Who needs the [Chicago-area] Kwik-E-Mart? I do.
July 17, 2007 6:34 AM   Subscribe

We have connecting flights through Chicago O'Hare this month and would like to visit the Kwik-E-Mart. Is that feasible?

Mr. trixie_bee and I want to visit the Kwik-E-Mart at:

6754 W. 63rd Street
Chicago, IL 60638

Kwik-E-Mart Chicago

Google maps shows that it is a 27 mile/37 minute journey.

We will be flying into Chicago this Thursday (19th), at 12:35 pm. Our connecting flight (domestic flight) leaves at 4:30 pm.

Our return flight is on Saturday the 28th. We arrive in Chicago at 2:05 pm and depart (international flight) at 7:20 pm.

So on the 19th, we have 4 hours between planes, and on the 28th, we have 5 hours.

Other complications include having to go through customs and recheck bags on the 19th. Only one of us is American, so we have to expect some time in the non-nationals line, yes? For the return, we need to be back at the airport early enough for an international flight on the 28th.

So, questions:

What is typical traffic like on our route on a Thursday early afternoon vs. Saturday late afternoon?

Is the 27 mile/37 minute journey estimate accurate?

Does the Chicago airport efficiently process passengers or should we expect to spend that 4/5 hours between flights in line?

And finally, even though we have less time on the journey in, I'm tempted to try it then, as it will be easier to rebook a domestic missed flight (worst case scenario) than an international flight.

Any other issues I might be missing?
posted by trixie_bee to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (23 answers total)
both times are pretty bad for traffic. 37 minutes is a bit optimistic if there was no traffic.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:02 AM on July 17, 2007

I wouldn't do it.

I assume you'd be cabbing, and not taking public transportation -- 37 minutes from O'hare to 63rd seems like a generous time table (I live on the Near North side, and I think it takes about 25-30 minutes to get there). But to break it down, you should probably give yourself at least an hour to re-check through. So, ~ 2 hours for the ride; ~30 min to fuck around in the Kwik-e-mart; ~1 hour to get yourself back through security. That's about 3.5 hours -- I'd be sweating it, but that's just me.
posted by pfafflin at 7:06 AM on July 17, 2007

37 minutes is a blatant lie. I'd plan on at least an hour for that trip. There is no way you'll be approaching the speed limit for most of your journey - whether on Thursday or Saturday.

Are you going to have to rent a car, or is some nice person going to drive you to/from? A taxi will be quite expensive (well, so would renting a car for that short period of time). If renting, figure in the time spent at the rental counter.

I have experience as an American flying into O'Hare from France and customs didn't take too long, but it was also very late at night when the airport wasn't busy anyway.
posted by desjardins at 7:07 AM on July 17, 2007

Sorry, forgot to mention that we will be taking a cab. How expensive might that be? I think we'd consider paying him to wait too, so that we are sure of having a cab ride back.
posted by trixie_bee at 7:11 AM on July 17, 2007

P.S. I don't know how much of a hassle/expense it would be to get your return domestic flight switched to come into Midway, but if you can do that, then you can take a cab from Midway to Kwik-e-Mart (very close), and then a cab/shuttle from there to O'Hare to catch your international return flight.
posted by desjardins at 7:11 AM on July 17, 2007

Assuming you're flying from Dublin, as your profile implies, you'll talk to the Immigration people at the pre-clearance facility there rather than in Chicago. (Customs is in Chicago, though.) So that's one less time constraint to worry about.

I agree, though, that 37 minutes is an optimistic estimate for that trip, unless it was late evening or night; I'd allow at least an hour each way for normal traffic. (Google Maps is generally rather optimistic for driving times, and doubly so in urban areas.) Is it possible to rebook your second leg for a later flight, or for your second flight to be out of Midway airport rather than O'Hare?
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:16 AM on July 17, 2007

Oh, and a cab fare of that distance will run you about $55 (give or take), plus tip.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:18 AM on July 17, 2007

(That's one way, of course. And waiting time is 20ยข for every 36 seconds, which works out to $10 for 30 minutes.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:21 AM on July 17, 2007

(PS - if it helps any, I went to the Kwik-E-Mart in Seattle, and.....meh. If it had taken me more than 10 minutes to drive there I'd have been really bummed. And I am a psycho fan from back in the day - '89 reprasent!)
posted by tristeza at 7:28 AM on July 17, 2007

No. This is a recipe for disaster.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:55 AM on July 17, 2007

