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Tips and ideas on how to best spend a layover at Chicago O'Hare ORD airport. Got a favorite quiet place to connect to wifi? A great bar or restaurant? Maybe an exhibit or a walk? Share your ORD Airport layover experiences with others, or post a question and get notified when there is a response.

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  • Layover
    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi! We are flying from Toronto by American Airlines, Terminal three. landing time 12:25. Our next flight to Doha 17:45. What steps do we follow to get to our next departure and can we leave the airport for 2-3 hrs. If, then how is that possible?


    You don't really have a lot of time to leave the airport. you will pre-clear US Immigration in Toronto. In Chicago you will take the ATS Train from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 and go through security.


  • Time to Smoke
    Aug 13, 2015
    It's a terrible habit, I know. I have a layover of 2 hours and 20 minutes at Chicago O'Hare and I'm wondering if that is enough time to run outside, smoke, and get back through security in time to meet my next flight? I will be traveling on Flight 614 (Spirit) and leaving on Flight 853 tonight.


    If your first flight is on-time then that's probably enough time, especially that late the security lines will be short. Be sure to ask when the checkpoint closes as you leave so that they don't close it with you outside.


  • long layover
    Aug 7, 2015
    I am arriving from LHR on a British airways flight and have a 5hr layover until my AA flight to STL , can i leave airport in Chicago or am i stuck in terminal? 6 hr layover on return journey.


    Once you clear US Customs and re-check your bags in Terminal 5 you will be outside security and free to go where you want. It takes about an hour on the CTA blue line to get into the city. On the return you are free to go where you like as well.




  • London to Sioux Fall via Chicago
    Aug 7, 2015
    I am flying from London to Sioux Falls changing at Chicago. Never done this before. Changeover times 1:28 or 3:41 which would be the best. Think I have to change terminals, not sure about customs and baggage. Both flights with United


    You will arrive in Terminal 5, go through US Immigration, claim your bags, go through US Customs, re-check your bags at the re-check desk, then go up two levels and then take the ATS train to your departure terminal and go through security and to your departure gate. Your flight to Sioux Falls will depart from Terminal 1 (B or C gates) or Terminal 2 (E or F gates). I would go for the 3 hr 41 min connection time.


  • transit from toronto
    Aug 7, 2015
    hi im travelling from toronto to abu dhabi and i have a layover in chicago will i have to go through customs and if yes will i be able to make my connection as i only have 2 hours between my flights


    You will pre-clear US Immigration and customs in Toronto. All you have to do, assuming both tickets were purchased on the same reservation, is take the ATS train from your arrival terminal to Terminal 5, get your Etihad boarding pass if you don't already have it, and go through security. You should have enough time if your flight from Toronto is on-time.


  • i need help i am first time traveller from india
    Jul 21, 2015
    i am first time traveller from india.My starting point is chennai and my destination is nashville(BNA).I booked ticket through an agent for british airways.My first flight is british airways from chennai to london.There i have a connecting flight which is american airlines to chicago(ORD)o'hare.I have 1:45 minutes time to board american airlines(eagle)flight to nashville(BNA).DO i need to collect my baggage here in chicago and again do all checkin and custom check?is that time sufficient to do the process.Please do help me posting what the actual process between when i arrive in chicago terminal5 and board my flight in terminal 3.Your help is greatly appreciated.Thank you.


    In Chicago, you will arrive in Terminal 5, go through US Immigration, claim your bags, go through US Customs, re-check your bags at the re-check desk, then take the ATS Train to Terminal 3 and go through security. You should have enough time if your flight from London is on-time.


    Thank you..are immigrations, bag claims and custom check on same terminal ? Or do I need to carry my baggGe to terminal 3 for custom and recheck?


    Yes, Immigration, baggage claim, customs, and re-check will all be in the arrivals level of Terminal 5. All you will have to do once you get to Terminal 3 is go through security and to your departure gate.


  • Layover Time 2 hours
    Jul 11, 2015
    Hello all, I have a valid US Visa. I will be reaching Terminal 5 ofORD Chicago Airport at 20:00 from Heathrow(London) on American Airlines. And I am having a transit time of 2 hours, and I have to board a flight of American Airlines to St.Louis at Terminal 3. Will that 2 hours of time is sufficient for customs, Immigration check and boarding the flight? Please help me.


    Yes, 2 hours should be enough time.


  • Arriving from Mexico Flying to DTW
    Jun 24, 2015
    I am looking to book an itenerary (all United) that has me arriving from Monterrey (MTY) @ 9:25an and departing to DTW @ 10:59am. Is this enough time if I check a bag? If I don't check one is it ok? Never flown into ORD with customs.


