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Travel information for Toronto 2018 will be added in early 2018.


Traveling to Chicago/ Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park


Chicago is a sanctuary city that welcomes citizens of all nations.
Join us in this great city as we celebrate 58 years of cinema and media studies.

Additionally, for a list of sanctuary restaurants, see here.

The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park is approximately 18 miles northwest from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and 12 miles southwest from Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). The Fairmont Hotel does not provide shuttle service.

Weather: For up to the minute Chicago weather, click here.

Air Travel: Chicago is served by O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW). Cab rides from the airports can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending on traffic.

    • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) - 18 miles northwest
    • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) - 12 miles southwest

Download the FlySmart application on your mobile device and see very shop, restaurant and service available and where to find them at O’Hare and Midway. You can also get real-time flight data.

Public Transportation: The Chicago Transit Authority serves both airports for easy and economical travel between downtown and Chicago neighborhoods using the ‘L’ train. The 24-hour CTA Blue Line connects directly to O’Hare and the CTA Orange Line connects directly to Midway. Read more on getting around Chicago with public transportation or visit for full fare information and maps.

Taxi: Taxis are plentiful and easy-to-hail downtown and at the airports, and offer a convenient way to get around the city. Credit cards are accepted in all cabs by city mandate. It is standard to tip the driver about 15-20% of the fare, plus $1-2 per bag if the driver helps you with luggage. Please note that all fares are subject to change. Sample taxi fare between downtown and O’Hare Airport is $40-50, and between Midway Airport is $30-35. 

You can also electronically hail (E-Hail) a taxicab through a mobile app. CHICABS offers safe and secure options for a Chicago taxicab ride. CHICABS approved apps ARRO and CURB also let passengers electronically pay (E-Pay) for the taxicab fare through the app.

Taxis charge a base rate of $3.25, plus $1.80 for each additional mile and $0.20 for every 36 seconds of time elapsed. If a gas surcharge is in effect, a sign will be displayed inside the taxicab and a surcharge may apply. Tolls are an extra charge. Taxis charge $1 for the first additional passenger over age 12 and under age 65; each additional passenger after that is $0.50.

Amtrak: Chicago’s Union Station is a major terminal for Amtrak as well as for city and regional train service. It is located at 210 Canal St. in downtown Chicago. It is about a 2-mile trip from Union Station to the meeting hotel. For more information, call Amtrak at (800) 872-7245 or visit

Shared Ride Vans: GO Airport Express both O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway Airport (MDW). Airport Shuttles depart from O'Hare airport every 10-15 minutes for downtown service to Chicago hotels, downtown businesses, near north residential locations, and suburban locations.

O'Hare: Our ticket counters and loading zones for boarding the GO Airport Express van are at Door 1E across from baggage claim 6, at Terminal 2 door 2E across from Jet Blue Baggage Claim, Terminal 3 Door 3E across from baggage claim 9 and at Terminal 5, just outside door 5E. If you do not see an van, please call our toll-free number at 1-888-284-3826, and ask a reservationist to send a van to one of these locations when available. The last GO Airport Express van leaves O'Hare at 11:30 pm seven nights a week.

Midway: Shuttles depart from Midway (MDW) Airport every 15 minutes for downtown service to Chicago hotels, downtown businesses and near north residential locations. GO Airport Express ticket counter and loading zone is located at Door 3, lower level across from baggage claim. Reservations from Midway to downtown are not necessary. The last GO Airport Express van leaves Midway at 10:30 pm seven nights a week.

Bus: The Greyhound Bus Terminal is located just a few minutes from the hotel. For more information, call Greyhound at (800) 229-9424.

ZipCar:  A Zipcar is located on property. Please visit the for additional information.

All Gender/Family/Accessible Restrooms at O’Hare: All restrooms located throughout the airport have wheelchair accessible facilities. In addition, there are All Gender/Family/Accessible restrooms located in all terminals.

Terminal 1 - B4 (2), B10 (2), C20(2), Baggage Claim (2)
Terminal 2 - Across from the Children's Museum (2), E5, Baggage Claim
Terminal 3 - G11, H14, H3, K1 (2), L5, Rotunda, Baggage Claim
Terminal 5 - Near Security Checkpoint, Food Court Area

International Traveler Services: Step by step instructions are provided here to help travelers prepare for the arrival process. To view the Transfer Guide for International Travelers, click here.

Travelers Aid services: Travelers Aid Chicago is a social service agency located at O'Hare. It provides guidance, support and advocacy services for passengers during travel. The professional staff in both the booths and the main office can assist with crisis intervention information as well as social services for travelers and visitors.

