Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

I took a 7AM flight on a Tuesday from Chicago O’Hare to Port Columbus International. I was blow away by the security lines in Terminal 3 at Chicago O’Hare. It is because of American’s abnormally long lines when compared with United and Delta that persuaded me to finally sign up for TSA PreCheck. The wait in the line for all American Airlines passengers was well over an hour and the wait for Priority Access customers was equally long. Even the line for the TSA PreCheck security checkpoint ended up being 20 minutes.

Security Hack

If you plan on flying out of Chicago O’Hare on American Airlines anytime soon, I highly recommend clearing security in either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. Before I had TSA PreCheck I used to clear security in Terminal 1 because the lines for American Airlines were so long. It doesn’t matter which airline you are flying on, you can clear security at ANY checkpoint in terminal 1, 2, or 3 and get to any gate in the airport.

ORD-CMH (295 Miles)

The flight was on time, but was completely full. The upgrade list was 15 people long and there were several customers attempting to standby on the 7AM flight. There were no cancelations or weather that could have caused the overwhelming demand for the flight. I guess this is just an extremely popular flight for travelers. The flight was smooth and we arrived at Port Columbus a few minutes early.

Lodging in Columbus, OH

Due to the extremely short duration of my trip to Columbus, I decided to stay at the Port Columbus Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. There is a complimentary shuttle between the terminal and the hotel which takes about 5 minutes either way. It is possible to walk from the Terminal directly to the hotel. The hotel has all of the typical amenities offered by the Fairfield brand and as a perk offers views of the Port Columbus runway. This is a perfect location to stay for quick visits to Columbus if you wish to avoid downtown Columbus.

Also very near the hotel is a Four Points by Sheraton and for a higher price point there is a full service Marriott.


I avoiding renting a car on this trip, which meant I had to get creative for dining options. I opted to take an Uber from the hotel to the Easton Town Center. It is a great outdoor mall featuring mostly high-end retailers. The mall offers around 60 dining options varying from Coopers Hawk and Smith & Wollensky to Chipotle and Panda Express. Again, if you don’t have easy access to transportation, this is a great place to go for dinner and even catch a movie if you have time to waste.

CMH-ORD (295 Miles)

The return trip home was on the smallest planes in AA’s fleet. I love the ERJ 145. There is something unique about flying on a plane where if you really wanted to you could touch both sides of the plane at the same time. I learned from previous mistakes and avoided Row 3 (bulkhead) with limited legroom. The flight home was great and my extremely short trip to Columbus was complete.

Thanks for my Platinum Status with American Airlines I earned 590 Elite Qualifying Miles and 2,000 total redeemable miles. I hope my next visit to Columbus allows me to stay downtown and explore the city, but hopefully this helps serve as a guide for anyone spending just 36 hours in Columbus without access to a vehicle.

Safe Travels!

When booking this trip I used the Citi Prestige credit card to earn 3x ThankYou points on airfare and used the Marriott Rewards credit card to earn 5x Marriott points on Marriott hotel charges.