    Yes, that is enough time. You will arrive in Terminal 5, go through US Immigration, claim your bags, go through US Customs, re-check your bags at the re-check desk, then take the ATS Train to Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 (DTW flights can leave from either) and then go through security. Immigration in T5 should not be too busy mid-morning around then.


  • Can my son meet me for a meal inside security during a layover
    Jun 22, 2015
    On 7/21 I have a 3 hour layover. My son lives in Chicago. He's happy to come out to ORD but is there an alternative to me having to go in and out of Security and instead have him join me for a meal at one of the restaurants?


    No, he can't go through security. The only real restaurant outside security that I can think of is in the Hilton.


    I figured. Darn. Does the ORD train stop at the Hilton? Or do we have to take a shuttle bus?


    You can walk through a tunnel to the Hilton. It is located in the middle of Terminals 1, 2, and 3.


  • 1 hour layover?
    Aug 23, 2015
    I have an hour long layover that begins and ends at the same terminal. Any ideas on what to do to kill time, besides eating?


    You won't have much time to kill. Look at stuff on your phone, read a book. Your next flight will start boarding before you know it.


    I have 54 minutes between 2 United flights. Is that enough time to feel assured that my checked bag will make it from the first flight to the second?


    I have a 1 hr layover goinng to Houston.....can I make the connecting flight? (United....both flights)


  • Layover timing
    Jun 19, 2015
    Hey,I'm a traveler from Malaysia heading towards the US.My first stop would be Paris and then towards OHare > Des Moines.I have a layover of 1 hour and 30 minutes and i'm flying with American Airlines.Would that be enough?


    Yes, that should be barely enough time. You will arrive in Terminal 5, go through US Immigration, claim your bags, go through US Customs, re-check your bags at the transfer desk, then go up to levels to the ATS Train, take it to Terminal 3 and go through security and to your departure gate.


    Thanks! I have an off topic question.What about bringing over external Hard Disks and Laptops through the US Customs?Will there be any issues especially when there might be some pirated programs/unlicensed in them?


    They don't search the contents of your hard drives or computers when entering the US. They quite honestly, don't have time to.


  • Hin
    Jun 12, 2015
    I was told, taking connect flights at Chicago airport was very complicated, I will arrive ORD at 4:14pm by US Airways 910 operated by American Airlines in this Sept and take Delta 7051 operated by WestJet at 9:27pm to Calgary YYC Alberta, Canada. Is that enough time? Should I need to claim my luggage and go through the security to Canada. I booked my flights from MIA to YYC in one booking at Expedia . Since it involves 3 airlines, do you think if I miss my connection the airlinewill book me on the next available flight to YYC.


    Well, technically your trip just involves two airlines. I do not know if American and Westjet have an Interline baggage agreement. The AA agent in Miami will be able to tell you if they are able to check your bags through to Calgary or not. If they are able to check the bags through to Calgary, all you have to do is walk from your arrival gate in Terminal 3 to your departure gate in concourse L of Terminal 3. If you have to claim your bags all you have to do is go to the Terminal 3 baggage claim then up to the westjet counter on the departure level and check your bag, then go through security. Either way you have enough time.


    Dear Zap, Thank you for your prompt reply.


  • Flying through ORD to Toronto Canada
    Jun 9, 2015
    Good Day, My flight is scheduled to fly from Orlando - arriving on T1 at ORD and then i have connecting flight from ORD to Toronto from T2. I am a Canadian citizen and both connecting flights are on one itenary with United airlines. My question is - as i am boarding from Orlando - Will i need to recheck the baggae at ORD, or would the luggage make its way to my final destination in Canada I have a 40 mins layover and this could play a key role in me missing my flight if i need to line up again and check back in. Any info is much appreciated.


    No, you do not have to do anything with your baggage in ORD. All you have to do is walk from your arrival gate to your departure gate. Note that many United flights to Toronto leave from T1. Even if you do leave from T2, it is connected to T1 inside security by a walkway.


  • Connection flight
    Jun 6, 2015
    I will arrive at O'Hare international airport, terminal 1 at 1:02 pm, and have to catch a connecting flight in terminal 2 at 1:45 pm. Can I make it? (both flights are with United Airlines)


    Yes, that is enough time however, it obviously leaves very little time to spare in case your first flight is delayed. T1 and T2 are connected inside security by a walkway. Also, double check the monitors or united.com upon arrival in Chicago as United Express flights can use either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.


  • transfer from T5 to T2
    May 7, 2015
    Hi. I will be arriving at ORD Terminal 5 by Air India flight around 7 am.I have to take a connecting United flight from T2. Considering that I will have to go through immigrations as well, will 4.5 hours be enough to make the connecting flight?


    Yes, that should be plenty of time.


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