Some of the populations TAC serves:

  • Refugees, immigrants, and international visitors
  • Passengers with special needs
  • Runaways returning home
  • Those fleeing humanitarian crises (e.g. natural disasters and violence)
  • Stranded passengers
  • Passengers under duress (e.g. an emotional breakdown)
  • Inexperienced/first time travelers
  • Victims of theft at O’Hare Airport

Office Hours: M-F 8:30am - 9pm / Sa-Su 10am - 9pm
Info Desk Hours:  M-F 9am - 8pm / Sa-Su 10am - 8pm

Main Office Location: Terminal 2, Upper Level next to Children's Museum
Satellite Office: Terminal 5, near Gate M19 

Info Desk Locations: Terminal 1, near Gate B7; Terminal 1, near Gate C18; Terminal 2, near Gate F4; Terminal 3, near Gate K2; Terminal 5, Upper/Ticketing Level; Terminal 5, Lower/Arrival Level

You can contact Travelers Aid Chicago at (773) 894-2427 or by email at

Accessibility Information & Assistance: Getting from one point to another at any airport can be challenging, especially for travelers with disabilities. The Chicago Department of Aviation recognizes these needs and is working to make travel through Chicago's airports as pleasant and convenient as possible. 

O'Hare Accessibility Guide: Our Accessibility Guide provides a map highlighting all the facilities in the airport for travelers with disabilities. Additionally, the various services available are also described within the Guide. Click here to view the map and the facilities. Click here to download the Guide.

Purple Airplane Pins: The Chicago Department of Aviation is training employees about multiple disabilities to improve awareness, understanding and accommodations within the airports. To signify this Enhanced Awareness, employees will wear purple airplane pins. Please feel free to approach all airport employees with any questions or needs you may have. While airport employees will be wearing the Purple Airplane pins, they may also be used to signify travelers and families with disabilities. Staff and security personnel at both Chicago airports receive training to recognize the symbol and how to work with travelers who may need assistance. Travelers can download the Purple Airplane symbol to create a personal sticker or pin. This sticker can be worn on top of your clothing to be easily identified by airport staff. For more information about where you can go to download a Purple Airplane Sticker, click here.

Accessible Rides: Open Taxis, the newcentralized dispatch for all Chicago wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), is now up and running by Open Doors Organization. Call 24/7 to request a WAV cab for immediate pickup or to pre-arrange a trip at 1-855-WAV-1010 (1-855-928-1010)*.

- You may also reach usat the following number: 773-657-3006  
- You may text us at the following number: 773-609-5321
- You may email us at:

*Important Notice:If you're ever unable to reach us over our toll free number (1-855-928-1010)due to technical difficulties then please use ouralternate number (773-657-3006) instead.

You may now place your order and track your WAV driver using the Open Taxis App on Google Play and The AppStore.

Additional Resources: Aviation Accessibility Kits are available to make traveling more enjoyable for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Driving: Chicago can be reached via Interstates 57, 80, 88, 90, or 94, as well as numerous spurs off the interstates. Keep in mind that traffic in downtown Chicago is extremely heavy at times, and that the major highways are typically referred to by locals by names instead of numbers (e.g., Dan Ryan or Kennedy instead of I-94 or I-190, respectively). All signs will include numbers.

NOTE: If you are utilizing a Global Positioning System to assist you, please be aware that you may be navigated to intermediate level Lake Street and Columbus Drive rather than our Front Door. Our Auto Lobby is located on Lake Street just west of Columbus Drive.

From Chicago International O'Hare Airport (I-90/94):

  • Take I-90/94.
  • Follow signs to Chicago.
  • Exit at Ohio Street (Exit number 50B) and proceed three blocks to LaSalle Street.
  • Turn right on LaSalle Street and proceed five blocks to Wacker Drive.
  • Turn left on Wacker Drive and proceed ¾ mile to Columbus Drive (second light after Michigan Avenue).
  • Turn right on Columbus Drive after1¼ blocks.
  • The Fairmont Chicago will be on your right, immediately after South Water Street. 

From Midway Airport (I-55):

From Midway Airport follows signs to Cicero Avenue (Northbound).

  • Proceed on Cicero Avenue for two miles to I-55 North.
  • From I-55 North, follow the signs to Lake Shore Drive North.
  • From Lake Shore Drive North, drive one mile past Museum Campus, staying to the right.
  • Exit onto Randolph Street/Wacker Drive.
  • Upon crossing Randolph Street, stay to the left following the signs to Wacker Drive.
  • Once on Wacker Drive, immediately merge right driving up ramp to upper level.
  • Turn left on Columbus Drive (first stoplight) after 1¼ blocks.
  • The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park will be on your right (immediately after South Water Street).

From Lake Shore Drive - Southbound (Route 41):

  • Using the Grand/Illinois/Navy Pier/Wacker Drive, exit and continue on the exit ramp.
  • Upon crossing Illinois Street, stay to the right for the Wacker Drive exit.
  • Once on Wacker Drive, immediately merge right driving up ramp to the upper level.
  • Turn left on Columbus Drive (first stoplight) after 1¼ blocks.
  • The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park will be on your right (immediately after South Water Street).

From Interstate 290/Interstate 88

I -88 to I-290 East to Congress Parkway merge.

  • Remain on Congress Parkway six blocks to State Street.
  • Turn left on State Street. Proceed on State Street one mile to Wacker Drive.
  • Make a soft right turn on Wacker Drive.
  • Drive four blocks to Columbus Drive (second stoplight after Michigan Avenue).
  • Turn right on Columbus Drive after 1¼ blocks.
  • The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park will be on your right (immediately after South Water Street).