Don't bother - there's one here (in the burbs around Vancouver) and well... it was only 20 minutes out of our way, and I was seriously disappointed. It's just a 7-11 with a different sign, some (rather disgusting) pink donuts, squishee cups and Simpsons cutouts throughout the store. And it's stupidly busy. Granted I'm not a hardcore simpsons fan like some people, but my boyfriend is and even he was like "meh".
posted by cgg at 7:56 AM on July 17, 2007

God no, wait until you get to ORD and are subjected to the slowest and most humiliating connection flight experience of your life time. I'll never fly through there again.
posted by furtive at 8:02 AM on July 17, 2007

Even if everything goes perfectly, I wouldn't risk it. Best case scenario for Sunday:

1:55: flight lands ten minutes early.
2:10: off plane, walking to cab (no way you have enough time to check luggage)
2:20: catch cab
3:20: cab arrives at Kwik-E-Mart
3:45: pictures taken, slushie purchased, back in cab
4:45: back at O'Hare, pay cabbie $100
5:00: finishing checking in
5:30: through security

That is definitely possible, although not particularly likely. Your flight into O'Hare will probably be delayed, but that's fine because if it's two hours late, you just won't go. The dangerous part is that you could hit traffic going back to the airport extending that part by half an hour or an hour (and $20-$40):

2:50: flight lands, think, "WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS!"
3:10: catch cab
4:20: cab arrives at Kwik-E-Mart. "Hmm, this is getting close."
4:30: "We better go."
5:30: "Why aren't we moving? Why are we still twenty minutes from the airport. I hate Matt Groening."
6:15: get to airport, pay cabbie $150.
6:45: finish checking in.
6:46: see security line.
6:46:30: D'OH!
posted by MarkAnd at 8:03 AM on July 17, 2007

I'm with the chorus here. Attempt this only if you feel that you've never experienced your full range of anger-related emotions.
posted by ninjew at 8:04 AM on July 17, 2007 [4 favorites]

An hour is probably a good estimate of one-way travel time; $55-$60 probably is a good estimate of one-way cab fare. Have you ever been through O'Hare? It's large and your outbound flight may leave from a much different place than your inbound flight, meaning you'd also have to factor in your confusion about where you are supposed to be.

This plan screams disaster. But if you try it be sure to let us know how it works out.
posted by stevis23 at 8:25 AM on July 17, 2007

Here is something about Chicago: everything LOOKS like it's pretty close. If I type my zip code into those store finders, I get lots of options that say they're only a few miles away. Guess what: nothing is close in the city. Especially when you're on a limited time-table. There will be nasty, nasty traffic; it will be expensive; and even for the most die-hard fan of ANYTHING it's not worth the headache trying to go quickly from O'Hare in the Northwest to the South side. Actually, that's about as bad as it gets.
posted by rhoticity at 9:07 AM on July 17, 2007

Bad idea, just like everyone else said.
posted by corpse at 9:09 AM on July 17, 2007

Adding to the pile. I wouldn't do it. I used to live in Chicago and I've flown in there many times.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:13 AM on July 17, 2007


I'm a pretty hardcore Simpson's fan and was recently quite disappointed by my Kwik-E-Mart experience. I don't think it's worth your time or money.
posted by zackola at 9:29 AM on July 17, 2007

The non-Kwik-E-Mart 7-11s are selling the Simpsons memorabilia as well. We've picked up Squishie cups, Krusty-Os, and Buzz Cola at the one here in Austin.
posted by Addlepated at 11:10 AM on July 17, 2007

I went to the Kwik-E-Mart in Chicago (by the way, MUCH closer to Midway, and would be doable if you flew in/out of Midway instead of O'Hare). It was meh. I am the biggest Simpsons fan of anyone I know and I still kind of felt meh. The best part was being able to buy the memorabilia.
posted by BuddhaBelly at 12:17 PM on July 17, 2007

Oh god, don't do it. I live in Chicago and there is no way you'd make it down there in 40 min, it'll take at least an hour. Try to change one of your flights to midway, or don't do it. On top of that, O'Hare has been awful the last few times I'm flown - admittedly one of those times was the morning of the London liquid bomb threat, but still...
posted by gleea at 1:50 PM on July 17, 2007

I went to the Chicago Kwik-E-Mart and it took nearly an hour from Ukrainian Village, so I'll join the chorus saying it's too risky for your flight. I enjoyed myself, but they were out of all the stuff I wanted (Krusty Os, Radioactive Man comics) so while the Squishee and Donut was fun, I'd have been dissapointed had a put a flight connection at risk.
posted by jules1651 at 2:45 PM on July 17, 2007

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