. In my mind I always assume that Keith is playing my plane - ridiculous I know but it gives me an air of safety and comfort - although I think that next weekend you'll be getting the upgrade to Captain. That'll teach Keith to mock to my weather skills :)

I'm super excited about the trip and in a weird little way actually looking forward to the flight. I am much better with long haul flights - obviously because of the size of the plane but I also get more settled with all my goodies compared to a 2hr flight to Spain on a little plane.

If you have advice or recommendations about Chicago I would be more than grateful as this is my first trip.

Thanks again and welcome to the forum.

Jo x
As long as you don’t mind sharing the salary with Cpt Keith then feel free to take on the role of co-pilot. I suppose I’ll feel super safe too having both of you up front! I must admit now I’m getting a bit better at this flying lark I’m gutted that I can’t get to actually go into the cockpit like before 9/11. I think that would be my final hurdle and would put things into a completely different perspective being able to see it as you do.

As for your comment about crossing the Atlantic 3 times last week you have honestly have no idea how reassuring that is. For someone who doesn’t like flying you tend to cling to the bad flight and assume that every flight will be bad (I had a rubbish flight from Menorca last summer and assumed that my NYC one in January would be the same) but knowing that you’ve done 6 trips and been fine makes an enormous difference. That one comment alone has given me a huge boost.

I’ll bring some cheesecake back to Manchester and promise to eat it whilst typing up my flight experience on the forum when I get back. I’d send it on to you but hey our postage service won’t get it there in one piece so it’d be rude to waste it.

Is there some cake going?


ps Captains have never been known to share money!
Hi Jo

Just read your post - you're so lucky flying off to Chicago - it's a great city! I was there last year in May and again this year in July and will going again in the future due to my husbands job. On my last trip both landing in Chicago and taking off from Chicago were very smooth for me. It was very smooth as we flew down over Lake Michigan - the view of Mackinac Island at the North end of the lake was so beautiful and the view of Chicago as you fly in is amazing - it's such a beautiful city. I did get a bit nervous on the flight on the way home (just due to my own silly irrational worries) and I had a chat with a stewardess who was very kind and helpful - I felt better almost immediately and was able to relax for the rest of the flight - even sleep - to my husband's amazement.

My favourite Chicago things: Take the riverboat architecture tour; spend plenty of time shopping on the Magnificent Mile; take a speedboat tour on Lake Michigan in the evening - the skyline is astounding! eat at the Frontera Grill (N Clark St) - amazing and authentic Mexican food - get there early to grab a table! Spend an afternoon strolling around the Chicago Institute of Art or the quirky little boutiques of Lincoln Park; eat some authentic Chicago Pizza at Pizzeria Uno.

You will love Chicago - just think of what a great time you''re going to have and the flight will be over with very quickly and before you know it you'll be shopping on the Magnificent Mile!

Have a wonderful time!

Thank you so much!! As I mentioned above the more people who tell me that they were fine the more I genuinely start to believe that I'm going to be just peachy :)

We're staying at the Conrad which is attached to Nordstrum on the Mag Mile so I'm hoping that location wise I've really chosen well. I've just emailed them to order my pillows - yes I get a pillow menu of different smells to help you sleep/if you have a cold/wake up pillow. Oh the decadence!

I've been to NYC every year the past 6 years so this is super exciting for me. Its like a whole new adventure.

Jo x
Hi Jo

If you love NYC, then you'll love Chicago. Chicago isn't as crazy a NYC (where is?) but it does have that big, exciting, noisy, American city feel - which I'm just in love with and there is so much to do and see.

Your hotel is right in the centre of things - I know where Nordstrum is - you can walk to all the central attractions from there and there are some gorgeous restaurants and bars in the area. Go and enjoy yourself!

How exciting! Can't wait to hear how you much you enjoyed your trip.
PS - I love the pillow menu idea.

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