If you require further assistance, please contact the Concierge Desk at 312-565-6651.

Parking: Parking in Chicago can be very expensive. Click here to access an interactive parking map of downtown Chicago to search for public parking lots and garages by address and points of interest. 

Want to pay for parking in advance? Find the perfect Chicago parking spot by comparing price, location, and amenities. Reserve your spot now. You can search for any of the following:

Parking Panda 


Spot Hero

Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park hotel parking charges (including tax) are as follows: 

Up to Two hours: $26.00
Two to Six hours: $38.00
Six to 24-hours and overnight parking: $70.00 

If you are staying at the Fairmont under the SCMS room block, you will receive a 20% discount off 2017 overnight valet parking prices. Self-parking is not available at the hotel.

The Neighborhood - The Loop: As Chicago’s official downtown area, The Loop is one of the most important central business districts on the globe. In addition to its dynamic architecture and buzzing atmosphere, the area has an incredible concentration of cultural institutions, Michelin-rated restaurants and a shopper’s paradise on State Street. 

Famous for its striking architecture, the Loop vaunts signature buildings by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Louis Henri Sullivan, as well as Aqua by modern day prodigy Jeanne Gang. The area hangout, Millennium Park, complements its surrounding with stunning architectural marvels of its own. The Park’s crown jewels include a Frank Gehry designed amphitheater and Cloud Gate, a bean-shaped landmark that’s become an iconic symbol of Chicago. 

In addition to architectural marvels, Chicago’s cultural attractions also have a prevailing presence in The Loop neighborhood. The city’s celebrated Theater District buzzes with Tony Award-winning shows and glittering marquees. The Chicago Cultural Center provides an incredible range of performance and visual arts, while The Art Institute of Chicago is widely considered to be one of the finest institutions of its kind in the world. For places to shop, places to play and places to eat in The Loop, visit HERE.


SOUTHWEST AIRLINES: Beginning on November 15, 2016 Society for Cinema & Media Studies conference attendees will receive a discount and bonus Rapid Reward points from Southwest Airlines through our SWABIZ® account. Southwest Airlines is offering an 10% discount off Anytime & Business Select® fares and a 3% discount off select Wanna Get Away® fares for travel to and from the conference. Book your travel between November 15, 2016 & March 1, 2017 to take advantage of the discounted rates. (Discounts are available for travel March 15, 2017 through April 2, 2017.)

By flying Southwest Airlines, as a Society for Cinema & Media Studies traveler, you will also receive the following benefits:

  • 50% bonus Rapid Reward points for your travel to & from the convention with Rapid Rewards # added to your reservation. To enroll in the Rapid Rewards program, visit
  • No baggage fees (first two bags)
  •  No change or cancellation fees
  • No peak travel or fuel surcharges
  • Consistently ranked the “Best in Customer Service” by DOT

To take advantage of this offer, click on this link:

Delta extends up to a 10% discount to conference attendees traveling between March 22 and April 2, 2017, to any Chicago airport. Book online at using meeting event code (NMNSW), or call Meeting Network Reservations at 800-328-1111 to reserve your ticket. There is a direct ticketing fee of $25 for booking through the reservation number. This code cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts, miles cannot be used to purchase, and varies from 2-10% depending on the fare class of the ticket.

: United Airlines extends up to a 10% discount to conference attendees traveling between March 19 and March 29, 2017, to any Chicago airport. Book online at or United Meetings at 800-426-1122, please refer to Z-Code (ZXQ9) and Agreement Code (434862). There is a direct ticketing fee for booking through the reservation number.

Passengers outside the US 50 States & Canada: call your professional travel agency, book online via or email and provide your preferred itinerary, agreement code and meeting Z code. Please allow 24 hours for email requests to be processed.

This code cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts, miles cannot be used to purchase, and varies from 2-10% depending on the fare class of the ticket. Discounts are not applicable for flights originating in Japan.

AMERICAN AIRLINES: American Airlines extends low-rate “Zone Fares” to conference attendees traveling between March 15 and April 2, 2016, to any Chicago, IL airport. Offer applies to domestic and Canadian flights. For reservations call Meeting Services at 800-433-1790 and refer to authorization number A8737EM.

: Amtrak offers a 10% discount off the best available rail fare to (Chicago, IL) between (March 19, 2017 – March 29, 2017). To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent.

Conventions cannot be booked via Internet. Please be sure to refer to Convention Fare Code X03C-953 when making your reservation. This offer is not valid on the Auto Train and Acela Service. Fare is valid on Amtrak Regional for all departures seven days a week, except for holiday blackouts.  Offer valid with Sleepers, Business Class or First Class seats with payment of the full applicable accommodation charges.

AVIS: Special discounts are available on a wide selection of vehicles from eco-friendly and fuel efficient compacts and hybrids to stylish premium and luxury sedans. Reserve online using this link: Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2017  or contact Avis at 800-331-1600 using code (D424902). Offer valid for reservations between March 15 and April 02, 2017.


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