Click to join an upcoming live event

Turn off Ads (click)

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu
Travel News

O’Hare: Computer kiosks replace laid-off greeters

0c_46
Avatar
Written by editor

Fifty new computer tourism “kiosks” will be installed throughout O’Hare International Airport, Mayor Richard Daley announced Monday.

Fifty new computer tourism “kiosks” will be installed throughout O’Hare International Airport, Mayor Richard Daley announced Monday.

Travelers at the airport will be able to use the touch screen-computers to access the city’s 2-month-old tourism site, explorechicago.org.

The computers, which provide information in several languages, will provide many functions once performed by the red-jacketed greeters the Daley administration recently laid off to help address the city’s budget deficit.

“Technology has really changed that,” Daley said at a news conference at the airport. “This gives more information than any people can have. You can get more information off this system than any one individual could have at O’Hare Field.”

Daley said most of the $315,000 cost will be covered by Hewlett-Packard, which manufactured the computers.

Daley’s 2009 budget cut the positions of 29 airport customer service representatives who had translated and answered questions for passengers for decades.

Laying off the greeters, who were paid annual salaries of between $38,000 and $58,000, will result in savings of about $2 million, city officials said.

At the news conference, Daley also said he was satisfied with receiving $12 million in federal stimulus package funds for improving a runway and taxiway at O’Hare.

“It’s better than nothing. Let’s be realistic,” he said.

Walsh Construction was the low bidder for the project and will proceed now that funding has been obtained, said Daley’s newly appointed aviation commissioner, Rosemarie Andolino.

Andolino said the city would pursue additional stimulus funding for the airport. But she and Daley said the criteria for the stimulus funds prevented Chicago from getting federal dollars for O’Hare’s expansion.